Friday, October 29, 2010

Mornings and Evenings with Spurgeon

As a blogger for New Leaf Press, I recently recieved the daily devotional book, Mornings and Evenings with Spurgeon by Charles H. Spurgeon, edited by Larry and Marion Pierce.  Apparently, Charles H. Spurgeon, well known for his influential sermons and writings, was a pastor who lived in the 1800s, continues to be a well respected classic Christian writer. This devotional book represents a "modern" revision or translation of his original work for today's reader.  Although I personally did not have a difficult time understanding the writing, it is by no means a modern piece of work by today's writing standards in today's society. I believe many readers will struggle to grasp the full meaning of the devotional passages with its formal style of writing.  In contrast to many modern devotional books on the market today which make use of an informal and simple writing style with short passages, this book with its lengthy passages and formal writing style, is not intended for the casual reader, and requires some indepth meditation and thought on the part of the reader. If you can understand that "churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves", (October 28- morning) is just simply a poetic way to say that stingy people who don't pull their fair share in a ministry lose out, then perhaps this is the book for you.  On the other hand, if you would have a difficult time translating the meaning of this statement into modern English, then this book would simply be an exercise in frustration. For anyone with the time to spare, and the attentiveness for an advanced level, traditional classic devotional, this book is perfect and is full of inspiration and deep meaning.  Perhaps relative to the original Spurgeon devotional printed in the 1800s this is a contemporary update. I believe that this book would best be appreciated to those readers  into poetic, traditional Christian literature. As a blogger I recieved this book from New Leaf Press for the purpose of writing a review.

NLT In His Image Devotional Bible

As a blogger for the the Tyndale blogger program, I had the opportunity to review  a modern, yet well known and reliable translation of the bible, The New Living Translation NLT. In particular, this copy of the NLT is the Devotional Bible, In His Image.  Believing in the importance of the Good News of the bible, and having faith that the bible is the word of God to the human race, I feel it is essential that the bible is translated into easy to read language that can be understood by all. It is a grave diservice to prohibit or condemn easy to understand translations of the bible as some cults and religions do. There is no reason whatsoever to maintain the antiquated opinion that only the King James version (or other proprietary or antique versions for that matter) have a monopoly on the word of God. After all the KJV is in of itself a translation. Regrettably, the antique English style of the KJV and many other older translations, although poetic, make it prohibitive for many to read and understand the bible's message. So what's the point of having a bible if one can not understand or appreciate it.
The NLT is among one of many respected modern  English translations. What makes this bible stand out from other NLTs is that this is a devotional bible. Introductory background material and information is also provided before each book as well as within the text. The two tone pages, and the formating make this translation easy to read. This supplimentary material is clearly "set aside" so as to not be confused with the actual bible text. There are  basically enough  one reflection for each day of the year. The only downside to this casual translation is the fact that it may not be as literal as the original texts. I highly reccomend this translation. It is important to keep in mind that the text is somewhat of a paraphrase- a meaning for meaning, rather than a word for word translation. This bible is perfect for reading and for drawing close to the truths of God, but not exactly the best for an indepth theological study.Supplemetal study articles add indepth information for those readers who wish to have more knowledge.  As a blogger I recieved a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review and the opiniosn expressed are my own.

Taking Back Astronomy

I recently had the opportunity to read Jason Lisle's full color astronomy text, Taking Back Astronomy: The Heavens Declare Creation and Science Confirms it, published by Master Books.  I found this book to be quite thorough scientifically.  Scientific theories such as the Big Bang are addressed in great detail, in  contrast to alternate creation theory, which often is overlooked.  Concepts of light speed and the horizon problem are covered. This professionally written book, gives a credible voice to the idea of creation, verses the commonly accepted theories of naturalism. This book puts comlex scientific theories in simply to understand language. Nevertheless for those with indepth background in physics and astronomy, background information is provided.  The issue of alien life and the inconsistencies of the alien life theories are also addressed in a very logical fashion.

There were a few  issues I would like to see addressed in future editions of this book.  Firstly the main title: "Taking Back Astronomy" may appear to be a bit too oppositional to a secular reader.  Rather, I would go with the sub-title as a more suitable title for this book.  While some of the supplimental photos, albeit beautiful and interesting, were somewhat arbitrary placed or the captions were too short or inadequate. Perhaps a reader may wish to have more indepth captions to explain the photos that accompany the text for greater clarity. Most likely these photos were also included to display the incredible beauty and complexity of creation, but for a secular reader, more details should be provided in the caption for each photo- especially for those whithout Ph.D.s in astronomy or physics.  Nevertheless, these issues do not detract from the book overall and I would highly reccomend this book for anyone who as ever thought to question the complexity of the universe and how it came to be. As a blogger for New Leaf Publishers, I recieved this book for the purpose of writing a review.

