Posts Tagged ‘Randy Alcorn’
Book Review: We Shall See God
By: Randy Alcorn Publisher: Tyndale ISBN: 9781414345543
I’ve had a couple of weeks to spend with this latest devotional book by Randy Alcorn, We Shall See God: Charles Spurgeon’s Classic Devotional Thoughts on Heaven. I haven’t read the entire book cover to cover, but my impressions thus far are good. While Charles Spurgeon’s printed works abound, I am not overly familiar with them and have never spent any length of time with his sermons or commentaries. This devotional book has provided me the opportunity to get a glimpse of his writing style and theology. I can say that up to this point I have enjoyed what I have read and been challenged to think over certain passages of Scripture in ways that I may not have previously considered. I am grateful for the style in which this little book as been compiled that it provides me a snapshot of a large volume of work in very manageable portions.
Considering the way the book has been compiled, the book is a devotional tool and is set up to be read over the course of fifty days. It could certainly be read in a shorter time frame, but that would not allow for serious reflection over the topics and themes shared in each day’s message. Personally, I think it is worth the effort and time to not only read the message, but to give attention to what is being said; meditation and reflection help to get the most out of each devotional exercise. I also appreciate the introductory notes that precede every devotion. Alcorn includes the title of every sermon that has been excerpted and its number from Spurgeon’s archive. Additionally, where there are explanatory details about the sermon, those have been included as well. I find these extremely helpful as an extra resource should I desire to pursue more study from a particular sermon.
This devotional book is centered on Spurgeon’s sermons about Heaven. The author, Randy Alcorn, has also published a comprehensive work on the subject of Heaven and includes his insights, comments, and thoughts at the conclusion of each devotional. I found the convergence of Spurgeon’s old with Alcorn’s new refreshing and relevant. I am appreciative of the side-by-side views and how complimentary they are at times.
I think this book meets its goals: it stirs thoughts about heaven, it shares timeless truths of God’s Word as preached by one of modern history’s most gifted preachers, and it reveals contemporary relevance of those sermons via commentary from Randy Alcorn who has proven through his own research and writing to be a respected authority and teacher on this Biblical subject.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
- Title: If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
- Author: Randy Alcorn
- Publisher: Multnomah Books
- ISBN-10: 160142132X
I must admit, this one caught me completely off guard. Before I explain, let me say that I have not read cover-to-cover If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn, but I have had the time to get very acquainted with it. In my opinion, this book is monumental. I am aware of the many books that have been written on the topic of God, evil, and suffering; however, I have yet to come across one that is as broad, deep, and still conversational at the same time as this one.
As a pastor, I think this book can be (and should be) recommended for any congregational care leader and any person struggling with the questions of God and evil. I think it should also be a ready resource for the pastor-counselor. The way the book is written; topical and conversational, it would make a great small group study and it could probably serve quite well in the role of textbook for the Bible student or seminarian…it’s that good.
Did I say I love the layout and order of the book? Oh, and I said it caught me off-guard. No disrespect to Randy Alcorn, but I wasn’t expecting such an exhaustive work when I was invited to review the book. It is extremely well organized and extensively documented with scripture references, bibliographical citations, and a very thorough scriptural and topical index. I love that Alcorn gives as many sides (or the most popular arguments) to the debate as possible with each topic discussed. I think it helps to give a more unbiased presentation of the material and still allows the reader to decide.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I think it serves the budding apologist, evangelist, pastor, lay-leader, seminarian, Bible student, curious seeker, and doubter equally well. As much as it might be a reference book, it can also be read casually as one would a novel. I think it is a rare thing for a book to have both qualities, but I think Randy Alcorn has done just that with If God is Good. I don’t think this one is just a “must read;” it’s a “belongs on your shelf.” Thank you Mr. Alcorn, and thank you Multnomah.
I started reading a couple new review books a few days ago; the first book is Experiencing the Spirit by Henry and Melvin Blackaby. The second book is The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. Unfortunately, I have not completed them and do not feel qualified to give them a full review. I promise to provide a full review for each of them in the soon coming days.
Like I said, I started the books, but haven’t finished them…I can say this about Experiencing the Spirit, if parts two and three are anything like part one, this is an awesome book. I recently finished reading Clutter-Free Christianity by Robert Jeffress and just loved what he had to say about spiritual transformation. This book by the Blackaby’s is a hand-in-glove fit and wonderfully affirming companion to Dr. Jeffress’ piece. Here’s a teaser quote from Experiencing the Spirit:
“Recognizing God is not the same as coming to Him. Hearing God is your heart is not the same as answering. Working for the kingdom of God does not mean living in the kingdom of God. Christianity is not believing the truths of the Bible; it’s acting upon them and allowing God control of your life. You must respond to God and make the choice to interact personally with Him.”
That’s good stuff; convictingly, inspiring, challenging, good stuff…and I keep finding page after page of the same. I look forward to being able to share a full review.
I’ve also started the Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn, but have not made my way very far past the introductory chapters. In fairness, I don’t feel prepared to share any comments until I have made my way into the “meat” of the book. As promised above, I will provide a full review within a few days. I have included summary statements from the publishers below. Read the rest of this entry »
I received this book about a week ago after I managed to make the cutoff for a group that had been asked to review it. I am so glad that I responded to the invitation! A Faith and Culture Devotional isn’t just another devotional style reading; I found this out within the first few minutes of scanning through and browsing the book. I’ve read (and continue to read) devotional compilations as a regular part of my spiritual disciplines; these compilations, in my experience, have taken many different forms and styles. The work that has been completed by Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington with the Faith and Culture Devotional follows a very unique approach as they endeavor to help the reader “find God” in the everyday existence that is our spiritual journey through life.
Allow me to share a few specifics; the devotional is bundled in a collection of readings spanning fifteen weeks. The subject and context of the readings are gathered from art, science, life, history, and theology to name just a few, as the subtitle implies. As diverse as the topics and subject matter are, the contributing authors are equally so. The readings are short, probably taking no longer than 5 minutes for even the most deliberate of readers. At the end of each reading follow a few reflective discussion points that serve equally well for the individual or a group. Read the rest of this entry »