Book Review: The Last Lessons of Christ: Living by Faith in an Age of Despair by Andrew Gilmore and Daniel Sweet (four stars)
“Your attitude is the driving force for kingdom-centric living. You must develop a sacrificial, selfless disposition to make an impact on the world.”
A better-than-average study based on the next-to-the-last week of Jesus’s life, as reported in the Gospel of Luke. Gilmore and Sweet take the chapter apart in (mostly) chronological order to show how Jesus was preparing his disciples for his coming death. And the start of their ministry.
“But too many Christians believe faith ends at salvation when it’s just the beginning. You’re called to walk in faith daily.”
Each chapter is a stand-alone lesson, which encourages readers to read one then meditate on it for a day or a week.
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” St. Francis of Assisi
Lots of good references and quotes.
“Few of us will have to face martyrdom, but God is calling us daily to walk in faith, to live in step with the Spirit, to do something uncomfortable for the sake of the kingdom.”
Book Review: The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer (five stars)
To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.
“The Pursuit of God is the enduring Christian classic written by renowned pastor and theologian A. W. Tozer.” For a change, the cover blurb is correct, though Tozer might have quibbled with the label theologian.
The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.
Published in 1948, this book reverberates with contemporary import. Tozer cuts to the quick of the malaise infecting modern Christians and the modern church. It identifies and prescribes for exactly what is ill in believers today.
If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face.
Book Review: The Veil: An invitation to the Unseen Realm by Blake K. Healy (Five Stars)
Seeing in the Spirit is all but worthless if you can’t hear the voice of God.
This book was “written by a Christian targeted at Christian about a Christian topic.” It will make little sense to non-Christians and even many Christians. An experiential-based discussion of Healy’s gift and how it offers a closer walk with God for those who seek it.
Knowing who God says you are is just as important as knowing who God is.
Purely on the level of communication, this book surpasses ninety percent of Christian theology and literature. Even non-believers will understand most of what Healy is saying even if they don’t think as he does.
You need the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life for everything. Without it anything can be twisted, but with it anything can be redeemed.
He includes several chapters on practical aspects of obtaining seeing and dealing with blockages, and closes with a helpful appendix of biblical references, but his decision to keep his text conversational increases the potential that the reader will understand and receive his message.
Seeing isn’t a privilege; it’s your destiny.
Book Report: Don’t Waste Your Sorrows: New Insight Into God’s Eternal Purpose for Each Christian in the Midst of Life’s Greatest Adversities by Paul E. Billheimer
Four Stars out of Five
An amazing book, first published in 1977, which addresses the most vexing issue of modern Christains, “Why do good people suffer?” Billheimer’s answer, simply, is that’s how people grow spiritually. Not seeking the easy path. Not awards or riches, but perseverance through sorrow and suffering grows character.
He offers support from the Bible and historic and contemporary (for his time) Christian sources. (Billy Graham is cited. His place in the American Christian community much the same forty years ago as today.) Most of Billheimer’s exposition is logical, straight-forward and easy to follow. Slightly repetitive, but that fits with the teaching character of the book.
Those of other faith or non-faith communities will find it opaque. More a teaching than a devotional reading, but worthwhile for Christians.