Book Reviews

The TouchPoint: Connecting with God through the Bible: A Short Review

The TouchPoint Bob Santos

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

In The TouchPoint: Connecting with God through the Bible, Bob Santos offers an understanding of how a close engagement with the bible allows the Believer to experience authentic encounters with God. The author explains that a serious commitment to the Word of God will cure hardened hearts. Also, Santos gives the reader a fundamental overview of the bible. This work strives to make the bible clearer for all readers. In fact, the author devotes an entire chapter, “Understanding the Bible,” to aiding Believers in gaining deeper revelations about God’s Word.

Too many pastors and preachers lack a real knowledge of the Word of God. Instead of making strong investments in receiving proper knowledge about it, they harmfully substitute biblical truths with their own, subjective advice. Living in this evil and dangerous world, one cannot afford to miss constant encounters with God available through reading, studying, and mediating on the Word of God.

Without question, I highly recommend this book. The TouchPoint: Connecting with God through the Bible promises to buttress one’s relationship with God. Contrary to many apostolic and pentecostal churches’ teachings, a God-encounter emerges from reading, studying, and mediating on the Word of God and not from simply shouting, dancing, and speaking in tongues.

In exchange for a fair assessment, Book Crash supplied me with a copy of this book to pen this review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Between Pain & Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering: A Brief Review

Between Pain and Grace

(Photo Credit: Design Corps)

In Pain & Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering, Gerald W. Peterman and Andrew J. Schmutzer offer a thorough and astute assessment of Scripture’s treatment of pain and grace.  Although many readers, especially those who are not advanced bible students or theologians, will find Peterman and Schmutzer’s assertion that God experiences suffering unsettling, their argument on this topic is worthwhile to consider. For those of us who understand the realities of anger, the scholars’ view of anger as a type of suffering may be satisfying.  They discuss mental health and sexual abuse in the context of suffering. What one will discover from this text is his or her faith in what grace has made available will lead him or her to triumph over pain and suffering.

Unlike most books concentrating on pain and suffering that relate them in such generic ways, this work concatenates biblical truths and evidence with clinical research about pain and suffering. I found this book to demonstrate how powerful the grace of Christ is in helping believers to overcome the challenges and problems they experience. As Peterman and Schmutzer explain, pain and suffering are unavoidable in this life. How we elect to confront them will determine our outcomes, however. After reading this book, many readers are likely to increase their faith and trust in Christ’s ability to enable them to rise above pain and suffering.

I highly recommend this book. In a nation and world where elevating violence and hate can seem unbearable, Peterman and Schmutzer remind us that the Finished Work of the Cross has already conquered the pain and suffering we face. It is our job to partake of the grace Jesus has extended to defeat pain and suffering.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

American Woman’s Bible, NKJV: A Short Review

American Woman's Bible

Photo Credit: BookLook Bloggers

The American Woman’s Bible: Women, Godly Virtues, and the Making of America (New King James Version) contains the Word of God translated in language much more accessible than the King James Version, and this particular edition of the bible includes inspiring American women’s history throughout to complement particular books and chapters of the bible. It also contains a helpful concordance.

 
This edition of the bible offers a pleasant reading experience: colored-print, illustrations, various biographies of key women in American history, and more. Most readers will learn some critical phenomena about American history—all while immersing themselves in God’s Word. Durability will never become an issue with this book; it’s well-crafted. With an excellent typeface and print in general, this bible is likely to become the primary bible one reads. Guys shouldn’t think this is a bible simply for women—it’s a bible for everyone.

 
Although this is an excellent bible, it would have been even better if it supplied the reader with study helps. A bible does not have to be a study bible to provide the reader with study helps. I still highly recommend purchasing and reading this bible.

 
In exchange for my honest review, BookLook Bloggers furnished me with a copy of this bible.

 
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Play a Part in Ending the Greatest Evil of Our Day by Frank Pavone: A Short Book Review

Abolishing Abortion

(Photo Credit: Booklook Bloggers)

In Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Play a Part in Ending the Greatest Evil of Our Day, Reverend Frank Pavone offers a comprehensive and aggressive approach to eliminating abortion in America. Instead of allowing churches and individual Christians to succumb to the argument that they should refrain from engaging in politics, including politics related to abortion, Pavone challenges them to fight vociferously and passionately for the lives of the unborn. For the author, Christians concerned about ending abortion have the power to reform how government works, and this will require a harmonious banding together of churches and Christians committed to exercising their moral authority and who refuse to have their voices silenced.

Although pro-choice readers will not like this book, pro-life readers will be moved to act in ways that are more coordinated and intentional. In the extant political and cultural climate, too many pro-life Christians have lost faith in seeing a day when abortion no longer exists in America. Pavone makes a convincing argument that a ban on abortion is very much possible. He posits that abortion will end when pro-life Christians and churches unite to demand a reversal of Roe v. Wade. As the book argues successfully, it is essential to elect politicians who sincerely commit to appointing and confirming pro-life judges to sit on courts at every level. I encourage pro-life Christians to read this book and employ it as a tool to save the lives of the unborn.

Booklook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Carole Arceneaux’s James: Faith Becomes Real: A Short Review

The Book of James Commentary

(Courtesy of BookLook Bloggers)

In James: Faith Becomes Real, Carole Arceneaux offers readers a commentary on the Book of James.  The book provides readers with a verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter analysis of the entire Book of James.  While the dominant purpose of the work is to be a commentary, it strives to be a devotional as well.

If one has little background or understanding of the Book of James, then Arceneaux’s work will be helpful to him or her.  Most effective commentaries are academic in nature.  When a person reads this book, he or she will immediately notice that it lacks the authoritative voice typical of academic discourse.  In all other commentaries I have read, I learned something new or had my prior knowledge expanded.  Unfortunately, this book did not benefit me in any way.

Although the effort to add a devotional dimension to a commentary is an interesting and rewarding idea, the devotional aspect of this work seemed more about filling the pages to meet a page number quota.  The book simply lacks the depth necessary to be considered a serious commentary.  Arceneaux’s work certainly could have benefitted from better revision and editing.  Many of the sentences lack the clarity they needed to achieve.

In short, I would not recommend reading this book.  Some elements of James: Faith Becomes Real have potential.  The book, however, needed more work before it was published.

In exchange for my honest critique of James: Faith Becomes Real, BookLook Bloggers supplied me with a complimentary copy of it.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

J.D. Greear’s Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You: A Brief Summary and Thoughtful Reflection

J.D. Greear

Pastor J.D. Greear and family
(Photo Credit: The Summit Church)

In Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You, J.D. Greear explores how the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, living on the inside of Believers enables them to experience a relationship with God that is more empowering and fulfilling than the relationship Believers enjoyed when the Incarnate Christ dwelled on earth. Greear emphasized that one cannot fulfill the will of the Lord without the active presence of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. This work calls for individuals to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the individual experiencing a personal and spiritual renaissance.

Greear’s book evinces that one of the greatest benefits of receiving the grace of God is having the Holy Spirit live inside of the individual. In a time when too many people and churches are deemphasizing and neglecting the Holy Spirit, this work provides a valuable contribution to the Christian community by revealing it is the free operation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer that enables him or her to experience a satisfying life in this present world. The practical biblical truths this book extends to readers allows them to gain a deeper appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and it challenges readers to become more connected to the power of the Holy Spirit.

I highly recommend that Believers read Greear’s work to learn how to unleash the full power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to pen an authentic review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Raise Him Up: A Single Mother’s Guide to Raising a Successful Black Man: A Review

Raise Him Up Moore

(Photo Credit: BookLook Bloggers)

In Raise Him Up: A Single Mother’s Guide to Raising a Successful Black Man (2013), Stephanie Perry Moore offers the reader some personal insights about the struggles single black women face rearing successful black boys who develop into men.  Extensive research has empirically proven that black male students academically lag behind all of their peers throughout every level of education.  The narratives of single black women who rear black boys receive limited focus in the professional literature.  This book, therefore, provides a needed account of the challenges and problems encountered by single black women rearing black boys, especially their efforts to rear successful black boys who evolve into successful black men.  Moore contends that using spiritual instruction and guidance available in the bible is essential to producing successful black boys and men.  The author relies heavily on the Book of Acts to support her suggestions and arguments.  She gives the reader prayers they can use in their work with their black male child.  One chapter is devoted to rearing a successful black male student-athlete.

While the book offers important practical challenges and problems encountered by single black mothers rearing black boys, Moore made a poor strategic choice of employing the Book of Acts as her primary source for biblical support for the things she suggested and asserted.  The biblical support is simply forced throughout the work.  The chapter on rearing a successful black male student-athlete appears tacked on and lacks adequate coverage.  The chapter on rearing a successful black male student-athlete would have been better as a separate, standalone project.

Overall, the book leaves much more to be desired.  This book is a classic case of a good idea not executed well.  During the review process of this book, someone should have made a compelling case to Moore to buttress her biblical support for her arguments and advice by choosing more relevant scriptures to enhance her arguments and advice.  Although there are some nice qualities about the book, I cannot highly recommend the book because of its many failures.

BookLook Bloggers gave me a complimentary copy of the book to compose a professional review of it.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison