Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Chronological Guide to the Bible

Chronological Guide to the Bible is the best book I have so far reviewed for Thomas Nelson Publishers. The editors of this reference book did a superb job of organizing Scripture into more chronologically digestible pieces by dividing it into 9 historical epochs. I did not just read this reference book, but actually incorporated it into my own personal Bible study to decide its true value as a guide through Scripture.

I believe the editors of Chronological Guide to the Bible have put together one of the best all around study supplements. First, they did really well with balancing scientific discovery and the Biblical literature. Admitting that there were many differences sometimes between the two, they did not try to belittle one and elevate the other. They aimed for harmony and did really well with hitting that target. And where harmony was not possible, they mentioned the differences and moved on.

Secondly, they provided the right amount of ancient anthropology, geography and history without overwhelming readers who are not generally drawn to such topics.

Finally, the layout of the pages made it a visually enjoyable read. Plenty of pictures, charts, and grafts laid out in modern styles added to the overall greatness of this book.

The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

Lost by Chris Seay So, I was really excited when I found out this was one of the books I could review and as soon as it became available I signed up for it. Being a huge fan of the show Lost, I ripped into the package and began immediately to read what I was hoping would be a great book linking my favorite earthly obsession with my favorite heavenly one.

Here’s how my reading of this book went. Read Prologue….love it. Read chapters 1-3….still love it. Read chapters 4-9….is this really all it is going to be about? Chapter 10….maybe not, maybe it has more. Read chapters 10-13….nope, this is really all it is going to be about? Put book down for 2 weeks….remember I have to finish it to get a new one. Read chapters 14-16….maybe I am missing the point of the book; maybe it is a lot better than I thought. Read chapter 17….nope.

The premise of the entire book is to revel in a story without being concerned with the conclusion. Chris wants you to do this with the TV show Lostbut, more importantly, to do it with your own spiritual story. Just as most viewers of Lostreturn week after to week despite the constant confusion and seemingly irreconcilable plots; so too must we be enthralled with our own spiritual stories without always having to know where we are being led.

As far as bringing me to revel in the story of Lost , this book did an excellent job. It presented the best Judaic-Christian interpretation of LostI have ever heard of personally pondered (I mean, which one of us hasn’t considered it to be purgatory, heaven and hell, etc.). But, sadly, this is all it had to offer. Each chapter is filled page after page with character’s stories and how they might represent some Judaic-Christian principle or person. However, there was very little in any chapter (and none in some) that would connect me to my own spiritual story and rejoice in it.

If you are looking for an excellent Judaic-Christian interpretation of Lost, I give it 5 out of 5 muffins.
If you are looking for a book to connect deeper with God through a look at your own spiritual story, I give it 1 out of 5 muffins.

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

Prologue: I have begun reviewing books for Thomas Nelson Publishing so these book reviews will appear everyonce in awhile. If you would like free books in exchange for posting reviews on your blog check out the add on my sidebar.

Let’s be honest, spirituality can become sadly mundane. Sure, we can get pumped up for special events like Christmas, Easter, or a Friends-and-Family Day at church; but moving closer to God day by day is something that most Christians struggle with.

“The Liturgical Year” strives to bring floundering Christians hope by upholding the historical importance of the Liturgical calendar. The chapters alternate between a discussion of specific liturgical dates with the underlying traits that bring meaning to those days.

The joy in the Life born at Christmas looks forward to that sacrificial Life of Good Friday looks forward to the celebration of Life for all raised at Easter looks forward to the responsibility for believers to carry on that Life at Pentecost. For good measure, throw in the asceticism, suffering, fidelity and wisdom that we are called to during the Ordinary Times of our life, and a spirituality is developed, dedicated to the Life.

Raised in a conservative, evangelical church, the Liturgy has been unfamiliar to me until recent years (if you are wholly unfamiliar with it, this book is not for you). This book helped me move past a simple understanding of a calendar to a deeper appreciation for its true intentions. Though I longed for a deeper discussion of the theology behind the Liturgical calendar, this book did instill in me a greater desire to grow day by day with my Lord and Savior. Overall: 3 out of 5 muffins.