Book Review: Moments Til Midnight

Studying the life of St. Paul is a special joy for me.  Perhaps it is because I can identify with him in some small way.  I am nowhere near the evangelist or leader he was, but I did persecute the church of God at one point.  Reading his story of redemption is one that inspires me to be a better Christian.  In his second letter to Timothy we read his last letter to his protégé.  What were those hours like?  In his book Moments Til Midnight, author Brent Crowe seeks to answer those questions.

To be clear this book is a work of fiction with scripture woven in.  The author seeks to reconstruct what he thinks the last 12 hours of Paul’s life were like.  Topics from grace, friendship , leadership, and conversion are discussed.  It is really unique and stands out from other books about Paul.  It is a different take on Paul, and quite frankly, one that is a breath of fresh air.  This is not a historical work, but it is one that the reader will learn from.   On a scale of one to five stars I give it a solid four.

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge from B&H in exchange for an honest review].

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Book Review: NICNT The Letter to Philemon

One of my favorite books of the New Testament is the short letter of the Apostle Paul to Philemon.  Coming in at just over 250 words the letter is short, but full of power.  Never read it?  I encourage you to as it is a constant reminder on how to treat our fellow man.  In this commentary, author Scot McKnight, provides excellent insights into this underrated book.

The letter itself deals with the topic of slavery as Paul is writing to Philemon on behalf of Philemon’s slave Oneisimus.  McKnight gives an excellent account of slavery in ancient Rome, and in doing so he calls to mind the church’s job of reconciliation.  On page five he writes, “Reconciled people become agents of reconciliation”.  With this in mind McKnight calls Philemon to a new relationship as siblings in Christ with his runaway slave.

Intermingled in the commentary the author provides various essays and takes aim at the very real problem of slavery in the 21st century.  These essays alone are worth the cost of the book.  The message of Philemon applies to the modern travesty as well, and the church needs to be a place of reconciliation and justice.

Overall this commentary was very well written and researched.  It is a fairly short book and is only 114 pages long, but those pages are power packed.  This is an excellent resource for any serious student of the scriptures.  I highly recommend it!

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge from Eerdamans in exchange for an honest review.]

 

Book Review: Paul and His Team

No matter what capacity you have in life you have heard of leadership.  Leadership is something that influences every aspect of our life.  Whether it be work, home, church, or a volunteer activity leadership is something we are involved in.  Leadership involves providing a clear vision, the ability to share the vision, and giving the tools needed for one to succeed.

When we think of Biblical figures there are many leaders, but the Apostle Paul emerges as a leader par excellance.  When he established churches he gave the tools needed, he followed up, provided guidance, and dealt with some very difficult situations (the situation in Corinth comes to mind).  In his new book Paul and His Team:  What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence, author Ryan Lokkesome evaluates the leadership of the Apostle Paul and helps us apply it to out lives today.

This is not a scholarly textbook, but is written for the average person in the pew.  The author breaks down the lessons that Paul provided then in easy to understand terms.  Not only that, but he provides real world guidance on how to apply the skills that Paul taught.  In describing Paul’s leadership ability the author writes, “We will see qualities like humility, self-sacrifice, and radical grace at work.  This stands in stark contrast to much of the leadership culture today, which often has a strident, boastful tone to it-even in Christian circles” (page 19).

Overall this book is a good one on leadership and gives some decent insights.  I rate it a 4/5.

[Note.  This book was provides free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]

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