Thursday, June 5, 2014

Non-Fiction Tyndale Books I Have Read

What are some non-fiction Tyndale books that I have read & reviewed?

30 Days to a More Beautiful You by Kylie Bisutti...This is a devotional written for girls by former Victoria's Secret runway model Kylie Bisutti. Each day starts with a verse, has a short devotional thought, has a couple of introspective questions, and ends with a true beauty tip. She is very open about her life, including her mistakes. The devotional was a little vague at times, but I only knew that from reading her other book "I'm No Angel." I would recommend this book to teenaged girls, but it's a little too mature for younger girls (in my opinion). If you had a daughter, you might want to read this devotional with her and discuss it, because, once more, it might help. Overall a good devotional.

I'm No Angel by Kylie Bisutti...This book takes you through Kylie Bisutti's modeling career and relationship with God. Sometimes I found her words to be a little too descriptive for my comfort, but she's describing the lingerie modeling world.

Praying the Attributes of God by Ann Spangler...Other books by Ann Spangler have grown my faith and knowledge of God and this one did as well. Each week you focus on a different attribute of God & where in Scripture you can read about it.

The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Alex Malarkey, Kevin Malarkey...The book is amazing. It describes a family’s car accident & how God turned something horrible into something that brought Him glory. It is an intense read, but it is a faith booster.

Appointments with Heaven by Reggie Anderson, Jennifer Schuchmann...It’s an interesting book, but not for children or the immature, due to adult themes. A lot of his experiences aren’t paralleled in the Bible, which makes me wary of accepting his experiences. This book has a lot of hinting to future events in the author’s life, but you still have to wait for the event to show up in his story to know what he meant. I do consider parts of the book to be heretical words designed to comfort. The author assures the reader confidently that saved people who commit suicide still go to heaven & I think this is a murky gray area. The author may not mean to offer false hope, but when it comes down to it, he is saying what people desperately want to hear and believe, not necessarily what can be verified through the Scriptures.

While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry, Denise George...This is a powerful book. It’s difficult to read, because it presents an ugly part of American history. It doesn’t exactly follow a chronological order, but it flows well. Snippets of speeches of the day are included, but they sometimes are repeated. It is clearly presented within it's historical context & it teaches a powerful message of forgiveness.

What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me? By David Platt...This is a short booklet (3 whole chapters, plus the introduction & conclusion) to challenge Christians to follow Jesus. It examines what it means to follow Jesus today. His book challenges us to live totally for Christ, instead of marginally for Him. We are encouraged to trust Christ to change our affections. Platt discusses the changes that should be present in a Christian’s life, the differences between the old life and the new life. It ends with self-examination to test if we are a follower of Christ. I did wish Scripture references were given so we could study on our own. He defines “Christianese” terms in clear language.

Antelope in the Living Room is a decent book by Melanie Shankle. The storyline jumped around a lot & her book mainly focused on the mundane rather than the spiritual, but all in all, it was a decent read.

If I had Lunch with CS Lewis by Alister McGrath hopes to summarize Lewis’ work on 7 themes. It’s sometimes a bit difficult to separate Lewis’ quotes with the author’s thoughts & summaries. I listened to the audio book, so I couldn’t see the quotes or headings. The topics are more complex than light reading. It is sometimes repetitive & at other times it is too intellectual. A good grounding in Lewis’ works would make this book more interesting. An interesting book, but not life-changing for me.

Raw Faith by Kasey Van Norman is a difficult book to read because of the topic (cancer), but it is also an encouraging book to read because of the topic (true, raw faith). It dredges up my family memories of hospitals & sicknesses, but I kept reading to learn more about her faith. This book is raw & real, complete with excerpts from her journals. Her book is immersed in the Word teasing out spiritual truths, but I’m not sure which translation is used.

The Well-Played Life by Leonard Sweet was a huge disappointment. After reading 40 pages of the 262 page book, I was finally through the introduction. Sweet’s book is overly-complicated and confusing. The quotes by famous people that are put in sidebars don’t flow well with kindle format, sometimes going over 3 pages with ordinary text alongside it. The author throws around Latin (I think) & coined words from another book he wrote. I got this book because I was excited about its premise, but I returned it because it was a difficult & slow read.

Sinner's Creed by Scott Scapp with Diavid Ritz is a powerful testimony. He doesn’t hide his struggles & failures, but neither does he glorify them. He explains factors leading to his decisions without using them as excuses. He quotes his songs throughout the book & presents them at the end. I didn’t care for the demonology presented in the book. It was a hard story to read, but it was beneficial.

A Life of Miracles by Jon Schulze is a decent but, but there are parts that have bad theology. Moses never *longed* to shepherd God’s people, but Schulze claims he did. Schulze is open with his life & errors. I read this book hoping for wisdom & clarity in understanding how to follow God, but while this book was interesting (albeit self-centered with bad theology), it didn’t help me in my goal.

 Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon was frustrating to read. It’s about her son who went blind due to cancer, but learned to see by clicking. The first part of the book is just her story, not her son’s, & she has bad theology (God will “never put more on [her] than [she] could bear.”) She tries to rely on her own strength through her self-inflicted or random ordeals. The author ignored the doctors’ instructions on caring for her son with cancer time & time again. I stopped reading this book at the 25% mark because the author frustrated me so much.

What are you afraid of? by David Jeremiah is an interesting book. The author knows his Bible verses & writes on common fears. He sometimes presents scholarly opinion as fact & looks too deeply into stories to make his point. It was a little lengthy & wordy in my opinion. An intriguing concept, but it didn't captivate my mind.

Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker is EPIC. Read it. Right now. Seriously. It is strongly rooted in the Bible with a lot of challenging food for thought. This is the best book I’ve read in Tyndale’s Summer Reading Program.

Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot by Kurt W. Bubna is an interesting book, even if the author does have a tendency to overuse the phrase “epic grace.” He is real & open with his past mistakes & lessons learned. It wasn’t life-changing for me, but it was a good read. There’s a discussion guide at the end, but it would have been nice to read the questions at the end of each chapter.

Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough by Kristen Welch is a WONDERFUL book. It is real. It is captivating. It gave me a lot to think about & wrestle with God over. Each chapter ends with self-reflection questions. I recommend this book.

Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry by Perry Noble is full of practical advice & relevant Bible stories, especially Daniel & Job. It is real with lots of stories the author experienced. A nice book.

Impact Player is a memoir by Bobby Richardson. While God is mentioned from time to time, I found to book to be too technical. It contained too much unexplained baseball jargon & tends to get bogged down with the details (especially the numbers).

Game On: Find Your Purpose – Pursue Your Dream by Emmitt Smith concisely summarizes step-by-step ways to live out your purpose. God is present in his story & while he mentions his achievements, it’s not in a bragging manner. It’s a nice book.

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