Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Work of Christ, by R.C. Sproul

An excellent, excellent book on the work of Christ, His active obedience and what it means for us. The chapters are short (this is, in fact, not a long book), very appropriate for an individual weekly Bible study, and also a great tool for a small church group. Dr. R.C. Sproul does a great job of presenting Christ and His work at various points in His life, explaining its meaning and importance for our life.

What is the importance of Mary’s song when she first learns God had chosen her to bear His Son? If Christ was perfect and sinless, why did He insist on being baptized? Is there any relation between the temptation of Christ and the temptation of Adam? What is the importance of the transfiguration? Was it even necessary? Why is the resurrection important to our justification? These and many more questions find their answer and simple explanation in this book.

If you are like me, you don’t only read books on theology and doctrine just because you like to read; you read them to learn, to grow in your knowledge of God and His Word, with the hope of retaining everything you’ve learn, so that you can remember it, make reference to it, and apply it in your life. If you’re like me, you will love the Study Guide at the end of each chapter in this book. It is very obvious that Dr. Sproul is much more than an author or theologian: he is a teacher. He takes great care in explaining even the most complex doctrinal issues in such a simple and understated way, that you find yourself amazed that you didn’t understand it before. And to make matters even better, Dr. Sproul not only writes with the intention of making things clear, he includes these great Study Guides with learning objectives, quotations, wonderful and detailed outlines, Bible studies, discussion guides, applications, and recommendations for further reading at the end of each chapter that drive the point home, in case you didn’t understand it the first time around. You are sure to understand, learn, and retain all this great information.

If you are not like me, and you have not read a theology book in your life, The Work of Christ is a good way to start. It is profound, but never difficult to understand. And you will grow in your understanding of Jesus, His work, His intentions and our need for justification.

5 out of 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, David C. Cook, through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Where's the Nearest Day Spa?, by Emily Smith

Overview (from Goodreads): Where’s the Nearest Day Spa? Renewing the Anxious Heart offers a fresh perspective on worries and fears. Short, easy-to-read chapters—overflowing with humor and insightful Bible-based encouragement—will inspire a new outlook, as you begin to embrace the spiritual and emotional R&R that only the heavenly Father provides.

Review: Great, great book. Author Emily Smith has the fine ability to write as if she were talking directly to you, so you feel as if you were listening to her at a conference, which makes you feel so at ease and comfortable that you just don't expect what's coming.

This is one of those books that makes you look deeper into your heart, your worries, your fears and your excuses. It’s written so lightly and uncomplicated that it will take you by surprise. How plain and simply worry is called a sin and fear is called its identical twin! I have to admit: I’m a worrier; a worrier of the worst kind. The kind of worrier who worries if her husband doesn’t answer the telephone once or twice in a row, thinking he’s been in an accident or he is in the middle of a robbery. Yes, I think of many ridiculous and almost implausible scenarios. And I know I’m sinning because of it. And Where’s the Nearest Day Spa has brought this to light in my life, has made me face it, confront it, and ask God’s forgiveness and strength to fight it.

Many books say they can change your life. Few actually do. This book, very unassumingly, will bring you face to face with your worries and your fears; it will guide you through God’s Word, His promises, what He expects of you, what He says about the futility of worrying. And that will move you to actively make changes in your life, in your outlook of life, in the way you see and trust in God; and it will change your life. Yes, this book will inspire you to change your life.

Also, at the end of each chapter you will find discussion questions that will guide you through the Word of God and deeply into what He says about worry, fear, and being anxious, and what He promises to those who let go and let Him work: peace. The discussion questions are great for individual study or for a small group.

I highly recommend to this book to any woman or any group of women or church group.

Quotes I loved from the book:

"Fear feeds worry." (Soooo true!)
“[Bravery is] living with the full knowledge of God’s sovereignty and trusting that.”

4 stars out of 5

*I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.