Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Bible under Attack - Again: Christians Need to Take Action

The mainstream media in the form of Newsweek magazine has given us a little Christmas present, albeit a re-gifted one. It’s the annual tirade against the Bible. The title of the article is “The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin,” written by pseudo-scholar of the Bible Kurt Eichenwald.

I say it’s re-gifted because, well, we hear this virtually every year and there is really nothing new in the contents. It’s becoming an annual media right-of-passage. Some secular publication feels the urge and obligation to excoriate the Bible and/or Christianity
If you want to read this festering garbage-heap of an article you can go here although I suggest it should only be consumed by full-blooded believers. Those who have no true relationship with Christ won’t need to waste your time because you’ve been fed all of this refuse your entire life.
I’ll leave the refutation to scholars who are a lot more versed in this material than I am. Here’s three you should digest well.
  1. You can find an excellent rebuttal from NT scholar Daniel Wallace at this link.
  2. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a pointed refutation on his blog.
  3. Michael J. Kruger takes on the task of disproving Eichenwald’s claims quite well at canon fodder. It’s says “Part 1” so there is obviously more to come.
But I also want to give some credit to Mr. Eichenwald for throwing the gauntlet at Christians. Perhaps it will wake them up to what’s going on in the world outside of their church or parachurch walls. Eichenwald’s piece should be a clarion call to defend the faith with vigor.
No more Mr. Nice Guy; no more “convictional kindness.” Christians need to step forward with the gloves on an be ready to do battle. The kind of poppycock that Eichenwald puts forth is what Christians face every day in the marketplace. We need to be ready to give an answer instead of conducting another fellowship feast.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review - Preaching by Ear

Preaching by Ear: Speaking God’s Truth from the Inside Out

Well, here’s another book on the how-to’s of preaching. But before you dismiss this book (or review), hear this out. This book has a completely unique approach from virtually all other preaching improvement volumes. This is not a technical volume on the form of preaching. It’s not the usual three points, stay to the text and don’t force something onto the text.

Rather, author Dave McClellan takes us on a journey of two parts. In Part 1, Preparing the Preacher, he appeals to the oratory skills of Augustine and Quintilian encouraging us to present sermons that are not so technically perfect but are delivered from the heart. In Part 2, Developing an orally Based Model of Preaching, he leads us through the development of a sermon that comes from within the preacher. His emphasis throughout the book is for all preachers to preach to communicate; pastors should deliver sermons prepared for listeners.

McClellan is a long time pastor and professor. He also holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Communication. Obviously he is well qualified to tackle the subject.

The book does get a bit “heavy” at times with discussions of rhetoric, but these are necessary for McClellan to establish his point. Don’t let them throw you. Enjoy the discussion at it moves along.

Every preacher should benefit from the reading of the book if for no other reason than it presents a distinctive challenge, a challenge for every person that delivers a sermon of teaches a class. It is a book not just to read, but more beneficially to be studied.

This book was provided to me by the Weaver Book Company for review with no anticipated pretense.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review - Invitation to James: Persevering through Trials to Win the Crown.

Whether or not this volume will appeal to you really depends on what you are looking for. I realize that may sound like a summary or recommendation that could be applied to any book, however, with this particular volume, it is effective. It is not a commentary on James. It is not a “how to” book on preaching or preaching through James. Rather, in an effort to demonstrate what the author believes is the proper approach to preaching through James; it is a sermon series through James. It is another approach in the education of homiletics.

This volume is one of six in this series: Biblical Preaching for the Contemporary Church. All are to be written by Sunukjian. Currently Invitation to Philippians and Invitation to the Life of Jacob are also available at Weaver Book Company.

Donald R. Sunukjian, author of Invitation to Biblical Preaching. Sunukjian has taught preaching at Dallas Theological Seminary and currently teaches at Talbot School of Theology.

