Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Satisfied Soul: Showing the Supremacy of God in All of Life John Piper




Review: The Satisfied Soul: Showing the Supremacy of God in All of Life
John Piper
Multnomah
2017


Seems like there’s been several of the more mature leaders of the Christian faith who have assembled some of their work into volumes like this one.  Not a bad thing.  For those who don’t know them already it’s a great introduction to what the author has spent his life teaching.  For those that are acquainted, these works are like paging through a scrapbook. Either way, they continue to speak. 

The Satisfied Soul: Showing the Supremacy of God in All of LifeThis book draws together a wide range of meditations or teaching points.  I have sampled several throughout the book and find them to be more instruction than meditation.  The meditation happens after the reader finishes the reading.  A quick look at the table of contents gives the reader a sense of the variety of areas Piper has included.  There’s also a subject, a scripture, and a person index included for the reader’s 
convenience. 

This could a welcome addition to anyone’s library.  

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: How to Listen So People Will Talk: Build Stronger Communication and Deeper Connections Becky Harling



Review: How to Listen So People Will Talk: Build Stronger Communication and Deeper Connections
Becky Harling
Bethany House
2017

How to Listen So People Will Talk: Build Stronger Communication and Deeper ConnectionsNew author to me, but I went ahead and picked this book.  Certainly not for the cover design or the title, though.  The publishers did her no favors with either of their choices.  But, the content is worth reading, particularly if you want to improve communication with just about anyone.  

Harling covers the bases well in this easy to read book.  Listening with the intent of engagement with the other person is the point.  Each chapter has a set of short activities, exercises to practice, which start with listening to God, then move to listening to your own heart, and finally listening to others.  She identifies plenty of ways to improve and some of the most common pitfalls of real communication.  

There’s nothing here that’s really new.  You know this stuff from experience or maybe a seminar you attended years ago.  What she has done in her book calls attention to the things that are most likely to impede genuine communication or conversation.  Things like inattention to the speaker, lack of empathy, or interrupting with your own stories from the negative side and on the more positive side she suggests ways to encourage the other person with questions, time, and genuine interest.  There’s a little psychology along the way, but nothing that again you don’t already know.  Like why you jump in to fix whatever the other person has mentioned is troubling her.  

Overall, I found the book to be a good review of some very basic communication skills that most of us know but just have totally forgotten to use.  

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











Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: The Whole Bible Story, The Illustrated Edition: Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English Dr. William H. Marty



Review: The Whole Bible Story, The Illustrated Edition: Everything that Happens in the Bible in Plain English
Dr. William H. Marty
Baker Books
2017

The Whole Bible Story: Everything That Happens in the Bible in Plain EnglishOriginally published in 2011, this edition adds numerous illustrations to the text.  Most of them are full color and add life to the reading.  Pictures help fix the story in my mind and suppose it helps others too.  The author has taught undergraduate level students for a number of years.  And it is my guess that this book was produced to help his students grasp the historical context more easily. 

Plain English certainly describes the text.  Simple, straight forward narrative and written at a level that suits the entry level student.  It could be used rather successfully in levels down to middle school in my opinion, depending on the students. That would be the reason to use this book. 

Personally, I found it an arid read.   With all the translations of the Bible available today, I would prefer them over this.  Yes, there’s a few things that get confusing (like all those kings after the tribes split), but not incomprehensible.  So, it may have a place in a school setting.

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