Colt McCoy, and NFL quarterback, and Matt Carter, pastor of a large church in Austin Texas, team up to write this latest entry in a long line of men oriented type books. Well written and fast paced, the book is worth the read. Both men have tasted success and failure in their lives. Colt, while having a stellar college career, barely misses his life-long dream of winning the national championship. Matt pastors a huge church yet struggled with porn and had successfully alienated his wife for the sake of ministry. What these brothers share is open, honest, and should hit a nerve in most men. Dealing with central issues like, being faithful, laying down our life for our families, dealing with temptation, the role of suffering, and how to make a lasting impact on those that follow us, are all covered. Every man that reads the book will be challenged, encouraged, and inspired to finish the task at hand. The book also includes a study guide for small groups. I will recommend this book to the men I know. Multnomah provides books to me for blogging for which I am grateful. Thanks! Dr. Jeff Klick
Dr. Grant went home to be with his Lord in 2012 and this book was his final writing effort. Well written and interesting, the book proposes that the end of the “American Empire” is at hand. Well, at least by the end of 2014 at the latest. The collapse is unavoidable. Dr. Grant believes in premillennialism and his writings reflect that eschatological view. The presupposition underlying the writing is that the antichrist must arise from the old Roman Empire and establish him
self as the world dictator. Since America is not mentioned in the Scriptures, she must decline. If you believe in premillennialism, then this book is for you. If your end times bent lies elsewhere, you will walk away frustrated. Dr. Grant is consistent in his application of this end time’s worldview throughout the book. Since America is now the sole superpower in the world, something must happen to reduce her to a more humble, non-participant as the end unfolds. Current financial crisis’s regarding banking, housing, debt and international positioning, all are fit in nicely to the presupposition. The book is full of mostly plausible explanations of why the events unfolding in our world are happening and how they work to destroy Am The solutions offer
Multnomah graciously sends me books if I will write a review – a match that is very much enjoyed. This selection, The Pressure’s Off by Dr. Larry Crabb, was a mixed read. The book was originally published in 2002 and recently released again this year, and included a workbook section as well ased to the American Empire collapse are not what I expected. If America is going to be ravaged with poverty and reduced to a petty sideline player in world events, then simply buying some silver coins does not quite seem quite enough. Other solutions included selling my house and renting, not paying off my mortgage so I can use hyper-inflated dollars to pay off my loan, checking to make sure by bank is safe, and trying to get off of the internet grid. While these may or may not be wise decisions, in the face of the end of our country, they simply did not seem deep enough to me.erica. There are some issues that are a stretch, but overall the book is believable. The book does wander somewhat into conspiracy theory land with a secret group of wealthy individuals in the Common Market, but they are necessary to complete the story according to end time’s worldview. Overall, the book is a quick read and full of interesting data. Dr. Grant may be right or he may be wrong, but that really is not the point of the read. The point is that changes are coming and a wise man sees them and makes changes in preparation for them. If you liked end time books, you will love this one. If not, save yourself some frustration. Multnomah publishers graciously sends me books if I will write a review - a match that is very much appreciated and helps to ease the drain on the pocketbook, so thank you!
This book was first released about ten years ago, but I just encountered it recently. Having read multiple leadership books over the last thirty years, I have a good idea of what to look for in one. While many are almost a waste of time, this one is worth the read. Short, quick reading, summarized nicely, packed with truth, and full of memorable lines, Stanley does an excellent job capturing the essence of leadership. Growing up living in a huge shadow cast by his father, Andy Stanley learned leadership. Like most children, I am sure he learned many things he did not want to repeat, but he also grasped the best from his father’s ministry. There is no hint of bitterness in the book, which is refreshing. Many pastor’s children grow up into hurt, angry, bitter adults. Andy did not and for that, whatever his parents failures, they deserve some praise. Stanley builds the book around five concepts. The first is critical and that is to embrace your strengths and get help with your weaknesses. In fact, find someone to delegate those things that you are no good at and focus on what you do well. Sound and freeing advice for those in leadership. Leaders must also have courage and every leader has to be clear in the midst of uncertainty. Leadership is what comes out in the unknown. Vision propels us through the murky, almost always present times of not knowing what to do, or how to do it. Lea Stanley also commands every leader to find a coach. Coaches are those that are outside and can see our blind spots. They are someone that loves us and is willing to endure our reactions when they point out what needs to change in our lives. They are in fact brave leaders themselves.ders lead when others do not know where to go. The fifth element is the maintaining of our character. Many leaders fail because after they achieve an element of success they compromise in order to keep it. May that not be said of those that we help inspire to leadership positions or ever said about us. Andy Stanley does an excellent job of presenting leadership principles in an easy-to-read manual. Earlier I mentioned how quotable this book is. Just ponder over these couple as I close this review: “…there is no cramming for a test of character. It always comes as a pop quiz.” “Pencil in your plans. Write your vision in ink.” Multnomah publishers graciously sends me books if I will write a review - a match that is very much appreciated and helps to ease the drain on the pocketbook, so thank you!