With that preliminary information being said, this is a book that should be on your list if your are planning to preach or teach through James. It is full of illustrations, practical examples and practical application. At the same time the structure of each sermon can be studied and dissected in an effort to strengthen one’s own preaching ability.

So, if you preach or teach, this is a volume to have at your side.

This book was provided to me by the Weaver Book Company for an impartial review.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Biblical Portraits of Creation - Book Review

Biblical Portraits of Creation: Celebrating the Maker of Heaven and Earth is written by Walter C. Kaiser and Dorington G. Little. Kaiser is a professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and it can be fairly said that he is a (or the) leading scholar in his field. Little is the senior pastor of the First Congregational Church of Hamilton, MA. Together they have combined to produce a unique little volume on Creation. (Note: The book is predominantly Kaiser – nine of the twelve chapters plus the Preface, Prologue, Epilogue and Appendix.)

The first question based on the title might be is this another volume defending one of the myriad of positions on creation found in Genesis 1-2? Answer: Absolutely not. However, you will find some answers to that question in the book. Rather Kaiser and Little rejoice in, applaud and commemorate God’s creation. They accomplish this by working through those portions of Scripture that focus on God’s creation. Only two of the chapters are from Genesis 1 and 2. Five are from the Psalms – 104, 8 & 19, 29, 33, and 148.

Each chapter centers on a particular passage of Scripture and I would highly recommend that you read that portion several times before reading through the text. I will provide you with a deeper grasp of what is being said.

If you are a student of Hebrew, you will greatly enjoy Kaiser’s exegetical skills of the language. In many verses he digs deep into the language to explain the wonder of God’s creation. It's worth the time to take advantage of Dr. Kaiser's knowledge of the language.

Kaiser also includes a lengthy appendix, 22 pages, in which he discusses “The Literary Genre of Genesis 1 – 11.” He covers and virtually defeats all of the arguments that have been proposed in the past two hundred years concerning the language of these chapters and in the end gives his own conclusion. It’s a bit heavy duty, but, if one is interested in these matters, it’s worth the read.

I would highly recommend this volume but it’s not one to be just “read.” Rather, it is to be studied. If this approach is taken, it will be greatly appreciated.

This book was provided to me by the Weaver Book Company.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How will the world end? - Book Review

What! Another book about the end times you ask? Well, “Yes” is the answer to that question. But before you accept any notion of not reading the book because of its lack of volume, let me put the summary of the book at the beginning. It’s short – 93 pages with six chapters; it’s fairly comprehensive on the basics of the end times; it’s a very quick and easy read; and will serve very well for a small group Bible study and surely open up a room of discussion.

The official title is How will the world end? And other questions about the last things and the second coming of Christ and the author is Jeramie Rinne. Rinne is the senior pastor at South Shore Baptist Church in the Boston area.

Renne answers the question presented in the title of the book in the very first chapter – How will the world end? Sorry, you’ll have to read the book to get the answer, but here’s a hint: With the dire conclusion comes a message of hope.

For ongoing interest Rinne has sprinkled throughout the book a number of “asides” that present discussions to questions to which everyone wants an answer: Who is the antichrist? Are we in the end times yet? Will there be a secret rapture? And – When is Jesus coming back?

Chapter four, Will Jesus come back before or after the “Millennium”?, is a well done discussion.  Rinne offers arguments for the two most prevalent answers – a pre- and post-millennial return. Within each of these two answers he debates the most common viewpoints. It includes four charts giving visual explanation to each viewpoint. It’s well worth the reading of the book for this discussion.

Whatever your view of the end times might be this book is worth the swift and trouble-free read. On the other hand you might want to take your time to research what Rinne has produced. Either way, it’s recommended for another assessment.

This book was provided by “thegoodbook company” for review.

Friday, August 22, 2014

What a Week We're Having

At least as far as Christianity is concerned. And probably a bit is spillover from the previous week.
And a lot has been festering inside the volcanic slime for a while.

So here’s a few headlines from the past few days:

What’s the deal with modern, pop Christian music artists? Call me skeptical, but it sounds like a money grab.

