Sue Edwards is at it again with her new study on Revelation. Similar to her other studies, this one also provides three levels of study that you can choose from depending on how much time you have to devote to it each week, and the best part is that you can pick a different level each week to best suit your needs.
While a few sections of Revelation are not included (more on that below) I felt that the sections studied were fantastic. She pulls insight not only from the passages of scripture but also brings in other sources to provide further understanding on a book that many do not comprehend.
My only complaint is that this study skips the middle part of Revelation (7 seals, trumpets, etc.). While I understand why she decided to skip these sections, it did feel incomplete in that sense. So if you are looking to study those sections, then this is not the study for you. However, if you want to focus primarily on the “good news” and the messages to the seven churches then I feel you could gain a lot from this study, particularly if you want a study with a varying time commitment to suit your particular time constraints that week.
Revelation - the only book with a promise of blessing to those who read or hear it - is definitely a book that deserves study. If you have chosen to delve into this book, then I recommend Sue Edwards’ guide if you are looking for an overview of Revelation without going into too much detail about the seals and so forth. So don’t be too quick to dismiss Revelation although and instead give it a chance.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this study from the publisher as a part of the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and all excerpts are taken from the study reviewed unless notes otherwise.
“This book is more of an inoculation than a remedy. Its aim is to help us arm ourselves with the truth so that we’re equipped to suffer well when the time comes.” -p.17
Grimmond’s book is a breath of fresh air when it comes to books regarding suffering. He is able to confront the issue of suffering with both reality and grace, and through explaining the trials of suffering, is able to better equip us with the tools we need to be able to suffer well.
Grimmond walks through us through the problem of evil, as well as the way that suffering has shaped our cultural perspective and famous examples of suffering from the Bible (Job, Habakkuk, Paul). Through these examples, Grimmond reveals that suffering and difficulty never come because God is out of control, but rather because He is in control. Suffering will always remain a part of a fallen world.
“He does not need to explain Himself to us. We need to explain ourselves to Him. This is not a comfortable truth, but it is vital that we begin with it if we are to truly understand suffering from God’s perspective.” - p. 51
Termed, “the surprisingly predictable surprise” by Grimmond, suffering should be not shock at all to us. In John, Jesus promises that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33). In fact, throughout Scripture we are told we will face trials of many kinds, and even goes as far as telling us to consider it “pure joy” as it produces perseverance (James 1:2-4). Throughout his book, Grimmond eloquently discuses both suffering and persecution which are seldom addressed together and within the pages of the same book.
This is a fantastic resource for those who are looking for a Scripture-based book on suffering that is thoughtfully produced without leaning too far too one extreme of “our suffering is a direct result of our past sins” or the other of “suffering is a product of the devil over which God has wiped His hands of and has no control.” I recommend this book to everyone looking for a way to cope with suffering, and especially those who are or have experienced suffering, as well as those who are likely to encounter those in their lives who have experienced great loss. Since we all are promised to experience this “predictable surprise”, I recommend picking up a copy now so that when you experience trials of any kind, you will already have a firm foundation on which to stand.
Interview with the Author: Here
Disclaimer: I received this book from Cross Focused Media in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own, and all excerpts are taken from the reviewed book except where noted otherwise.
While nobody plans to mess up his life, the problem is that few of us plan not to. That is, we don’t put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure a happy ending. - page 19
Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5 to be careful how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise men. It is this passage that Andy Stanley chooses to shape his “best question ever” and one that we ought to also consider if we are to be wise. You ready? His best question ever is: “What is the wise thing to do?” As Andy Stanley elaborates, we all too often approach situations that do not have a ” thou shall not” attached as if it is a “thou shalt.” Just because it may be permissible in our culture doesn’t mean that it’s beneficial or God’s best for us.
After discussing how this question is interpreted, Stanley discusses its implications and how it should inform our choices regarding our time, finances, and morality. I really enjoyed this book and believed it to provide an excellent framework through which to evaluate all of our decisions. Stanley does an excellent job defining the question and thoroughly vets all the realms of application. Furthermore, he goes into further detail outlining the question in light of our past experiences, current circumstances, and future hopes and dreams. This book is an excellent read for those looking for guidance in making wise decisions and I would even recommend it for older children (teenagers, young adults) to guide them towards making wise decisions in their youth so that they are able to apply the truths found in this book and avoid some of the mistakes we have made that have all to often turned into regrets.
Read Chapter One
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts and opinions are my own, and all excerpts are from the reviewed book unless noted otherwise.
While a thorough reading of Ruth may liken itself to a movie script for the upcoming summer blockbuster: “God’s Cinderella Story: From Rags to Riches,” it is actually a true story surrounding God’s redemptive love for us all, and serves as a precursor to the one true redeemer: Christ.
This short little commentary on Ruth packs quite a punch. Currid breaks down the book into various sections and begins each with the background surrounding the text, which lays the foundation for the events occurring in the text, and provides understanding for the actions taken. He takes the reader through the full story, elaborating when necessary and somehow manages to fully answer every question as they arise.
This was a great commentary! Currid ensures that all necessary information is given, and presents elaborate detail while remaining succinct. He provides a “Points to Ponder” at the close of each section which were very helpful for solidifying the information from the chapter and for taking it to the next level and applying it to your life. Additionally, I really appreciated that Currid gave all of the viewpoints surrounding a particular issue (ex. Ruth and Boaz at the threshing floor) and shows evidence for and against each of them, instead of just discussing his favored viewpoint.
While I generally liked this commentary, there are a few issues things that may concern other readers. Currid approaches his commentary from a very Calvinist viewpoint. While this didn’t bother me, it could influence others’ opinions of the this book. Additionally, Currid weaves in some asides from various historical figures in an effort to bring home particular points. I found these stories useful in the long run, however, they were sometimes a bit abrupt and broke the flow of the story line at times.
I would recommend this commentary for those who are looking for an introductory commentary that will go a few layers deeper than the study notes found in their Bible, but who might be intimidated by a more exhaustive study fit for theology students.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review as a part of Cross Focused Media’s Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own, and all excerpts are taken from the book reviewed, unless noted otherwise.
”Two kinds of Christians go to work. One says, “I’m a Christian called to serve the Lord as a computer technician.” The other says, “I’m a computer technician who happens to be a Christian.” The first sees the workplace as his calling, and the second sees his faith and his work as coincidental. For the first person, his workplace is his ministry. For the second, his workplace is nothing more than a job. Every committed Christian needs to recognize that he or she is in full-time ministry.” - page 9
Moyer does a fantastic job walking the reader through the actual steps that need to be taken in sharing Christ with a coworker. He provides a great blueprint for an effective method, and encourages you to masterthe method, not to simply memorizethe words. Moyer goes into great detail describing “belief” in a more non-Christian friendly way: trust. I thought that this was extremely helpful, as he later went on the explain that faith (and thus being “saved”) occurs only when we trust in Him alone to save us, not Christ + something else (Christ + good works; Christ + baptism; etc.)
I particularly liked his list of phrases to avoid in conversations such as “invite Jesus into your heart” as well as his emphasis on the fact that trust in Christ is what saves, not the “saving prayer” that is said when one is “saved” or baptism, or any other items. That aside, I feel that the title should read, “Show Me How to Share Christin My Daily Life” as he is quite light on the workplace aspect after the first couple chapters.
This is a great resource for those looking to master a method of evangelism. Moyer lays the ground work for great conversations of leading other to Christ as long as we are willing to “plow and pursue.” However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking for a resource to deal with the workplace environment specifically.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Kregel Publications, in exchange for my honest review. All excerpts are taken from the book reviewed unless otherwise noted, and all the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.