Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Rebels Rescued

Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology
Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to ReformedTheology is an excellent, concise introduction to the "Five Solas" and the "Five Points of Calvinism". It is a quick read with each chapter taking approximately 10-15 minutes. I found it to be Biblical, Gospel-centered, logical, and an enjoyable read.

Throughout Rebels Rescued, Brain Cosby utilizes a number of  helpful word pictures to make doctrine more accessible to younger readers and/or those who have not been previously exposed to such teaching. He answers important questions like: "Why am I spiritually dead because of something they [Adam and Eve] did?" (pg. 18). The anticipated audience is teenagers, however, I think this book would be equally useful with the pre-teen age group. (Parents of younger readers may want to note that there is a reference to the sexual promiscuity of the church leaders on Page 9 and a reference to fooling about with sex on Page 22. ;) Furthermore, most of the "Reflection Questions" at the end of each chapter will likely be answered more easily by older students.

Rebels Rescued also serves as a gentle introduction to some opposing viewpoints and alternative interpretations of Scripture. For example, in his chapter on purposeful and definite atonement, Brian Cosby refutes the notion of "universal atonement" by looking at the context of key passages used by others to support the notion. Instead, he shows how passages like 1 John 2:2 perfectly dovetail with a reformed understanding of definite atonement. Brian Cosby does a superb job of refuting anti-Calvinist thought and successfully acquaints the reader with sentiments/arguments that are likely to be encountered as one moves into adulthood.

If you are looking for an introduction to reformed doctrine that is concise, yet thorough, you will likely find Brian Cosby's book, Rebels Rescued, a helpful starting point. With a little bit of history and a lot of Scripture, it is going to be my "go-to" book for young readers. Perhaps the best part is that the Gospel clearly shines through this book; we are all sinners in need of a Savior! A comprehensive understanding of God's glorious character and his work of salvation is essential to a faith-filled life. I'm so thankful for the way Brian Cosby makes these truths accessible to a younger generation! May God's Word, used liberally throughout this book, not return void!

*Many thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Christian Focus Publications for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Review: Christ Centered Christmas

If you're still looking for ways to make the Christmas season memorable for your family, you might find some helpful ideas in Hal and Melanie Young's book, Christ-Centered Christmas. This is one family with whom I would love to share the Christmas season!! They know how to celebrate with food and song!

Written in a personal, easy-to-read style, you'll find a smidgeon of this and a smidgeon of that that's sure to get you thinking about what types of traditions you can incorporate in your home to help you and your family stay focused on Christ throughout the Christmas season.

What's inside?

  • Almost two dozen recipes (Alhough you'll have to do some substituting if you're looking for whole-food/healthy recipes.)
  • Beautiful Scripture arrangement of the Christmas story
  • A little over a dozen Christ-centered carols with short introductions and lyrics
  • A bit of frugal decorating advice
  • A smidgeon of church history
  • Helpful suggestions on how to teach children to walk in humility with those who do not celebrate exactly as we do (particularly helpful for those of us who choose not to give Santa a lot of attention ;)
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus for feasting
  • Advent suggestions
  • And more

I loved reading about how the Young's plan their Christmas baking and  look forward to implementing some of that wisdom. (Though the thought of baking a dozen types of cookies with six children nine and under is a bit daunting...I think we'll start small. ;)

Needless to say, it was a pleasure to read about how the Young family chooses to celebrate the birth of our Lord! It truly reminds me that one day, we will all be feasting together with our Savior and all who trust in Him!! The good gifts in this world are just a foretaste of what is to come!

Thank you for sharing a small window of your lives with us, Hal and Melanie!

If you'd like to read about the Young's family traditions, how they seek to keep Christ a the center of their celebrating, and how they use the Christmas season as an opportunity to reach out to others with the Gospel, you can find their e-book, Christ Centered Christmas on sale now for $5.

*Many thanks to the Young's for providing me with a complimentary copy of their e-book in exchange for my honest opinion!