Book Review – Why Bother With Church? (30/9)

I love this title. This book highlights the thought that many (both christians and non-christians) has towards the church. In my own church, I see and feel that many youths have this apathy towards the church. So should we really bother with the church? What will we really lose if we are not involved in a church?

Why bother with church?Sam Allberry has written a short book to address it. Allberry starts by highlighting that the church doesn’t mean a physical structure or location. In fact church really means a gathering of people. He shows readers that the new testament christians were more concern about the gathering of the believers that the physical building they were at and that we should always keep this in the back of our mind as we talk about the church.

Next, Allberry highlights our need for the church. He shows us how as christians we cannot really divorce our faith from our community. This is what Jesus and the authors of the different New Testament books were concerned about. It is both our need and our service to be within a community to support and encourage and to be supported and encouraged.

Allberry then explains to readers what is a good church. He covers three aspects of the church. First the church is committed to learning from God’s word, next the members are committed to one another and third, the church is committed to worshiping God. Having done so, Allberry also adds a small excursus that talks about how to choose a church and about what baptism and communion is about.

Finally Allberry talks about a church’s governance and how we can be committed to a church despite the difficulties we have. I found this section to be honest and pastorally helpful although Allberry does not provide all the answers to the questions one might have, this is a good small for such a thin book. It leaves readers thinking how they can not be committed to a church if they’re christians. For those who think they’re over with the church, why not pick up this book and reconsider your conclusion? For youths who think church is boring and a waste of time, perhaps this book will be something you can consider as an alternative to what you believe.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Book Review – Can I Really Trust the Bible (26/9)

The Bible has come under many attacks through its history. While this is not unexpected, many christians, and some non-christians after they had read the bible for themselves may be driven to put their trust into what the bible say. But they might really be uncertain about it. In our day and age, it is never advised to dive too deeply into anything. So should a christian really put theiCan I Really Trust the Bibler whole trust in this book? The answer, of course is, definitely we must!

So why should we? Barry Cooper offers 3 answers to why we can put our total trust on the Bible. Furthermore these are not five unrelated answers, rather these are answers flow very well one after another.

First Cooper examines the bible’s claim, does it claim to be God’s word? The answer as will be clear from the book (and from the bible) that it definitely does! Not only does it claim to be God’s word, it has never claims to be anything less than the very word(s) of God. This claim is seen both from what the authors of the individual ‘books’ of the bible says, this is also supported by what Jesus Himself claims it is, the words of God.

Next, Cooper explores to see if the bible seems to be God’s word. In this section, he deals with the archeological and textual support for the bible as a historically accurate document. Showing the readers how if the bible does claim to be the words of God, then these evidences ‘fits’ into it’s claims. If it’s truly God’s Word, wouldn’t He, even after 2000 years ensure that we get an accurate message from Him? And He does! What wonderful news is that! He also deals with the questions about the canon of the bible — Why are some books considered to be within the bible, and why are some others excluded? Cooper has also added in a very succinct explanation what evangelical means when we say the bible is without errors and also what it doesn’t mean. I’m sure this will clear up some doubts people have not he inerrancy on scripture.

Lastly, Cooper calls the read to taste and see that the bible is God’s word. I believe that is truly a good way to sum up this book. Far too often, critics of bible do not spend much time actually reading the book they are critiquing. Of course, not everyone who then reads the bible will end up convicted that it is God’s word. But yes, we do believe God’s word is still alive today, if we read His words, He might very well convict us that this book, is no ordinary book, it is rather the very Word of God.

Highly recommend for new believers who are struggling with questions about the bible, those who would like more ‘evidences’ might have to supplement their answers with other materials. But this is a really succinct book that will answer quite a lot of questions that one might have about the Bible. This is the fourth book I’ve read in this series, and have found it extremely helpful! Looking forward to the rest of the series!

Ratings: 4.25 / 5

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re interested you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

And here’s the (cheeky) trailer for the book.

Book Review – How Can I be Sure? (Questions Christians Ask) (5/9)

Doubts — every christian faces them in their life. So what do we do with them? Are doubts bad? Often when youths come to me with doubts they’re almost too ashamed to talk about them. So how should a christian deal with the genuine doubts we have?

How Can I be SureJohn Stevens has written a short and extremely helpful book on this important topic. Within the book, Stevens gives several examples of situations where christians faced with different kind of doubts, which is what he defines in the first chapter, and also highlights that not all doubts are wrong. Next, Stevens dwells on the topic of why some doubts are dangerous, essentially, some doubts do lead to disbelief, although that just means they were never really christians.

Following which, Stevens explores the benefits of doubts, how we can grow from it, and more importantly, how we can overcome our doubts in our christian lives.  Here is where Stevens differ from the rest of the apologetics style books, Stevens helps the readers to see that our own spirituality, and also our community plays a vital role when we deal with doubts. Which is what he further elaborates on in the next chapter, how to develop our faith so we will not doubt. This I think make the book very comprehensive. It not only wants to help believers deal with any doubts they might have currently, more importantly, it encourages and persuades readers to grow spiritually once their doubts are resolved.

Lastly, Stevens provides a short appendix for christians who have various doubts to refer to. For a book of this length, one might not expect much from it, but do not be deceived by how thin it is, this book achieves what it sets out to do, and with much clarity and gentleness! I would recommend this book especially to new or old believers, who are dealing with doubts, and for pastors to learn how to deal with doubts pastorally. One can only wished this book had been published earlier!

Rating: 4.75 / 5

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re interested you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Book Review – How will the world end? (Questions Christians Ask) (26/8)

Judging by the number of movies that have been released based on world ending events, we are a people who are thoroughly fascinated about how the world will end!  Furthermore, If as a faithful christian you have ever tried to read through the notes on the ESV study bible on the book of revelation, you often go away puzzled. Now you can begin to understand why so many faithful sincere christians can differ so much on this one single book in the New Testament!How will the world end?

So it was with delight to see this book being published. Jeramie Rinne has given us a very easy to read and understand book on an extremely important topic — the return of Jesus! — the day that all christians have been looking forward to. However this topic is often filled with jargons and technicalities that discourages the simple christian from attempting to understand it deeply.

First, Rinne analyses the scene of the common responses people have towards revelation, next Rinne goes through briefly and succinctly about the various issues with regards to the return of Christ, such as,

What will the end of world look like, according to the bible?

What will the world look like when Christ is returning?

How will the return of Christ be like?

Next, Rinne then gives a very short but extremely helpful explanation about the various millennials and also the 4 or 5 main school of thoughts for understanding the book of revelation. I felt that this chapter is exceptionally well written, and worth the price of the book. It is able to doe what many books are unable to do, to explain them simply, but not being simplistic.

In the last 2 chapters, Rinne first very aptly talks about what will happen after Jesus returns — the judgement and the new heavens and new earth that awaits us. Following which, Rinne follows up with a chapter on how we should live now. This chapter is often missing or not seen in the books that tries to explain about the book of revelation. It equips the readers not just to be filled with head knowledge, but also with practical application points of how to live while we wait for Jesus to return.  Included in the book are also very common questions that people often asked such as ‘Why is the return of Christ taking so long? Who is the Anti-christ? Will there be a secret rapture?’ and many more.

I hope this book receives as wide a readership as it deserves. Simply a well written, insightful and sublime book. I’ll be recommending this book for anyone who wants to begin to understand the book of revelation.

Rating: 4.75 /5

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re interested you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.