Mike Glenn is a pastor in Tennessee and has written an encouraging book focused on being positive, or as he repeatedly states,The premise for the book contains an understanding that the Church has been too focused on God’s no and not enough on His yes. While there is a temptation to just blow this book off as yet another grace filled, power of positive thinking type book, ”yes.” In fact, by the time I was finished with the 209 pages I was fairly worn out with the word. I did not do an actual count, but the word, “Yes” must have been used thousands of times. I could not quite get there. Even though it was a struggle to finish the book, I am grateful that I did. The last few pages contain abundant truth and were well worth the effort to get through the previous chapters. That sounds harsher than I desire, for the book is well written and contains a great deal of truth. The problem for me is that I am simply worn out with all of the focus on the positive and almost completely ignoring God’s negative commands. By positive and negative I mean the focus on yes and no that the author used throughout the book. I am all for being positive and focusing on grace and God’s empowerment, but not at the expense of balance. God is the One that came up with the Law, which was primarily negative and restrictive, the restraints in the Garden, and the Ten Commandments, which by the way really are full of, “no.” The Wisdom Books are full of negative commands and the Prophets condemn God’s people for their lack of restraint. As we move into the New Testament, commands to avoid doing things are just as clear and frequent as the ones that say that we are free to do what we want. I am reasonably sure the Pastor Glenn was not promoting a new Gospel but attempting to help people to understand that God is for them and has a wonderful plan for each one of them. On this, we would agree. Where we might disagree is that God also still issues commands that are negative in nature and He does focus on holiness, sanctification, purity and obedience, all of which entail embracing no, not just yes. God has a wonderful plan for each believer and the author brings this out clearly. The book is therefore worth the read, but I would recommend not going overboard on yes when God clearly has said no too many things. Multnomah publishers graciously sends me books if I will write a review – a match that is very much appreciated and helps to ease the drain on the pocketbook, so thank you!
Burchett has a catchy title and a book that is also well written by this national sporting events director. The book is full of painful stories that clearly expose the major flaw of the 21st century church – its members. Godly people are often brutal to one another and Burchett presents plenty of ammo to back up that statement. The Burchett’s suffered through personal trauma at the hands of some local church people and unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Many atheists and backslidden Christians will readily point out the failures of God’s people relationally…and who could blame them. God’s children are human and therefore still awaiting perfection. That does not excuse rotten behavior it just gives a bit of grace to it. While reading the book there was a taste in my mouth that just did not sit right. Perhaps it is because it is so easy to point out failures and much harder to offer solutions. A whiff of bitterness hung in the air as I read the stories of neglect and abuse. Of course, they are true. I have been a pastor for over thirty years, trust me, I know Christian people can be just awful to one another. But, the taste still lingered even as I finished the book. Maybe it was the criticalness or just the brutality of the reality that tasted bad, maybe not. The book ends with a discussion and checklist on grace. Am I living in it and giving it to others? Excellent questions and perhaps the lack (not absence, just not enough) of grace throughout the book is the taste I cannot quite get out of my mouth. Yes, people are nasty, but writing a book that is full of their failures is just not my style. I do not like attack shows on the radio and I will not listen to folks that make their living out of pointing out what everyone else does that is wrong. So, I guess this book really never had much of a chance with me since it is predisposed toward the failures of everyone. The problems addressed in the book are real. The Body of Christ is not known for love but for shooting the wounded. It seemed to me that a gunshot victim here just shot back a bit too much. Multnomah publishers graciously sends me books if I will write a review - a match that is very much appreciated and helps to ease the drain on the pocketbook, so thank you!