Truth that Sticks by Avery T. Willis JR. and Mark Snowden

Avery T. Willis JR and Mark Snowden's book, Truth that Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truth in a Teflon World, is a sobering wake up call, highlighting the reality of illiteracy and inattentiveness in modern society.  This book, although intended for church leaders and pastors as an aid in disseminating information about the gosepl message to parishiners and the unchurched masses, provides useful and applicable information to the layman or professional as well.  The information and strategies for disseminating essential information is novel and unique ways need not only be applied to a church, but in any educational or professional areana as well.

The rate of adults competant in literacy in today's modern society is suprisingly low.  According to statistics, most adults have not even read a fiction novel within the past year! Furthermore, the average adult is apparently inacapable of reading a text book or  a piece of literature.  It seems that anything above the reading level of a Sports Illustrated article, The National Enquirer, or a Glamour magazine article is above and beyond tha abilities and attention span of the average American adult!!! While I am sure that it was not the intended purpose of the book, after reading this, I was left feeling quite discouraged and disheartened.  The statistics of illiteracy were an overwhelming wake up call- so much so- that the remainder of the book, was somewhat oversshadowed by the sobering reality of how isolated any literate reader actually is.  Today's society in bombarded with visual, hands on material and special effects that people do not have the attention spans or reading skills for anything that requires their brain cells to be put to work. 

Nevertheless, this book is very useful as there is no sense in denying the new reality. It is therefore more produtive to work with it and not against it, using new techniques that prove to be effective in disseminating knowledge or truth in a world that either rejects or can not absorb  written communication methods.  As a blogger for Navpress publishers I recieved this book for the purposes of writing a review.  The opnions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Gospel According to Jesus

The Gospel According to Jesus, by Chris Seay, published by Thomas Neslson publishers is a response to many common misconceptions about the bible and Jesus, held and perpetuated by many modern, liberal churches today.  In fact the philosophies and teachings of many churches and popular Christian teachers/ preachers have drifted so far from the actual biblical teachers that they bear little if any resemblance to biblical teaching.  For the listeners, without any knowledge of the biblical account of Jesus and the teachings, such indivduals have no basis for comparison to recognise any errors or inconsistencies.  This is a timely book in response to the distorted poular misconceptions that so many have of the bible.  After all, how many of us heard someone claim that Jesus said this or that, or the bible says such and such, when in actuality it does not say what the speaker purports.  I have not yet recieved this book, but I anticipate its arrival.  As a booksneeze blogger I am posting this review.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Becoming a Woman of Simplicity, is the newest volume in Cynthia Heald's series of bible studies from Navpress publishers. To make the most of this book, "all you need is a bible, writing tool and an expectant heart", according to the book. Appropriate for individual or group study, this volume is marketed to be an 11 week bible study course- in which one chapter is covered each week until completeion. As with the other studies in this series each of the 11 chapters covers one aspect or theme concerning the issue of strengthening one's biblical sense of simplicity. For individual study taking 11 weeks to complete this book may be too long; one chapter each day would be a sufficent amount of time to dedicate and to digest the material of each chapter topic. It is not intended that this book be read cover to cover in its entirety in one sitting. It is important that the reader interact/ react to the passages, and questions in order to get the most out of this study. There is room to write down one's thoughts - albeit, not enough room. Perhaps having a journal with extra space would be more appropriate to dedicate enough room to write down thoughtful responses and personal reflections.

 This study guides the reader to her own understanding by providing applicable biblical verses and thoughts for which the reader can reflect upon. The author's own commentary and thoughts are included under the "thoughts from an older woman" passage in each chapter. There is also a "reflection" section as well. Selected quotes from notable Christian writers are included throughout the text of this bible study as well.  As a blogger for Navpress publishers I recieved a free copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

My Creation Bible by Ken Ham

As a blogger for New Leaf publishers I had the opportunity to review the illustrated board book, My Creation Bible by Ken Ham.  Although the word "Bible" is in the title, perhaps a more accurate title would be: "My Creation Story" because the word Bible seems to imply a more complete, children's version of a bible, while this particular book is a brief story about creation. Nevertheless, this unique book was a pleasure to read as well as informative- blending both facts of creation with the bible story as told by the book of Genesis.

