A Review of, “Answering Jihad” by Nabeel Qureshi

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The full title of the book is, “Answering Jihad A Better Way Forward.” The majority of the book is a concise primer on Islam, and some of its doctrines. It also briefly juxtaposes some facets of Islam with corresponding aspects Christianity.

The big question, in my summation, that it answered definitively was, “Do the authoritative founding documents of Islam prescribe violence as an integral part of the practice of Islam?” It would seem that the answer is, “Yes.” He also answers another question that has got our liberal friends in a tizzy, “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” Of course, this is simply answered with a resounding, “No.” by people like me. Qureshi does answer in the negative but is more diplomatic with his response. He takes some time addressing why some people might think that they do. He also explains why some Christians from other countries might use the word, “Allah” as an interchangeable word for God. As an American, this would never enter my mind, so it was interesting to learn why it would happen in other countries. Nonetheless, we should answer the liberals in this nation with a, “No.” He explains how similar does not equate to same. It is not enough to have some similar attributes and then coincidentally make it consequential.

Nabeel Qureshi takes just enough time to flesh out the truth, without weighing the reader down with minutia. He utilizes a writing style that the layman will be comfortable with while maintaining accuracy. It is a quick read, that can be read in a day. It is a good resource to hand to friends who may have new Muslim co-workers or neighbors. I agree with Qureshi’s conclusion that the best way forward is friendship, not fear. If we can take the time to understand where they are coming from, and then invite them into our culture, it would go a long way to improving relations with the moderate muslims of the world. With the help of men like Qureshi we can also spot the Muslims who are educated in the founding documents of Islam and are engaging in the prescribed violence from the quran and hadiths.

I recommend this book as a primer. Definitely, get a copy for yourself, and then give it to anyone who would be in a position to befriend muslims. I would look for any other books this author might have coming out in the future.

 

ISBN-13: 9780310531388

Soap Box Review of, “Audacious” from Beth Moore.


As most of you know, I am a bit biased due to Moore’s sloppy ecumenism and claims of extra-biblical personal revelation. (some of that she has attempted to correct.)  That being said, I am not on a witch hunt, and I am not a heresy hunter.  I don’t run a discernment ministry site.  I simply review Christian books and Bibles, so people can make informed decisions before laying down their hard won sheckles.  

I could easily dismiss her book as a simple edit of her, “vision statement.”  She basically has just added two words to her old vision statement, and contrived a book around it.  Instead, I decided not to discount her offering based on my bias.  I should also let you know that I am not the target audience for a book like this.  I prefer more specific language and less color when reading a theological book. Before you get upset at me stating that her book is theological, perhaps you should consider that any study or writing about God is considered theological.  

There are feelers and there are thinkers, and I’m not saying that these two groups are mutually exclusive.  There is a spectrum, and we all think and feel.  Some of us are predominantly motivated by reason and thought, where others are moved more by emotions and feelings.  I am in the first category.  That, along with being a fortyfour year old male, and a Reformed Baptist, is why I am not the target audience.  If you are a woman who likes to get into someone’s personal life, thoughts, emotions, history, and you want to have a little information about God sprinkled in, then you are the target audience.  Feelers, aren’t so persnickety about precise language.  They understand the intent of the author who paints with their colors.  People who are on the other end of the spectrum, are concerned that the wrong ideas will be conveyed if the language is not precise.  We don’t want to be responsible for someone falling into heresy.  Our motto is, “If you can’t improve on the silence, then don’t say anything.”  In regards to theology it looks more like, “The Bible says it better, just read and quote the Bible.  If you must write a book, be sure that you are faithfully, accurately, and truthfully, expositing the word of God in a beneficial manner that edifies, and educates, the reader.”  If you aren’t doing that, stop writing.  

