Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Reviews of Christian literature by the Maranatha staff and elders.

Book of the Month

Title:  CHARISMATIC CHAOS Author:  John MacArthur Summary:  There are times in your Christian walk, when you may be confronted with question concerning spiritual gifts. More specifically, individuals may ask you about things such as speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, or receiving new revelation from God. What about the health wealth and prosperity gospel that has…

November Book of the Month

Title:  Why We’re Protestant:  An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation Author:  Nate Pickowicz Summary:  Post tenebras lux!  That phrase, Latin for “light after darkness,” serves as a fitting motto for the Protestant Reformation.  After nearly a thousand years of abuse in the church, appropriately referred to as “the dark ages,” the Reformation brought to…

October Book of the Month

Title:  When People are Big & God is Small Authors:  Ed Welch Summary:  Do you struggle with caring more about what people think of you than what God does?  Do you battle being self-conscious and controlled by the opinions of others?  There is hope for you!  The Bible calls this the “fear of man” and Ed Welch has written a wonderful, practical book on how to replace…

September Book of the Month

 Title:  Rescuing The Gospel Authors:  Erwin W. Lutzer Summary:  This book is a telling of the story and significance of the reformation. “In prose that captivates as it informs, Erwin Lutzer captures the people, places, and big ideas that fueled the Reformation.  He explains its lasting influence on the church and western civilization.  And, perhaps most importantly, he…

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. By Tim Challies This is an excellent book.  It speaks to the need today for Christians to be discerning.  The author defines discernment as “the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.  It is a task in which we attempt to see things as God sees them.” He…

The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin. By Kris Lundgaard If God has redeemed me from sin, and given me his Holy Spirit to sanctify me and give me strength against sin, why do I go on sinning?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Have you ever wondered why the very sin that you thought you had put to rest continues to rear its ugly head…

God in the Manger

God in the Manger. By John MacArthur With Christmas fast upon us, it is so easy to get lost in all the hype, all the commercialism, and all the presents, parties, and seasonal decorations.  Such distractions cause us to miss the enormous impact of the reality behind this season.  For that reason, we who are believers, need fresh reminders of the fact that Christmas is…

The God Who is There

The God Who is There. By D. A. Carson Have you ever wondered what the overall purpose of the Bible is?  Have you struggled to make sense of how the books fit together and contribute to that overall purpose?  Do you really know what the Bible is about?  Do you understand the story of God and how you fit into that?  If any of those questions relate to you, then I commend to…

The Gospel at Work

The Gospel at Work. By Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert What you do from 9 to 5 matters for the sake of the Gospel!  Unfortunately, that’s not how most people think about their jobs.  On the one hand, some employees are so committed to their vocations that it amounts to idolatry as they seek to find their satisfaction and fulfillment in them.  On the other hand, many…

How to Walk into Church

How to Walk into Church. By Tony Payne Think about those Sundays where we came into a morning worship service expecting to be served, hoping we won’t have to talk with anyone, hoping we get our favorite seat, or coming in late and rushed and stressed from an awful morning. Maybe we don’t always think to pray for the people we are about to fellowship with, or maybe our…

God’s Battle Plan for the Mind

God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation. By David W. Saxton Meditation in our Christian circles has gotten kind of a bad rap. The popular idea of meditation has been misshapen by mysticism, New Age, and Eastern religious notions. There is nothing more beneficial for understanding the truth and growing in sanctification than careful…

When a Nation Forgets God

When a Nation Forgets God. By Erwin Lutzer The things that concern Christians today: government finances, laws that go against biblical morality, revision of history by special interests, the attacks against families, authority, and common sense aren’t new.  These same factors lead to the establishment of National Socialism in Nazi Germany leading up to World War II.…

Trusting God

Trusting God. By Jerry Bridges Life is not easy.  The Christian life is not easy either.  And if we are honest, we have found ourselves in circumstances where we have asked questions like, “Why is God allowing this?” or “What have I done wrong?”  When unexpected situations arise that appear unjust, irrational, or even dreadful, we feel confused and frustrated.  Before…

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. By Tim Challies The church today is bombarded with a deluge of information on how to live the Christian life, how to do church, how to impact culture, and how to think about a variety of issues.  Numerous books and a multitude of resources are available online and in bookstores.  Have you ever wondered how to wade through all of…

Stop Loving the World

Stop Loving the World. By William Greenhill We read in 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.” But the world is urging Christians today to love all that it has to offer, to fix our thoughts on the philosophies of men, and to set our Bibles aside. Adoration of stuff, love of gifts more than the Giver, and respect for the opinions of men above the…

The Law of Rewards

The Law of Rewards. By Randy Alcorn Being good stewards of our money and possessions is a crucial component of the Christian life.  But rarely do we consider how eternal rewards provide a motivation in relationship to stewardship and giving.  In his book, The Law of Rewards, Randy Alcorn establishes the biblical connection between how we use our money and the promises God…

What Did You Expect?

How to Walk into Church. By Tedd Tripp It has been about a year since the MBC Marriage Conference and now might be a good time to take an inventory of your marriage.  Is it growing?  Are you more like Christ because of marriage to your spouse?  Perhaps a good refresher on the commitments necessary to a healthy marriage is in order.  Enter Paul Tripp’s book What Did You…

A Call to Spiritual Reformation

A Call to Spiritual Reformation. By D. A. Carson As we begin 2015, it is a good time to take a spiritual inventory and assess how we are doing in our walk with the Lord.  Of utmost importance is our need to know the Lord and increase in our understanding of and love for Him.  To that end, D. A. Carson’s book A Call to Spiritual Reformation serves to draw us back to the…

Crazy Busy

Crazy Busy. By Kevin DeYoung Books on busyness tend to be a 10 step plan to curing yourself of busyness, but not Kevin DeYoung’s book, Crazy Busy. DeYoung is a self-professed crazy busy person in search of the reasons behind his busyness. He has you take a good hard look at your motivations behind why your life is so busy. He uses biblical insight to help you…

God’s Technology

God’s Technology DVD. By David Murray In light of the growing difficulties technology presents to parents raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, we want to highlight two resources this month.  First is the book iParent by Don Pearson. The second resource is a DVD entitled God’s Technology in which David Murray presents a Christian response to the…