Top UK Christian Singer Investigated for Alleged Sex Abuse at 1985 Billy Graham Crusade

Now granted these are allegations and investigations are ongoing. But, let’s face it, the headlines don’t look good. The damage has been done.

Don’t get me started on “celebrity” Christians and Pastors.

Well, never mind.

It would seem to me that pastors who become celebrities and travel to speak at conferences around the country (and the world) have little time to spend with their flock which would seem to be the job description of a pastor.

And the most disappointing fact is there’s more.

And a further disappointing fact is that these are internal, self-afflicted wounds. If you want a view of a few shots taken at Christianity from the outside take a look at Todd Starnes’ Todd’s American Dispatch.

Yes, brothers and sisters, the evil one is alive and well and hard at work.

 Are we?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Impressions Collection Bible - Book Review

Well, sort of a book review. It would seem most presumptuous to review the text of this book. The Impressions Collection Bible is not an attempt at a study Bible from a new angle or approach, but rather a unique slant to packaging and inevitably marketing the Bible. The concept is from Zondervan/Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

The basic cosmetics are quite simple. It is the NIV translation from 2011 with the words of Christ in red letter. The text on each page is double column in thin line making the print somewhat small. Of course, this produces a Bible of a portable size – less than 1.5 inches thick in a 9” x 6” size makes it quite easy to tote around. Also included is a ribbon marker. The boxed packaging is also appealing with a simulation of the cover on the box. The content is totally devoid of study notes with the exception of a Table of Weights and Measures at the very end. It is obvious that this Bible is meaning to simply be read.

But here’s what makes this Bible fun. It’s the clever and hopefully appealing marketing approach.

First it’s a hard cover, but not your usual, straightforward hardcover book. This one is padded with a soft matte finish that is wonderfully soft to the touch. You’ll hardly realize you have a hardback Bible in your hands.

But that’s not all. The soft matte finish comes in three designs. Our review copy arrived with a Cherry Blossom cover. Quite visually appealing. The pattern continues around the binding and the back. The other two styles are Flora and Fauna and Red Poppies.

This is an “attractive” Bible that should appeal to pre-teen and early teen young ladies. It invites you to pick it up and take a look.

If you’re looking for a great gift Bible for a young lady that she’ll be proud to show to her friends and carry to church and Sunday School, this is it. In conjunction with this it will make a great witnessing tool especially as a conversation starter.

My thanks to Zondervan and Harper Collins for providing this Bible for review.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

UConn Professor Goes Ape

Now I realize that the title of this blog is a sick pun (I’m not the originator of the pun.), but just read the thing anyway. It will present you with a slice of life from one of the USA’s institutions of higher learning.
At the University of Connecticut an anthropology professor sort of lost it when he observed some campus evangelists. Well, “lost it” may be an understatement; he was two inches from physical violence. I’ve put a couple of links here so you can read about it and even watch his rant on video.
But before you go charging into YouTube Land, here are a few warnings:
Warning #1: The video contains a good deal of profanity.  Apparently the good professor has a limited vocabulary. He needs to sit in on a couple of English classes at UCONN.
Warning #2: Parents, if you’re going to send your child to UCONN or almost any secular college or university, this is the quality of educator he or she will get to experience. Lucky you; you get to reap the benefits.
Warning #3: If you’re a hard core evolutionist, you may derive some benefit from this video. Kind of view it as a training video concerning how not to act in public.
Warning #4: Not only is there profanity and vulgarity in the video, there is obesity.
Here are the links. View them in the order as presented.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bible Revival - Book Review

Usually we attempt to sound scholarly and professional when producing book reviews; and usually we try to hit a certain length or word count, but for this volume we will dispense with those formalities. We’ll make it short and informative and begin by going right to the bottom line:

If you are a Christian, who claims to love the Word of God, you need to read this book.

