Reviews by James Matichuk
On 3/21 James Matichuk wrote: Reclaiming Hope by Michael Wear tells the story of faith in the Obama administration. Before he turned twenty-one in 2008, Wear was already a White House staffer, appointed by the president to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships as one of the youngest WH staffers in the modern American ... Hope for a Post Hope and Change America: a book review
On 1/24 James Matichuk wrote: We live in a divided America: Republican and Democrat; haves and have-nots; Caucasians and minority communities; Christians and Muslims (or really anyone else), educated elites and the illiterate. We are divided by politics, religion, race, economics, and culture. And you don't have to look too far ... Taking Mission Beyond Privilege: a book review
On 12/23 James Matichuk wrote: We have a growing entitlement problem in our culture. We expect life to be easy and work out well and we avoid pain and risk. We believe in our own specialness, fail to act responsibly and think the world owes us. We deny our impact on others. The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things ... The Hard Way is the Only Way
On 11/5 James Matichuk wrote: I loved Jonathan Martin's previous book Prototype. It was about becoming like Jesus (the prototype of the new humanity) by discovering your true self. One chapter that was particularly meaningful to me was the one on wilderness. Martin described the experience of waiting and longing I was feeling at ... After the Wreckage
On 6/26 James Matichuk wrote: Vegangelical: How Caring For Animals Can Shape Your Faith is a rare book. Evangelicals may be known for their social concerns, but care for animals doesn't usual make a blip on our radar. But this book is rare for another reason. Sarah Withrow King has written a book that is warm, accessible and challenging ... Vegangelical Explosion
On 5/3 James Matichuk wrote: Craig Greenfield grew up with a ‘nice’ Jesus. The Jesus he learned about as a kid, had blond locks and the perfect beard. He was always kind, always polite. As he grew older, ‘nice Jesus’ morphed into respectable-good-citizen-Jesus: the Jesus that would save your soul -without challenging the ... Jesus Subverting Empire: a ★★★★★ book review
On 3/30 James Matichuk wrote: Ever since Rob Bell's Love Wins, evangelicals have rushed to the defense of the traditional doctrine of hell. Bell's book was more suggestion than substance and raised the most ire among those who never read it, but there have also been a number of intelligent treatments on the fate of unbelievers and ... What the H-E-Double-Hockeystick!
On 3/1 James Matichuk wrote: Ray Norman is scholar-in-residence at Messiah College and the director of Fatih Leadership, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at World Vision International and the former national director for World Vision's program in Isalmic Republic of Mauritania. While he was in Mauritania, in the wake of 9-11, he and ... Dangerous Love: a book review
On 12/19 James Matichuk wrote: I like Scot McKnight. I have read a lot of his books and am intermittently imbibe his blog. King Jesus Gospel (Zondervan 2011) is my favorite of his books–a sort of N.T. Lite challenge to the gospel reductionism of the (mostly) Reformed camp. McKnight has authored other books of note on prayer ... Salad Bowl Ecclesiology
On 10/6 James Matichuk wrote: Evangelicalism is the Christian movement I was born into and find my spiritual home. Whereas other Christian traditions have an impressive tradition and long pedigree, Evangelicals can be part of an Evangelical denomination, exist within a wider (non-Evangelical) tradition, or be denominationally unaffiliated. ... Evangelicals Around the World: a book review
On 7/24 James Matichuk wrote: It is for Freedom that Christ set us free. Then why do so many Christians live in bondage to sin? Through Jesus and his cross we have been delivered from the power of darkness, and given 'victory, strength and freedom.' But why do so many of us live lives that are held captive to destructive habits ... Truly Free: a book review
On 5/7 James Matichuk wrote: Rachel Held Evans is a popular blogger and author on Christian spirituality. I don't always love her blog posts or short articles, but I've found many helpful. I have shared her posts via social media (along with everyone else you know). Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is ... Searching For Sunday: a book review
On 4/20 James Matichuk wrote: The synthetic, the industrialized, and the mass-produced have fallen on hard times. Everywhere you look there is a rediscovery of natural and sustainable methods. People love local, organic vegetables, artisan bread, real chocolate, good coffee, craft-brew and good music. John Joseph Thompson explores ... Artisan Bread Broken For You: a book review
