Reviews by durough
On 9/11 durough wrote: Zondervan’s NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible contains hundreds of labeled images, scores of infographics, and countless easy-to-understand study notes in page margins. Provided images, both photographic and illustrated, are from an array of sources, each noted in fine print below the image. The infographics ... Beautiful Infographics
On 6/23 durough wrote: In Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, author Jeff Goins encourages artists of all varieties to forget what he calls “the myth of the starving artist” and start making steps toward being a “thriving artist.” I imagine many readers may find at ... Anecdotal cherry picking (but may be encouraging)
On 5/8 durough wrote: Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Berenstain books when I was a kid. Bears living in tree houses didn’t make a lot of sense, and the Bible messages always seemed a bit off. Of course, I wasn’t your average kid and wasn’t fond of being read to. I’d read something myself or not at all, so ... Okay... 3rd story is questionable.
On 3/13 durough wrote: Marketed as a Louie Giglio/Passion product, Zondervan’s The Jesus Bible claims “sixty-six books. one story. all about one name.” (As printed on the cover page.) I usually find gimmick and niche Bibles forced, unhelpful, and a rehashing of material (sometimes not even relevant to the gimmick) from ... Perhaps better than some gimmick Bibles
On 12/3 durough wrote: Say & Pray Devotions: First Words, Devotions, and Prayers is a cute little board book written by Diane Stortz and Illustrated by Sarah Ward. Every page turn brings a new scene that includes a statement for teachable moments, a relevant Bible verse (or phrase), and a simple prayer of just a few words. ... Repetitive & culturally insensitive?
On 11/18 durough wrote: Had I paid more attention to the author bio, I would not have chosen to review this book. David Bowden is a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writing his first book. In When God Isn’t There: Why God is Farther Than You Think, but Closer Than You Dare Imagine, Bowden relies heavily on ... Unhelpful, thoroughly neo-Calvinist theology.
On 11/5 durough wrote: Simple Pursuit: A Heart After Jesus is a 365 daily devotional book written by college students for college students (sixty-eight individuals are thanked for their contribution, but no authorship is credited on devotionals) and published by the Passion movement. It notes “introductions” by well-known ... Get another devotional, or read the Bible
On 10/21 durough wrote: Blogger Shannan Martin wrote a book: Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted. The following are the first two sentences of the final section of the book (don’t worry, no “spoilers” here): Since I’m you and you’re me and we’re all basically the same person wrapped in different ... I read it...
On 10/8 durough wrote: Zondervan’s Jesus: A 365 Day Devotional makes an effort to connect Jesus to all of Scripture through 365 short devotionals for kids. Each contains a starting Bible reference (268 in the Old Testament; 97 in the New Testament), a half-page of text, and a concluding prayer of one sentence. Less than ... Not recommended.
On 9/30 durough wrote: God’s Little Lambs Bible Stories is a children’s book written by Julie Stiegemeyer and illustrated by Qin Leng. The physical copy is vertically a bit longer than the length of my hand and a bit shorter horizontally. It has a soft front cover, hard spine and back cover, and sharp right corners. Stiegemeyer’s ... Illustration > Writing
On 9/14 durough wrote: This 2016 revised edition of Zondervan’s NIrV: Kids’ Devotional Bible has a copyright date of 2014 for both translation and devotional bible on the information page, noting the next earliest copyright as 1998. The NIrV is not an easy-to-read translation based on manuscripts in the original languages, ... Beneficial with concerns
On 8/26 durough wrote: Lutheran professor Jacqueline A. Bussie’s Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the “Rules” reads like an infomercial for the purported latest and greatest form of “just be you” faith and new club: Outlaw Christians. She writes: "Outlaw Christianity: (noun) 1. a new, life-giving ... "An honest, outside-the-law [and-God] faith"
On 8/14 durough wrote: Michael F. Bird’s What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostle’s Creed attempts to convince college students (the intended primary audience) of the author’s belief in the necessity of creeds and then presents his own theology through the skeleton of ... Can't recommend for coursework.
