Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shadow Government by Grant Jeffrey

Jeffrey says at the end of his book that he has written it to introduce nonbelievers to faith in Christ and to encourage Christians in their faith (p. 200). His goal, “...is to provide believers with books they can give to their friends and neighbors who do not yet have a personal faith in Christ.”
My advice is that if you want to give this book to someone, do not give it to a person who is up to date on current events or anyone with knowledge of physics or science in general.
A reader with interest in current events will notice quickly that many of Jeffrey’s sources are from a decade or more in the past. Much of what Jeffrey would have the reader believe is breaking news is really old stuff. When you read this book, keep one bookmark at his footnotes. It will disappoint you.
When Jeffrey talks about futuristic weapons, he is way out of his element. He mentions, “a beam weapon known as a collective accelerator. It uses powerful magnets to accelerate the orbits [sic] of electrons around the nuclei of atoms to the speed of light.” (See p. 93.) If you believe this, try to tell that to the people at CERN who have built the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva. The multi-billion euro project is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator and it is expecting speeds of only 99.9999991% of the speed of light (and they are having trouble doing that right now).
Jeffrey would have the reader believe in the invention of a Star Trek type photon torpedo device, an energy beam weapon. But check the footnote and you find it refers to a patent from 1989! (Think that “weapon” was anything real?) And then there is the “Voice of God” weapon. Jeffrey’s source? A blog! And that blogger ends the entry with, “Does it exist? I don’t know.” And who could resist the possibility of weather weapons? (His sources there are articles from 1987-1991.)
Jeffrey would have us believe that, “...globalist strategies and the phenomenal growth and expansion of surveillance capabilities are setting the stage for the rise of the Antichrist... The Antichrist will arise in our generation.” “Governments can spy on anyone without due cause or due process.” “Increasingly, [the shadow government] officials have taken control of Western societies in the name of national security.”
Jeffrey tries to convince the reader there are the secret organizations dedicated to one global government. He goes through the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. While their meetings and membership are supposed to be secret, Jeffrey knows all about them and their agendas. (Haven't we had enough books on conspiracy theories in the last several decades?)
Jeffrey says his book is “far from sensationalism.” I disagree. He writes a new book about every year so he has to come up with “new” material or recycle something old. If you’ve read Grant Jeffrey before, you already know what’s in it. If you’ve never read Jeffrey before, skip this book. He’ll have another one in about a year and maybe that one will have some truly new information in it worth reading.

I was provided a review copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. If you would like this copy, be the first to comment on this blog and I'll send the book to you.

For publisher information on this book:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur

What would you do if you were a successful, legalistic preacher and your world fell apart? In the past you had alienated your teenage daughter to the extent she ran away. Now you have received word that she has died in childbirth and her husband forbids your contact with the granddaughter. Your wife is so devastated, she shuts down her own body processes and dies.
Jason Faircloth faces a crisis of faith. His daughter, his wife, his reason for ministry, his superficial faith in God...are all gone. He resigns his successful preaching position and sets out to find his granddaughter.

Faircloth never loses his heart for God but does lose his heart for traditional Christianity and all its manmade disciplines. He becomes a self-motivated wisdom hunter, finding God’s truth in the Bible and his honest encounters with others.
This book originally came out in 1991 and was probably before its time. Arthur’s critique of legalistic Christianity will be better received now then it was then. It is a thought provoking book. What does it really mean to be a Christian and how does a Christian act, according to the Bible and not culture? There is a discussion guide which would make this book suitable for a group discussion.
The writing is uneven, however. It would seem Arthur has a message to promote and has added some action here and there to make the entire story acceptable. There is also the woman who comes on the scene (twice) “just” when Faircloth needs rescuing and then conveniently disappears! Certainly she is a loose end that could have been written into and out of the story in a better way.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Wisdom Hunter, Multnomah, #978259052592, $13.99. See more information at:


Monday, October 19, 2009

Kiss Me Again by Barbara Wilson

Many married women yearn for physical and emotional closeness with their mates yet shun intimate advances. This was Barbara Wilson’s feelings in her marriage. She writes out of her own experience with a great deal of compassion. Wilson lost her virginity at age 18. It was not a positive experience for her and she internalized the idea that sex was for a man’s pleasure and that he used women to get it. She protected herself with barriers to intimacy that remained even into her second marriage.
In our time, most couples (including Christians) have sex before marriage. Wilson argues that these sexual encounters establish bonds that remain. Because of sex from the past emotional and physical dysfunction is all too frequent. The good news is that God can heal your wounds and restore your marriage, no matter what your sexual past.
The first part of the book helps the reader understand how sex from the past affects one’s marriage today. The second part of the book deals with healing, taking the reader through specific steps to restoration of intimacy in the marriage. Practical exercises, tools and a study guide actively take the reader through the process. It begins with making a life map, a reflection on the events of your past. Wilson walks the reader through the process of determining where healing needs to take place. She uses many reflective questions with plenty of space to write a response.
A woman’s response to sex is complex. It is more than just a physical act. God intended that it unite the souls and bodies of two people. The bonds remaining from sex outside of marriage leave scars and cause future intimacy problems. Wilson was healed of these scars and shares the steps she took to allowed God to it.
If you love your husband but you don’t want to make love with him, this book is for you. There is healing available. God wants to heal your marriage.
This book is written for women but husbands can benefit from reading it too. The husband can help his wife feel safe and loved as she is healed and opens up to greater intimacy.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Kiss Me Again, Multnomah, #9781601421586. See more product information at:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

War of Words by Paul David Tripp

Having trouble with communication in your relationships? Do you get angry? Do you get hurt? Do you feel like you are at war when you communicate with your friend?
The subtitle of this book is “getting to the heart of your communication struggles” and that is exactly what it does. The Bible says that our words come from our heart. What we say reflects who we are at heart.
Did you lash out when your feelings got hurt? What does that say about your heart? Do your words reveal you trying to please yourself rather than please God and follow His agenda for your relationship?
Those are the kinds of issues Tripp deals with in this book. It is not a book that offers a quick fix for your communication issues. It is a book that aims to change your heart. When your heart is changed to be obedient to God’s agenda for your relationships, your communication will change as well.
This is not an easy book to read as it requires you to examine your heart. Tripp makes sure the reader understands that allowing God to rule your communication won’t happen immediately. It is a journey of increasing submission to God’s agenda for your communication.
Read this book and allow God to change your life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal

