Book Review – Forever: Why You Can’t Live Without It by Paul David Tripp
Typical Tripp – Christ-Centered, Biblical, and Immensely Practical
If you have ever asked yourself questions like: Why is it so hard to find satisfaction? Why is it so hard to find a good relationship? Why do I keep getting myself more and more into deeper debt? Why does it seem like life keeps getting more difficult? Why am I suffering so much? And many other questions like these – than this is a fantastic book for you.
Paul Tripp writes with theological acumen, numerous biblical examples, brilliant illustrations, and practical insights in showing how we were made for eternity and that we need to factor in our lives the fall and the future in order to live in the now. Our current life is simply preparation for our ultimate destination. He shows how we typically view current realities without an eternal perspective and how devastating these consequences are and then shows on the flip side how we were designed to live with Christ at the center of all of life and how living with a forever mindset has gracious overtones leading to great peace and joy.
Tripp delineates specifically how having an eternal mindset makes a substantial difference in our lives in our relationship to God, those closest to us, at work, in our priorities, etc.
I highly recommend this book as “must” reading and an excellent choice to give as a gift to those who are disillusioned, deceived, discouraged, and without hope in this life. The gospel is clearly articulated here over and over in masterful brilliance shows how Christ is our only satisfaction in the now and how all our dreams will be satisfied in eternity through a personal relationship with Him.
Book Review: Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons by R.C. Sproul
Good Introduction to Heaven, Hell, Angels, and Satan
Eminent Pastor, Writer, and Theologian R.C. Sproul has written a very helpful book addressing the “uncompromising supernaturalism at the heart of the Christian worldview.” The stated purpose of Sproul in this book is to provide a “brief tour through the Bible’s teachings in regard to heaven and hell, angels and demons [in order to] bolster your faith in Scripture’s teachings regarding the supernatural.”
Sproul Writes on the Supernatural in Four Parts:
Part One: Heaven – Using Key Passages of Scripture, personal anecdotes, and keen observations from theologians and philosophers – Sproul makes a biblical case for the realities of an objective material place called Heaven reserved for those who have been justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In these four chapters Sproul appeals to those things that we all long for – a permanent and secure home, no more pain, and perfect relationships with others and with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Part Two: Hell – In four compelling chapters Dr. Sproul gives an excellent Biblical case for the existence of a literal place where God’s judgment is executed with perfect justice by a God who of necessity because of His Holiness must punish the sin, and refusal to repent of the unrighteous who have refused to submit to the Lordship and salvific offer of the gospel through Jesus Christ.
Part Three: Angels – In five interesting chapters R.C. addresses the nature, character, and purpose of angels and how they interact with God and humanity.
Part Four: Satan – In the final two chapters of the book Dr. Sproul addresses how Satan is our adversary and how he deceives believers and non-believers.
R.C. has written a very helpful book and answers a lot of questions that Christians are asking about the supernatural. In a skeptical culture – it is important for us to be reminded of what God has said, and that He doesn’t lie. His truth stands forever, and it is of the uttermost importance that we understand the significance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and that our trust in his atoning death on our behalf is our only hope to experience the wonderful realities that await those who have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Also, the warnings of this book and the importance of what awaits those who reject Christ – must be headed so that through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ hope may be yours.
I recommend this book as a good introduction to these topics, and an excellent summary of the clear teachings of the Bible with reference to the unseen realities that exist now and are a part of everyone’s future. I believe that what Sproul has written is cogent, Biblical, practical, helpful, and matters for eternity.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Christian Focus Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Book Review: Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
Why Should You Bother to Read This Book? 3 Reasons:
1) We live in a cultural and theological environment that wants to shape our own God – rather than believe in the God that has been revealed in the Scriptures as both Holy and Loving.
2) We need to be balanced in our thinking of the character and nature of God as revealed in the Bible – He is just and loving, so how do these two aspects of God’s character work with respect to the here and now, and on into eternity.
3) We need to develop the heart of God for people who don’t know Him intimately and personally through Jesus Christ.
Chan and Sprinkle have written a compelling and cogent book that is logical, exegetically sound, and pulls at the intellect and the emotions to lead us to action in the pursuit of understanding what God is like, and being like Him for the sake of redeeming and restoring our culture – God’s way! I highly recommend this book as one that will help you grow in your understanding in the character and nature or God and mankind and what God’s plans are for the immediate present, and the fast approaching future through the person and work of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.
Book Review: God Wins by Mark Galli
The Antidote to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”
Mark Galli is uniquely qualified as a journalist, historian, pastor, and leadership expert to write this cogent reply to “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. In this short book that covers the same territory as “Love Wins,” I couldn’t help but think that God was so pleased with Galli’s treatment of the same material. It was charitable, exegetically sound, and God glorifying. I found myself thinking about how great our God is as I turned each page. As a matter of fact – the song “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin kept popping up in my mind as I was reading this book.
The Way Mark Galli Breaks this Book Down is as Following:
Chapter 1: The Really Important Question – In this chapter he discusses the importance of asking good questions and addresses some of the most important questions and answers that we need to be asking in the 21st century. His key point is that until we comprehend the nature and character of God that all of our questions are a “chasing after the wind.”
Chapter 2: Who Is This God? – A Brief Biblical Theology of the character and nature of God. He includes an excellent discussion of how to have our joy and satisfaction in God.
Chapter 3: Becoming One Again – An exceptional discussion of how the atonement of Christ is the perfect solution to seven deadly realities that all humans face before a Holy and Perfect God.
Chapter 4: The Wonder of Faith – What God has done for us in Christ and what our response should be toward His provision for us.
Chapter 5: The Point of Heaven – A very good summary of a God focused (not activities focused or man-centered) Heaven as detailed in the Scriptures.
Chapter 6: Hell and Judgment – Excellent exegetical discussion of these two topics.
Chapter 7: The Bad News: Universalism – Very good historical and biblical discussion of the issues related to those inside and outside of a relationship with Christ.
Chapter 8: The Victory of a Personal God – Brings the whole book together and concludes: “The God of Scripture is fuller, richer, deeper, and more real than the picture painted in “Love Wins,” and that God invites us to know him as he truly is.”
Appendix 1: Discussion Guide – Well done guide: it includes a key verse for each chapter; some key ideas and questions based on the key ideas from the chapter; and some key Scripture passages to read and discuss to bring clarity to each topic of discussion.
Appendix 2: Further Reading – Galli recommends a few books in the following categories: on the Atonement; Faith; Grace; Heaven; and Life in God.
Appendix 3: Charitable Engagement – Great advice here on how to engage with people that hold different opinions than you do – worth repeating here:
1) Try to listen carefully, and read and reread their arguments.
2) Listen in particular for the motive.
3) Aim to use the Bible as a guide to discern the truth of the person’s argument – and of your own argument.
4) Disagree with ideas, not with the person.
5) Be teachable.
6) Try to apply the truths of Scripture not merely as you understand them but as the historic church has held them.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I will be using it in a small group setting and I hope that this book receives a wide reading to reflect on the incredibly important topics of eternal significance that have been brought to the forefront of thinking biblically in order to impact culture for God’s glory and the supremacy of Christ.
The World’s Theology and Where it Leads
“The world’s theology is easy to define – man is basically good – no one is really lost – Jesus is not necessary for salvation… Hell is full of human righteousness.” – James Montgomery Boice