Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A few book thoughts

One of my goals for this week is to catch up on reviewing the free books I've received.

40 Most Influential Christians . . .

40 Most Influential Christians Who Shaped What We Believe Today, by Daryl Aaron, is my favorite book of this batch. While I do not agree with the theology and beliefs of each of these influential Christians, I can appreciate the contribution that they made to the development of the Christian church.

The book covers 40 chapters, each chapter devoted to one Christian who influenced church theology or growth. The book is not exhaustive, instead providing a short overview on some influential Christians. Each chapter includes a section on the context of the Christian's life, the contribution he made to Christian history, and a short conclusion about the influences he still has on current Christian thought. This is a great starting point for any person who is interested in learning more about the history of the Christian church.

A Home for My Heart

I've become rather picky about my Christian historical fiction, as I feel most of the books are not literature quality. However, I snapped up a copy of A Home for My Heart, by Anne Mateer, because it's the story of an assistant matron at an orphanage. Sadie suddenly finds herself offered the head matron position and she has to learn how to balance her new duties with her desire to get married (matrons are not allowed to wed).

I really, really wanted to like this book. My heart is all about adoption these days as we navigate the adoption process to adopt our own daughter. I thought that this book would resonate with me but it fell flat. The main character kept insisting that she cares more about the children than her coworkers do, but she never really displays that love in her actions. I had hoped that the book would address her life in an orphanage but it could have been written about any type of administrative position. If you're wanting an ok beach read, this is it. If you're looking for something deep and memorable, keep looking.

Jesus: Pure and Simple

Jesus Pure and Simple, by Wayne Cordeiro, was an interesting but not deep book. It read more like a series of blog posts, rather than having a common thread running through the entire book. Cordeiro talks about how to tell if you need to get back to Jesus, who Jesus is, how to focus on Him, and how to serve. The book itself is rather pure and simple, some basic thoughts on various topics, bullet points that provide a basic to-do list, and group discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

For an example of the simplicity of this book, here are the focus points on the chapter titled "One Thing." The chapter starts off with the verse Luke 10:41-42, which reads, "you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary." What is the one thing that is necessary? Spending time with Jesus. How do we do that?

-Read the Bible daily
-Regularly take time for solitude
-Immerse yourself in gratefulness
-Regularly take time for reflection

As I said, it's an interesting book but not deep. It's a good refresher on basic Christian living but doesn't offer much Biblical meat to chew on.

Much thanks to Bethany House for all three review copies in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are completely my own.

*Note - Jeff and I promised ourselves we would not ask anyone for money to help fund our adoption. However, if you would like to help us without additional cost to you, feel free to do your normal shopping through my Amazon affiliate links in the above post. Thanks!

1 comment:

Julie Fukuda said...

Interesting selection and thoughtful comments.