On 3/27 James Matichuk wrote: Unhappy circumstances set Tony Kriz thinking about the way God hides. His four-year-old nephew, Ransom, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. Kriz prayed that God would show up and hold Ransom's hand--through treatment and through death. This set his mind thinking on his own ... Faith and the Hiddenness of God
On 3/18 James Matichuk wrote: If you want a simple, step-by-step approach to the Christian faith don't read The Grand Paradox by Ken Wytsma. Like his earlier volume, Pursuing Justice, Wytsma examines an idea from many different angles. In the former book he looked at the mosaic of justice. Here he turns around the jewel of 'faith' ... The Leap of Paradox
On 1/22 James Matichuk wrote: The spiritual life is opening ourselves to God. Writers on prayer and contemplatives have urged us to tune our beings to God, to kneel in his presence and receive good things from him. Yet sometimes we don't sense God. Sometimes we don't open ourselves up to him because we are too busy grasping at everything ... Sensual Prayer: a book review
On 1/21 James Matichuk wrote: The Bible tells us two major truths about what it means to be human. First, we are dust. We are here a moment, limited temporally and limited physically. Depressing as that sounds this is only a partial picture. The second truth about humanity is that we are beloved by God. These truths held together ... God Loves Dusty: a book review
On 12/22 James Matichuk wrote: I am not a fan of Study Bibles. This is because I have participated in far too many Bible studies where a thoughtful engaging question is answered with, “The notes say. . . .” This shortcut to engaging the text often keeps people from actually engaging my text. What I have learned as a leader is ... It's the Bible, So Take Notes...
On 12/4 James Matichuk wrote: Say you wrested a shard of glass from its setting in a beautiful mosaic, took it home and placed it on the table and declared to anyone in earshot, "This is a magnificent piece of art!" Ken Wytsma says, "No matter how lovely that single shard was it in no way captures the glory of the whole" (6). And ... The Mosaic of Justice: a book review
On 8/1 James Matichuk wrote: Since Howard Gardner first popularized the theory of multiple intelligence, there has been a burgeoning publishing industry exploring different ways of knowing. Daniel Goleman’s landmark Emotional Intelligence (EQ) made the case for the importance interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence as a prerequisite ... Holding Out Hope: a book review
On 7/4 James Matichuk wrote: On the making of books there is no end and much study wearies the body (Ecclesiaties 12:12). When Qoheleth penned these words, he could not have imagined how many times his own prose would be copied, translated, edited and bound. On the publishing of Bibles there is no end, and Study Bibles weary ... A Chronological Approach to Bible Study
On 5/31 James Matichuk wrote: In John’s gospel, John refers to himself as the ‘one that Jesus loved.’ He was also one of the Zebedee boys–the ‘Sons of Thunder’ whose mother asked that they sit on Jesus right and left side when he comes into his kingdom. Far from being outright rebuked for their power grab, Jesus wanted ... Are You the One?
On 3/9 James Matichuk wrote: The most important human relationship is that of parents to their children. To know the love of your mother and father, will set you up to be able to love well and live well. Unfortunately our parents also have the greatest capacity to wound us. Neglect, rejection, abuse destroys a child. Bitterness ... Forgiving Our Father and Mothers: a book review
On 1/7 James Matichuk wrote: I have an ambivalence toward Study Bibles. It isn't that I don't appreciate the scholarship and hard work that goes into producing them. I read commentaries and use several study resources in my personal devotional reading. My ambivalence is rooted in my love for inductive Bible study. I have led one ... NIV Essentials: A Bible Review
On 11/27 James Matichuk wrote: My church just offered David Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course (for the second time). My work schedule didn’t allow me to participate, but I have been curious about what insights Ramsey has and why people have found his materials so helpful. Church friends and family members have suggested ... Listen to the Money Talkt
On 9/24 James Matichuk wrote: I like comedian and motivational speaker Ken Davis. I have several video tapes of him delivering inspirational messages and he never fails to make you laugh and think. There are a couple of his messages which I can still remember near verbatim years later. One of the things that impresses me about him ... Having Something Worth Saying and Saying it Well