The title informs you of everything you need to know about the contents. The author’s contention is that we claim (pay lip service) to love the Word of God, but in reality our actions demonstrate nothing of the kind. He may say it in a little more gentle fashion than that, but that is the thrust.

In six short chapters – Learning, Valuing, Understanding, Applying, Obeying and Speaking the Word - Berding more than adequately presents his case.  If you care about your relationship with the Word of God, you should find this book a very pointed challenge. When you read Bible Revival, you may get your spiritual toes stepped on, but Berding does it very lightly. You’ll learn what it really means to Value and Understand the Word.

So the book is written by Kenneth Berding, a professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He’s had more theological education and written more scholarly “stuff” than you would think is humanly possible. That might lead you to believe that this is a book written by an Ivory Tower Member for the Ivory Tower Gang. Not the case at all! Bible Revival is right down where the green grass grows. Yes, you’ll get a bit of hermeneutics and yes you’ll get a few of the rules of practical application, but mostly you’ll get dared to examine your relationship with your Bible.

ASIDE: It would appear to me that if you have the opportunity to take a class from Dr. Berding, you do not squander that opportunity. He seems to be able to convey knowledge in a practical and useful manner.

Final Bottom Line: If you’re going to buy ten Christian books this year, make this one of them. And after you do, read it, study it, underline it and highlight it. But most of all accept the challenge in it.

**This book was provided to me for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.**

Friday, April 25, 2014

Education and God

I picked up on this little gem this morning. If you’re at all curious or concerned about how the educational element in our culture views Christianity and God, you need to read this article and then file it under something like “The Coming Persecution”. Notice in particular how the lawyer for the community college spins the daylights out of the incident. It’s laughable.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Who is the one person you want to talk to in heaven (besides Jesus) – and why?

If you are a born again believer, you’ll be going to heaven. My belief is that we’ll be able to recognize and converse with others in heaven. If that’s true, most of us will have lots of questions for lots of people. And I’ll bet we’ll have one in particular we want to talk to first.

With that in mind here’s a bit of preface material.

In 2003 Mitch Albom published The Five People You Meet in Heaven, an inspirational novel about Eddie, an aged maintenance worker at an amusement park who is killed while trying to save the life of a little girl in an accident at the park. Eddie is transported to heaven and meets five people who greatly influenced his life. While the theology of the book may be a bit quirky, the inspirational nature is not.

All this got me thinking as I read the crucifixion account this week. The thoughts solidified on Resurrection Sunday when the pastor preached a sermon on “Choose Life or Death.” In the message he examined the individuals that were present at the crucifixion and whether or not they accepted the Deity and Sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

When he arrived at the dying thieves crucified on either side of Jesus, my thoughts immediately focused on the thief who wisely recognized who Jesus was and proclaimed, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This man chose life.

This man chose life and I want to know why. What focused this man’s mind so wonderfully on Jesus and the fact that He was the Son of God? 

He’s the man I want to speak to first in heaven.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Meditation for Good Friday

It’s Good Friday (just in case you had not noticed). This is the weekend when a more-than-usual number of Americans get their spiritual juices flowing. There are all sizes and shapes of religious services taking place, so, if you’re inclined, and you should be, you can get your spiritual fix.

Gathering together to worship this weekend is a good thing. It’s commanded in Scripture. The most commonly referred to verses are Hebrews 10.24-25. But it’s also a good practice to do a little private reflection and worship.

So here’s a challenge. On this Good Friday reflect on the happenings at the Cross – specifically the two thieves crucified with Christ and more specifically the one who repented.

Here’s are little to get you started:

First read the account in Scripture – Luke 23.26-43.

Then consider a couple of thoughts to get you going.

Think about this question: Which thief would I have been placed it the same situation? What would my attitude have been?

The fact that this thief went straight to heaven upon his death is used as a proof text for salvation by grace with no effort on our part involved. So we have the Scripture (Ephesian 2.8,9) and this incident as an example. Would more do we need? A Resurrection?!