The text of this story perfectly covers the basics of the bible's purpose, as well as the Genesis account of creation, the flood and the tower of babel.  The simple cartoon illustrations are just as informative as the text!  For example, illustrations go along with the text, depicting the flying creatures and sea creatures made by God on day five.  Not only are traditional common birds depicted in the illustrations but the extinct Archaeopteryx is depicted as well.  Furthermore, when the creatures of the sea are illustrated, prehistoric sea creatures are depicted side by side, with modern day sea life.  As for land animals, extinct dinosaures are depicted along side modern day mammals. Regrettably, it seems that the "Loch Ness" monster look-a-like does not make it into the ark and is apparently left behind- based on the illustration.

As the animals exit the ark after the flood waters subsided, the reader will see ancient reptillian animals along side the elephants and kangaroos. Underneath the mounds of sediment hills, which apparantly were created as a result of the shifting soils during the flood, various fossil skeletons of prehistoric sea creatures and fish are depicted side by side with ancient extinct reptiles and dinosaurs. This deceptively simple book tells a greater story with the short easy to read passages as well as the illustrations that any child will appreciate and understand.  As a blogger I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A Suitor For Jenny by Margaret Brownley

As a blogger for Thomas Nelson's I had the opportunity to read Margaret Brownley's Rockey Creek Romance series, A Suitor For Jenny. Set in the late 1880s in Rocky Creek, Texas, this book tells the story of young, well-meaning  woman who willingly took on the responsibility for her two sisters after the death of their parents. While the story is well written, with authentic historical details, it would most likely appeal to those readers who enjoy Disney movies and fairy tales with beautiful carefree heroines and happy endings. Basically, this novel is like a grown up version of a fairy tale, where truth and honesty prevail and the ending is always a happy one.
One all too common underlying belief, that is found in many romance novels and fairy tales, as well, is also perpetuated in this book: this story encourages the common antiquated, yet strongly held theme in society that a woman's self worth and value is based on a man rather than her own self worth. A woman's happiness is usually linked to a man and if she happens to be single, it is always her choice, (at least temporarily- until she comes to her "senses"). There is always a suitor around the corner as a fall-back option to provide the heroine with a life of security, whose own life is on hold, as he patiently waits for her approval and acceptance in marriage.

For those who appreciate history, the authentic details of culture and society will be appreciated. This book would be a good choice for any reader who enjoys idealistic, happy romance stories. I recieved a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers and the opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Kingdom Life Alan Andrews, General Editor

The volume, The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, edited by Alan Andrews, by Navpress publishers, is a product of a series of conferences by TACT- Theological and Cultural Thinkers.  This organised group of spiritual and biblical leaders put forth ten seperat yet essential "Elements", crucial to spiritual formation and discipleship.  These elements are divided into theological and process elements, and each has a dedicated essay/ chapter by a selected contributing author.

 Essentialy, this group, TACT, and the book it has produced is a response to the watered-down, ineffective, comprimised churches prevelant in today's American culture.  It recognises that issue of today's modern churches- lack of spiritual growth of its members who passively attend services every week, yet remain stagnant, worldly and materialistic- never progressing from spiritual death and spiritual infancy.  The contributers of this book, recognise the need to spread the gospel message in today's American nculture in a more effective way without comprimising core biblical beliefs.  First and formost is the need to recognise the Kingdom of God, biblically, and what it entails.  This cannot be done without the Holy Spirit. 

This book is somewhat like a catechism, outlining the essential points of christian doctrines: such as the trinity, the reality of sin, the role of suffering,  drawn from the bible, which are essential to discipleship.
This intended audience of this book are pastors and church leaders, but any serious bible believer may appreciate and  benefit from this book as well.  As a blogger for Navpress publishers I recieved this book for free for the purpose of writing this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Disclosure of Material Connection:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these book(s) free from NavPress and/or Thomas Nelson, etc... 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."

