The Spiritual Woman
Lewis and Betty Drummond, Kregel Publications, 1999, 300 pages, $14.99, softcover.
Familiar names of Christian women highlight the ten principles of godly living presented in this book. Each woman's story centers on a specific principle of Christian spirituality.
We meet Bible teacher Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries and hear her say, "I am absolutely, totally irrevocably convinced beyond a shadow of any doubt that the most valuable pursuit man can embark upon is that of knowing God. I know that knowing the Word of God and the God of the Word has radically changed me -from the inside out."
Read further and hear a praying woman, Evelyn Christianson, author of What Happens When Women Pray say, "What greater privilege could there be for a human being than to actually draw nigh to…God, high and lifted up on His throne in glory? This to me is the most precious part of my prayer time." This treasure chest of ten biographies goes beyond the events of life to the dynamic verbs that make Christian living vigorous: Know God, Submit to God, Overflow with God , Abide in God, Exemplify God, Grow in God, Talk with God, Serve God, Share God, Love God.
Each chapter presents a serious, well-documented study followed by appropriate discussion questions. In chapter four, the daughter of Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, illustrates the life of one overflowing with God. The study following her biography deals with the person and inner working of the Holy Spirit and what it means to be filled with the Spirit. The authors carefully incorporate materials from several authors such as J. C. Metcalfe, Andrew Murray and Allister Smith. Such depth stimulates the mind and soul of the reader.
At the conclusion of each chapter, the authors give specific ways to apply the spiritual principle. Anne Lotz's chapter concludes, "So there we have it; true spirituality means living an overflowing life. The Holy Spirit fills us with holiness and godliness." May we, like Anne, ‘become "filled with all the fullness of God."
This challenging book makes a fine resource for a group Bible Study or personal inspiration.
A Karen Davis
Target: Christian Women
Type: 10 Steps to Maturity
Take: Insightful and Helpful
The Power of Praying Together
Oliver W. Price, Kregel Publications, 1999, 185 pages, $10.99, softcover.
Too many prayer meetings in this country have more emphasis on meeting than they do on prayer. Many of these "meetings" have long ago lost their real purpose-getting in touch with God through Christ, who can satisfy our deepest longing and meet our greatest needs. Oliver Price gives us a book that points us back to the New Testament meaning of group prayer.
If our group prayers are to allow us to communicate with God, we must believe-truly believe-that Jesus Christ is present with us at that moment. He is the One who has promised to be with us always, to be that vital link between believers and the God of heaven. We pray in Jesus' name, but we do not need to use that catch phrase. Praying in Jesus' name means earnestly and sincerely desiring that His will might be done. Prayer that tries to get something from God without considering God's will is likely to meet with failure and disappointment.
Effective prayer presupposes that we have confessed known sin, that we have surrendered our wills to His leadership, and that we bow to His decisions for our life and the life of the Body of Christ. If we are not willing to let Him change us, prayer will continue to be ineffective.
Each chapter of this book has probing questions that encourage us to investigate how the message applies to us. The book could easily be adapted for a small group that truly wants dynamic change in their prayer life.
Glen H. Jones
Target: Pulpit & Pew
Take: Highly Recommended
The Spirit of Revival
Archie Parrish, Crossway Books, 2000, 223 pages, $17.99, hardcover.
The life and sermons of Jonathan Edwards, eighteenth century preacher, provides the inspiration for this book by Archie Parrish. Sensing a deep need for revival in this country, Parrish reaches back in time to apply Edwards' sermon, "The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God," to conditions today.
Edwards' sermon today would appear stilted and archaic, since language has changed a great deal. Parrish has edited the sermon, replacing archaic terms with modern equivalents. He has also added Scripture texts at the end of the sermons, since Edwards did not always cite the passages he was quoting.
The thesis of Edwards' sermon attempts to identify true and false signs of true revival (which Edwards called reformation). Edwards, of course, was commenting on the revival that was taking place in his own time. In some instances emotional and physical excesses were happening. Edwards tries to show from Scripture what identifies a genuine work of the Spirit of God and what is counterfeit.
On the negative side, Edwards identifies shouting, screaming, wallowing, and other overt physical actions. He states that Scripture neither condones or condemns such actions. These physical actions may or may not be a true indication of the Spirit of God at work.
On the positive side Edwards states that these "signs" will identify a genuine reformation: a greater love for Jesus, a respect for the Scriptures, a love for others, repentance from evil and questionable actions, and love and compassion for others.
Parrish's hope is that we will see a genuine revival in this generation. It may or may not resemble that of Edwards's day.
Glen H. Jones
Take: Profitable for All
Show Me God (What the Message From Space Is Telling Us About God)
rev. ed., Fred Heeren, Day Star Publications, 2000, 404 pages, $14.95, softcover.
That science writer Fred Heeren has a sure grasp of heavenly apologetics (or apologetics of the heavens) cannot be denied. He is thoroughly abreast of the latest astronomical findings, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the often torturous theories invented to explain it all without invoking God.
What he offers to believers is more ammunition than the average pew-holder could ever fire off in defense of creationism-and he does it with humor, dialog, grand photos of cosmic features, and change of pace. It reminds this observer of the "Dummy" series at your local bookstore-those handy volumes dedicated to clarifying the complex. In fact, "Cosmology for Dummies" might have been a useful subtitle.
Heeren's basic organization is to give the prevailing views on each subject, show what is wrong or lacking in them, and conclude each chapter with "Shocking Summary Statements and Stimulating Conversation Starters." His points are so well-put that it is hard to pick out highlights, but for me, the series of 12 "bottlenecks" to chance development of life, and then of intelligent life (us) in chapter two, is unbeatable.
The only negative, in this reviewer's eyes, is his total acceptance of great age for the universe and for earth. This does not detract from the book's usefulness in addressing unbelieving skeptics.
Target: Pulpit & Pew
Take: Must Read