Coming Sunday.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah the Movie - Get Your Review Here

Still trying to decide whether or not to see the movie Noah with the flood of biblical proportions and an unbiblical attitude? Here’s a few pieces from “experts.”
Jerry A. Johnson, Ph.D., is President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and a theologian who has taught on cinema and theology. So, he’s a pretty important guy who should have some knowledge in this area. He has three posts on Ed Stetzer’s blog through Christianity Today (or something like that). They discuss the positive, the negative and the application.
For five positives go here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/february/noah-five-positive-facts-about-this-film.html. [NOTE: The five positives that are given sound like the justification given by a man searching for a reason to write the article.]
If you want the best Christian assessment of the movie, go to Answers in Genesis. At that site you can read reviews or view a panel discussion which includes Ken Ham and six AiG instructors and researchers. Here’s the link http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation-debate/noah-movie.
If you’re really ambitious, just ”Google” reviews for the movie; you’ll get a few million hits. But, frankly, don’t waste your time.
The movie Noah is a Hollywood production and does not follow the Genesis story.  The name of God is never mentioned in the movie.  Noah is portrayed as a drunk and aligns himself with fallen angels for protection while he builds the arc.  If you’re a Believer, don't waste your money on this movie; it is crap.  Read you Bible instead.
God Bless.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Awakening - Book Review

Where is America heading? What is to be the fate of this great nation; the grand democratic experiment? Any concerned American wishes he had the answers to these questions. It is these questions that Ralph Reed addresses in his latest volume Awakening: How America Can Turn From Economic and Moral Destruction Back to Greatness. Just what is in the future for the US of A?

Reed is the former executive director of the Christian Coalition. He is currently the founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. It is from this background of faith and cultural involvement that Reed has written Awakening.

The bottom line (please excuse the cliche) of this book is that we are in a cultural and spiritual war fighting for the moral code upon which our country was founded. It is a moral code that has been abandoned by our leaders and our citizens.

Reed analyzes all areas of our culture – politics, marriage to include same-sex marriage, racism, poverty and religious freedom – carefully detailing each subject and then reasoning for confidence in the people of our country.

Reed’s contention is that revival (awakening) in America is cyclical. Just when it seems that America is heading down the road to ruin, God provides a spiritual awakening. He begins with a historical account of “The Spiritual Cycle” in America expressing that there is reason to believe a new awakening is coming despite the current moral decay in the United States. He continues with a chronological walk through American history with an eye to our spiritual heritage.

He continues in Chapter Five, “The Reagan Revival,” with a condensed yet pointed biography of President Ronald Reagan that helps us to understand who he was and why he became the man that he was. It is a chapter well worth reading. In the sub-chapter “An Evangelical Ally” you will find a scenario from 1978 that is reminiscent to today. The positive result from that near identical scenario is in part what gives Reed hope.

Reed also provides us with some personal information when he describes the rise of the Christian Coalition and his involvement in it. It’s an interesting and forthright journey through the history of the organization detailing the early influence of the Christian Coalition and even its defeats. Regardless of what you may have thought of the Christian Coalition, it’s an honest account.

The most chilling chapter is “The War on Christianity” in which Reed takes the Obama administration to task on a number of issues that challenge the Christian faith – “Obamacare” and the IRS Harassment in particular. Reed does not withhold criticism accusing the administration of slight-of-hand and insensitivity when dealing with Christians.

Reed concludes with a final section challenging Americans and Christian in particular to wake up and get involved. The final chapter, “A Call to Christian Citizenship,” should confront every Christian with the obligation to get involved in some way in the political process.

In the end Reed has a message of hope:
Ø Hope that history will have another positive repeat performance.
Ø  Hope for America and what it originally stood for.
Ø  Hope that the people of this country will return to the moral values upon which it was founded.

This book should be loved and appreciated by Conservatives and it should be a stern wake up call for Christians. Read it and make up your own mind as to whether or not there is hope.

