Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth about God by Tim Challies and Josh Byers



Review: Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth about God
Tim Challies and Josh Byers
Zondervan
2016

Interesting concept book.  I’ve not seen anything quite like it elsewhere and suspect that for some this one would be quite helpful.  And that is why I find myself in a love/hate quandary over this one.  Challies narratives present the 101 theology basics to the reader.  The last section Live for Christ being the best of the lot as far as readability goes.  The others are the reason theology has such an uphill climb with most people.  Accurate, factual, categorized.  Dry as the bones Elijah saw in the desert.  The same ones that as they acquired meat and sinew and skin came to life.  Theology is just one of those areas that need more than skeletons to make it palatable.  
Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God 
Challies, to his credit, says as much in his introduction.  It takes more than looking at the equipment in the gym.  You gotta work it.  And this book just scratches the surface, almost.  Hence, the love/hate relationship with this book.  

Yes, there are some things we need to know and learn and practice.  And this is the crash course.  I felt as if I was reading the script that went with a very sophisticated power point presentation.  I nearly lost it completely with the flowchart, How to put sin to death (96-97). 
As you can see, this book, even though the graphics are great, just isn’t for me.  For the person that can relate more fully with a business or updated classroom style it may be just what you need.  Overall even though I don’t like this book I can also recommend it as a starting point.  It will not help the cause of theology for the novice and that is a shame.  The study of God can be the most amazing study ever.  

I received this book form the publisher in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review: Restore my Soul: A Coloring Book Devotional Journey by Ann-Margaret Hovsepian



Review: Restore my Soul: A Coloring Book Devotional Journey
Ann-Margaret Hovsepian
Momentum
2016

Product DetailsReview a coloring book? Look a bit closer at the full title and this is also a devotional book.  I think I’m beginning to understand the coloring book thing more than I have before.  And I think it’s a good idea.  It’s not some idle waste of time.  Away with all those 30 second devotions!  Be gone those 15 minutes with God books!  These are a step toward a devotional time that matters.  Unless you can color bunches faster than I can, of course.  These force you to sit still for much longer than 15 minutes and during that time what goes through your head? They may even take a couple of days to complete.  Eventually after the “Do I use orange or yellow here?” questions drift away the devotion you read on the opposite page begins to echo in your thoughts.  Now you’re getting somewhere.  All those you’s in the bit above are really about my experience with this particular coloring book.  Yes, I’m a caffeinated, can’t sit still person, but for some reason this works for me.  This time.  Why?  I tried another one before and just couldn’t do it. 

I really think the devotionals that accompany the artwork help.  They gave me more to hang on to and then I began to apply the Scripture verse through it.  Backwards, I know, but it worked for me. The time spent coloring is not as intimidating as the regimen I’d given up on long ago. So, now I intend to find some better pencils and work with this.  

As you might have guessed I like this particular coloring book devotional and would recommend it to you.  The paper weight is good, the surface smooth.  I don’t know if markers bleed through.  Maybe someone else has investigated that point.  The pages seem secure.  The designs are varied i.e. not all doodles or flowers.  Some are more complicated than others.  The only nit I see is the designs sit a bit tight on the inner margin next to the binding, but not impossible to reach.  If you’re like me and have tried this before, maybe this one will fit your personality better.  Give it a try.  I’m glad I did.

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