All posts filed under: Review

The Green Ember | Book Review

Let’s start where ancient wisdom tells us not to and judge this book by its cover. If I didn’t know anything about S.D. Smith‘s first children’s novel or about Story Warren Books, the cover would’ve been enough to convince me to give it a chance. Zach Franzen‘s art is warm and crisp, inviting viewers to explore the world of these rabbits with swords. Okay, so only one rabbit has a sword on the cover. Not the point. The cover art is superb! That’s the point. Young ones will enjoy finding more of Franzen’s art throughout the book as well. As it stands I actually did know a thing or two about this book and it’s publisher before I purchased it. For instance, Story Warren says they exist to serve you as you foster holy imagination in the children you love. Awesome! Or how about the author’s claim to write new stories with an old soul? Okay. I’m in. It was a no brainer from there. I had to purchase the hardcover edition of The Green Ember, which is a high quality product and …

Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor | Book Review

I recently had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of a Ten Ways to Kill A Pastor. I loved it! Reverend Christopher Thoma does a profound job of getting to the heart of the pain that pastors can, and do experience. His stories are easy to consume, but hard to digest as the reality of what can, and sadly does, occur in the ministry is heartbreaking. It’s a privilege to have my reaction to this work printed on its back cover: A defibrillator that delivers a therapeutic jolt straight to the Christian heart! It truly is! This book brings to life the real hurts experienced by pastors and their families. It’s a great resource that opens for parishioners a perspective that perhaps they’ve never considered, enabling them to serve their pastor, which in turn will enable him to best serve them – in joy and not with groaning (Hebrews 13:17).

An Advent for Religious Liberty | Book Review

Ray Keating’s third Pastor Stephen Grant Novel, An Advent for Religious Liberty continues to bring to life this heroic pastor. What pastor doesn’t want to be like Pr. Grant? What parishioner doesn’t want him as his shepherd?! At only 157 pages this book is just about half the length of book two, Root of All Evil? (read my thoughts on that book here). I don’t know if it was originally released during Advent, but I wish I would’ve read it during Advent. As a novella it packs an intriguing story into a quick read, perfect for the busy-ness that comes with December! Mayor-elect Adam Pritchett’s over the top personality is Trumpian (for lack of a better word), which enabled me to buy into the rapid and overt attack on religious freedom in the story. How it’s stopped, well, that’s on par with how I’ve come to expect Pr. Stephen Grant to handle things – like a boss. A great teaser story between Root of All Evil? and The River, which I can’t wait to read. Perfect for the faithful who want a seasonal book consumable …

Root of All Evil? | Book Review

Ray Keating’s second Pastor Stephen Grant novel, Root of All Evil? is a fantastic follow up to Warrior Monk (click here for my review of that work). It’s a well crafted political thriller full of intrigue and theological truth. Keating’s world has proven profitable for contrasting good theology with bad. In this book he tackles money and how it impacts the Church. I was impressed with the skillful and varied way the author deposited the money theme into the story: from global economics, to the prosperity gospel, to expenses that come with operating a parochial school, to the concerns laity have regarding their pastor’s salary. Keating’s economist background pays offs big! I can’t wait to crack open the next book!

The Messengers: Discovered | Book Review

On the back cover of Lisa M. Clark’s debut thriller, The Messengers: Discovered, published by Concordia Publishing House, there is a word printed in small type: futuristic. It’s there under the ISBN barcode. A genre classification. But just how futuristic is this adventure? Clark tells an exciting and believable story centered on the Word of God. The setting, though a dystopian future, isn’t hard to imagine. In light of the rise of ungodliness in America, it’s easy to see the world Simon Clay lives in as one we may well inhabit in the not-too-distant future. Discovered delivers God’s life-forming truth, demonstrating it’s transformative power and the significance it has on those who believe. In fact, it does it with such precision and skill that it begs the question: why doesn’t CPH publish fiction regularly?! With each turn of the page, readers, especially young readers (Clark’s primary audience) are built up in the understanding that there is no darkness that can overcome the light of Christ (John 1:5). A much needed message for all believers today! I bought this book …