Monday, May 2, 2011

In-depth look at a thorny subject...

This is a review of Randy Alcorn's book, f God Is Good. It's a look at one of the great philosophical questions: if God is good, why is there evil and suffering in the world? It's a question that doesn't lend itself to easy answers. In fact, many people have turned completely away from belief in God solely because they couldn't reconcile His existence with the existence of evil.

Alcorn, as usual for him, doesn't go for the easy answers that don't really satisfy. He delves into the subject confidently, with a firm conviction that we can find answers, while still trusting in a God who is good, kind and loving.

There is, of course, a difference between evil and suffering. Much of the suffering in the world comes as a result of human evil. Suffering also comes form living in a fallen world that is plagued by genetic defects and natural disasters. the question then becomes: why doesn't God stop the suffering in this world?

Alcorn doesn't try to give easily digestible, pat answers. Instead, he points out the good that often comes out of evil. God uses evil and suffering to bring about wisdom, patience and faith in His people. Thus, evil and suffering can have a redemptive good. Alcorn also points out that evil and suffering can whet our appetite for the next world, in which there is no suffering.

Overall, If God Is Good is an honest, in-depth treatment of a subject that every serious Christian must wrestle with at some point. It's written in Alcorn's distinctive, clear, straightforward style. It's deep, but at the same time easy to understand. I recommend it highly.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. They in no way affected my thoughts on the book itself...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review of audiobook: "Living by God's Promises"

As a follower of Jesus, I believe the best books are those that are both informational and inspirational—books that feed my mind AND my spirit. I recently came across a book that accomplishes both tasks. “Living By God’s Promises,” written by Joel Beeke and James La Belle, is saturated with Scripture. The authors draw from 3 Puritan writers-- Edward Leigh, William Spurstowe and Andrew Gray—to produce this great book.

The authors feed our minds by teaching us the proper way to understand the promises of God. They look at the purposes, the extent, and the foundation of the promises. I know that I grew in my understanding of God’s promises through these chapters of the book. The rest of the book feeds our spirits by showing how we can apply God’s promises to the various circumstances of our lives, like when we struggle with illness, temptation growing in Christ.

The audiobook (which is what this review is based on) was expertly produced. The narrator, Robertson Dean, has a voice that’s so good that it makes me need to repent of the sin of envy. He lends a sense of dignity to this important, and overlooked, subject. In short, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you want to be blessed as you are reminded of God’s promises, get this book and devour it right away!

I need to let you know that I received a free copy of this book to review from The adiobook came from them; the thoughts in this review are completely my own.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The excitement is building!

One of the things I am enjoying the most about pastoring is watching people get excited about being part of our community. In fact, you can almost see people's hope increasing on a weekly basis.

We've decided to start video taping the services, and I want to show you a clip from last Sunday. I think you will see just what I mean. Our folks are really getting into worshiping together:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Word cloud of this Sunday's sermon...

I'm not sure why I like Wordle so much, but I really do enjoy the site. It makes word clouds of any document or web site you plug in. The words are sized according to the number of times they are used in the document. I think the word clouds that get generated are interesting, and sometimes beautiful.

Anyway, I put one up based on my sermon notes for this Sunday. Here it is. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Review of "Daily Message" iPhone app...

I downloaded the christianaudio Daily Message app last week for my iPhone. So far, I like it. It’s a great idea: an audio Bible that is broken up into short daily hearings, which allows you to hear the entire Bible in one year.

There is a lot to like about the app. It’s very simple to use. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice. The daily segments are relatively short, meaning that someone with a short attention span (like me, for instance) can get through it easily. The app also allows for a time of reflection on the reading you just heard. It’s a nice feature, since sometimes I am so busy that I don’t take time to soak in what I’ve just read (or heard).

My only complaint with the app is that it is only available in the Message paraphrase of the Bible. I would love to see an app with the same features as this one, but with a real Bible translation, like ESV or NIV. Once christianaudio puts out an ESV or NIV version, I will recommend this app without reservation. As it is, I think it’s of limited value for daily Bible study, although it might be good for lighter devotional time.

I’m reviewing this app for the Reviewer’s Program. It’s available for purchase right here...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Audiobook review: Just Do Something

Hey everybody! I took advantage of the opportunity to review audio books for ( because I love audio books. The first book I’ve had a chance to review is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. The book itself is a look at how we determine God’s will for our lives. DeYoung’s premise is that we spend too much time waiting for a supernatural feeling from God, and not enough time following God’s revealed will in the Bible.

The premise is challenging, and DeYoung presents his case convincingly. But this review is more about the audiobook that I got from It’s a high-quality work. The book is unabridged, which I like a lot. The sound quality is perfect. If I have one complaint, it would be with the person they chose to read the book.

He reads it well—good diction, all that stuff. But his reading of it is a bit dry, almost like he was reading a textbook or a recipe. The subject is interesting (it could even be life-changing), and it could have used a little more excitement in the presentation. But that should not keep you from hearing this really important book.

My recommendation: if you want to dig deeper into how you can really know God’s will for your life, this is a good place to start. And this audiobook is a handy way to take the book with you. The audiobook is well-produced, easy to download, and it’s a good deal also. Go get it here: Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung.