May 30, 2012
WORDS 2 GROW BY
Bible Study, Grace, John MacArthur
Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur has written a series of “Truth About” books which includes “The Truth About Grace”. As with the other two in the series this book looks at a particular Christian philosophy.
The author begins by dividing grace into two specific concepts: Common Grace and Special Grace thus introducing a specific doctrine. This is important because many churches have their own definition of grace and all do not distinguish one grace from another. A common definition is: undeserved favor from God.
As with all of his books John MacArthur gives a detailed explanation of what “grace” is and what it is not. In reading “The Truth About Grace” the reader will develop an understanding of various biblical principles relating to a Christian lifestyle.
As I read the book I got the impression that John MacArthur sees God’s grace as the reason why we are able to receive salvation, which is true. What I believe he disagrees with is the teachings of “grace teachers” who present grace as a demonstration of God’s love in our daily lives as He blesses us with undeserved favor. By dividing grace into two concepts he in essence distinguishes his definition of grace from those of various grace churches.
Obviously, of the three books that I read: “The Truth About the Lordship of Christ”, “The Truth About Forgiveness” and this one “The Truth About Grace”, this was my least favorite. Though I can appreciate his words on the subject I believe it falls short of the fullness of God’s grace. That said, I do recommend this book.
I receive a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of a honest and fair review.
May 20, 2012
WORDS 2 GROW BY
Bible Study, book review, Christian Growth, Christian Thought, Forgiveness, John MacArthur
“The Truth About Forgiveness” by John MacArthur is part of the “Truth About” series. This book will help the believer develop a greater appreciation of the power and authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah. Though it is true the book is about forgiveness, this is not a dissertation on the need to love thy neighbor.
The books 114 pages begin with a less than politically correct observation on the self-righteous behavior of many people today. Increasingly excuses are made for behaviors such as sexual promiscuity and drug addictions which are considered by the medical professionals as beyond the individuals’ ability to control. The bible declares these same behaviors as sin requiring the individual to seek God’s forgiveness and repentance. The author quickly counters today’s’ popular opinions regarding guilt which is necessary in order for a person to repent which is counter to mental health professionals who convince the guilty that they are victims and do not need to feel remorseful. “To deny personal guilt is to sacrifice the soul for the sake of the ego.” (page 14) If guilt is associated with sinful behavior then the solution is repentance and not long term therapy. “The Truth About Forgiveness” teaches the true meaning of atonement.
If you can accept all that chapter one, “We Need To Be Forgiven”, offers you will be well on your way to a deeper appreciation of God’s love and mercy which is available to the believer. I suggest you read this book with your bible right next to you since you will want to see the biblical truths in your own book. Upon the completion of the book not only will you know that you know that you are forgiven but you will be able to forgive others.
I recommend this book to believers and non-believers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book with the understanding that I would give a fair review.
May 19, 2012
WORDS 2 GROW BY
I laughed so much reading “The Unfaithful Widow: Fragmented Memoirs of My First Year Alone” by Barbara Barth that I forgot to cry. Even now as I write this review I struggle with establishing the proper tone. What is so funny about losing a spouse? The answer: nothing. However, sometimes we do things that make us laugh at ourselves; without ignoring the realities of being alone the author shares some of the more peculiar events of her life.
The book is a series of journal entries divided into seasons beginning with the season her husband died. Within each section are tales of her interactions with other people, and the dogs and a few private letters to God. The journal entry are given titles such as: “Things Not to Say to a Widow”; “The Family Tree”; “On Buying Poise Ultra Pads at the Age of Sixty”; and, the one which I would have been blushing had I not been laughing so much, “The X-Rated Chapter”
You don’t have to be a widow to appreciate “The Unfaithful Widow”. A mature single woman will fully appreciate the crazy dates the author went on, the questions regarding sex and the day to day problems of life alone. Who would not appreciate the dogs. It is an easy read, it took me a day, and very enjoyable. I recommend it.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in PDF format in order to give a fair and honest review.