Faith Seekers Amidst Doubt

Joseph Loconte, author of The Searchers A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt, uses literature, film, philosphy, history, and politics to examine the story of the Emmaus walk when two friends meet a stranger and begin the search for the truth in a world of madness, hatred, and doubt.  Loconte challenges the reader to thoroughly investigate his/her beliefs by pushing him/her to analyze Scripture in a manner that is fully immersed.  No more can the reader hold onto beliefs that have not been fully investigated and analyzed.  In our world of confusing and unsettling violence, many question God and His allowance of this evil.  However, Loconte uses all of the genres to push the reader to come to a better understanding of who God is and why He allows the evil.

Christianity Today states “This is a good book to give to someone who is looking at faith from the outside, but it will also be helpful to believers who have been led to expect tidy answers and neat resolutions and have come up hard against disappointment, absurdity, and loss.”  I would have to agree with that analysis.  Pick up a copy for yourself (put it on the coffee table after you read it!) and one for a friend or neighbor!

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

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The Bad, The Mean, and The Downright Ugly

Men will tell you that “women can be mean and ugly.” Of course the same can be said of them as well, but Liz Curtis Higgs addressed this issue in Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn From Them. She delineated the lines of women into those girls who were bad for a moment, bad for a season but not forever, and bad to the bone. Higgs uses humor to tell the stories of some of the most well-known women of the Bible. We all know that the Bible was written for teaching and reproof so the lessons that can be learned from these women is monumental.

You will learn about Eve, Potiphar’s wife, Lot’s wife, the woman at the well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Michal, and the sinful woman. Before you read the book, try to determine what Higgs said about each woman’s label. Was Eve bad for a moment, for a season, or just plain bad to the bone? Why did Higgs place each of these women into the lines that she chose? Can we really learn from women who lived over 2000 years ago? You may be surprised! You will enjoy Higgs humor, wit, and the lessons that she teaches through all of this.

I received this book free for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Rank my review by clicking on the picture and you might win a book for yourself!

 

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Ancient Blessings Spoken

There are many Scriptures that foretell of the blessings that will flow from God but none are as impressive as  the blessing given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 which states, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land [Israel] that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you [Israel and the Jewish people], And I will curse him who curses you: And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (p 6, The Power of the Prophetic Blessing).'”  From that one blessing flow the blessings for all mankind.  John Hagee, author of The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, outlines the meaning behind the blessings detailed in the Holy Bible as spoken for His prophets, how those blessings pertain to the current generation, and how to claim the blessings for yourself and your family.

Hagee strongly ties the blessings to the Jewish people through which everyone else is blessed and also warns against any prejudice or malice toward the Jewish people to avoid the loss of the blessings.  His book is written so the average reader is able to follow his thoughts.  He backs all of his opinions with Scripture.  I enjoyed reading his perspective and would recommend his book for those interested in delving into this topic.  One specific highlight of this book was a description of a demonstration that his wife, Diana, uses in her Women of God seminars based on the book God Uses Cracked Pots by Patsy Clairmont.  “…Diana displays two urn-shaped vases on a table.  She takes a candle and places it in the first vase, which is beautiful and flawless in every way.  Diana lights the candle, covers the opening of the vase, and holds it up for the audience to see.  The vessel, though perfect, does not allow the light within it to shine through its unblemished exterior.  It is useless to light a path for those needing to find their way.

Diana then places a candle in the second vase, which is cracked and scarred.  She lights the candle, covers the opening, and holds up the ugly vessel.  The radiant light from within the vessel floods through the broken places, providing a beautiful glow that guides those who have lost their way.

And so it is with out lives!  We all have ugly cracks and scars caused from the heartbreaks of our past.  Maybe those cracks and scars were caused by sexual abuse; perhaps they were caused by the rejection of your mother, your father, or even both your parents.  Maybe those cracks were caused by a bitter divorce, or a secret abortion, or the time you spent in the penitentiary in the dark past no one knows about.

God, the Master Potter, could have allowed your life to be flawless – but those ugly cracks caused by the setbacks of life allow the light of God’s love to shine through you to give guidance to those searching for truth in life’s journey.  Blessed are those who are cracked pots, whose imperfections of the past are the source of courage, strength, and inspiration for those searching for the Light of the world (p 169-170).”

I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing.  You can win this book by commenting on this blog!  Winners will be chosen by Random.org on September 10, 2012.

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