Archive for the Christian Books Category

Codex Sinaiticus

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Books on 2009/07/06 by NY4JB

Everybody has probably heard about this already but it’s still cool to see one of the oldest copies of the Bible, even if it’s only images online.
Of course it’s hard to see it that way too since their server is swamped.  Well, here’s a link to the news story…
and if your patient the actual site.


“…the soul’s paradox of love…”

Posted in Christian Books with tags , , , , on 2009/01/03 by NY4JB

In our earthly existence with each new thing we learn, we always lose something else. For example, as a child watches a magician they can think of no way the tricks can be done other than real magic. Some people will hold on to the fascination their entire life, while others will learn how the tricks are done and forever lose that innocent fascination. The same is true of everything earthly, a music fan has a simple pleasure in listening while the trained musician may appreciate the music on a deeper level but has lost that simple pleasure.

For the most part the trade-off is in our favor, as children we enjoy getting gifts but as parents we enjoy giving them, and as a grandparent that pleasure is even greater. There are times when it is not; for me, movies with special effects are hard to watch because I either know how it was done or I’m more interested in how it was done than in the movie itself.

There is one area of our lives where this does not apply; The Pursuit of God; as A.W. Tozer says in his book by that name, “To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love…” The more we learn of God the more that is revealed. One can spend a lifetime and never know Him completely, what a wonderful, magical trick indeed.

Heavenly Father,
We give thanks that you are infinite; not limited like all that we know on Earth; that we may study you all our lives and will never finish our quest to know you. Oh Lord, give us the desire to seek you all of our days and to share your Gospel joyfully and never with fear. It is in the sweet name of Jesus that we pray.

Desire of the Everlasting Hills by Thomas Cahill (2002)

Posted in Christian Books with tags , , , on 2008/12/17 by NY4JB

I am about half way through this book and finding that Cahill may not believe

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

He is taking the approach of a human historian reviewing historical documents written by humans.  What does it matter if the writer was not present at an event if his writing is inspired by God?  Does someone taking dictation need to have first hand knowledge of an event in order to write what is being dictated?  No, of course not. 

There are some areas of the Bible where we may not be sure that what we have is the original content (for example the end of Mark’s Gospel) and there are differences in translation from the original language, however, we are not free to pick and choose what is correct based on who we think might have witnessed an event.  We know that God witnessed every event and inspired the writers.  We are not talking about reporters doing their best to write down what they saw these are God’s chosen instruments recording the Truth.

I will continue to read Cahill’s book and add comments to this if I see a turnaround in the second half but I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not have a strong foundational faith in the Scriptures as God’s inerrant truth.

Christmas Book Giveaway!

Posted in Christian Books with tags on 2008/12/15 by NY4JB

Get in on the drawing

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill (1996)

Posted in Christian Books with tags , , , , , , , on 2008/12/15 by NY4JB

This is the first book of a seven volume series called
The Hinges of History by Thomas Cahill
The website has a pretty nice reader’s guide which could be used as a leaders guide for a group reading of these books. I read this one a while back so will just give it a quick treatment here and I’m currently reading Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus (2002).  Look for a post about that one soon. By the way the other books available in this series, at this time, are…

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (1999)

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (2004)

Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe (2006)

So here’s my quick treatment of How the Irish Saved Civilization. Read it! Have you’ve ever wondered; How Rome fell? What that has to do with the Irish? How the Roman Catholic Church got to be the way it is? Who Saint Patrick was? Why we don’t read from scrolls anymore? Unless you already know all of these things, and even if you do, this is required reading for the Christian. I will warn you that it takes a while before it gets to Ireland but the background material is essential to understanding modern Christian history. With that said just one final comment. There’s no excuse for not owning this book as there are tons of copies available on the used book market so you can have one for next to nothing.

Heavenly Father,
You are our God and the creator of all. As you have said, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”  Therefore, we ask for wisdom and discernment in our reading, that our focus be on your glory and that our reading be profitable according to your purpose. We give thanks for the freedom we enjoy, that you have granted us, making books such as these easy to obtain, unlike the times when books were burned out of ignorance. Just as you brought your people out of Egypt into the Promised Land; please bring us out of bondage to the things of this world and into your Kingdom, in Jesus name we pray.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Posted in Christian Books with tags , , , , , , on 2008/12/04 by NY4JB

Tim Challies is running a group reading of Mere Christianity (, please check it out and join in the fun of reading this great book with the group. Here are some thoughts on the genesis of the book during WWII.

My first thought on how this was initially delivered is that we (at least most people in the US) don’t have a clue of what it was like to live in England during WWII. I’ve never lived anywhere that was under attack with nightly bombings. I’m thinking it would be something like Atlanta declared war; Chattanooga just fell and Nashville (where I currently live) is being shelled and the rest of the world doesn’t want to get involved. These are conditions that could shake one’s faith and this is the audience being addressed. So does this book have value today? I say yes, we are currently under worldwide financial siege by an invisible enemy. Many will point fingers and fight over what is causing the recession but there is no doubt that loss of faith in financial systems is adding to the problem. Times like these will either shake our faith in God or strengthen it, making Mere Christianity relevant today.

So let us pray for wisdom and understanding as we embark on a journey to understand Mere Christianity.

Heavenly Father,
You are God; great and merciful; the creator of all that we know. Please give each of us insight and wisdom as we read about Christianity as a group. Let this book be a tool to strengthen the faith of all that read it and an instrument to grow your kingdom on earth. We pray in Jesus name that you will grant this.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Posted in Christian Books with tags , , , , , on 2008/12/03 by NY4JB

I read this book a year ago but it came up in Bible study last night so here’s my quick introduction to it.

The premise is interesting as each chapter represents a letter from Screwtape (a senior tempter) to his nephew Wormwood (a young tempter) regarding one particular man’s life. The setting is England during war time and we do not get to see Wormwood’s letters. So we are basically being made privy to the enemy’s actions in trying to collect souls and some of the tactics they might use.

This is not a difficult read or overly long and I recommend that every Christian read this book. If you do please come back and post your comments here, thanks and God bless.