OFF MY SHELF: Preaching by Timothy Keller


“…the duties of preachers include not only probare, to instruct and prove, but also delectare, to rivet and delight, and flectere, to stir and move people to action.”

How do you talk about a guy that lived over 2000 years ago when people don’t care about what has happening last week? How do you discuss the events recorded in a piece literature about ancient history, when a large percentage of people can’t be bothered to pick up a book that deals with events of the past decade? How do you preach about faith in an age when everyone is a skeptic and everyone is an expert on doubt? Continue reading “OFF MY SHELF: Preaching by Timothy Keller”

OFF MY SHELF: Four Views On Hell, edited by William Crockett

(Note: This book is a part of Zondervan’s Counterpoints series. This books is part of the original Counterpoints series, published in 1997. Our previous review of the Four Views On Hell, found here, was a part of the 2016 Counterpoint series.)

The Bible confirms the existence of Hell. There is no two ways about it. The Bible says it. That settles it. But what is less clear, and what is not settled is what the Bible says about the nature of Hell. What is it like?

What happens to people that go there? Are they punished by fire and worms for all eternity? Or are those fire and worms merely metaphors for something? Could hell the place unbelievers are placed, only to be annihilated soon after? Or what about purgatory? Is that something that we should consider when we talk about the events of life after death?

That is what four theologians have come together to discuss. Continue reading “OFF MY SHELF: Four Views On Hell, edited by William Crockett”

Top 5 Books We Read In 2015

It’s that time of year again. Time for a recap of the greatest books that we read this past year. That doesn’t mean that all the books on this list were published in 2015, only that we read them this year and we think that you should too.

Here are the TOP 5 Books We Read in 2015.

1. Man Enough by Nate Pyle

Man Enough Cover

The idea of manhood seems to constantly be under threat. Continue reading “Top 5 Books We Read In 2015”

OFF MY SHELF: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

“Love is the attitude that says, “I am married to you, and I choose to look out for your interests.” Then the one who chooses to love will find appropriate ways to express that decision…”

We all search for love. Regardless of age, sex, culture, or any other demographical divide one can imagine, this is true for everyone. We want to be loved. This truth appears in our stories, in our religions, in our philosophy, even in our economical world. We all want to know that we are cared about, thought of, and respected as someone unique in the world.

But as much as we may all seek for love, we all know that love is not easy to show. Continue reading “OFF MY SHELF: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman”

Off My Shelf: Jesus Among Other Gods

“Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.”

What is truth? Who has the truth? How do I get a piece of that truth?

Depending on who you ask, what religion you ask regarding truth, you will most assuredly receive different answers. Muslims will say that the Quran holds the truth. Buddhists find truth in Enlightenment. Christians find truth in the person of Jesus Christ. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds upon thousands of religions or ideologies that try to stake a claim on what is truth. Who is right becomes the ultimate question. Or are they all right? Don’t all religions point the same way? Aren’t they all interested in the same thing, with different names and titles?

Jesus Among Other Gods declares an emphatic “No! All religions are not the same. Not all of them preach the same message. There is a great difference and it is important to know how they are different.” Continue reading “Off My Shelf: Jesus Among Other Gods”

Off My Shelf: The Shack

“And why the shack – the icon of his deepest pain? Certainly God would have better places to meet with him.”

It started out as a wonderful family vacation. Mackenzie Allen Philips and his children were heading up the lake to relax and enjoy some canoeing and hiking in the woods. Mackenzie, or Mack, as he was nicknamed, was having a wonderful time. His kids, Kate, Missy, and Josh were happy and healthy. His marriage to Nan was strong. He couldn’t say that for his relationship with God, but it wasn’t terrible. Life was good. But even to a good family, bad things can happen.

Missy was kidnapped. Though they searched frantically, she was never found. She was assumed murdered at the hands of  her kidnapper, when blood and a torn dress were found in an old, abandoned shack.  Continue reading “Off My Shelf: The Shack”

OFF MY SHELF: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

“He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

There are enough memoirs and accounts of survivals of the Holocaust. There are enough stories about life and death in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. The horrors and the devastating evil of humanity is well recorded already, even though some do not believe it, even though most do not fully understand. What the world needs is not another memoir or account, but instead a way to move on from that point. What the world is desperate for is not a tale of how men and women were abused and used by the powers of evil, but how life is not ultimately destroyed in the face of such adversity. What the world needs, back in 1946 as it does now, is a light to show us a way to live through the tragedies and trials..

What the world needs, what men and women are longing for, what the young and the old are seeking for, is a sense of meaning in their lives.

Having survived the nightmare that was Auschwitz, psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl shares a revolutionary approach to life, and to psychotherapy. Through the stories of his personal experience in the World War II concentration camp, Frankl explores what he believes to man’s primary motivation and driving force—Man’s Search For Meaning. Continue reading “OFF MY SHELF: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl”