The Least Among You, a review

The Least Among You is a film based on a true story of a young Black man, Richard who attends a previously all-white seminary as probation for an arrest during a riot. The film follows Richard as he is placed in school with people of competing agendas, including, his mom, the dean, and even himself. Will one agenda overcome the others, or will they come together for the good of all?

Overall, this film has a strong message. The story was compelling but unfortunately, the budget, the script, and/or the production made the film hard to follow at points. The film itself, being produced by a Christian company has to make some obvious adjustments to content which is fine, but the somewhere in the production the story became jumpy. There were points between scenes I was confused how we transitioned between the two. I am not sure if this was a problem with the script, the production, he budget, or a combination. Because of this I have to give the film a lower rating. If you can overcome the jumpy transitions you may find a compelling message that is worth the trouble. 3/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this film free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Saint Francis, a review

Saint Francis by Robert West is a short biography on Francis in the Christian Encounter series. This biography stretches from is young life as a merchant’s son to his canonization as a Saint after his death. Francis is best known for his stance on poverty, not in a political sense but as a way of life, as in he choose possessionless.

Dr. West does not give an in depth accounting of Francis’ theology or the greater impact Francis had. However, he does give a great introductory biography of Francis. If you are looking for an in depth study of Francis I suggest you look else where, but if you want to know a little bit a about Francis before going into an in depth study or you only want an overview this is a good book. I also recommend Chasing Francis by Cron, it also goes into Francis’ life but in the form of a fictional novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, a review

John MacArthur decided modern Christianity has become too nice and has lost the passion and zeal that Jesus had. MacArthur spends the book explaining how Jesus was confrontational with the Pharisees and Scribes. He uses a harmonization of the gospels to show how Jesus made the first move in this confrontation. Ultimately, MacArthur preposes that we, as Christians, cannot sugar coat the truth.

I agree with MacArthur’s overarching idea but found he included too much speculation and failed to make solid connections between the then and now. MacArthur in the prologue decries how some Christians, including most evangelicals, are too nice to Islam with interfaith dialogues. However, the rest of the book describes Jesus only interacting with fellow Jewish leaders and not interacting with the Roman religion. MacArthur, also, fails to discuss the historical culture compared to the culture today and if this could explain some of Jesus’ actions being so confrontational. I know not much later Paul preached/debated out in the open on his travels as it was cultural to do so. I think he had historical schizophrenia while writing this book, he had some great research in this book but failed to apply it across the whole book. So while MacArthur is right, we should proclaim the truth and not accept heresy to enter the church, we should still be cordial with other faiths which he fails to mention or distinguish.

So I agree, we cannot ignore this aspect of Jesus, but we can and probably should ignore this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jesus Manifesto, a review

Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus ChristThe Jesus Manifesto by Sweet and Viola can be summed up in one sentence: Christianity is not a religion but a Christ-centered relationship.

This book unfortunately is just a another drop in the ocean of books that “inspire” the reader to remember it is all about Jesus. I find most of their information to be sound just not new. They tend to over-generalize about the condition of Christianity and then want people to still do all the over-generalized things but with Christ as their center. The novel thing about it is how the book displays this fact. The book mentions both Facebook and Twitter. It seems this book is written for the Social Media crowd, many pages have multiple font types, boxed quotes, and side quotes. For me this was page overload (I am 24 yrs old). I was glad these authors were against a literal one meaning view of the Bible (they note this is a new development, which is true). I recommend this book for new and young Christians. For mature Christians this book will seem redundant, the same old same old.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How Should Christians Live? study review

 
The Word of Promise Next Generation New Testament Devotional: How Should a Christian Live? (The Word of Promise: Next Generation Devotional & Journal)How Should a Christian Live? part of the The Word of Promise next generation series is a study and devotional aimed at tweens and younger teens. This study also comes with a CD with Sean Astin introducing the book of the Bible and then some young star reading the Scripture from the Reader Friendly edition (formally the International Children’s Bible).
This study on the whole does seem to be good for tweens in a small group setting. I am not sure this would be fun and exciting for them to do on their own. The CD has only one negative, in the background they play music which is great so there is not dead time but they also have this, I assume, writing noise (sounds more like the Smoke Monster from Lost) and it is way too loud compared to the background noise, it distracts from the reader. As a warning this material is very conservative (I would say fundamentalist). It promotes a direct inspiration of the Bible, as in God whispered the words to write in the author’s ear. This is fine you if you have that leaning or do not mind your child learning that. However this does take this to an extreme by stating, “He [God] has made sure the Bible remains exactly as He spoke it all those centuries ago.” This is a blatantly false, one only has to look at Mark 16, between verses eight and nine in almost every English Bible if not all of them include a note stating we have three different manuscript endings. Any Biblical scholar will tell you we did not have a perfect copy of the Bible, while it seems this study claims that we do and have several of them. They really need to reedit this study to clear this up because, what will someone do when confronted with the truth when they were told differently? A) Lose faith B) be ignorant. Neither of the options are healthy.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The White Horse King by Merkle, a review

The White Horse King by Benjamin Merkle is an intriguing story of King Alfred the Great. The story of Alfred the Great holds it own however it seems Merkle had a hard time keeping to the story or the focus of the story. It seemed Merkle occasionally lost sight of storytelling. I enjoyed the facts but he had a hard time transitioning between the facts and the story. I think he could better integrate the story and the facts to smooth out his storytelling. Maybe for his next book he could write a purely fiction book to develop his transitioning and staying on focus. Overall the book was good and I stayed captivated with the a few low points mentioned above and would recommend this book for those who enjoyed historical accounts that do not read as a history textbook.

Green by Ted Dekker, my review


The story of Thomas (of) Hunter continues on in Green by Ted Dekker. If you have read the original Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, and White) then this story is the next chapter of the saga. Thomas in the parallel world is living a peaceful life but a challenger to his reign and ideals rises up and challenges not only him but all those washed in the lake. Meanwhile back in a distance future world from our own, Billy is on a mission to find Thomas’ blood using is special ability to get it. Little does Billy or Thomas realize but both of their worlds are going to collide to complete the circle or destroy it.

The only two possible negatives of this book are one the author (Ted Dekker) believes anyone can pick this book first before reading the trilogy or any of the previous related stories and second the story is similar to the trilogy. I personally think this book would be extremely confusing for any one unfamiliar with any of the previous books. Beside these two aspects this book is just as enthralling and engaging as the original trilogy and easily rates as one of Dekker’s best fantasy novels.

Read the first chapters here: http://buzzplant.com/teddekker/green/downloads/Green-Chapter%201-2.pdf