Book Reviews – Spring 2017

Why bother with church?
And other questions about why you need it and why it needs you

Sam Allberry

(The Good Book Company, 2016)

This short, delightful book explains from the Bible what the church is and why we need it. Allberry looks at what makes a good church, how a church is run, and how to be a good church member. He considers why there are so many denominations and other practical questions. This is an excellent, well-written primer on the church that all Christians should read. JH

Reviewer rating is 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

Reviewed by Don Schaeffer

Discipling:
How to Help Others Follow Jesus

Mark Dever

(Crossway, 2016)

Dever looks at what discipling is, when we should disciple, and how to disciple. He ends the book by telling how he has worked to find, encourage, and raise up leaders in his church. He gives nine steps for training leaders and reminds church leaders that this is one of their particular obligations. Every follower of Christ will benefit from this book. JH

Reviewer rating is 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

Reviewed by Don Schaeffer

Zeal without Burnout:
Seven keys to a lifelong ministry of sustainable sacrifice

Christopher Ash

(The Good Book Company, 2016)

The author reminds us that we are frail and fragile creatures of dust. Unlike God who neither slumbers nor sleeps, we need sleep. Putting aside time for sleep, sabbath rests, a weekly day off shows we are trusting God to work. We also need time with friends and the inward renewal of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Ash tells us that nothing we do for Christ will be in vain. The sacrifice is worth it even when there seems to be little fruit. We must learn to rejoice in grace rather than gifts. This is a book for every Christian worker to read and learn from. JH

Reviewer rating is 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

Reviewed by Don Schaeffer

Transgender

Vaughan Roberts

(The Good Book Company, 2016)

This is the first book in Talking Points, a series of short books to help Christians think and talk about current issues and to relate to others with compassion, conviction, and wisdom. Roberts helps us think about gender identity issues in light of the story of the Bible—creation, fall, and rescue. He reminds us from Genesis 2 that only God has the authority to define what is good and what is evil: “All of us are broken. All of us are disordered” (p. 47). The final chapter suggests applications of Bible truth to circumstances we face. He looks at how a church should respond and what we should do when those close to us struggle with transgender feelings. Roberts ends with hope for those who trust in Christ: “God has begun that transformation in us which will continue until completion, when at last we’ll be put back together—body and soul perfectly integrated for the glory of God” (p. 74). JH

Reviewer rating is 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

Reviewed by Don Schaeffer

J.C. Ryle:
Prepared to Stand Alone

Iain H. Murray

(Banner of Truth, 2016)

This biography of Ryle (1816-1900) is full of ministry lessons. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool, is well-known for his book, Holiness. Murray chronicles the story of this remarkable man who did not pray or read his Bible till he was 21 but became a Christian “bold as a lion for the truth of God’s Word and his Gospel” (p. 213). “Preaching Christ was the main substance of his ministry” (p. 224). Murray’s biography of this great saint will encourage and challenge all believers.

Reviewer rating is 5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★

Reviewed by Don Schaeffer

Don and his wife Hazel serve with the Christian & Missionary Alliance and came to Japan in 1984. They have planted churches in Saitama Ken and served in mission leadership.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*