**This book was provided to me for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.**

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Revival and the Second Coming

I have a friend who has an interesting theory concerning the Second Coming of Christ.

First, two side notes here.
1.    Yes, I know we’re not supposed to set dates concerning the Second Coming and you could throw a hundred Bible verses at me to prove it. Just look at all the great fun Christians had ridiculing Harold Camping when he tried to precisely calculate the date.

2.    By “Second Coming” I mean the Rapture. We can discuss the chronology of the end times at a later date.

But, let’s face it, it’s entertaining to speculate. So my friend’s theory postulates that the Second Coming will occur when Billy Graham goes to be with the Lord. It’s an interesting theory, but it’s pure speculation.

I, on the other hand, have a more pressing concern and, of course, a theory to go along with it. Well, it’s perhaps not a theory, but more of a prayer: it’s the spiritual well-being of the United States of America.

Unless you have had your head buried in the sand all the way to your shoulders, you realize that the spiritual and moral climate in our country is lower than Bill Nye’s view of creation. I believe we are at a spiritual turning point in the USA. Very soon the USA will come to a spiritual fork in the road.

And when will we arrive at that critical juncture …

When Billy Graham dies. According to my theory, when Dr. Graham goes to meet the Lord, America will reach a watershed moment in its spiritual health. The last great evangelist in the USA will have been taken home by the Lord. Where will that leave us? Well, with no one to stand as a beacon of light, darkness may well prevail on the land and then every man may do what he thinks is right in his own eyes.

Or will a new spiritual leader arise in the land? Better yet, how about if the Lord appoints a leader of the country with great moral and spiritual fortitude? Then we might have a repeat of what Israel experienced in 2 Chronicles 15:1–15.

Pray for that, brothers and sisters.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Great Debate – Short and Sweet

Now that everybody with a pen (or a computer) has appropriated their opinion concerning the Great Debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye  on Tuesday evening, we’ll present the final word. Well, may not final but at least the word up to this point.

First a word of disclosure. I’m a creationist – a young earth creationist. And, unless I get a revelation from God, I’ll stay that way. Also we had the pleasure of visiting the Creation Museum last summer. It was great and I would love to go back again – soon.

So, here’s the deal. My wife Ellie (New Creation Ministries) and I really looked forward to this debate. We planned our day around it. We ran the test patterns on our computer thingy and were already for two and a half hours of intelligent debate.  Understand that the debate began at 5PM AZ time – right at the dinner hour. As you can figure, dinner time was reappointed.
In the end we felt it was a major disappointment. Here’s why:

No one’s mind will probably be changed. Let’s face it most people interested in this debate are either hardcore creationists or hardcore evolutionists. And certainly no evidence was presented during the debate that would change the skeptical mind of a reasonable man.

The combatants didn’t stay on topic.  Nye kept wanting to talk about the ark (That’s a different debate, Bill.) and Ham kept presenting the Gospel (Ken, that’s what won the debate.) The whole tone of the debate kind of had a little political flavor. You know, when you ask a politician a question, it never really gets answered. Case in point: Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama before the Super Bowl. It was pretty much the same talking about creation and evolution.

When the debate concluded I immediately thought of the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19-31) and in particular verse 26 - And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ (ESV). You see, there is this great chasm between the creationist and the evolutionist. And I do not think that chasm was bridged at all in Tuesday’s debate.

Monday, February 3, 2014

David and Goliath

I came upon this blog entry through Facebook and thought it was worth a comment or two. Dr. David Lamb is a professor at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA, the school from which I received an M.A. in 1992. Lamb was not a professor of mine – and while I’m not sure, I suspect he may have been learning his ABC’s at the time.

I am taking my lead from Dr. Lamb’s assessment of Malcolm Gladwell’s book. First, I agree with Dr. Lamb’s conclusion that Goliath was probably not a lumbering, half-blind giant of a man with the IQ of a beet. Goliath was most assuredly a man of immense physical proportions – enough to scare the … tar out of every Israelite.

