Monday, April 18, 2011

Max on Life by Max Lucado

The author answers 172 common questions, organized into seven categories, including Hope, Hurt, Help and Home.

The questions were excellent and, for the most part, so were the answers. For example, one person whose mother was in a nursing home had difficulty visiting her. Max told of visiting his mother there, saying, “At first I saw age, disease, and faded vigor. With time I saw love, courage, and unflappable unselfishness. Ask God to show you his work. He will be happy to do so.” With just a few words, Max demonstrated the ability to help shift a perspective. His answer to a person’s question about suicide was equally good: “God does not measure a person by one decision, nor should we.”

Some answers, though, came across as trite. One person struggled with forgiving an abuser, and Max responded that hurt people hurt people, and forgiveness breaks that chain; Jesus forgave people, including the abuser: “Before you get caught in the crazy cycle of hurt and forgivelessness, try shifting your glance away from the one who hurt you and setting your eyes on the One who has saved you. We all need forgiveness. Especially the person who hurt you.” It was as if Max were answering the question, “Do I need to forgive?” rather than, “One day I feel that I can forgive, and the next I feel I can’t.”

This book was a courageous attempt to answer people’s hardest questions, and I recommend it. While it was a little uneven, many questions were answered well.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky

This book asks common questions people have of God, providing answers from the perspective of God, Jesus and biblical characters who faced issues reflecting those questions. Major topics covered are the reality of God, trustworthiness of the Bible, and what the Bible teaches about the future, pain, Jesus, the kingdom, heaven and hell, humanity, Christian living, and today’s world.

Frankly, I didn’t expect too much because 1) the subject matter is so broad and 2) the author was unknown to me, but the author did an exceptional job of responding to each question in a thoughtful, kind vein with what I consider to be accurate, biblical answers. His answers are firmly founded on Scripture, which he quotes constantly and at great length. My one wish is that the author would have woven the references into his text rather than putting them in endnotes.

This book was interesting, enlightening, and helpful. It would be especially profitable for a new Christian. It was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I recommend it.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.