Beth Moore’s book takes 178 pages to express the Shema, or the Greatest Commandment of God’s word, and what could be said in one short blog article.  I would be glad to read 200 pages or more dealing with this topic if each sentence were valuable.  Moore’s book had very little of value to me.  She writes 178 pages by pumping up the word count, adding all of her quiche Mooreisms, out of context, sometimes misapplied scriptures, personal stories, and wordsmithing.  She does all of this without adding that much quality content.  It is a piece of fluff.  Some people may be encouraged by it if they care about all of Moore’s stories. On the other hand, if you want to learn about God, instead of Moore’s books, there are plenty of other worthwhile books to invest your time in.  It was a painful for me to push through and read.  I would have liked to have had a strainer to filter out the sound little tidbits, and discard the copious amounts of page filler.  This is my personal experience with her work.  If you enjoy her style then you will like this book as it seems to be more of the same.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1433690525

Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s new book, “We Cannot Be Silent.” is a must read for Christians trying to make sense of all the gender chaos going on around us.

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If you have been a regular listener of, “The Briefing” you’ll find Dr. Mohler’s newest book to be quite familiar, as he has addressed much of the subject matter on his program.  The book offers a fuller fleshing out of the history, and circumstances, that have lead to our current state, as well as a Christian analysis of it.

The chapter titles in the table of contents paint the picture of what you’ll read in the book;

1 In the Wake of a Revolution

2 It Didn’t Start with Same-Sex Marriage

3 From Vice to Virtue: How Did the Homosexual Movement Happen?

4 The Impossible, Possibility of Same-Sex Marriage

5 The Transgender Revolution

6 The End of Marriage

7 What Does the Bible Really Have to Say About Sex?

8 Religious Liberty and the Right to Be Christian

9 The Compassion of Truth: The Church and the Challenge of the Sexual Revolution

10 The Hard Questions

 

Dr. Mohler takes you step by step, setting the scene with historical information, about how the foundation for this revolution was put in place, so that in the right environment of postmodernism it could explode.  follow along step by step, to see how the plan of the enemy has been unfolding for decades.  Dr. Mohler cites the work of opponents, and proponents to Christian values effectively, and fairly in this book.  He uses their own words in thorough quotations from their published works.  You can trace a line from no-fault divorce, birth control, abortion, and now all of the gender issues.  As we deal with the consequences of these doctrines of death culture, Dr. Mohler educate and offers a Biblical analysis. He explains what these changes in our culture will mean for us as a nation, and for Christians.  

Dr. Mohler also explains what the Church’s response should be in light of our past failures to inform culture.  Bad theology, watered down truths, attractional models, moralism, and pragmatism have all gotten us where we are at today.  Real love, tells the truth.  We have to proclaim the truths of the Bible to the lost.  The things that seem difficult are often what are necessary.  The gospel is the only hope for the people of this nation.  Chapter 10 offers valuable Biblical responses to questions that are already being asked.  If you haven’t given these issues much thought and would like to, or if you are a bit confused and don’t know how we got to where we are today, I would recommend reading this book and referring back to it from time to time.

Todd Friel’s, “Judge Not” is an Ambitious Book that Attempts to Assess the Maladies of the Modern Church in America.

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It is a daunting undertaking.  One I was apprehensive about.  I was doubtful that the problems could be covered in a book that is only 320 pages long.  Overall, Todd’s book accomplishes what it was intended to do.  In an effort to promote what I deem a necessary work, I would strongly encourage all Christians to purchase and read this book.  However, I don’t want to spoil any of the, “Ah-ha!” “Amen!” or “Ouch!” moments.  This means that I won’t reveal all of my favorite quotes.  The full title of the book is, “Judge Not, How A Lack Of Discernment Led To Drunken Pastors, Peanut Butter Armpits, & The Fall Of A Nation.”  The title is no misrepresentation to act as a hook.  It is a hook, don’t get me wrong.  It is just very true and disturbing.  The astonishing authenticity of it is the hook.

 For those tens and tens of loyal listeners, Todd needs no introduction, but for the rest of the world, Todd Friel is the host of the Christian radio program, “Wretched Radio.”  He is also the host of, “Wretched TV” on NRB network.  Todd and the guys over at Wretched, put out quality programs, Biblically addressing issues and trends, that concern us as Christians.  Todd’s previous book, “Jesus Unmasked” detailed, and highlighted Christ through the entire Bible.  I was curious about his latest book, because his previous one was so good.  Even though it was a hard act to follow, he can be happy with his latest book.  It was quite different from his previous one.

