Monday, August 18, 2014
The book that I have chosen to review will not be available for purchase until September 2. I received an advanced reader copy of it, provided free for bloggers through the book review program for bloggers, available at www.booklookbloggers.com. I was not required to write a positive review, and I did not have to be for this one. Put simply, this was a fantastic book.
If you have never heard the name David Wilkerson, perhaps there's a chance that you have heard of the name of an organization called "Teen Challenge". The program is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with the highest success rate in the nation, founded by David Wilkerson many decades ago. No, you haven't heard of it? You might be familiar with the book "The Cross and The Switchblade" which tells the story of how Teen Challenge began. What, you don't know that one? Ok, maybe you've heard of Times Square Church in New York City, where he Pastored faithfully for many years. Oh, you don't know about that one either? Then, you need to read this book. And even if you do know about the things I've mentioned, you still need to read this book.
Time and space do not allow me to furnish as many details as I would like to share about the content of the book. So, I'll highlight why I thought this was a great read. First, biographies can sometimes be written by researchers, historians and students who admire a person from afar but may have never met them in person. This one, however, was written by David Wilkerson's son Gary. And it is a firsthand account of details, stories and history that others may never have known.
Second, the author is incredibly honest as he tells the story of his dad's life. He does not portray David Wilkerson as a "superhero" to be idolized (and, just for the record, David would have despised hat). He tells of the highs, lows, struggles, idiosyncrasies, triumphs and tragedies without painting a picture of perfection. He shows you that David Wilkerson was just a man, who struggled like the rest of us, but had faith in an incredible God who accomplished the impossible through him. For this reason, I admired David Wilkerson more as a person, and God, whom I serve, more to work through ordinary people, greater than when I started. And, finally, the story kept me going. I received the book on a Saturday and finished it on a Sunday. It was a good read.
If you wonder if God could ever use you and feel like you've messed up too much, read this book. It's not just David' Wilkerson's story. It's the story of multitudes who were changed and used for the glory of God. If you know someone who's struggling in areas of their life with habitual issues, then let them read this book, to encourage them that change is possible. And if you want to see what God can do through simple people, like you, then read this book. In the story of one man's life, you'll become acquainted with Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible to him who believes.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Perhaps the most widely debated and misunderstood book in the Bible is the Book of Revelation. No other book in the Bible seems to have generated as much controversy as this last book of New Testament scripture. Maybe this is due to the symbolism that is used throughout it's pages, or maybe it is because of the amount of fear that surrounds it's message, but it is definitely one of the books of the Bible that people would rather avoid than read. But, one of the Christian leaders who has never been shy at touching the subject of the end times and the contents of the Book of Revelation is Dr. Tim Lahaye. And His new book on the subject "The Book of Revelation Made Clear" attempts to decipher and decode this Bible classic. I was given a copy free of charge by the program for bloggers at http:// www.booklookbloggers.com/blogger/resources/9780310745648
The book is literally a verse by verse study of the twenty two chapters of this epic Bible book. As the title suggests, this is not meant to be a complicated study, but is instead very simplistically structured. Each chapter starts off with a small pre-quiz that addresses items found in the verses of scripture to follow. It then has a few verses, followed by a commentary and the same quiz at the end. It repeats the processes for the next section of verses until you have finished the chapter. The approach is definitely helpful in fostering learning.
Dr. LaHaye, co-author of the best selling "Left Behind" series of books, has a pre-tribulation view of the rapture. His book does not delve into the arguments for this position, simply focusing on the verses and what they mean from that point of view. The book is not a college level eschatology book, but is instead a helpful, simple guide to what these verses of scripture say. I believe that those who are new to the Book of Revelation will find it beneficial, as well as those who are 'veterans' at understanding the text.
Until Jesus returns, there will undoubtedly be unlimited debates on the Book of Revelation and Bible eschatology. Dr. Lahaye's book is a great primer in understanding one side of this highly contested section of scripture. I trust that your understanding of the text will be deepened and that you will be further looking forward to Jesus' coming soon. Even so, come Lord Jesus.