On 8/29 James Matichuk wrote: As an intermittent worship leader and a reader of the Bible, I was excited by the NIV Worship Together Bible. It promised to link song and reflection together with Bible reading. Included in this Bible is: The text of the NIV (2011 edition) Lyrics to the ‘top 50′ worship songs song notes and reflections ... Worshipping the God of the Bible
On 8/7 James Matichuk wrote: Cue that scene from Braveheart where Mel Gibson says, “Every man dies, not every man truly lives.” N.D. Wilson’s new memoir/vacation-journal-family history will encourage you to live life to the full, and drink down the dregs. Wilson is apparently an award winning novelist of Christian Juvenile ... Death By Living: a book review
On 7/16 James Matichuk wrote: I first had my eye on the Spirit-Filled Life Bible a decade ago. At the time I attended an expressively Charismatic church and was hungry for a study Bible rooted in good scholarship but open to the winds of the Spirit. I liked the look of the Spirit-Filled Life Bible and almost purchased it several ... The New Spirit-Filled Bible: a bible review
On 4/20 James Matichuk wrote: Jeremy Cowart is an artist, photographer and humanitarian. His art has been featured in popular magazines, news outlets, social media and in books. He’s photographed numerous celebrities and has used his platform to make an impact by drawing attention to what is going on in the world (i.e. Haiti, ... That's Gonna Leave a Mark: a book review
On 4/4 James Matichuk wrote: What are your intentions as a parent? Rearing up a child is not something that just happens. It is hard work and without some thoughtfulness you will never take steps to raise your kids right. Counselors Sissy Goff, David Thomas and Melissa Trevathan have walked with a number of families through their ... Parenting With Intent
On 2/13 James Matichuk wrote: Today after work I collected my things to leave and a co-worker spotted the book I’ve been reading. Across the cover the words embossed are “Jesus Is _____.” My coworker pointed to my book and asked me how I would finish that sentence. I said, “Oh this is a book by this pastor in Seattle and ... Jesus is WHAT?!?
On 1/24 James Matichuk wrote: A friend suggested I review Red Letter Revolution, and I happily complied. Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo are two authors who have impacted me in significant ways. I’ve heard both speak at various conferences and Tony Campolo was instrumental in my wife and I deciding to give a year of our life ... Talking 'Bout the Revolution
On 10/19 James Matichuk wrote: My view of angels is complicated. I was raised in an evangelical home and have always believed in angels and the part they played in the biblical story; however I was taught to be suspicious of tales of modern day angelic visitations, and to doubt the lore which was built around angels, because so much ... Help! Angels Keep Touching Me!
On 9/15 James Matichuk wrote: Tony Kriz was a good evangelical Christian. Because he was confident and had a sense of adventure, he signed up as a missionary to Albania. While he was there, he lost his faith and his soul died. He was sent to seminary to heal and rebuild. Ultimately, Tony finds his faith again, but it wasn’t on ... God and the Other (and Beer)
On 8/24 James Matichuk wrote: I’ve been a fan of Ken Davis for a while. I don’t mean I have really followed his career or anything, but years ago I picked up a cassette tape (remember those?) of a message he gave off the bargain rack at my local Christian bookstore. The message was called Super Sheep and despite not having heard ... Better Off Not Dead
On 7/31 James Matichuk wrote: Who is this Walking Man?: a book review. By matichuk The Searchers: A Quest For Faith in the Valley of Doubt by Joseph Loconte We live in a world where people are bewildered, doubtful and despairing and feel let down by religious leaders, institutions and dogma. Sometimes it seems as though, God himself ... Who is this Walking Man?: a book review
On 5/24 James Matichuk wrote: Pornography is a real problem. Consider these statistics: 25% of search engine requests are for pornography – 68 million per day. 70% of the hits on Internet sex sites occur between 9-5 on business computers. Over 50 percent of evangelical pastors report they viewed pornography last year. Over 70% ... Surfing for Porn. . .er. . .I mean God
On 5/9 James Matichuk wrote: I don't typically review Christian sports biographies. This isn't because I don't like sports or memoirs (who doesn't?). I love hearing stories of how athletes have overcome tremendous odds to excel at their sport and be at the top of their game. But I am suspicious of Christian celebrities. I think ... Silver and Gold and feet of Clay
On 4/9 James Matichuk wrote: It is no secret that since the twin towers fell just over ten years ago, certain atheists have gotten louder and much more forceful in their opposition to religion. The late Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, are dubbed the four horseman of the new atheism and have ... Take A Shot and You'll Be Stoked: A Book Review
