Sutter Salem Bible Church

1026 E County Road 550 N Warsaw, IL 62379

Tel: 217 658 3541 | E-mail: pastor@suttersalem.org


Non-Fiction Book Reviews

 

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

(Author of the Hym, "More Love to Thee, O Christ")


"kate", at the age of sixteen, is self-willed and ill-tempered, but truthful and frank. She is unsure of her relationshilp to Christ, and begins to recored her thoughts and struggles in a journal. Her Godly mother is a constant reminder to her that she lacks devotion to God. Many disappointments, illnesses, and sorrows cause her to look to God and give her a deep desire to please Him.

 

In her own words, she says: "What I am, that I must be, except as God changes me into His own image. And everything brings me back to that, as my supreme desire. I see more and more that I must be myself what I want my children to be and that I cannot make myself over even for their sakes. This must be His work."

 

This book was loaned to me by a friend, but I soon bought my own copy. You will see yourself in many of the thoughts that she expresses. It will encourage you in your walk with God. You will want to read it over and over again.

 

Jean

 

 

Foster, Bill. Meet The Skeptic: A Field Guide to Faith Conversations. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2008.

This is a short book, only 142 pages including the endnotes, but is highly useful for helping you to make your conversations with unsaved people effective. The first chapter deals with the WHY of our conversations with the unsaved, and rightly notes “Understand that our task is not to convert or even to convince them; it is to communicate truth.” In order to effectively communicate truth, we must, to some degree, know the people to whom we are communicating. We have to know the questions that they are asking and provide answers from a Biblical framework. The rest of the book helps us to understand some of the spiritual jargon that we have learned in the church, but which non-Christians have faulty understandings of, and which will cause confusion in your conversation, because what you are saying is not what they are hearing. The remainder of the book provides sketches of the different types of skepticism which you may encounter, and some effective ways of dealing with each type of thinking.

 

For those who desire to be effective in establishing lines of communication with unbelievers, this is a very useful book. It does not in any way claim to make your conversations successful, but you will be better equipped to successfully communicate the message of Christ to a skeptical world.

 

 

 

The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel

The title of this book caught my attention, The Christian Atheist, and I wondered how the contradiction in terms could apply to one person. Craig Groeschel explains that a Christian atheist is one who “believes in God but is living as if He doesn’t exist”.

 

His personal story of being raised as a “Christian” and the sharing of his child-like ideas about God and hell made me laugh out loud. He was the Christian atheist, but during college, he did turn to Christ and testifies that according to 2 Cor.5:17 he became a new creature, crying out to God, “Take my life.”

 

Craig Groeschel became a Christian then later a pastor, and shares his continual challenge in life---not to live as an atheist, but to live before God as one who knows He exists. His challenge is to all those who believe but don’t really know Him, aren’t sure of His love, are ashamed of the past, don’t think He’s fair, won’t forgive, don’t think they can change, still worry, pursue happiness at any cost, trust more in money, don’t share their faith, don’t believe in His church.

 

After reading The Christian Atheist, I am challenged to walk with more confidence in God, especially in the area of His church. This
was a good read for me.

 

Joan