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges is an indepth study into the biblical definition of the expression, holiness.  The word- holiness- itself, brings to mind many stereotypical ideas into the common mind, such as the hypocritical holiness of the pharisees in Jesus' day or the modern day, self- righteous hyporcite that is all too common in today's society.  Or perhaps, an image of a stern, nun in a black habit, or a peacful, draped monk, engaged in meditation may come to mind.  This book dispells the popular misconceptions of what society percieves holiness to mean, and brings to life the biblical and practical meaning of holiness.  Deeply based on biblical scripture, this book is a study into what the bible describes as holiness, showing the reader that it is not an unattainable attribute, but rather something that each of us, as believers, are called to pursue.  Unlike so many biblical commentaries or studies, you will not find too many personal anecdotes to obscure the book's purpose.  This book is direct and to the point with very little extraneous detail.  For anyone who has the desire and the attention span to spend some thoughtful time, into studying what the bible really has to say on the subject of holiness, this is the book for you.  As a blogger for Navpress, I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Quit by Geri Scazzero with Peter Scazzero

I Quit: Stop Pretending Everything is Fine and Change Your Life by Geri Scazzero with Peter Scazzero, published by Zondervan publishers is an effectively written, yet simple to read self help/ self improvement book.  In otherwords, this is a social skills book for any adult whether he percieves himself to be normal or is honest and  openly acknowledges his or her adjustment and/ or self esteem issues.  This is suitable reading for any adult who missed out and never had the opportunity to take a life skills class in their school days. The book is well written, and effectively pinpoints as well as addresses commonly found adjustment issues and self defeating behaviors.  This book is blunt and gets right to the point with chapters such as "Quit Lying", "Quit Overfunctioning", "Quit Blaming" and "Quit Living Someone Else's Life", just to name a few.  This book covers just about every malfunctional, innappropriate coping mechanism that can be observed in the "normal" adult population.  If you have severe psychosis or extremely abnormal physcological issues, then perhaps this book may not be sufficient, but even such individuals may benefit from reading this book nonetheless.  This book requires, however, for the reader to honestly access his or her shortcoming.  For example, on pages 83-87 is a chart of personality types, otherwise referred to by the author as Enneagrams.  The reader must honestly take a personal assesment to determine which category or categories that he or she may fit into.  The categories are based on actual AXIS II personality types/ disorders of the DSM-IV classification, yet in this book, they are renamed/ repackaged so as to be less intimidating and to appear  more palatable.  The reader is more likely to own up to being a "perfectionalist", "adventurer" or an "observer" or "achiever" rather than admitting he or she is actually an "antisocial", "avoidant", 'narcissistic", "Obsessive Compulsive", "histronic" or "schizoid" personality. Yet, keep in mind, for the sake of complete disclosure, although the author writes these "Enneagrams" with politically correct, uplifting titles, they are actually based on AXIS II personality categories- which can be found on any collge psychology textbook.  Though this book appears to be deceptively simple, it contains wise and practical advice and suggestions for improving one's life.  One unsettling fact about this book is that the author is a wife of a pastor.  It left me second guessing as to whether I am imposing whenever I ask someone for a favor.  Although I know that was not the intent of this book, I can not help but feel as if asking another person for help, can be a burden even when that individual appears willing to help.  Nevertheless, as for God, we can ask and pray whenever we are in need, and never be a burden.   In the end, this is a very good, honelstly written, self improvement book either for oneself or as a subtle gift for a good friend or loved one.  As a blogger for Zondervan I receieved this book for the purpose of writing a review.   The opinions expressed are my own.

Topical Memory System: Hide God's Word in Your Heart

As a blogger for Navpress publishers, I recently recieved the Navigators' Scripture Memory Topical Memory System: Hide God's Word in Your Heart package. Included were a 75 page book on how to make the most out of the memory course a.k.a the "Course Workbook",  and a book of perforated pages, by which the reader could neatly tear out small verse cards with a choice of eight translations to choose from.  Lastly, included in the set is a "sturdy vinyl verse-card holder" according to the box.  Hopefully the reader wont get too excited about the "sturdy vinyl holder" which is reminiscent of the thin, flimsy, vinyl covers which come free with certain  prescription pill medications which neccesitate a cover for discretion and to protect from accidental sun exposure.

For many readers who wish to try and remember their favorite bible verses, the old fashioned method of writing bible verses on index cards is sufficient.  But, for those who either do not have the initiative, or the time, or perhaps they may not know which verses to start with, and who find it a bit too overwhelming to select and write down verses on their own, this kit will be useful. Unlike full sized index cards, the small sized cards in this kit, which are smaller than business cards, make it very convienient to carry the verses in a pocket, a wallet or purse. Because the cards are duplicated in eight different bible translations, this kit is perfect to share with a friend or two.   Furthermore, the choice of verses specifically selected for this course, cover a wide range of important biblical topics and themes. The course book is meant to be used alongside the memory verses, and not intended to be read from cover to cover.

