Robert J. Hutchinson is an award-winning writer and author earned his graduate degree in New Testament studies. Hutchinson’s most recent book is Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth — an overview of recent archaeological finds and new developments in Biblical scholarship that are calling into question much of what skeptical scholars have assumed and asserted about Jesus over the past two centuries. He blogs regularly at www.RobertHutchinson.com.
In this book Robert J. Hutchinson argues for the “Biblical Jesus” and not the watered-down secular Jesus that many have tried to label him as. Hutchinson’s Jesus is sizzling, brave, and compelling. Hutchinson argues for a Jesus who wooed crowds, grew famous all the while angering the powers that be.
But Hutchinson doesn’t just offer his opinion, he shows that much of the theory behind who Jesus was is out-dated and wrong and doesn’t line up with the historical data.
Who would like this book? I think anyone who is looking. Atheists can find value here as well as Christians. I don’t think this book is written simply for believers so that we can puff up our feathers and say, “see, I told you so.”
Do I think there is anything in this book that is crazy new or surprising? Not really. I don’t know that Hutchinson is really breaking any new undiscovered ground. These truths and discoveries I think are the ones Christians have held for generations.
And Hutchinson also backs up what he says with reference materials and he sites his sources. So, on the one hand the book feels a little scholarly, but on the other hand I think it’s very readable and digestible for lay people.
True, there are other historical Jesus books on the market, but if you’re curious you can’t go wrong with this one. I think anyone who has spoken with skeptics or any disciple of Christopher Hitchens would find value here as well.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review
Posted in Reader.
– January 5, 2016
Author Vicki Courtney is the founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries, producing online content and hosting events across the United States for preteen and teen girls and their parents. She is also the author of this new book Rest Assured: A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls.
Why did I pick it up? As a gift for my wife. I know that today’s woman feels obligated to a million things and pulled in a million more directions. I think there is a strong need to say “YES” to things that cross her plate but as many of us know – doing more doesn’t help us feel like we are “living more.”
Everyone needs rest. So yes, we need to admit that we need rest, but we also need healthy avenues to find rest and take advantage of it. So I got my wife this book knowing full well that a book won’t’ “fix” anything, but it can help with direction. It can help with assurances that she is not alone in this.
This book from Vicki Courtney is great in that it has tools and even a 30 day plan to get back to rest. This book kind of reads like an intervention at first – a “wake up call” that all of our lives are too busy. It’s our own fault, right? We make ourselves this way. and of course we are not always discerning about what we say “YES” to or what we allow “IN” our lives and so much of the time it’s the old adage “garbage in = garbage out.”
I think this is a great book, written well from a passionate heart and I pray it helps you in your journey as well.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this advanced copy for a honest review.
Posted in Reader.
– January 4, 2016
As a Pastor and Father I am always looking for bibles and faith based books for my two sons. My oldest is 8 and loves legos – so naturally I thougth this would be a good fit.
First the translation : The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) is a new Bible version based on the New International Version (NIV). The NIV is easy to understand and very clear. More people read the NIV than any other English Bible. So, Zondervan (the publisher) made the NIrV even easier to read and understand. They used the words of the NIV when they could, but often times they used “shorter” words. They also took the time to explain words that might be hard to understand; and they made the sentences shorter.
So yes, it’s a good translation for kids, but for children my son’s age, I still prefer the Common English Bible (CEB)
So what about the legos? Well – throughout this Bible, there are 24 double sided picture pages of Bible scenes made out of Legos (Noah, the Tower of Babel, Solomon, the Nativity, Jesus Walks on Water and many more) and then each of these pages also includes a “Building Block Verse” – sort of like a memory verse that relates to that story.
So aside from those 24 pages – it’s a normal small print times new roman font Bible. The pages are not colorful, the Bible does not have a child friendly layout – it’s almost like Zondervan took their normal NIrV gif bible and “inserted” these pages, slapped a cover on it and called it a “kid’s bible.”
In second grade, my son is still learning to read. So FOR HIM – the font is too small and there is too much text on each page. In my opinion this still an adult Bible with kid pictures in it.
So it’s a pass for me. I’ll be donating this to the Church library, or an older child.
I received this Bible free from Book Sneeze and ZonderKids for an unbiased review
Posted in Reader.
– December 12, 2015
Nobody ever said being a Christian was easy – Christians still experience doubt, stress and pitfalls in life just like anybody else. But this isn’t the life that God intends for you – no, the God of the Bible wants you to find peace (shalom) and God’s peace is not like the peace of the world – God’s peace is not simply the absence of war – no, God’s peace is about relationship and drawing near to Him.
This is exactly what the 365 Devotional from Cheri Cowell was written for. Readers of this book will draw inspiration each day with heartening scripture and relevant topics that are relatable and that are grounded in the world we live in.
Personally, I think that as our days and weeks become more hectic, we all need a bit more peach in our lives.
I liked how Cheri used several translations of the Bible depending on what she needed the words to say and I liked how she didn’t get to into her own examples but created vastly more relatable scenarios using things we could all identify with.
I also liked how this book was broken down into the seasons and holidays of the year much like praying the hours or lectionary.
Of course it should also be noted that this book is intended to be read by women.
Thank you to Zondervan for providing this advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Posted in Reader.
– December 9, 2015
Pastor-teacher John MacArthur helps readers understand Jesus’ parables and how they relate to the whole of His message. Jesus was a master storyteller, and the parables He told were ingeniously simple word pictures with profound spiritual lessons. Understanding the parables is a crucial matter for followers of Jesus. Jesus told parables so His people might comprehend His message about the kingdom of God clearly. Master expositor and Bible commentator John MacArthur has spent a lifetime explaining the Word of God in clear and comprehensible terms. In Parables he helps Christians understand the essential lessons contained in the most famous and influential short stories the world has ever known.
As a Pastor the parables are some of my favorite teachings of Jesus (if not my favorite) and so I was really looking forward to this book and John’s interpretations. One thing to note right away – this book does not cover ALL of Jesus’ parables. Jesus told over 40 parables and this book only covers about 7: The Parable of the Soils (Matthew 13:2-23)
Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45-46) the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15) the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and th Parable of the Two Sons (Luke 15:11-32)
But just because the author does not cover all the parables does not make this a “light” book by any means. This book was meant to encourage more preachers and teachers to teach like Jesus – sometimes with story, sometimes with exposition.
Also John wants to convey WHY Jesus spoke in parables – first and foremost to “hide” his message from the authorities and second to teach those who were willing to learn.
This is a great book and I look forward to going back to this again and again.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Book Look Bloggers for a review copy in exchange for an honest review
Posted in Reader.
– December 2, 2015