What an eye opening book. Every Republican should read it.
Unfortunately, there are so many errors at the beginning of the book, some may not make it past the first 40 pages or so.
Some of the errors are just typographical in nature, such as “presenßce” on page 26. Some of the errors are careless in nature, such as, “After graduating from Calvin College, a conservative Christian school in Iowa...” on page 36. Calvin College is actually in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Some of the errors show poor editing, such as “St. Paul’s Xcel Center” on page 284 which becomes “St. Paul’s Excel Center” on page 287.
Some errors show incomplete research or just confusion. For example, Blumenthal takes some time to explain the history and influence of Rousas Rushdoony. But consider the following quotes. “Upon graduation, Rushdoony entered the clergy as a minister in the ultraconservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church...” from pages 17-18. “Then Olasky...abandoned his Jewish background to join Rushdoony’s ultraconservative Presbyterian Church in America[,]” on page 40. Actually, neither of those statements is correct. Rushdoony was ordained into the PCUSA (not Presbyterian Church in America, PCA) in 1944 then subsequently left that denomination in 1958 and joined the more conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Some errors show a lack of Blumenthal’s understanding of the large and complex world of Christianity. Blumenthal speaks of, “...Calvinist-inspired teachings of John Wesley...” on page 55. Wesley was definitely not inspired by Calvin. Consider these statements from Wikipedia.org: “In contrast to George Whitefield’s Calvinism ... Wesley embraced Arminianism.” And, “Wesley ... expressed himself strongly against the doctrine of Calvinistic election and reprobation.” John Wesley was as Arminian as you can get!
Some errors show shoddy research. Consider his claim that John Calvin “burned dozens of heretics at the stake” as recorded on page 23. His footnote says his source is page 153 of The Complete Idiot’s to the Reformation & Protestantism. That “fact” is not there. When one looks at the Complete Idiot’s Guide and other sources on Calvin’s life, the truth is that there was only one heretic, Servetus, executed under Calvin’s authority. Calvin did not want Servetus burned at the stake, spent many hours with him, begging him to recant, but in the end did nothing to stop the execution (see page 159 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Reformation & Protestantism).
Granted, these errors are not essential to Blumenthal’s argument about the Republican Party. However, I read a book like this one to learn new information. If I find so many mistakes regarding what I do know, is there any assurance there are fewer or less serious mistakes in what I don’t know?
It is too bad Blumenthal could not have been more objective in his writing. His message is important but his bias will turn potential conservative readers away. For example, saying of James Dobson that “sadomasochism [is] at the core of his philosophy” is going to alienate many potential readers (see page 63).
That said, I am very glad I read this book on how the Republican Party has lost its way. The revelations in it are disturbing. If Blumenthal represents how non-Christians see what the right has done in the Party, Republicans are certainly in trouble.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Beth Hertzler is a young woman who lost her fiancé in an accident over a year ago yet she still wears the clothes of mourning black. His death is shrouded in mystery and Beth is still bearing pain from it.
On a buying trip for her aunt’s store, Beth sees a carving that tugs at her heart. She buys the carving and, through the conniving of her aunt, begins a correspondence with the carver.
Like Beth, Jonah has suffered loss. His is physical. A sleighing accident resulted in his loss of two fingers and the full use of one leg. He realizes he is a damaged person but has been able to live with it. He knows that all people are damaged in some way.
Can Beth ever learn to live with her damaged self? Will she ever lower the barriers she uses for protection and allow herself to love again?
Cindy Woodsmall has written a wonderful Amish love story for the winter season. The reader experiences the gentle ways of the Amish and how two of them cope with hurt and pain. My only complaint is that the story is over too quickly (at fewer than 200 pages).
I received a free review copy of this book in return for blogging my review. I will pass this copy on to you if you are the first to make a comment on my blog.
ISBN: 9780307446534, $14.99, WaterBrook Press. See product information at:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Veiled Freedom by J. M. Windle Book Review

Relief worker Amy Mallory goes to Afghanistan and becomes the administrator of a compound that eventually houses Afghan women and children released from prison. She comes in contact with a privately contracted security person, Steve Wilson. He was in Kabul in 2001 when the city was liberated as a Special Forces individual. Then, there was dancing in the streets. Now the circumstances are very different with suicide bombers and government corruption. Throw into the mix a young man who wants revenge on the current Afghan Minister of the Interior.
While the subject matter is current and exciting, I found it somewhat difficult to read this book. Windle uses many abbreviations (such as CS, CP, etc.) which are not immediately explained in the text. That detracts from the flow of the story. There was also something about her writing, sentence structure, perhaps, that I found hard to follow. I remember reading a four line sentence, with several commas, four times, in order to understand the meaning. For those who like a gospel presentation in the book, you will be pleased.
Tyndale, #9781414314754, 432 pages.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Love Revolution by Joyce Meyer

The majority of the people we meet today are unhappy. The root of the problem, says Joyce Meyer, is selfishness. We live for ourselves and are never satisfied. We need to declare war on selfishness.

There are people hurting all around. They need to hear the gospel. They also need to have their practical needs met. We need to do something today to make someone else’s life better. Joyce reminds us that we are to get involved in helping others and not just throw money at projects. She quotes Hybels who encourages Christians to “allow poverty to touch us, to involve us…”

Joyce admits to her own selfishness. It was the only life she knew until she met her husband, Dave, a giver. She reminds us Christ can deal with that sinful nature if we allow Him to renew us. Putting others first is a daily surrender.

Loving people as Jesus wants us to will not happen by accident. We will have to do it on purpose. It will cost us some comfort and some pleasure (but look at what Jesus sacrifices). Love takes effort and always costs something. None of us can claim we don’t know how as Meyers gives lots of practical ideas for showing love near the end of her book.

Meyers believes our participation in the Love Revolution will change the world. We are to live to love, being part of the solution instead part of the problem.

The Love Revolution, FaithWords (Hachette Book Group), #9780446538565