While this kit offers a wide variety of useful verses covering a variety of topics, some may find eventually that the pre-chosen verses are too limiting. But this will not present a problem because  there are a few blank perforated cards by which the reader may write down his or her own favorite verses as well.  There are many benefits to reading and commiting to memory, bible verses. This kit will open the reader up to the importance and benefits of remembering individual bible verses. This kit certainly makes it convienient to do so.  I recieved this kit for the purpose of writing a review and was not required to write a positive review.  The opinion expressed in this review are my own.

52 Principles For a Better Life: Rules to Live By by Jerry White

52 Principles For a Better Life: Rules to Live By by Jerry White is a new breed of self help themed  books, in a repackaged simple to read format.  It is analagous to a self help outline- a brief summary of common sense, helpful pointers to leading a socially well-adjusted, and fulfilling, moral life style. About a page or two is dedicated to each of the 52 principles, which are in turn grouped into three main categories: "A Better You", "Relationship Rules", and "Enhancing Your Work and Effectiveness".  In otherwords, this is a somewhat like a social skills book written for adults.  Some of the topics range from the trivial, such as "Let Magazines Sit For Two Weeks" to the poltically correct, yet ever popular health conscious trend  "Keep Yourself Fit", "Eat Right" and  finally the arbitrary filler, "Remember Your Past" and "What Not to do"- the later of which is simply a list of suggestions that the author either could not fit in elsewhere or felt did not merit an entire dedicated page. For the most part, most of the suggestions are very practical, and if followed by the reader, would undoubtably lead to a more fulfilling and happier life. Jerry White offers valuable wise advice.  Though this book may appear deceptively simple, the words contain timeless advise and wisdom.  For many of us, who do not have time to read through long self help books, trudging through non applicable anecdotes and personal filler  stories, I highly reccomend this book as a good option.  This book would also make a nice, yet subtle gift for those of us who know a close friend or loved one, who is in need of some useful life skills and advice. As a blogger for Navpress publishers, I recieved a copy of this book for writing a review.  The opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure by Ken Ham with Karen Hansel

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure by Ken Ham with Karen Hansel is an interactive, illustrated children's book, following the journey of a young school boy, a dinosaur named Charlie, and his best friend and side kick, a monkey named Trike on a school trip to the Grand Canyon.  Any child will certainly enjoy this story- following along with the interactive elements to this book.  Charlie's journal entries are available as a pop out mini book called "My Green Notebook!!" complete  with its own "handwritten" pages and drawings. A mini fact book complete with photos, as well as other pop out mini books and a fold out map of the grand canyon add so many details to this interactive kids book.  The additional pop out features of this story add essential elements to the storyline as well- and aren't simply there for decorative purposes.  Not only do the readers follow along with the main plot of the story- Charlie's adventures at the Grand Canyon, the child will also learn factual scientific details  about how the Grand Canyon was created side by side with the account of the flood as told in the book of Genesis of the bible.  In fact this book provides the perfect blend of science with the biblical account of creation in the form of a story book.  As a blogger of New Leaf publishers I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

God Made the World & Me by David & Helen Haidle and Susan Laurita

God Made the World & Me: Thirteen Comprehensive 6-in-1 Curriculum Lessons is a the companion parent/ teacher guide to the Creation Story for Children published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishers.  This lesson book provides a suggested lesson plan for teachers/ group leaders.  Each of the 13 lessons can be covered at a rate of one lesson per week or one lesson per day depending on the duration of the class. Each lesson begins with practical suggestions for the teacher or group leader: checklists, schedules, as well as sample notes to parents which can be photocopied and sent home with the students.  Hands on activities are provided as well as required material lists to go along with the activities. Age- approppriate suggested activities are provided for younger as well as older children. There are circle time activities and songs and even pages to photocopy and distribute for the students.  This book guides the leader into providing a program for a class on creation. 