We look around and wonder how we got here.  As a kid, I was raised in a home without Church.  My parents were both former Roman Catholics.  Mom is Italian.  Her family was traditionally Roman Catholic.  My Dad’s family is German, and very Roman Catholic as well.  Both of my parents deserted the religion of their families for different reasons.  My Mom left because her family deserted her, and disowned her because she was a child of mixed blood.  Her Dad was Lithuanian, NOT Italian!  My Mother was also enjoying the freedom of the 60’s.  My Father left Roman Catholicism after reading the Bible for himself.  They decided to raise us without formal religion and to allow us to figure it out for ourselves.  I grew up thinking that all of the people who went to a Church were Christians.  I had now idea how wrong I was.  Whenever I was invited to a Church for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Mormon Talks, SDA, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, or Mass, I thought they were all Christians.  I was so confused by the variances and disparities I witnessed.  From the 60’s on  to present day, Churches in America have done little to help people like me who were lost.

With chapter headings like, “Happy Clappy Church, Twisting Scripture, Messed-up Messianic Movements, and Gospel Off-centeredness” Todd takes aim at pretty much all of the problems with the modern Church in America.  Many of the things he brings forward have been concerns of mine for years.  Some of the things were new to me.  I had no idea some of those things were going on.  If you are like me and have been keenly aware that something is wrong, and perhaps you weren’t quite able to put your finger on it then this is the book for you.

Here is the Table of Contents,
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We’ve probably all been to a, “Happy Clappy” Church.  They are the ones that solely focus on God’s love.  They are generally pretty seeker sensitive and rely on entertaining the masses.  Many of us have friends or family in the Messianic movement and have concerns.  Todd echoes these concerns and talks frankly about the problems within the movement.  Todd also shines light on the New Apostolic Movement.  Very troubling things are coming out of it.  It also is being accepted as orthodox by many well meaning Christians.

This book was a quick read.  It usually takes me quite a while to read a theology book, but with Todd’s sense of humor and direct approach, I was able to read it pretty quick.  If you have read some religious books and found them to be dry or slow, you won’t have this problem here.  Todd’s writing is engaging and intelligent.  Get this book and read it.  After you are done, you’ll be able to think of at least a few people you know who will need to read it as well.  I really enjoyed it and it helped me gain some needed perspective on the state of the Church, the gospel, evangelism, and what I can do to help.  You can purchase your copy from Wretched’s store, or Amazon

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Just the gift for the child in you life this Christmas

Just the gift for the child in you life this Christmas,
the, “Heroes of the Faith” Series from, The Banner of Truth Trust.   On Sale Now!

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This is a picture of all three books next to a ruler and a copy of the the Westminster Confession of Faith, for scale.

The initial Series Set includes: Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Polycarp.  These three, compellingly written and illustrated books, will captivate the attention of the child in your life.  What a wonderful way to spend storytime with them.  There are few other stories more worthy of telling children.  Learning about the early Church Fathers from these brief, colorful, books will stick with your child or grandchild over their lives.  They will know how these men lived out what they believed.  I recommend the entire set.
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Sinclair Ferguson manages to condense his vast knowledge down into stories that will edify children, and the adults reading to them.  The gospel message is proclaimed so simply that your children will hear it and see how it was lived out by these Church Fathers, Heroes of the Faith.  The illustrations are colorful and skillfully done.  Alison Brown’s illustrations will help bring history to life.
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Each hardcover book has a Timeline in the back, and a, “Personal Word to the Parents About Heroes of the Faith” from Sinclair Ferguson.  The books are printed in the U.S.A. and the font size is 15/18pt in size.  These books are well made and should last for years properly taken care of.  I hope you enjoy reading them to your kids and grandchildren as much I enjoyed reading them for the review.

You can purchase your set from the Banner of Truth

or you can buy them individually from Christianbook.com

Irenaeus of Lyons: The Man Who Wrote Books ISBN-13: 9781848710948

Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted ISBN-13: 9781848710924

Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions ISBN-13: 9781848710931

Check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.

 

“God Wins” from Author Mark Galli, is a Mature Response, to Bell’s, “Love Wins.”