While there is much to be enjoyed in the book, I can’t help but feel that it did not accomplish the task intended. If the sub title is to believed, Breaking Free from Rules and Performance, the book does not help there. Dr. Crabb consistently challenges his readers to pursue the new way of living and forsake the old. The old way is one of striving to receive blessings from God and the new way is to simply desire God. Who could possibly argue with that?an afterword entitled, A Ten-Year After Afterward. The frustration comes in with describing the new way of living. The challenge to avoid living in the old way for the new way is expressed often. If the pressure is off, it certainly is not off in the attempt to assure that we do not slip back into the old way of living. We must pursue the new way and forsake the old. Every decision, every choice, every attitude should be evaluated to make sure we are not in the old way. The pressure seemed immense to me to make sure that I am not living in the old way but the new. I am left with the nagging feeling that it was necessary to live a new way rule in order to break the old way rule.Another frustration is that the book takes forever to actually get to the book’s message, and even when it does, it is extremely vague. In a nutshell the point is that we are to abide in Christ, seek Him first, and not just the blessings, and to endure hardship in this life for God’s glory. This life is not all there is and God does not promise us happiness here. God promises to be with us, in us, and to bring us into a deeper relationship with Him through Jesus. These points eventually come through but not until very late in the book.Aside from those two negatives the book is well written and even with my frustrations over the new way old way pressure, the goal of abiding in Christ does come shining through. There are some excellent concepts included in the book so let me highlight a few:”We no longer depend on a linear relationship between performance and blessings to arrange for the life we want.”"Only the mature value the blessings of presence over the blessing of presents.”"We prefer a vending-machine God to a sovereign, personal one. “”The plain fact that we moderns have trouble grasping is that God is not cooperating with our agenda to make this world a safe and wonderful place to live. ” Dr. Crabb does an excellent job of challenging his readers to pursue Christ for the sake of the relationship and intimacy; not for the possible blessings received, and that is an excellent point and makes the book well worth reading. Dr. Jeff Klick
Man Alive – Patrick Morley Patrick Morley is very well known for his passion in reaching men for Christ, and this shines through in the book. This quick reading book is loosely centered on what Morley calls every man’s “7 primal needs.” These needs include feeling like you have a purpose, to understand that God loves you, to break free from destructive habits and to understand that you are not alone, among others. After being a pastor for thirty years, I would concur with Morley’s findings that most men struggle with many or all of the seven areas discussed. The book is clearly written to reach men that are busy and in addition, do not have a long attention span. Crisp chapters followed by discussion points reflect the author’s ministry of teaching small groups of men. While sometimes glossing over the topic too quickly, there is enough meat in each chapter to stir an excellent small group discussion. Since we seem to love a sound bit culture, the book contains several worth repeating: “Christianity is heart transformation, not behavior modification.” “There are many ways to leave the Father but only one way to come back home.” “A disciple is called to live in Christ, equipped to live like Christ, and sent to live for Christ.” “Repentance is like cutting a piece of string in half. No matter how many times you cut it in half, half is still left.”
Excellent thoughts indeed! Perhaps one of the best points made in the book, and there are many, is that whatever occupation a man may pursue, it is an ordained one. There is no difference to God whether someone is in the ministry professionally or not, whatever our hand (and in this case our career) finds to do, we do to the glory of God. The book is worth a read and especially useful for any small group gatherings of men to stimulate open conversation.
John Piper has written over forty books and is an amazing thinker and communicator. In Pleasures
Piper explores a concept based on another book written by Henry Scougal sometime in the 1600′s. The thought that prompted this 258 page work goes like this, “The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love.” Through nine chapters, Piper attempts to answer what is the object of God’s love thus revealing His soul. Chapters include how God loves the Son, creation, His own fame, works, election, doing good to His children, the prayers of the saints, and personal obedience of those that follow Him. There is much to be enjoyed in this work including Piper’s gift of being a wordsmith. Sentences like these are priceless: “I find the atmosphere of my own century far too dense with man and distant from the sweet sovereignty of God.” “Grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.” “Obedience is the irrepressible public relations project of those who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”
I would love to be able to think and write like this someday. Piper is to be commended for his work that always directs everyone back to Jesus. On just about every page, Jesus is exalted and man is directed to look to Him and live. On the negative side, there are only a couple of comments. First, the large number of footnotes, which are printed in such a small font that most readers over the age of 40 will never be able to see them. It would have been better to include the notes into the chapter if they were that important, or use endnotes for ease of reading. Second, Piper is strongly Calvinistic and it shines forth in his chapter on God taking delight in election. I understand that good men disagree on the topic, but there is no disagreement allowed in this chapter. If you disagree with Piper, you are simply wrong. A frustration to me occurs with sentences like these: “Election is the good news that salvation is not only a sincere offer made to all, but a sure effect in the life of the elect and a transformation of faith produced by the power of God’s grace.”
