Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Christian NonFiction Review: The Case for a Creator Student Edition

This is the last of the four Lee Strobel books I will be reviewing for now. I hope to read their adult counterparts eventually. Each book has put forth a case for faith, a case for a creator, a case for Christ and a case for the real Jesus.

"The Case for a Creator Student Edition" lays the foundation for what can become a very complicated and science-centered search for proof. Strobel does a great job of giving the basics, the improbability of our life-centered universe, the evidence for a big bang, what fossil records say and more. He provides quotes from scientists, seeking to show that the evolution way is not necessarily the scientific way. Strobel even exposes a few misconceptions and falsities about common proofs given for Darwinism. Since it is the student edition, the book even includes obvious definitions of terms some readers may need clarified. There are other sidebars (not the easier to read in e-format) included, as well.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Christian Nonfiction Review: The Case For Christ Student Edition

"The Case for Christ" had more reliable sources than I remembered from when I read the book as a teenager (Christian vs. NonChristian sources, etc). Journalist Lee Strobel's original book covers proof for the empty tomb, the resurrection, Jesus' identity as the Messiah, the possible "methods" (as skeptics would posit) of Jesus and His disciples and more. The information in the Student edition is split into easy to follow columns and side notes. This is a good beginners book. I would have liked to have seen more information on the reliability of the Bible, however, since Strobel's arguments depend a great amount on its truth. I did, however, enjoy Strobel's points on the difference between the Telephone Game and Textual Criticism.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Christian Fiction Review: Truth Be Told

The story develops slowly, and there isn't much to the mystery or its development, but Carol Cox does a wonderful job of developing the relationships of characters in her novel "Truth Be Told." After her father dies and her mother marries another man, Amelia is left with the family newspaper and a pile of notes that don't make sense, but point to foul dealings. Enter Ben Stone, employee of the company in question and handsome bachelor. What begins as a defense of his company leads to new discoveries and a suspenseful finale. Cox's writing style is pretty straightforward. When she does attempt to bring out a metaphor the result tends to feel awkward and out of place. Her Christian themes also feel thrown in. But all and all she writes well. Well enough to make this reader finisher her book in just two days!

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Christian NonFiction Review: Lee Strobel's The Case For Faith Student Edition

In my last review of a Lee Strobel student edition, I wrote that the material did not see targeted at or simplified for a student audience. Such is not the case with Strobel's book on Faith. This book addresses very basic (and very few) philosophical questions such as why pain and evil exist. The format is dumbed down for a younger audience, reaching fewer than 90 pages and include a lot of sidebars. Personally, I think that as a young person I could have handled more, and would have wanted more than what is provided in this student edition. There isn't much new to read here. The answers provided are short and incomplete. This is a book for the real beginner with not a lot of time to spare for reading. More for pre-teens than for teens or young adults.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Christian Nonfiction Review: The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel

I read "The Case for Faith" when I was younger and found it lacking in sources, particularly from the opposition. The student edition of "The Case for the Real Jesus" (not to be confused with "The Case for Christ") seems to a better job with this, or perhaps my memory serves me incorrectly. In any case, I appreciated that author Lee Strobel quoted from skeptics in his interviews. I would like to see him interview those skeptics, or get their responses to the answers presented in Strobel's books on the defense of Christianity. But at least the people he interviews have solid credentials and even experience working with the ancient texts that disagree with the Bible.

The contents of "The Case for the Real Jesus" could easily be split up and put into their own full-length books. Strobel deals extensively with support for the Bible's authenticity, for example. Let's see a "Case for the Old and New Testaments" next, eh? Other topics include Jesus' resurrection (dealt with extensively in another Strobel book), whether Christianity copied other religions, whether or not Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament, and Relativism in the modern age.

It's an easy ready (although my e-book review copy had a lot of format issues) and provides plenty of information I hadn't read before, but I would still like to see him do a more extensive treatment of topics like the Gnostic gospels.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Christian Nonfiction Review: Know the Heretics - Justin S. Holcomb

Justin S. Holcomb gives just the right amount of overview in his book "Know the Heretics." He provides a bit of history, a bit of false doctrine, and a bit of orthodox response, with suggested readings and good discussion questions at the end of each chapter. It also keeps in mind the clear strand of Orthodox Christian belief dating back to the original apostles. Although the history and key players in each of the heresies can be a bit confusing and difficult to follow or remember, the book is definitely one to put one the shelf for reference. I was originally concerned about the book's reliability, as I have no idea what Holcomb's personal beliefs are within the Episcopal church, but the Orthodox beliefs presented stay true to traditional Christianity. No new heresies to report here. :) I'd very much like to read Holcomb's companion book on the Church councils and creeds.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.