Hello, Soapbox fans.  Today we are going to look at the book, “God Wins” written by Mark Galli the Senior Managing Editor for Christianity Today.  In his book, Mark answers many of the questions raised by Rob Bell’s book, “Love Wins.”  First and foremost, I have to applaud Mark for his maturity, and propriety in handling the heresies of Rob Bell.  I tried to read Bell’s book without getting angry and could not.  It made me furious with him every time.  The slick, used car salesman, shysterly, manipulative, methods he employed to convince people of heresy seemed to me, to slip supplely, from this silver tongued devil’s mouth.  So, bravo Mark!  You are a better man than I, and I mean that.  Furthermore, I admire Mark’s maturity when dealing with this book.  Mark even explains his reasons for doing so in Appendix 3.  

I am Lutheresque in my polemics at times.  I tend to attack, without considering the effect I’ll have on the followers of the false teacher.  Instead of seeing the correction and accepting it, they see me slaughtering their golden calf.  When I read a work like this, I can see how it is better for  the sheep.  In dealing with the sheep we must be gentle.  If this book were for Rob Bell alone, I would expect a more belligerent approach.

Mark takes a very thoughtful and thorough approach addressing the major issues of heresy in Bell’s book.  It is almost impossible to talk about Mark’s book without mentioning Bell’s book, since it is an antithetical response to  Bell’s.  As Galli draws out, isolates, and entertains, the questions Bell asks, he offers orthodox answers and corrections that are easily understood.  He explains doctrines that the Church has affirmed for over two thousand years.  Don’t think that Galli is using kid gloves.  He deals with the false gospel, and universalism of Bell.  He even explains and contrasts the differences.

I encourage all of you who have read Bell’s book, have family who are fans of Bell, or plan on reading Bell’s book, to read, “God Wins.”  For those of you with Bell fans in the family, after you have finished reading, “God Wins” give it to them as a gift, and pray for them to accept godly correction with humble repentance, and godly sorrow.  

ISBN-13: 9781414366661

A Review of, “The Underestimated Gospel” a Compilation of Edited Sermons from the 2012, “Together for the Gospel” Conference.

I know 2012 was a few years back, but that didn’t stop B&H Books from publishing this work in 2014.  Jonathan Leeman is the General Editor for this compilation of sermons.  He did a great job putting them together in book format.  Here is list of the Pastors whose sermons are featured in this book, David Platt, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Matt Chandler, R. Albert Mohler Jr. Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and J. Ligon Duncan III.  With this list of names you would expect to see some good sermons.  I did, and I wasn’t disappointed.  As you can tell from the name of the book, and the conference, the messages focused on the gospel of Jesus, and its power to change everything.  

I don’t want to do the typical critical review here.  It isn’t really that kind of work.  This was sermons, preached to Pastors, for their edification, by other Pastors, at a conference.  It was not a work of fiction, a history book, a “Christian living” book, theology book, or a biography.  Considering that, I would rather just encourage you to read this volume of sermons for your own edification.  You don’t have to be a Pastor to get the message from this book.  Any Christian could pick this up and read it for their benefit.  These men laid out for us the importance of preaching the gospel, and how it applies to every aspect of Christian conversion, security, life, evangelism, and discipleship.  You get a view through a portal into the head and heart of these Pastors as they preach about the gospel.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who is tired of hearing fluff that doesn’t actually change anything, to Pastors who lack authority in their preaching, to Pastors who want to see their flock changed by the word of God.  The worst that can happen is that you would spend a short time reading some very good sermons.  If you are a false teacher, and false convert, the best thing that could happen, is that you could be genuinely saved, and motivated to give up that useless moralism, life enhancement, prosperity, best life now, drivel, you’ve been pushing, and actually preach the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified.  Sorry if that seemed a bit harsh.  I have sat in Churches that don’t preach the gospel.  It gets me riled up now when I think about other poor souls sitting in  a Church having nonsense preached at them.  Seriously, if you are a Pastor, or know a Pastor, get them this book.  It will aid them and encourage them.

You can pick up a copy here at Christianbook.com

You can also watch the entire conference for free on the site.

ISBN: 9781433683909