Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Francis: Man of Prayer by Mario Escobar

Review: Francis: Man of Prayer
Mario Escobar
Thomas Nelson

Escobar has written one of many biographies of the newly installed Pope, and his is the first I’ve read.  As time goes on I will probably read some of the others too.  So what did I think of this one? Honestly the historical background of the church was quite interesting and as it has been a large part of Francis’ life I took it to be part of his biography, and the biographical information was interesting but thin; maybe in the rush to get the book out there. 
Escobar seemed more concerned with outlining the challenges Francis faces now and their background information than on the life of the man thus far.  And the new Pope does have a giant task before him it seems and pretending he doesn’t does not help him solve the issues at hand.  So maybe Escobar has chosen the better path. 

One last thought---the title of this book.  Where did that come from?  From the first words spoken by the newly installed Pope to his flock.  Personally, I hope that sort of attitude continues throughout his tenure.  

Over all I found this a very interesting read and recommend it, although I think this one and the others are probably a rush to press.  

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson in exchange for a review.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: Road to Redemption by Brad Mathias

Review: Road to Redemption
Brad Mathias
Tyndale Momentum

Hope. Encouragement.  Trials.  Life.   A family comes together after sustaining some heavy damage.  Infidelity, anger, a daughter scarred by an encounter with a schoolmate, and all the issues that go with that list.  Sounds pretty familiar sadly, but that is not the final word for these people.  Forgiveness, reconciliation, admitting shortcomings as parents, redemption.  It’s all there.  

Brad Mathias describes just such a family---his own.  What I found most remarkable about his work was that here is a man who is not afraid to admit to his faults and failures.  It took a while for him to come to that point, but he did.  He does not leave out the emotional aspects of this either, but he does not dwell there.   Best of all he tells a real version of what following Christ is.  No hype, no sugar coating.  Just the day to day way that happens for a family of five.   I hope that this book will be read by men, as well as women.  It’s his story, their story, threw his eyes.  

It’s not just about family trauma and healing though.  The road trip they make through the US into the Canadian Rockies and back is good reading in its own right.  The author is an avid outdoors type, a lover of nature, and his descriptions of this trip make you want to get out your maps and start planning one of your own.  There’s danger, fun, discovery, and even a coming of age moment. 

A real pleasure to read.  I do recommend this book.

This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishing in return for this review.