On 6/19 durough wrote: First, let me offer a little autobiographical information. I love animals—I love all of creation. All I wanted to do up until I was sixteen years old was to be a zoologist and promote healthy, environmental living. My life direction changed, but my passions didn’t. I was president of the Alabama ... I'm a former vegan. This is sloppy theology and sensationalism.
On 6/9 durough wrote: Brian “Head” Welch was a founding member of the highly successful metal band KoRn back in 1993, but in 2005 he became a Christian, left the band, kicked his alcohol and drug addictions, and committed to being a better father to his young daughter. After swearing multiple times over the years never ... Redemption. God is good.
On 5/20 durough wrote: I picked up Sheila Walsh’s The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God to add some diversity to my reading. Most Christian books by female authors are explicitly written for women, so I don’t pick them up. However, when the marketing material for this book mentioned nothing ... Not for me.
On 5/9 durough wrote: Great Stories of the Bible is a collection of six books in one from the Zonderkiz® Adventure Bible series with an “I Can Read!” level of 2 (reading with help). The stories include: (There is no table of contents, so I’ve included page numbers below. One may want to write them down on the first ... Illustrations could benefit from diversity.
On 5/1 durough wrote: Contrary to the witty title, How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out is not a laughable memoir or anything of the sort; it’s quite serious. Author Lance Hahn begins by telling his history through the lens of an anxiety disorder he says he’s had since the age of six. Next, Hahn offers ... Not medical advice: Proceed with caution.
On 4/23 durough wrote: Perhaps the most honest, down-to-earth, practical text I’ve read on removing clutter and simplifying multiple areas of one’s life, Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul by Ruth Soukup reveals raw, vulnerable, and helpful experience and advice easily relatable and applicable to a broad audience. ... Honest, practical, and sure to help and encourage many!
On 4/16 durough wrote: I picked up Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God by Tim Challies and Josh Byers because I was intrigued by a bit of its marketing material, which may be found on the back of the book: “Visual Theology presents the concepts and the principles of systematic theology in a fresh, ... Found wanting
On 3/31 durough wrote: They obviously didn’t begin then, but since September 11, 2001, conversations on Muslim-Christian relations have been on a sharp rise, even more so with recent worldwide bombings. Tensions are high, misunderstandings are often higher, and hate fills more rooms than the love of Christ. This is what ... Along with the love of Christ...also opens the door for nationalistic jihad irrespective of religion.
On 3/8 durough wrote: So, this is awkward… Really. I follow Sammy Rhodes (@SammyRhodes) on Twitter because I can empathize with his humorous, self-deprecating, introverted gluttony in 144 characters or less. That kind of awkward I can handle. The first half of This Is Awkward I could not. When Rhodes announced his upcoming ... Way too awkward...
On 2/19 durough wrote: Through Zonderkidz™, author Glenys Nellist and illustrator Cee Biscoe have created Snuggle Time Prayers, a cute board book of bedtime prayers intended for ages 2–4. It’s small enough for a young child to handle comfortably, which may help with engagement. The cover is a bit cushioned, which may ... A fun starting point for prayer time.
On 1/14 durough wrote: This review is not of the NIV translation of the Bible; rather, it is of the whole collection Zondervan has published as NIV Bible for Men: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World. Superficial: • It’s a hefty hardback—way to big to be one’s go-to, carry-around Bible. • Font size is ... Gender-neutral with hit-and-miss texts.
