Friday, July 18, 2014

The Book of Revelation Made Clear by Tim Lahaye & Timothy E. Parker

The unique approach to a biblical book used by the authors is a good idea: there is a pre-quiz to test what you know, followed by the biblical passage, the authors' explanation of the meaning, and the quiz answers. As I began to read, I looked forward to learning much about this mysterious book. I concluded that three out of the four parts were effective; the one consistently weak link were the meaning sections, as they typically were more brief that the biblical passage, often either merely restating the passage or offering an unsupported viewpoint. As an example, in explanation of the meaning of chapter 17, verses 1 through 4, the authors say, "The 'scarlet beast' represents government. The 'woman' represents religion." Repeatedly as I read, I found myself thinking, "How do we know that?" A better name for this book would have been "The Book of Revelation Made Simple" or "One View of the Book of Revelation", for this great book is made clear only to those who either know no other views or who know other views but believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture. Only those would find the title apt, as no other views of Revelation are even mentioned, much less considered. This book presents the authors' view in a straightforward and simple way, so their view of Revelation is made clear. If that narrow focus is what you want, then this book is for you. If you are hoping for a scholarly discussion, or even one that justifies its viewpoints or considers several interpretations about the book of Revelation, look elsewhere. I received this book in exchange for my review of it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Dr. Kevin Leman

This author makes the point that, contrary to popular belief, the most influential relationship in a female's life is her father, setting the trajectory for all other relationships, including her relationship with God. He makes this point using practical and statistical proofs. He emphasizes that dads are to aim to be excellent role models in discipline and balance, paying attention to the unique qualities of each daughter, while maintaining a primary loyalty to mom. Primary ingredients in a successful dad-daughter relationship include encouragement, acceptance and affirmation, while avoiding the poison of perfectionism and flaw-picking. Each chapter ends with a few bulleted talking points to drive home in just a few words the chapter's most important ideas, and there is a valuable list, "The ABCs of a Good Dad" at the end of the book. This book is a good, basic primer on fatherhood with lots of practical help. I would recommend it to anyone interested in improving this vital relationship. I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my review of it.