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All Book Reviews by Genre: Spirituality

The Book of Mormon
Smith, Joseph
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The greatest book of all time.

Reviewer's Name: Brennan
Rumors of Another World
Yancey, Philip
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Having been a Christian for some time, I was familiar with the name Philip Yancey. I knew he often wrote books about Christianity and how those of us in the faith should examine some of the more challenging topics of our belief.
When I picked up Rumors of Another World from a friend, I was expecting an examination of the afterlife promised us in God's Word. Part of me was planning to use this book as a bit of research for my own fictional writing, or at least to give me ideas on how to incorporate a heavenly realm into it.
In the end, this book was not what I expected.

It has been a long time since I've read any Yancey, but I don't think this is his strongest work. My primary issue with it is that it tries to speak to too many audiences. If it either focused on trying to convince atheists and other scientific-minded individuals that there is a heaven and a hell or helping believers enforce their apologetics on the topic of the afterlife, it could have worked. Instead, it (almost ironically) sits in the middle of these two worlds, never diving deep enough to make a solid point about anything.

Furthermore, while I appreciated the anecdotes and quotes from other authors, many of them were reused throughout the book, making the whole narrative seem repetitive and redundant. I mean, I get it: C.S. Lewis is an excellent writer with a ton of great quotes, but there are other Christian authors out there as well. In the end, Rumours of Another World provides a few thinking points for Christians and non-Christians alike, but it never really challenges our deeply held beliefs or leads us into startling, life-changing revelations.

An OK book that breaks down some reductionist arguments, I give Rumors of Another World 2.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin M. Weilert
Book Review: The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales
Kohn, Sherab Chödzin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A great book for reading on break or at lunch. The tales are interesting and amusing. Some were more obviously lessons while others just seemed to be stories. Thumbs up!

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Under the Banner of Heaven
Krakauer, Jon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wow. If there was anyway to just completely rile me up, it was to read this book. Which means the book was really good. I've known just a little about Mormonism from some kids I went to school with and such, but the fundamentalist side of it was alien to me (aside from polygamy). I really makes me wonder about the human condition and the types of religion it accepts, even if it seems like it's being accepted blindly. Great book, and written with more of the facts in mind, rather than a bias.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Awards:
Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Metaxas, Eric
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A great book with mini biographies of 7 men who made choices that changed their society and left legacies for us. The writing style is informal. I learned things about these famous men that I hadn't known before.

A great inspirational book for teens and adults.

Reviewer's Name: Julie
Book Review: Crazy for God
Schaeffer, Frank
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I grew up in the evangelical world. I witnessed first-hand the fanaticism of the believer. This book was interesting to me because it pulled back the curtain on the religious right, particularly in the 80s. Frank Zappa was right, there was indeed "50 million dollars in his heavenly bank account". I just wish there had been more pages devoted to this time in the author's life. Nonetheless, the author was honest and forthright about his upbringing and wrote with charisma.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Hanegraass, Hank
2 stars = Meh
Review:

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Reviewer's Name: Jane
Harris, Sam
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

For a small book, it was definitely intense. Sam Harris is a great American intellectual and advocate for reason. In "Free Will", he really brings up an issue that really makes you reconsider everything you ever thought about what drives us as human beings. It leaves you to chew on what you just read and think more about why we do what we do. He inserts in some of his sense of humor too, which helps break up the pace. I only wish he could've expanded a little bit more, and gave more insight into opposing viewpoints.

Reviewer's Name: Cassie
Batterson, Mark
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was another hit by Mark Batterson. It teaches you how to pray circles around your biggest dreams and fears. An inspiring read that I will read more than once.

Reviewer's Name: Kylee
Burpo, Todd
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Good.

Reviewer's Name: Kim
Black, Lewis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A very funny book. I kinda was expecting an atheist viewpoint, but the author was a bit more nebulous about the existence of God. But more importantly, this was a very funny book.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Lamott, Anne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

There is no one quite like Anne Lamott to provide an astute, thought-provoking, and humorous perspective on spiritual matters with such simplicity, honesty, humanity, and modest profundity that leaves one convinced that there are truly only three essential prayers that find expression in every human heart. No stranger to heartache, struggle, doubt, addiction, questioning, failure, angst, and chicken-heartedness, Anne’s writings resonate with all who keep an open, inquiring mind and a tender heart. I highly recommend that you read one of her earlier books (such as Traveling Mercies) to understand where Anne comes from and the forces that have shaped her thoughts and inform her wisdom.

Reviewer's Name: Sandy
Wright, Lawrence
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A fairly balanced look at Scientology, its founder, its impact on its adherents, and its influence on Hollywood and beyond. I think anyone who is tempted to investigate this religion further should take a look at the information contained herein.

Reviewer's Name: Carolyn
DeYoung, Kevin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Kevin DeYoung encourages, convicts, and motivates Christians to, by grace, conform themselves to be more like Christ. He urges Christians to become more holy without ignoring the Gospel grace nor embracing grace by works. DeYoung carefully balances legalism with total freedom to form a modest Christian liberty. This was an absolutely great read, and I recommend it everyone to read it.

Reviewer's Name: Abby
Graham, Ruth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Very encouraging book. Lots of examples from her life and the Bible about trusting God about the future and hope for the hard times.

Reviewer's Name: Colleen
MacArthur, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception by John MacArthur is a must-read for Christians concerned with truth. In a politically correct world, “truth” tends to be described as relative to each person. Whether a person believes that gravity is “true” or not, the apple WILL fall from the tree. With the same certainty, MacArthur states that the Bible is God’s unambiguous truth - whether one believes that or not.

His introduction is titled “Why the Truth is Worth Fighting For.” The following eight chapters describe aspects of what is happening in our world today, especially with regards to Postmodernism, the Emergent Church Movement, and False Teachers.

I found John MacArthur’s book refreshingly honest, courageous, and like a drink of cool water. The book reminded me that Christianity is all about truth, not personal opinion. After reading this book, I am resolved that truth will always be important, and worthy to defend.

Reviewer's Name: Gwenda