Torrey Gazette is the combined work of everyday Christians blogging on books, family, art, and theology. So pull up a seat and join us. Family Table rules apply. Shouting is totally acceptable.

September Book Review

September Book Review

This was a hectic month with some pretty awesome reading from some excellent publishers. There were multiple kid's books reviewed as well. Those are not included here. I commend to you the book review page. There you will find all kinds of awesome stuff. Enjoy regardless.

First-Century Study Bible

Yes, I am not a fan of study Bibles. However, this makes two excellent study Bibles from Zondervan that I have now reviewed. Admittedly, this Bible's notes contain unanswered questions and concepts as put forth by older readers of the Scripture. Some of these are challenging and exhilarating. Others have been answered in Orthodox ways. This study Bible does not answer all your questions, it introduces you to the original audience and should be applauded for doing that well. Yes, it won't spoon fed evangelical systematics. That is a good thing.

How Sermons Work

This was a small and beneficial book on sermon preparation. Though I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but feel that it was not a complete enough work for those lacking experience with preaching. It didn't have the depth it needed despite excelling in breadth of concepts and ideas. David Murray put out a good book but it simple is not a stand alone resource.

Starting Missional Churches

This title might get me some flax after a recent conference in Katy, Tx. But I stand behind what I wrote initially, this book was good. Very, very good. I am aware that "missional churches" can be done wrong. In fact some readers might think the authors of this title are guilty of that (I myself have some doctrinal disagreements). Nevertheless, the American church has gotten lazy and it is time to import our missionary concepts to local church planting. This is not about consumer driven churches. This is not about hunting demographics. This is about being a church that serves the community not offer it an "heaven or hell" ultimatum. Pastors should buy this book. Individuals thinking of starting a house church certainly need to buy this book.

Deviant Calvinism

This was certainly the most provocative title of the month. It was an interesting experience as well. I was way off in my understanding of what it was meant for. About halfway through I was frustrated and put out. I went back to read the opening words from author Oliver Crisp and I realized I had been going about this book in entirely the wrong manner. I finished the book with a bipolar high. Individuals who hate Calvinism should read this. It addresses a lot of misconceptions. There is not much "new material" here but there are a lot of new "Calvinists" who could use this valuable introduction.

Christian Pipe Smoking

A tiny title. There is little I can say beyond my full length review without giving away too much. This is a good read that you can finish in under half a day. 

Give Me Children or I Shall Die

I have one complaint about this book, its cost. That is it. This was the best book of the month. Go check out my review and listen to the podcast interview with the author. This is a must read for people interested in seeing the Scripture and its description of children from the proper perspective. So many things are being taught that are inaccurate and wrong simply because they reflect our culture. It is causing us to muck up our teaching of the Scriptures. This book will set many back on the right track.

The Home Team

This was one of those roller coaster books. There were excellent parts. There were frustrating parts. It just wasn't covenantal enough for me. Clearly written by a baptist, the book just doesn't have the fire and fervor associated with covenant baptism and childrearing. Don't misunderstand me, this is a good book but it is not my top resource for this subject.

Throat Slitting not Shibboleth

Throat Slitting not Shibboleth

Historical Problems & the Problem with History

Historical Problems & the Problem with History