- December 3, 2009
Forgotten God by Francis Chan (David C. Cook)
Francis Chan becomes very transparent as he deals with the “big gap” between what the Scriptures say about the Holy Spirit and how he sees churches operating without any evidence of the Holy Spirit. He states his desire to live “exegetically” a Spirit-filled life. Chan believes what is missing in our churches today is the visible evidence of the Spirit-filled life. Churches magnify buildings, attendance and preaching but fail to show the evidences of what God the Holy Spirit did in the book of Acts and beyond that was promised by God.
Christians today quench and grieve the Holy Spirit. Chan reminds us the Holy Spirit is the presence and power of God dwelling in each of us. The big question Chan asks is: “What would the church look like if we allowed the Holy Spirit to totally lead us daily?” Short glimpses of people like Joni Eareckson Tada, Francis Schaeffer and others who demonstrate a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit flesh out Forgotten God.
If you will risk a challenge to your personal spiritual experience, this book will bless you and change you. The book is a must for those who long to see God move mightily in our day.
Leo Smith, executive director
Texas Baptist Men
Pursuing the Christ: 31 Morning and Evening Prayers for Christmastime by Jennifer Kennedy Dean (New Hope)
Sometimes we feel ourselves snared by the trappings of the holiday season—trees to decorate, lights to mount, presents to purchase, gatherings to plan, events to attend, friends and family to visit, to-do lists to complete. Often we find ourselves pursuing the Christ of Christmas only in snatched, fragmented moments.
Well-known author, conference leader and Baylor graduate Jennifer Kennedy Dean writes Pursuing the Christ: 31 Morning and Evening Prayers for Christmastime to allow us to “celebrate this Christmas season with Christ in view.”
The colorful, beautifully designed, 6-inch x 5-inch book offers a twice-daily focus for Decem-ber. Each entry provides Scripture, a morning meditation, a thought for the day and an evening meditation. The author closes each item with a brief, personal prayer.
The short devotionals are perfect not only for individual quiet times, but also for families at their breakfast and dinner tables.
Pursuing the Christ would be a great early Christmas gift for any Christ follower or Christian family.
But also consider presenting it to a friend who hasn’t yet discovered the spiritual meaning of our Savior’s birth.
Kathy Robinson Hillman,
Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas
Troubles? You’re Not Alone: How to Prevent a Knockdown in Life from Becoming Your Knockout by Billy and Winky Foote (Billy Foote Evangelistic Association, 2008)
This updated version of a book the couple wrote several years ago could be an encouragement to many people in these trying times.
The Footes give enough examples in the small book that they by no means come off as having all life’s answers, but they include enough Scripture references to point out they know a Savior who does.
Using trying circumstances from their own lives and the lives of their children, the Footes supply Scripture that got them through hard times. Almost regardless of the trouble a person may encounter, the Footes have done the research on where to turn and how to pray. This book is a marvelous example of praying Scripture, with Bible verses on almost every page.
A life of ministry did not immunize them or their family from trouble—and neither is anyone else immune. Whether it is loneliness, depression, problems with children, finances or a host of other circumstances, this book offers a prescription straight from God’s word.
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller (Dutton)
When I heard Tim Keller had written a new book about faith, I knew I had to share it with my Sunday school class. Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, which boomed during the past two decades as he presented the gospel thoughtfully and seriously to skeptical and/or seeking 20-somethings in New York City. The young couples I teach aren’t Manhattan elites, but they’re bright, and they care about their faith. So, I figured we would be blessed as we studied Keller together. I was right.
Keller divides The Reason for God into two parts. The first half focuses on arguments unbelievers propose for not believing in God. The common theme of his response is that their doubt is built upon belief, albeit an alternate belief. And he insists unbelievers must apply the same kind of rigorous logic to their presuppositions as they apply to others’ faith. The second half grows naturally out of the first, as Kel-ler presents seven reasons for faith. He consistently stresses Christianity makes the most sense of all we know in the world.
Keller’s selection of “reason” in his title wasn’t random. This book requires thought, but the payoff far exceeds the effort.
Marv Knox, editor
Paws for Reflection: Devotions for Dog Lovers by M. R. Wells, Kris Young & Connie Fleishauer (Harvest House Publishers)
Following their first book Four Paws from Heaven, these three authors have written another intriguing book. And the lessons they present will appeal to more than just lovers of dogs.
The format is notable. Each chapter heading has a related sub-heading followed by a relevant quote. After describing in some detail a “doggy experience” from real life, the application to hu-man experience is presented clearly and in much detail. This story is followed by a relevant scriptural reference as well as questions for the reader to ponder if placed in a similar situation.
Many of the 64 stories told in this book could be used as sermon illustrations. They are stories that would relate to the general public and could serve as starters for devotional ideas. Such words as happiness, fun, joy, comfort, love, hope, peace, overcoming, and even prayer are applicable as one enjoys these meditations.
College of Fine Arts
Dallas Baptist University