Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Review: Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot by Mo Isom



Review: Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot
Mo Isom
Baker Books
2018


I picked this one up after I’d seen a video promo by the author, http://moisom.com/sexandjesus#.  Sounded like she had something to say.  She does.  And even if you don’t think it applies to you it does in ways that aren’t necessarily related to sex, but just as a human being with desires.  
Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot  -     By: Mo IsomIsom subscribed to many of the conversations that govern relationships in general, and those with men, for her generation, the millennials.  This book is not her life story, but it does describe some moments that were important to her journey then and now.  Her openness to share those times surprised me.  Her point without spoiling the book is that she had not understood what linked sexual intimacy to ordinary life, the why’s, if you will.  Was it not taught, discussed?  Or was she not interested in hearing might be a valid question?  Either or quite possibly both ways, the end results aren’t very different.  She doesn’t try to hide the consequences or shift the blame onto someone else for her problems.  Now. 

She shares her victories and struggles as one messed person to another.  The narrative is direct, easy to read, and brightened with many insightful bits of hard won wisdom.  The Scripture passages she cites are not new.  There are no seven steps to success.  Just plain honest expression of her trek.  When Isom grasped the reality of her situation and the reality of the words she read from Scripture, she was enabled through the Spirit to live a healing way of life in all respects.  The healing has been progressive for her and she is honest enough to write that the road very difficult, but worth the result.  No sugar coating. 

Yes, as the quote on the front cover says, “This book is a must read.” 

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.



Monday, March 5, 2018

Review: The Prayer Wheel: A Daily Guide to Renewing Your Faith with a Rediscovered Spiritual Practice by Patton Dodd, etal



Review: The Prayer Wheel: A Daily Guide to Renewing Your Faith with a Rediscovered Spiritual Practice
Patton Dodd, Jana Riess, And David van Biema
Convergent
2018

The title intrigued me, and I decided to look at this prayer wheel idea.  At first, I thought it was a gimmicky idea, but as it turns out it’s something more.  The wheel had been used long ago but forgotten until someone looked at the fly leaf of an old ceremonial type bible.  There was a copy of this wheel.  It’s related to an Augustinian guide from the 4th or 5th century.  Think a remix of the original that a Benedictine order had designed.  Now it’s rediscovered and back in circulation.

The Prayer Wheel book cover 
The authors of The Prayer Wheel have written a devotional book that uses the prayer wheel.  If a person is willing to work through the devotional, a knowledge of using the prayer wheel would be one of the outcomes.  I found their brief daily offerings could be used as prompts to deeper thought, however the reader must have some working knowledge of biblical texts like Matthew chapters  5 and 6 as a minimum.   A more complete knowledge would be beneficial, in my opinion.  

The book itself is a nice size, but the not very attractive.  Maybe if it makes it to a second printing the publishers will consider another design.

I received this book from the publishers in return for a review.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus; An Evangelical Exposition of John 14-17 by D. A. Carson



Review: The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus; An Evangelical Exposition of John 14-17
D. A. Carson
Baker Books
1980

The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus, repackaged edition  -     By: D.A. CarsonWhat am I doing reviewing a nearly 40-year-old book from DA Carson?  Baker has repackaged it and now it’s back on the shelf.  There’s no new forward or other additions to the front matter, so I assume this is the 1980 version which according to the preface was intended for the “church at large” (9).  I took that to mean persons other than the academic or the serious student.  I have to say things have changed greatly if this is an example of the reading the laity undertook all those years ago.  
This book in my opinion is still for the serious student of Scripture.  It is not the strictly academic material that Carson produced though, so for those of you who want to work a bit at reading this I think you will be rewarded for your efforts.  Carson’s reputation and other work vouch for his ability as a scholar.   The text is dense and the vocabulary well above most of the popular work I’ve viewed recently.  His arguments cover most of the opinions held related to a section of Scripture, and he will show the reader which is the superior interpretation in his opinion.  

The book has no endnotes or bibliography.  Poetry or lyrics quoted are attributed to its author, but not to a specific work.  There are no study questions or recommended readings for further study.  The preface states that the book is the product of a “series of addresses given at several conferences….and rewritten as essays.” (9)  Maybe the title could have been Essays on the Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus?

Overall, if you are interested in the topic this would be a good choice.

I received this book from the publishers in return for a review.