On 12/8 durough wrote: I have written to firstname.lastname@example.org twice and have not heard from them, allowing weeks between each attempt and now. I have not received this book for over two months, so I am submitting this here to get it out of the way in order to move on to other books. My apologies to those reading ... Not received
On 9/28 durough wrote: Nate Pyle’s debut book, Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood, contributes a much-needed perspective in our churches’ debate over gender roles and what it means to be a man (or woman, as the case may be). Steering away from cultural stereotypes of wilderness surviving, football playing, car fixing ... Masculinity: Affirmed, Not Approved
On 5/30 durough wrote: In Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate: Crafting a Handmade Faith in a Mass-Market World, John J. Thompson takes the reader on his journey into artisanship through bread, chocolate, coffee, beer, gardening, and music-making. Throughout, he uses handmade vs. mass-produced as a metaphor for how we are (or are ... Yummy
On 4/27 durough wrote: Before reading UNOFFENDABLE: HOW JUST ONE CHANGE CAN MAKE ALL OF LIFE BETTER, I didn’t know anything about Brant Hansen other than what was written on the back cover of the book. Now, I not only know more about my brother in Christ, but I know more about myself, too. UNOFFENDABLE is exactly what I ... Seriously, this can be a life-changer.
On 4/14 durough wrote: Rachel Held Evans is a blogger with a substantial following, from what I hear, though I’ve not read any of her posts. In fact, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is the first bit of writing I’ve read of Rachel’s. Friends who speak positively about her (those who know ... Still Searching
On 3/26 durough wrote: When I requested a review copy of Bill Delvaux’s /Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree/ I thought to myself, “How does one successfully solve the long debated ‘head vs. heart’ dilemma in under two hundred pages?” I went in with an assumption about what Delvaux was attempting to accomplish, ... Take the Journey
On 3/2 durough wrote: Greg Paul’s /Simply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday/ begins with a seven-part prayer (open my: eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart), each of includes four things: releasing, receiving, becoming, and doing. Paul takes a chapter for each of these seven, beginning with ... Best book about prayer that isn't about prayer.
On 2/9 durough wrote: Right from the start you know what you’re getting with this book: fifty-two chapters, each roughly two to four pages in length, addressing a different principle Tim Stevens has observed and practiced—for better or worse—in his years in leadership positions. /Fairness is Overrated (And 51 Other ... You'll come back to this one.
On 1/26 durough wrote: There are many practices that have been handed down to us through the centuries by our Christian mothers and fathers. Commonly referred to as “spiritual disciplines,” most of these are taken straight from scripture (prayer, fasting, etc.), and some have been formalized and/or structured in ways that ... Journey with Michael and you'll want to go on your own.
On 10/21 durough wrote: Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (New and Enhanced Edition), edited by Ronald F. Youngblood, is Thomas Nelson’s thoroughly revised and updated edition to the original 1986 publication. This is a hefty tome (5 lbs.!) with all full-color pages and a font size that is typical of any normal reading ... Beautiful, vast, but could still use some revision
On 10/1 durough wrote: Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma, founder of The Justice Conference, is *the* introduction to pass along to others for understanding the need and instilling a desire and passion for justice as we lives for God, assuming they haven’t already grasped it from the Bible. Although Wytsma does not take anyone ... The introduction to God's heart of justice you've been looking for.
On 8/30 durough wrote: How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness is mostly a collection of anecdotes from the experiences of Todd and Erin Stevens in Nashville, TN as they relate to evangelism through the Friendship Community Church, Nashville Strip Church, and personal efforts. However, its primary purpose is to ... How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness, by Todd and Erin Stevens
On 6/30 durough wrote: Brian D. Wassom tried to find a book that answered questions like, “Am I honoring God with how I use social media?” and, “What effect are these sites having on me as a person?” all from a Biblical perspective. When he couldn’t, he wrote WHAT WOULD JESUS POST? In this short book he addresses ... Great thoughts to consider
On 6/17 durough wrote: First and foremost, this is a review on the book as put together by the editors, not on the NIV translation or the Bible itself. The NIV NEW SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE BIBLE may be loosely described as a study bible with devotional leanings. It contains short excerpts in devotional style (usually no more than ... Not what I expected...