But I think more importantly, Gladwell would be correct if he viewed the situation from a spiritual point of view. Unfortunately, he does not. It is all from a physical viewpoint. Granted the physical may be the emphasis of the text, but there is an underlying spiritual viewpoint here also. Goliath really did not have a chance physically based on the spiritual situation in play.

It is odd and sad that a man such as Gladwell who writes religious/spiritual books does not support his argument from the spiritual angle as opposed to the physical. He misses the whole point.

Lamb is correct in his conclusion, “David, the underdog, defeated Goliath the champion with the help of his God.”

And, David, it is not whether you are a “giant” in the world of publishing. It is whether you are a man of immense spiritual proportions.

I’m know you are.
[Image from Bible Pathways - Rose Kendall: One Year Bible, May 15]

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Perfect Ending - Book Review

Before I launch into my review, there are two points of consideration. I was provided this book for review by the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.
but as for me and my review, we will focus on the good and the bad of the book. The cultural and political jabs taken in the book are a matter of subjective analysis of which the attention paid to them helps to sell books.
So what do we really have here? The bottom line is that it’s another book on prophecy – the end times – eschatology – or whatever subject categorization you wish to put on it? Well, that’s precisely what we have here in Robert Jeffress newest volume Perfect Ending.
Why another book with a dispensational slant to the end times? Jeffress’s motive in producing another volume on eschatology is that it will be “a powerful incentive for you to clothe yourself in holy conduct and godliness as we look forward to His certain return.” (p.27). Thus we have the underlying emphasis of the book. It is practical. It is motivational.
Jeffress achieves this in every chapter. Each of his chapters is interspersed with personal stories and practical illustrations which keep the reading of the book fast-paced. But the dilemma is that it should not be read as a fluffy Christian novella. It should be studied, digested and lived. In fact given the approach and structure of the book it seems like it may have been the result of an extended sermon series.
A couple of highlights: First, there is an excellent discussion on “reckon” (Galatians 3:6-8) on pages 35-38 detailing how that one single word proves that salvation is by faith alone in Christ and not faith plus something else or someone else.
Second, I found Chapter 9, “Rewards in Heaven,” to be most intriguing. In this chapter Jeffress details the rewards to be “earned” by unbelievers and Believers. Without divulging the content, it should be most frightening for unbelievers and quite motivational for Believers.
About a year ago I taught an adult Sunday School class on Revelation. In preparation for the class I collected a number of books both print and digital. They were all informative and helpful, but I wish I had this book as a resource. It separates the material into study-size sections and even provides study questions as an appendix.
If you’re a pastor or a teacher about to embark on a journey through “the end times,” you need to include Perfect Ending as a resource.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Evolution: 60% Believe

In my more than six and a half decades on this earth, I have developed a certain quantity and quality of physical skills. For those of you that know me, you are aware that I can play a fairly decent game of golf – still. Another proficient physical skill in my repertoire is that I no longer drag my knuckles when I walk.  That’s right, in a little over sixty-six years I have evolved to the point that I walk somewhat upright.
What stimulated an evaluation of my physical skills is some research conducted by the Pew Research Center on how Americans feel about evolution - http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/. 
A short summation of the research shows that 60% of Americans believe that we (us as humans) got here by evolution) and 33% believe we were created as we are. (7% do not know – perhaps looking the missing link in all of this.)
The details of the survey are quite interesting, very informative and downright scary from an evangelical point of view. If you take time to review the research by religious groups, the results should cause us to wonder what the heck is being taught from the pulpits of Evangelical and Catholic churches in America. The results should strike fear in the souls of evangelical Christians. A greater acceptance of evolution is a greater acceptance of a more secular, godless lifestyle and culture.
So I believe the question is quite simple and straightforward: Is that where we want to go?
You can find a more detailed analysis of this research here http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?id=41766.