Books I Didn’t Review

It is time for another of these irregular roundups of books that I didn’t review. It’s not necessarily that these are bad books or ones I purposely chose not to read and review. It’s just that, life being what it is, I cannot read them all. So here are a few that came in this week that I wish I could have read but that I just did not have time for. And here are a couple that I wouldn’t read if you paid me.

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The God Who Is There by D.A. Carson. “It can no longer be assumed that most people–or even most Christians–have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don’t know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God’s story of redemption. In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader’s guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.” It looks like a very useful book. I may well go through it with a small group at some point.

Getting the Reformation Wrong by James R. Payton Jr. “Most students of history know that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the Wittenberg Church door and that John Calvin penned the Institutes of the Christian Religion. However, the Reformation did not unfold in the straightforward, monolithic fashion some may think. It was, in fact, quite a messy affair.” This one looks quite interesting, though I suspect it’s best left to those who have at least some background in church history in general and Reformation history in particular. So I would not recommend making this book your introduction to this period of history. I believe we’ll have a review of this at Discerning Reader before wrong (but someone else called dibs on it!).

The Faithful Parent: A Biblical Guide to Raising a Family by Martha Peace & Stuart W. Scott. “A compelling read, this book offers practical advice and biblical hope to parents of children of all ages. Most parenting books, outright or indirectly, promise a good outcome if you only follow their suggestions. The Faithful Parent contains a wealth of practical, biblically-based suggestions, but it maintains that the most important relationship in any family is vertical—between parents and God. It is the Christian parent, in being faithful, who glorifies God. Look inside to discover how the faithful parent has the biggest impact on his or her children.” It’s not like we are hurting for more books on parenting, but this one comes from two good authors and comes highly recommended by Ted Tripp, Wayne Mack, Lance Quinn and Al Mohler. I appreciate that this book’s emphasis is particularly on drawing your children into a relationship with the Lord.

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin & Alex Malarkey. Don Piper’s 90 Minutes from Heaven has spawned all kinds of imitators and this is the latest and greatest. It’s another book that seems to clash with Scripture but which we are all supposed to just accept because the authors say it’s true. “In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex—and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. “I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,” a friend told the stricken dad. But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all . . . Of meeting and talking to Jesus. The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven is the true story of an ordinary boy’s most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex’s eyes, you’ll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father’s love.”

A few quick hits: