Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Max on Life

Like so many others, I have always enjoyed the writings of Max Lucado.  He has a way of making deep spiritual truths relevant and easy to understand.  He speaks and he writes with the heart of a pastor, even with the heart of Jesus, with an obvious desire to see people know and understand all the wonders of God's glory and love.  He uses storytelling and short chapters to make his points, which makes his books easy, even fun, to read.  True to form, Max on Life is a collection of stories, in the form of readers' questions, covering 172 topics from "Who is God?" to "Why me?" to "Is this wrong?"  Many are age-old questions, but many are questions that the church often avoids talking about because the questions are awkward or uncomfortable. This book is written for those who are hungering for answers to life's difficult questions and those who are trying to figure out how to apply God's Word in their everyday lives.  My only criticism is the title and cover...I love Max Lucado and would pick this book because of him, but there are many who would really benefit from reading it, but will never pick it up because they don't know who Max is.  I would hope that they may release a new edition someday with a different title and cover to broaden the appeal to those unfamiliar with his work. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Radical Together

This is a sequel of sorts to David Platt's first book "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream".  Whereas "Radical" was addressed to individuals in their personal walks of faith, "Radical Together" is addressed to the local church.  I wish that I could say that the book's contents were not all that radical...I saw nothing in it that was outside of Biblical teaching.  However, the subtitle, "Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God" is exactly what the church needs most, but to find it is all too rare.  There are six chapters, each based on a guiding principle for the church to live radically. "1) One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church. 2) The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work. 3) The Word does the work. 4) Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people. 5) We are living--and longing--for the end of the world.  6) We are selfless followers of a self-centered God." 
If these principles sound like something that you would like to read more about, then you would really enjoy this book.  Even greater, the book would be great for small group study, with a discussion guide at the end with questions and brainstorming ideas to unleash your own local body for the purpose of God!