Fiction Review for Bethany House — A Sensible Arrangement

On occasion, we are sent both fiction and non-fiction books to review. This one, from Bethany House, is by Tracie Peterson and is an historical fiction. The following is a copy of the review we wrote on Goodreads. We give it 4 of 5 stars.

For fans of the genre, A Sensible Arrangement is a book that will be well worth their time. Tracie Peterson has written a story with good characters, both main characters and supporting characters. As with all her books, there is always someone who comes to a realization of their need for God. This takes place when they hit rock-bottom in their life and this story is no exception. When one of the characters realizes the impact and hurtfulness of her lying, she begins to understand her sinfulness and comes to repentance and faith in Christ. 
The only quibble would be the way the book ends. It could have ended at the end of the next to last chapter. Instead, it ends focusing on the supporting characters, which could be the set up for a second book to follow. If not, the way it ends is not bad and the author may just have intended to tie up loose ends. 
Favorite quote: “I just thought maybe in the absence of love, that anger had created hate.” “No,” Marty said, shaking her head. “It’s not created anything. It’s left a void.” 
A copy of this book was received by me from Bethany House to review.asatp

Review of Exploring Christian Theology

I conducted a review of Exploring Christian Theology: The Church, Spiritual Growth and the End Times by Nathan Holsteen and Michael Svigel for Bethany House Publishing. I was given a copy of the book to review. This was written for the lay person, not the theology student and was, overall, an enjoyable read. Here is a copy of my review on Goodreads:

This was an interesting theology book. It was written for the average church member who wants to grow deeper in the faith, but doesn’t want to take a seminary theology course. For the audience it was written to, this book does an admirable job, especially in the first part on the church and spiritual growth. The second half of the book, on the end times, was not as clearly written and I fear it will just make people all the more muddled. Overall though, I must say I enjoyed the writing style. It was refreshing to see theology written in a relevant way, with a sense of humor thrown in. As a pastor, I believe that this book would be helpful to any congregation, especially as it would give me (or another pastor) even more opportunities to dialogue with our (my) congregants about why they believe what they believe.

While I have quibbles in some areas (who doesn’t?) I do appreciate the effort they made.The best part about the book? The quotes and shelf space sections where they list a library of books for further study. If this gets more congregants interested in theology I am all for it.

Wednesday’s Book Reviews – 1 Good, 1 Bad

Okay, I admit the second review is quite different than the books I normally review. I don’t know if this makes me a Renaissance man or just an eccentric with eclectic tastes. At any rate, it was a fun read with my daughter and as I get older I cherish those times more and more.

Kicking HabitsKicking Habits by Thomas G. Bandy
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

To say that this book was devoid of any useful gleanings would be inaccurate and unfair. It had two or three useful bits of information. The rest was a mishmash of muddled mumbo-jumbo and pseudo-Christian jargon. Do churches and denominations become tradition bound? Yes. Does that mean all tradition is to be considered stifling and outdated – hardly. Following the advice in this book would lead one to forming a “church” without any biblical standards, no responsibilities from members (actually you would only have attenders because membership is also an addiction churches have) and a Laodicean approach to ministry that is already condemned by Jesus.
I am very disappointed in this book, but more so by the conclusion of churches being transformed into visionary motivators instead of places of spiritual growth according to biblical standards. I definitely do not recommend this as a good read.

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Bunnies Are for KissingBunnies Are for Kissing by Allia Zobel Nolan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter and I love this book. The illustrations are priceless and the story is very cute. My little girl laughed at the bunny waking up, cried at the bunny falling off her bike and smiled as the parent bunnies tucked her into bed. This one has become a bedtime favorite. I also thought the inscription was pretty cool too.

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Wednesday Book Review

Each Wednesday I will try to review a Christian book or two. They may be fiction or non-fiction. I am eclectic in my tastes so the books will run a wide gamut. If you are an author and would like a review of your book posted here, contact me. Today, I have two books to review. The first is The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish. This review has also been posted on Goodreads. The Air We BreatheThe Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book to review from Bethany House. Since this isn't my normal genre to read, I wanted other eyes to look at it also, so my wife was elected. This way, I wouldn't let my biases get in the way. Chrita Parrish writes a book that is full of rich detail, interweaving the stories of three individuals masterfully. The plot line was well thought out and the story kept our attention. The book elucidated many Christian values. Personally, I would have liked a clear gospel presentation given but since the goal of the book wasn't to use it as a witnessing tool, I can't quibble. It is easy to see why this author has won the ECPA Christian Book Award for Fiction more than once. I recommend it as a good read.

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The second book is called God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big-Screen Batman Can Teach Us About God and Ourselves by Paul Asay
God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and OurselvesGod on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves by Paul Asay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well written and thought provoking. I went into the book a bit skeptical, even though I am both a minister and a comic book collector. With Batman being my favorite hero, I was apprehensive about him being forced into some Christian role model/hero. No worries. An extremely engaging book well worth your time to read - it will even give you a lot to think about

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Free PDF Resource Offer Program

In exchange for book reviews, Ta Ethne is offering a free PDF copy of any of our books. This is how the program works. You contact us with your email information and which book you would like to review. You may choose from:

Is Jesus Enough?

The Quest: Changing a Church’s Culture from Missions-minded to Missions-active

A Heart Hungry to Worship

We will send you a PDF copy of any (or all) of these books. In exchange for this, you agree to post a review (within 2 weeks) on at least 2 public forums, one of which will be Amazon.com.  Other suggested sites include Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords or another prominent book review site or blog. In your review, you need to state that you received a free copy of the book to review, in the interest of full disclosure.

After you have posted your reviews, please email us a link to them so we can share it with others. Thank you in advance for helping Ta Ethne resource Christian leaders throughout the world.

The email to claim this offer is drdaveherndon@gmail.com