Book Review: The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll (Four Stars)

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Book Review: The Grace Awakening: Believing in Grace Is One Thing. Living It Is Another by Charles R. Swindoll

Four Stars

“[The] moralizing and legalizing of the Gospel of God’s grace is a dull heresy peddled to disappointed people who are angry because they have not received what they had no reason to expect.” Richard J. Neuhaus

A rousing call to replace the Pharisee-ism of modern Christianity with the freely-given grace of God. Easy to read and understand.

“Love that goes up is worship; Love that goes outward is affection; Love that stoops is grace.” Donald Barnhouse

Filled with short, pithy thoughts to break our religious bonds and free us to love God and our neighbor.

“[Jesus] is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself. He is beginning, so to speak, to ‘inject’ His kind of life and thought … into you; beginning to turn the tin soldier into a live man. The part of you that does not like it is the part that is still tin.” C. S. Lewis

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Book Review: Hosting the Presence by Bill Johnson (Four Stars)

Book Review: Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda by Bill Johnson

Four Stars

“Someone who celebrates before the answer … is someone who is about to experience the answer. Faith looks ahead and lives accordingly.”

An excellent resource for Christian living. Johnson challenges believers to new levels of surrender and relationship with God.

“Light drives away darkness without a fight. I can’t afford to live in reaction to darkness. If I do, darkness has a role in setting the agenda for my life. The devil is not worthy of such influence, even in the negative. Jesus lived in response to the father. I must learn to do the same.”

Well presented. Logical and forceful. The second half lacked the punch of the first. It’s as if he ran out of message before he had filled the page goal but kept writing.

“So much of the increased favor we get from God is really according to what we’ve done with the favor we already have.”

Book Review: Apostolic Foundations by Art Katz (Five Stars)

Book Review: Apostolic Foundations by Art Katz

Five Stars out of Five.

“There is nothing more opposed to the purposes of God than the well-wishing intentions that men perpetuate out of their own human and religious zeal.”

Remember the “apostolic and universal” phrase in the old creeds? Well, it meant something. Katz explains what and challenges us to apostolic living. Prepare to see yourself, your pastor, your congregation in an unflattering mirror. Brutally honest, yet encouraging.

Well-written, if slightly archaic language. Katz died in 2007, but writes like people spoke fifty years ago.

As is true of the best books I’ve read, as soon as I finished it, I flipped back and started again (with highlighter in hand).

“God will not force upon us the perfect if we are satisfied with the counterfeit.”