Showing posts in 'Book Reviews'

Book review: Caring for a Loved One with Cancer

Richard John | August 19th 2013

This is an unusual book. It has daily thoughts, usually just one page, sometimes with a well-chosen Bible text, giving 50 practical ways to care for a loved one with cancer.

The author, June Hunt, is an American who has herself suffered from cancer and experienced the blessing of family and friends rallying around to give specific, practical help, who herself now joins with others to help care for loved ones with cancer.

June is founder of Hope for the Heart, a worldwide biblical counselling ministry and a half-hour radio broadcast of the same name, and is also the author of numerous books and devotionals.

Each day she shares at least one tip from her own experience as to how to express practical care – on pain relief, physical comfort, stimulating the mind and senses, where to seek medical advice etc. There is a tremendous variety of ideas given, many extremely creative - or just simple, but excellent.... continue reading


Book review: Will you be my Facebook friend?

Richard John | June 18th 2013

It was an embarrassing moment. “It’s gone out on Twitter and Facebook” said our blog editor. Having been (I admit it) rude about those who regularly use social media, I was rather astonished to find that my first book review for the Good Book Company blog had also gone out on social media – and had, within a few minutes, been read by folk in South Africa and the U.S.A.!

This led me to a more considered response (!).

Twitter has done much good in exposing what is really happening in Iran, the Arab Spring countries and Syria, for example, and reading Tim Chester’s little book, Will you be my Facebook friend?, has been very helpful in reflecting upon the positive and negative sides of YouTube, emails, Facebook and Twitter etc.... continue reading


Book review: Hero

Laura Amatt | June 12th 2013

I’d been praying for a chance for months. A chance to share my faith with this guy I saw each week after church. But when the opportunity finally arose, I ended up talking about brownies instead of the Bible! And as I left the room I knew I’d blown it. I’d completely messed up.

Ever felt like that? Useless? Utterly unprepared? It’s not pleasant. But at some point in our lives – in school or at home, in relationships or at work – all of us will discover how truly weak we are.

And that’s what Hero (UK and US) is about. Author Jonty Allcock shows how God uses and equips weak people to bring about his great plans with a famous account from the book of Judges.... continue reading


Book review: Dealing with Depression

Richard John | April 3rd 2013

It was after the Sunday evening service. My (then) minister asked me if he could have a chat with me. He sat me down and said, “Richard, I think you have clinical depression”. As he is one of my best friends, this got my attention!

I had been feeling very low for a year, and knew the reason why - but then we all feel like that sometimes, don’t we? –yet, that I had ‘clinical depression’ had never occurred to me.

My pastor told me of two other people at church who were clinically depressed (which was very helpful, as we could compare notes), said that medication had helped them both, and suggested I saw my GP (which I did).

All this led me to start reading Christian books on the subject, to try to understand better what I was experiencing, and how to cope with, and hopefully come through, the depression.... continue reading


Book review: Every Good Endeavour

Tim Chester | December 7th 2012

Most people sitting in the pews of our churches on a Sunday morning spend more time in the workplace than anywhere else. Yet we can too easily make following Christ a matter of personal devotions and church activity. The nine to five routine becomes irrelevant to my Christian life. The result is a huge hole in our discipleship. It’s this hole that Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, seeks to fill in his latest book, Every Good Endeavour: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World.

It’s divided into three parts which correspond to creation, fall and redemption. Keller powerfully demonstrates the significance and dignity of work in the Bible story. His exposition of Luther’s understanding of work is a highlight, especially the link between justification by faith and the dignity of work. Work is not incidental to following Christ. He then explores the frustrations of work and its potential dehumanizing effects. He is, as fans of Keller might expect, particularly strong on the idolatries of work. The final part shows how the gospel gives us a new understanding of work. We have both a new story (so our work is shaped by a biblical worldview) and a new power for work. One of the most helpful sections is Keller’s exposition of common grace which enables him to value the contribution of unbelievers and steer us away from life in a ghetto.... continue reading


How to give a book review

Helen Thorne | November 30th 2012

So you’ve been asked to give a book review. A 5-minute slot in the service is yours. The task before you is to enthuse, encourage and inspire the congregation to get stuck into some reading that will help in their walk with the Lord. But what to say? Here are our top tips on how to review a book.

1. What’s it called and who’s it by?

It may seem obvious but I’ve sat through incredibly enthusiastic reviews of books whose titles never gets mentioned! So make sure both the name of the book and author are clear. After all, we want people to remember what they’re being encouraged to read. It’s a good idea to try to have an image of the cover up on screen when you’re speaking too.... continue reading


Book review: Enough

Richard John | November 16th 2012

You could have heard a pin drop, an hour had flown by unnoticed and we did not wish her to stop. The speaker was Helen Roseveare, former missionary in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. We were all on the edge of our seats - and it was the same each of the three times I have heard Helen speak.

Captured, and abused by a rebel soldier, in the Simba rebellion (1960-1964), Helen’s searing honesty and utter dependence on God in her darkest moments, gripped us then in her talks and has done so since in her books, of which Enough is her eighth currently in print.

As a boy, Helen was one of the first real-life missionaries I ever met: she seemed 6 feet tall, and I looked up to her in both senses! – and I, in my mind, put her on a pedestal. But, once again, in this her latest book, we benefit from her honesty, doubts, fears, perplexity and failures in life – as well as her experience of God’s forgiveness, leading and grace. As always, we can identify with Helen as a real person like us, and she applies Scripture perceptively, with helpful illustrations from her own long experience (she is now 87).  

Book review: The Hole in Our Holiness

Andy Kinnaird | October 10th 2012

There has been much written about holiness over the years. From the early church Fathers onwards, there has been a call for the church to be holy. So why is there are a need for yet another book on the subject?

Here's two reasons:

  1. Liberalism has diluted the call to be holy
  2. The current culture needs to have its thinking shaped by what it means to be holy

Kevin DeYoung sees the need for us as a 21st century people, living in the body of a Western 21st century church, to grab holiness by the scruff of the neck and shine it into our lives.... continue reading


Book review: Just Love

Alexa Burstow | June 8th 2012

If you're looking for a short book on the justice and the compassion of God, maybe this is the one for you ... We're going to be doing a great deal on it this weekend so do check back later today!


Book review: Don't Waste Your Cancer

Richard John | May 22nd 2012

The author of this gem of a booklet pastors Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, U.S.A. John Piper is a thought-provoking, prolific, sometimes provocative, but always Bible-centred, author.

I’d come across his book Don’t Waste Your Life, but the title of this booklet stopped me in my tracks - Don’t Waste Your Cancer…?! This grabbed my attention (as intended!).

If we are really honest, our immediate reaction to the word cancer is always negative, and probably everyone reading this either knows someone who has got, or has had, cancer – or has experienced it themselves.... continue reading

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