On 3/20 James Matichuk wrote: When I picked up More Lost Than Found I was expecting it to be a spiritual memoir of someone who lost his faith and then found it again. This is indeed part of Jared Herd’s story, he alludes to it in the prologue of this book. The rest of the chapters are comprised of his reflections on faith, culture, ... More Scattered than Cohesive
On 2/25 James Matichuk wrote: Okay sinners, here is a book for you. Todd D. Hunter, author, Anglican bishop, adjunct professor, and authority on sin has written a helpful book on dealing with the problem of temptation (or dealing with the problem of ‘not dealing with temptation). What makes this book so good is Hunter eschews ... When I saw this book I thought of you
On 2/9 James Matichuk wrote: I have a confession to make. I am as bad at evangelism as you are. I simply don't share my faith as much as I should. There are reasons (maybe excuses?). I was raised in a Christian culture that put a high premium on proseltyzing, but often this happened in ways which were formulaic and insensitive. ... You suck at Evangelism
On 1/20 James Matichuk wrote: In general, I have mixed feelings about Len Sweet’s books. A decade or so ago I would have told you to read his books. His books were then in high circulation for those who were ‘emerging’ from the swamp of 20th century mega-church Protestantism. Len Sweet was thoughtfully engaged with some of ... Len Sweet is Such a Sheep: A review of I am a Follower: the Way, the Truth and Life of following Jesus
On 1/2 James Matichuk wrote: In the Evangelical world, you would be hard-pressed to find a figure more polarizing than Mark Driscoll (except for maybe Rob Bell. Those crazy, Mars Hill Pastors!). Those of a more moderate or progressive bent, find Driscoll’s theology too narrow, judgmental and misogynistic; Many conservatives stand ... The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: A review of Mark and Grace Driscoll's "Real Marriage"
On 12/7 James Matichuk wrote: There was a man who lay by the side of the pool of Betheda. When Jesus saw him he asked the man, “Do you want to be well.” His story is recorded in John 5. The implication of the story is healing is a choice. Steve Arterburn, best known as a coauthor of theEveryman series (Everyman’s Battle and ... Do you want to be well?
On 11/9 James Matichuk wrote: In this updated edition of his 2005 book Why Men Hate Going to Church David Murrow has addressed a real, verifiable problem. Men don’t go to church, at least not in the numbers that women do. Why is this? Are Women more spiritual than men? Less fallen? No, but among the various factors that keep men ... Why I hate 'Why Men Hate Going to Church'
On 11/3 James Matichuk wrote: I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. A book about a middle-aged man on a self-destructive path having to face past wounds and in the process being met by God, sounded just a tad 'Shack-y' for my tastes. When the synopsis of the book online said: The Encounter, the unique new book from ... Mercy is the Name of an Old Lady?
On 11/2 James Matichuk wrote: Thank you to Thomas Nelson for the review copy of Peter Leithart’s Fyodor Dostoevsky. Below is my fair and honest review: I was interested in this book for three reasons: 1. Dostoevsky is one of the best and most profound novelists whoever lived. Crime and Punishment is incisive in its critique of ... Brooding Russian Novelist for the Lighthearted (or Leitharted)?
On 10/29 James Matichuk wrote: I chose this book on Booksneeze.com to review because: a) I like the topic and b) it had received a couple of bad reviews by people who thought it was too academic for them. I figured I would try my hand at reviewing it, and give the book a fair shake. I didn’t like it much either. But I really tried. I ... Absolute meh.
On 10/29 James Matichuk wrote: Thanks to Booksneeze.com I received a copy of Larry Taunton’s new book “The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief” Christian Apologist Larry Taunton, founder of the Fixed Point Foundation has debated with atheists about the value of religion, and Christianity ... Grace is the Name of a Girl
On 10/20 James Matichuk wrote: I first came across a book by Greg Paul several years ago. I was new to urban ministry and the stories, people and insights of Greg Paul's God in the Alley were well worth it, though frequently heartbreaking. This book was different. It was not about justice and while a few of the stories were about ... Getting Intimate with the Almighty
On 10/12 James Matichuk wrote: With alarming statistics about Christians who lose their faith in college, it was refreshing to hear a story of an agnostic finding Jesus in grad school. Carolyn's memoir about her time at Oxford, her introduction to the faith by a man she calls bu the initials TDH (tall dark and handsome), and her coming ... Surprised by Jesus