Book Reviews

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Category / Author Index

The Gospel and Christian Living

Lucado, Max;  In the Grip of Grace
Nee, Watchman;  The Normal Christian Life
Piper, John;  Future Grace

Holy Spirit, Healing

Kuhlman, Kathryn; God Can Do It Again
Lloyd-Jones, D. Martin;  Joy Unspeakable
Mayhue, Richard;  The Healing Promise
Nathan, Rich and Wilson, Ken; Empowered Evangelicals
Synan, Vinson; The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition

Biography

Yancey, Philip; Soul Survivor

Science

Savage, Marshall T.; The Millennial Project

Christian Evidences

Moller, Lennart; The Exodus Case

Reference

Plass, Ewald (compiler);  What Luther Says



Title: 

The Normal Christian Life
Author: Watchman Nee
Publisher: Gospel Literature Service Press, Bombay, India, 1957
Sydney source: Koorong

Watchman Nee was the greatest of China's evangelical teachers in pre-communist China. His partial isolation from the Western church gave rise to an original and refreshing perspective on the gospel and the christian life. This book is based on his lectures on Romans, and covers the themes of justification, sanctification and the Holy Spirit. Return to Author Index.

Title: The Healing Promise
Author: Richard Mayhue
Publisher: Mentor / Christian Focus Publications, UK, 1997.
Sydney source: Koorong

This extraordinary book is both a rigorous evaluation of healing ministries in the 20th century, and an excellent source of biblical teaching on the healing. Unlike many evangelical skeptics, the author believes in healing and includes an amazing testimony from his own ministry. And unlike many pentecostals and charismatics, he has a clear-minded approach and concern for evidence that can only be of benefit to the Kingdom of God. While perhaps not a suitable place to start for a sick person seeking information on healing, I recommend it to pastors and think it deserves a place in any collection of books on the subject. Return to Author Index.

Title: Joy Unspeakable - Tha Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Author: D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, UK, 1995.
Sydney source: Koorong
 
A superb, though at time heavy going, challenge to evangelicals from one of their greatest teachers to rethink traditional arguments which gloss over or deny an experience of the Holy Spirit. At the same time it remains truly Christ-centred. The love of God, rather than specific gifts, is central to this exposition. Interesting opposition of the Tower of Babel and the gift of tongues. Return to Author Index.

Title: The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition - Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century.
Author: Vinson Synan
Publisher: Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 1997.
Sydney source: Koorong

A scholarly, unbiased and insightful history of the movements which from the time of Wesley have sort to recapture the vitality of the christian faith. I found it easy to see that the experience of God has been similar, even if the jargon (or the theology) changes. Instructive for charismatic pastors unfamiliar with their own heritage, and anyone else interested in either the theology of sanctification or the question of whether there are any distict works of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation. Return to Author Index.

 Title: What Luther Says
Author: Compiled by Ewald M. Plass
Publisher: Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, USA, 1994.
Sydney source: The Open Book

Don't have room for Luther's complete works on your bookshelf? Thats a pity, but help is at hand. This one volume compendium of extracts from the works of this spiritual giant is topically arranged and makes very interesting reading. Return to Author Index.

 Title: God Can Do It Again
Author: Kathryn Kuhlman
Publisher: Lakeland, London, UK, 1974
Sydney source: Unknown

Even more inspiring than her earlier work "I believe In Miracles" (which can still be ordered through Koorong), this sequel is less well known, but worth finding. An encouragement to me at a time when I desperately need it, this is a book you won't be able to put down. Kathryn Kuhlman had the most amazing healing ministry of this century. Her books are as source of hope, but the sick should remember that usually the best people to pray for them in an attitude of love, hope, and persevering faith, are those in their own church. Return to Author Index.

Title: Empowered Evangelicals
Author: Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson
Publisher: Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Sydney source: Alan Marshall

This book, if read as widely as I hope, will help break down decades of predjudice between evangelicals and pentecostal-charismatics, taking the best of both traditions into the one church that Jesus calls us to (John 17:20-23). The authors are pastors of Vineyard churches, where pentecostal experiences are understood in an evangelical, Christ-centered theology that sees the kingdom of God has come, but is still to come in its fullness. The tone of the book is positive and honest. Readers of all backgrounds wil be encouraged. Return to Author Index.

"I am excited about Empowered Evangelicals because I believe it will enrich the soul and intellect of those who know God, and yet are hungry for more. My only regret is that it was not available sooner." - John Wimber

Title: The Exodus Case
Author: Lennart Moeller
Publisher: Scandinavia
Sydney source: Koorong, Alan Marshall

What times we must be living in! For decades biblical archaeologists have have looked to the Gulf of Suez for evidence of Moses' crossing of the Red Sea, and found nothing. Finally the late Ron Wyatt, an ameteur archaeologist with a passion for God, understood they were all looking in the wrong place. This book contains amazing colour photos of the remains of pharoahs army on the floor of the Gulf of Aqaba, the eastern branch of the Red Sea! Chariot wheels, overturned chariots, skeletons of men and horses - and the technology can be dated to the 18th dynasty of Egypt, around 1400BC! The findings have been released by Wyatt's widow, and compiled into this scholarly presentation by Swedish scientist Lennart Moellar. The revelations don't end there. The mountain of God has been found in Saudi Arabia where, remarkably, Paul told us it was (Galatians 4:25)! Return to Author Index.

Title: Soul Survivor
Author: Philip Yancey
Publisher: Hodder & Stroughton
Sydney source: Koorong

While not a book for everyone, this latest autobiographal work is for me the most satisfying of all of Philip's books. You can the life story behind earlier works, such as "Disappointment with God", and the christian writers who reinvigorated his faith will give you much to think about. From G. K. Chesterton to Martin Luther King to Russian novelists Leo Tolstoy and Foedor Dostoevsky, a dozen influences in all, this is a remarkable journey.
Return to Author Index.

Title: In the Grip of Grace
Author: Max Lucado
Publisher: Word Publishing
Sydney source: Koorong

For those of you have enjoyed reading Philip Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace", and are wondering what to follow it up with, I recommend this rather different book from Max Lucado. Yancey's book is rather special in that it is dealing with people's stories rather than theology, with grace (or the lack of it) in communities and cultures. In contrast, Lucado's book is an exploration of the dimensions of grace based on theme verses selected from Romans. He begins the book with a parable, and invites us to think about with which character we identify ourselves. The book is worth reading just for its chapter on Romans 8 alone, and its affirmation that "God is for us!"
Return to Author Index.

Title: Future Grace
Author: John Piper
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Sydney source: Koorong

For christians to regain the unity that Christ prayed, a willingness to acknowledge that they may have drifted from the purity of the New Testament gospel is necessary. Though Martin Luther was used powerfully by God to restore to us a clear understanding of God's grace, we cannot complacently conclude that the process of reformation finished with him. One wake-up call for both Protestants and Catholics is the now readily accessible, and digitally searchable, writings of the early church fathers. Other wake-up calls are coming from contemporary writers like John Piper. He does not question the reformation understanding of how we become christians, but he challenges us to think about our the dynamics of our walk with God.

"John Piper's purpose inwriting is to revitalise a decadent Western Christianity that knows only cheap grace and cheap faith. Bible-soaked, God-intoxicated, deeply evangelical, and passionately humane, Piper fills the forgotten dimensions of faith - hope and contentment, stability and sanctity, prizing and praising God - with a master hand. This is a rich and wise book, one to treasure and re-read." - J. I. Packer    Return to Author Index.

Title: The Millennial Project
Author: Marshall T. Savage
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Sydney source: Unknown

An extroadinary blueprint for colonising the solar system and beyond. His detailed plan for transforming Mars into a habitable world is now shared by a growing number of space scientists. If Christ takes longer to return than we expect, the human domain, and along with it the creation mandate, will include at least two planets. This is a secular book, and I include it just for interest. Reasoning strictly on scientific grounds, the author concludes that intelligent life is unique to the earth, and that we have a duty to colonise other worlds. I still believe Jesus will return before his vision gets very far. But its a great read!
 


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