This certainly is not good news and it is not a sincere offer from God if someone has no choice and is destined for eternal wrath before the creation of the world. ”It is not act of love to deny the reality of a terrible future which men and women can escape if they know it is coming.”
If one follows Piper’s view on predestination, then this is an untrue statement. Only the chosen, elect will escape and those destined to hell have no other choice. With those two negatives aside, the book is well worth the read and Piper does an excellent job of keeping the reader’s attention from start to finish.
Tender Warrior – Stu Webber I am not sure why this book ended up in my possible selections books from Multnomah, but I am very glad it did. The last copyright I can find in it is 1999, thus not what I expected when I cracked the cover for the first time. That is the only disappointment within its pages. In the sporting world, most of us have heard of the “it” of leadership. Regardless of how people may feel about Tim Tebow, just about everyone that meets him says he has “it,” in spades. It oozes out of every pore of his body, and while I have never met Mr. Webber, I would say he has “it” as well. From the opening pages to the final chapter, leadership shines forth. Tender Warrior is a clarion call to all men to step up, stay in, and be a man. Not is some false macho fashion, but in a well rounded, take up your cross and follow Jesus way. Webber explains how each of his four pillars of manhood – King, Warrior, Mentor and Friend, tie together to make a man that is resembles our Lord Jesus. I could not agree more. Webber mixes a very clear call with grace and conviction rarely found in gender focused books. While there are explanations given for some of the male tendencies, there are never excuses, and that is excellent. From cover to cover, men are called to be real men, and Webber does a truly outstanding job in this book. Perhaps the best tag line is the one under the heading: Every man’s purpose, every woman’s dream, and every child’s hope. It simply cannot be said any better than that when considering the role of a man. I highly recommend this book!
Gabe Lyons is an excellent writer and an influential figure in our world. I cannot argue with Mr. Lyon’s take on the status of the next generation of Christians, though I wish he was not altogether correct. I believe Lyons has his pulse on the group of believers he labels as, “Restorers,” even though I would fit better in his group called, “Separatist.” The subtle disdain in which this passing away group is handled, reflects a prejudice revealed most likely from the author’s reaction to his upbringing. Lyons makes this first group the old, resistant to change, harsh, judgmental, etc. and the restorers the new, alive ones, compassionate, and most ready to engage the evils of the world. I wonder where all those established schools, hospitals, food pantries, and world-wide compassion ministries came from historically, if not from those “separatists?” Lyons findings are interesting and revealing. The current brand of restorer Christian does seem to seek more to blend into society rather than to confront it for Christ. I applaud the efforts of everyone to serve, express compassion to the sick, weak, and homeless, and to engage culture at every level. However, without Christ being the main focus, these efforts are not really complete. One quote shows the core problem from my point of view. In writing about the restorers as “Creators not Critics, Lyons reveals: “They seeing “doing good” as the perfect dance partner for conversion. Both are important, but neither one takes precedence over the other.”
Jesus might be surprised with that sentence, as well as many of those who do good works will be at judgment time. Matthew 7 comes to mind when those after death, approach the Savior with their good works and they are told to depart from Jesus. Doing good deeds and raising the cultural level is good, but it never will be on the same plain as the Gospel. I don’t believe Lyons intends to present a Christ-less Gospel, but he certainly comes close at times in his praise of the new breed of Christian. To his credit, the author does state that we need to bring Jesus into everything we do and everywhere we go. I would concur, but probably not in the abstract manner that he is so excited about in this book. We are told in multiple places to avoid evil, shun foolish companions, flee from temptation, to have our minds renewed, not to imitate wickedness, and to generally live in a completely different lifestyle than those that don’t know Jesus. I really can’t think of a verse that tells me to adopt, embrace, imitate, or for that matter, provide an alternative to what is ruled by the god of this world. A fine line is walked when we begin to attempt to raise the level of the dark kingdom without first confronting its pungent, sin-filled, death unleashing roots. For the record, I am not an isolationist, I simply belong to another Kingdom and my citizenship is there. The book is worth the read and I am glad that Blogging for Books, a program with Multnomah sent it to me.