Speaking Truth in Love – Book Review

The title of the book perfectly sums up what this book is about. In a day-in-age where truth is relative, there is a strong need for such a direct book. This book was required reading for a course I am taking, but it can also be beneficial to all Christians, since we are constantly around our fellow brothers and sisters and should be involved in their lives.

The book gives a lot of examples on how to ask questions, and it also gives a lot of practical advice on what to say. I found it surprising just how much it emphasizes on first and foremost being honest with myself, before I expect anyone else to be honest with me.

There are corroborating verses with everything he says and I was grateful for the challenges Mr. David Powlison presented to the reader. He really lays it on thick on not being a hypocritical counselor. All the advice I give to those I talk to, should also be advise I give to myself. We all have the same sinful nature and fleshly tendencies.

I recommend this book if you plan on discipling other Christians or if you are a pastor or plan to become one.

You can buy this book here.

Lord of the Flies – Book Review

This review contains spoilers.

Lord of the Flies is a classic. It is a book about a group of boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. As they struggle to keep some kind of order and establish a form of hierarchy things unravel into a frightful scene of death, betrayal, and depravity.

I read this book when I was in high school and I was amazed at how much I had forgotten about it. Left on our own without law or moral standard, we are just like these boys. Whoever doesn’t believe in total depravity and who thinks that man is morally good, really doesn’t understand how naturally vile we are. This book was horrible. The way Simon dies, I had forgotten and I had to stop reading for a bit because of the violence committed to him. Towards the end Ralph is chased around the island and I was so relieved when help finally came. Also, when the female pig is killed, what a horrendous scene. William Golding is a great story teller. At the beginning of the book he explains that when he wrote about the boys on the Island, he wrote about how boys naturally behave around each other and when adults are not around. I found it very interesting when he writes about the boys forgetting what they were going to say or the inability of saying the right things or having difficulty of explaining what they are thinking. I have four boys, and I have noticed that they often times can’t put into words what is going on in their mind and they do quickly forget their train of thought. This was interesting to me. There were so many thoughts that came to mind as I read. How is anyone good? What keeps us from becoming like these boys? Although I am aware of the atrocities committed everyday, I do live in a country were I am safe. There are people all around me who own guns, who are stronger than me, who have access to cars, shovels, pick axes, bows, knifes and other potential weapons and they don’t kill me even when I anger them. Is it the law? Maybe. Is it their conscience? Maybe. This is why I believe this book has become a classic. It raises a lot of questions about ourselves and it is good to delve into the conundrums, mysteries and philosophies of human nature.

I recommend this book to older teenage boys, I don’t think teenage girls will really enjoy a bunch of boys being degenerate with one another. I also recommend it to the adult who has already read it. I think as adults, re-reading classics is very beneficial, now that our brains are a little more developed. If you haven’t read this book, I recommend it if you like books about adventure and/or dystopian settings.

Bible verses that came to mind when I read this book:

  • All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. – Romans 3:12
  • For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries. – Mark 7:21

You can buy this book here.


The Rook – Book Review

The Rook is the 2nd book of the Patrick Bowers series by Stephen James. This book is about a murderer who video tapes the death of his victims. Simultaneously there seems to be an arsonist on the loose and a government secret weapon that has the potential of changing the way wars are fought forever. All this is going on and in the backdrop Patrick and his relationship with his step-daughter is stressed and strengthened. There also seems to be a growing romantic relationship with Patrick and Lien-Hua. We also learn a little more about Lien-Hua.

This book is intense. The author gloriously lead me astray several times and I was sad when the book ended. But I am grateful to know that this is a series, so I am not too sad knowing there are 5 more books available.

I recently learned that the author is a practicing Christian and you really can’t tell. Let me clarify. The book takes the reader to the dark cesspool of human nature. It is grim, and the murderers are vile. The book frightened me at times because of how dark it was, but the author never used cuss words, never depicted sex scenes or gave too much detail of the violence committed by the bad guys. This is what makes Mr. James a great author. He paints a picture just clear enough to allow our own depravity to assume what is going to happen next. He also sprinkles deep theology into his books without being preachy about it. This is so hard to do, but Mr. James does it effortlessly. The story line very well developed and I can’t wait to get my hands on the 3rd book!

I highly recommend this book to those who like mystery, thriller, detective, and suspense books. Also, I really think that any one with a military background will enjoy the Patrick Bowers series.

You can buy the book here

Black Panther – Movie Review

Black Panther is a Marvel movie that takes place after T’Challa helps out in Captain America – Civil War. In this movie we learn how Wakanda choses its king, and also about its culture and other traditions. T’Challa has to prove to his country that he is the best choice to be their king and leader. Wakanda is a hidden African nation whose massive storages of vibranium allow it to be a very technologically advanced culture.

For being a Marvel comic movie there didn’t seem to be many action scenes. I also didn’t like how the Wakandians called CIA Agent Everette Ross a “colonialist”. I doubt Agent Ross colonialized anything. The acting was okay even for a Marvel movie and I had a hard time understanding what most of the Wakandians were saying. At first I thought it was the sound in the theater, but it wasn’t because I understood all others with no accents with no problem – like Erik Killmonger. Other than these things, the movie was okay. There was a lot of opportunity to take breathtaking scenic shots and the directors blew it. The movie felt long also. There were some funny parts in the movie, but not enough action or mind-blowing scenes.

If you are a Marvel fan, I recommend this movie, but younger Marvel fans may find the movie a bit long.

There are several times were the actors say “sh*t”. Princess Shuri flips off her brother. There is no nudity or sexuality in the movie. There are several fight scenes, but nothing gory. The movie is rated PG-13 for action violence and because of Shuri flipping the bird. .

The Last Tudor – Book Review

The Last Tudor is about the three Grey sisters during Tudor times, and like all Philippa Gregory book it is written in the first person. The book starts off with Jane Grey, then Katherine Grey and ends with little Mary Grey. Their stories are generally sad and they end up losing to Queen Elizabeth. I am not spoiling anything, because everyone knows that Queen Elizabeth is never usurped and there is reason she stayed on the throne for so long.

Like almost all of Mrs. Gregory’s books, I really enjoyed the read. This one really didn’t stick out  much like “The Taming of the Queen” did for me but it wasn’t a bore either. I was unfamiliar with the stories of these women and I was quiet intrigued by their lives. Mrs. Gregory is a great story teller and it was a good way to end the Tudor dynasty.

I really wish she would write about Queen Isabella of Castile and her family. There is some very interesting drama there!

The book does have about three loves scenes, but they are not descriptive and they didn’t go on for long. There is no swearing and there is some theology in this book about “learning to die”. I would let only my older teen daughters read this book (16+) due to these themes.

You can buy the book here.