Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Church in the Making" by Ben Arment

Snack of Choice:
Cranberry Sauce. Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. No chunks, please. Right out of the cold refrigerated can and all by itself. No better way to end the night. You think I'm joking... ask the wife, I'm dead serious. Not just because of the holiday's (Thanksgiving and Christmas), but just because it's just plain good. Although it would go nicely with a Pillsbury crecent roll. Ah...

Story behind the Story:
I signed up to read the galleys on If you don't know what a galley is, google it... then tell me. This is the first e-book I was approved to read and review from B&H Publishers. Only problem is I don't read ebooks. This experience kinda settled it for a little while at least. But I really was interested in reading this book, so I bought it! 

Story Line:
So how do you start a church from scratch? How do you reach a community with the greatest news known to man? For those whose success is evident, "God is just blessing" is an easy fall back. But what factors does God use to prepare the way before you? Does an "unsuccessful" church planter mean that God has not blessed his ministry? Ben Arment digs deeper into the socio-economic framework of church planting mixed with the work of the Holy Spirit in a community.

The Real Story:
Here it is -- one of the best books I've read in a while. Ben Arment's writing style is so incredibly readible but with alot of depth. It reveals the work of the Holy Spirit through preparation of the ground, through momentum, and through deep roots. He deals with the hardships of church planting without yielding to "church talk." This book would fit into the curriculum of a Church Planting class as well in the hands of the church member. 

Check out:
Pastoral Epistles like 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus

"Church Planting is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-up People to Plant Ordinary Churches that Do Extraordinary Things" by  Mike McKinley (Cause I like the title -- full discloser: never read it)

5 out of 5 deeply rooted church planted trees

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"From the Library of A. W. Tozer" by James Stuart Bell

From the Library of A. W. Tozer: Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey [Book]

Snack of Choice: 
The childhood favorites are still in style. Drakes Coffee Cakes reign supreme in the Collins household, especially at the 2 for $5 price. Adding to the tradition is new revolution in coffee that has taken me by storm, and at the helm is the Caribou blend K-cup. The duo is dynamo and without equal – cause I only use sugar and cream.

Story behind the story:
I feel like it's been two years since I've done a review. SO MUCH has changed, but I've promised to keep the sentimental for another day and another blog. This particular selection is courtesy of Bethany House publishers. They don't require a positive review, but they would like a review. So here we go..

Story Line:
Someone raided Tozer's library. From Augustine of Hippo (AD 354 – 430) to his contemporaries, like G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945), and all the great theologians in between show their faces in this work. I'm not sure how they compiled this work – was it based on those he quoted in his own works or was it revealed by the polaroid of his office? – still unsure...

The short topical excerpts are broken up in almost a systematic theology. Beginning with worship and working through each member of the Trinity, and addressing issues like prayer and the Christian life – these authors are squeezed for every drop of nourishment they can provide.

I have to say, I hope no one judges me on the contents of my library - I'm still working on it

The Real Story:
A. W. Tozer is one of those names within the Christian community that has been elevated to the realms of the “classics”. This quotable author produced works such as “Pursuit of God” and “Knowledge of the Holy” that leave the reader breathless, challenged, and changed. I've never felt that way; mainly because I have never read his work. So this was my great chance, or so I thought. I misread or misunderstood the content of the book and was anticipating a “best of” collection. I, honestly, was disappointed, but through no fault of the author or its publisher.

Attempting to dismiss that disappointment, I do find value in this resource. It's for sure a great coffee table book, nightstand book, or any other place you might sit and spend time but not too much time... It has potential to be more in the right hands, but I'm just not sure if mine are adequate.

Check out:
Proverbs for more wisdom in small doses.
Anything by Spurgeon!

3 out of 5 books on a famous guys shelf