This book is not meant to be read cover to cover.  It is intended to be a teacher's manual for instructing a course on the subject of creation, as told from the book of Genesis in the bible. This book is appropriate as part of a vacation bible school curriculum or religious class.  The ideal age group is pre-school, but it would also be suitable for kindergarten and first grade as well. To get the most out of this book, you will also need the compainion book, The Creation Story.  As a blogger I recieved this book for the purpose of writing a review and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer

As a blogger for New Leaf publishers I had the opportunity to read the reference volume, For You They Signed: The Spiritual Heritage of Those Who Shaped Our Nation by Marilyn Boyer.  This book is an exahustive reference text of each individual who signed of the Declaration of Independance.  The actual text of the 1776 Declaration of Independance is included- both a photo representation and the actual text itself of the document. A fascimile of the actual signatures is included as well. Brief introductory historical material about the Declaration of Independance is covered.   Illustrations and biographical information of each man that signed the document is organized by the state from which they resided.  Additional illustrations and quick- trivia type, biographical facts are included about each man that signed.  This book is a great resource for any student of American history or any  history enthusiast of any age.  This book includes the details that are often left out in history books. Which, for the sake of time and effeciency, obviously- in the public school system- the course schedule can not fully integrate a study of each of the individuals that signed the most important document that shaped our nation.  I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Discerning Truth By Dr. Jason Lisle

At first glance, the book Discerning Truth: Exposing Errors in Evolutionary Arguments by Dr. Jason Lisle, may appear to be about the idea of creationism, but it is actually a book on logic.  Rather than explaining the theory of evolution and covering the proofs against evolutionary theories, this book simply goes over the basics of logic. The sub- titile might be a bit misleading.  This is simply a condensed logic text using the evolutionary theory as an example.  After reading this book, the reader will not be informed at all whatsoever about anything having to do with evolutionary theory or the errors of the theory of evolution. If you are looking for a book about to educate yourself about the main ideas or  proofs behind creationism, this is certainly not the book you are looking for.  

This book may be good supplimental text for a student studying the field of logic.  It provides a good summary of various argumentative strategies and their errors and explanations of how they may be used.  For anyone studying for an exam in logic or even the LSAT perhaps, this book may be a useful tool.  The final chapters offer examples of various logical fallacies and it is up to the reader to identify the specific logical concept/ logical error behind each.  As a blogger for New Leaf publishers I recieved a copy of this book for review and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Real- Life Discipleship By Jim Putman

Jim Putman's new book, Real- Life Discipleship by Navpress publishers is an informative resource for anyone involved in church leadership.  Nevertheless, even for those of us who are not pastors, reverends, ordained ministers or deacons, this book provides some useful and insightful direction into the mission that Jesus has given  to each and every one of us, to go everywhere and make disciples of everyone we can.   Saving souls is the job of every believer, not just the clergy.

According to Putman, there is no "plan B" for saving the millions of spiritually dead souls in the world- it is up to us! Its not enought to save our own souls and attend church we must bring others as well.  Nevertheless, the irony is that oftentimes, no matter how well meaning we are, we are often the reason so many unchurched and nonbelievers refuse to place their faith in Christ Jesus. Just as Jesus told to his followers over 2000 years ago, that often time leadership and hypocrites draw people away from the truth.  We are called to be the beacons of light, teachers as well as fishers of men!

Yes, this book does have a short footnote that laymen- aka the general believer not involved in leadership may benefit from this book.  Even so, the obvious intended audience of this work is the active leader in a church whether a pastor or bible study leader or some other type of leader.  There is a detailed section where each level of believer is identified and described.  This book is remeniscent to a field guide of spiritual maturity, armin the reader with clues and specific information on how to determine an individual's level of spiritual maturity.  One can easily spot the spiritually dead  from the spiritual infant.  With this handy charts, the reader can easily identify a spiritual infant from a spiritual child.  And lastly, the distinction between a spirirtual young adult from a spiritual parent is clear enought to enable the church leader to effectively find the most spiritually qualified persons to assume key church leadership roles.  A spiritual infant or child can be effectively used in any program for simple volunteer work, but would not be an appropriate choice for leadership roles.  In contrast a sporitual young adult is not quite ready to assume a key pastoral role, and this book will help you sort the spiritual young adults from the spiritual parents!  This book also has a chapter titles "A Few Warnings" which tells you about the disasterous consequences that may result, if for example, you place a spiritual child in a key leadership role instead of a spiritual parent.  As a blogger for Navpress I receieved this book for the purpose of writing this review.  I recieved this book at no cost and was not required to write a positive review.