Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus : a book review

Seeking Allah Finding JesusHaving just finished Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi, I’ve been contemplating how to review it. Scanning through the reviews on Amazon, I noticed that it is doing well. People are responding positively to Nabeel’s autobiographical account of his life as a Muslim and journey to Christ. The insight he sheds on the Muslim religion, culture, and the importance apologetics played in preparing him to truly see and trust in Jesus Christ, is both educational and uplifting. It gives a window into the difficulties of growing up as a third culture child, also showing the struggle many Muslims in the West face in a post 9/11 world. I affirm all of this, so what more could I add? Just this; after finishing the book, sniffing loudly from the tears I was shedding, I wished there was a way for me to beg, and possibly require, everyone to read it. Granted, I love books and there are many I wish everyone would read. However, this book has now reached the top of that list.

As I was reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus certain words kept running through my mind, popping up consistently like mile markers on the highway. They became words that formed a theme for me, ones that touched both my head and heart with their joy and poignancy. These words form the basis for why I wish everyone would read this book. Continue reading

God and Evil: The Case for God in a World filled with Pain – a book review

3784

Image courtesy of Intervarsity Press

God and Evil (GAE), published this year through Intervarsity Press, is a book that deals with possibly the hardest questions humanity faces no matter one’s religion. Why is there suffering? Why is there evil and pain? And if God exists and he is good, how can we reconcile this with the evil we see and experience? The reality that people have wrestled with these questions for centuries demonstrates that in every generation we need men and women to reword the question and possible answers in modern-day vernacular for those who struggle to reconcile what they believe about God with what they experience on a daily basis. This is where GAE comes into play. After getting a feel for the books’ big picture and attention to detail, I was surprised at my final reaction. It’s a book I highly recommend, with only one word of caution. Continue reading

C.S. Lewis: A Life, by Alister McGrath – Book Review

9781414339351_p0_v2_s260x420For as long as I can remember I the world of Narnia has captivated me. I have read the story of the Pevensie children and those that came after them literally hundreds of times throughout my childhood and into my adult years. I was the girl who consistently checked the back of her closet (I didn’t have a wardrobe) with the hope that I would meet Aslan or enjoy afternoon tea with Mr. Tumnus. I would offer up a brief prayer to God, reasoning that if he could do anything he could send me to Narnia, and then plunge behind my clothes. Sadly, I never got through, but I never gave up trying either.

As I grew older I discovered that the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis, wrote many other books, both fiction and non-fiction. Lewis was already my friend through Narnia, and I grew to appreciate him on a deeper level as I read his other works, such as: Mere Christianity, The Space Trilogy, An Experiment in Criticism (less popular, but one of my favorites), God in the Dock, and Miracles. Lewis quickly became my literary hero. He communicated in ways that resonated with my intellect and my imagination.

It came as no surprise that when Alister McGrath – one of my apologetic heroes – chose to write a biography on C.S. Lewis entitled C.S. Lewis: A Life, I waited eagerly for its publication and then for my copy to come in the mail (thanks Amazon). Having studied under McGrath in Oxford – Lewis’s long-term and my short-term home – made my excitement all the more palpable. Into my hands in Wisconsin came a book about one of my favorite people, written by one of my favorite people, located predominantly in my favorite city. Continue reading

FREE March Book of the Month: Why Trust Jesus?

This past Christmas I received a Kindle (thanks Mom and Dad), and the first book I chose to read on it was Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett. I was not disappointed with my choice. It is an excellent book, so imagine my excitement when I discovered that it is free on Kindle during Holy Week (the week between Palm and Easter Sunday).

In Why Trust Jesus? Dave looks at common intellectual and experiential questions we all have on Jesus’ reliability. The subtitle of the book summarizes this well: “An honest look at doubts, plans, hurts, desires, fears, questions, and pleasure.” Why should we trust Jesus in the midst of competing ideas, ideals, and emotional options? Continue reading

February Book of the Month: The Unlikely Disciple

Recently a friend lent me her copy of The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University. Written by Kevin Roose, the book highlights his experiences as a secular college kid from Brown University who spent a semester amidst the evangelical Christian culture of Liberty University.

The premise of the book immediately piqued my interest both personally and professionally. I grew up in an evangelical home not far from Liberty University (LU), some of my closest friends studied there, and I went to an evangelical university that has many similarities with LU. How would Kevin respond to and evaluate the culture I’ve always known? Continue reading

January Book of the Month: Jesus and Muhammad

It is my goal in 2013 to review one book at the end of each month that I am currently, or have just finished, reading.  The book I have chosen to highlight for January is Jesus and Muhammad: Profound Differences and Surprising Similarities by Mark A. Gabriel, PhD.

When I initially stumbled across Jesus and Muhammad I was both curious and skeptical. I was curious to see how Gabriel would handle discussing these two men who represent the world’s largest religions; and I was skeptical, wondering if he would portray them accurately and with fairness. As I read, my curiosity was more than satisfied and my skepticism was laid to rest. Gabriel has written in a fair, balanced, and honest way, paying specific attention to the lives and teaching of Jesus and Muhammad. Continue reading

Book Review: Is There Really a Human Race?

Recently I stumbled across a children’s book entitled, Is There Really a Human Race? I was immediately intrigued.  Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell, the book looks at the meaning and purpose of life from the perspective of a race. Questions abound.

“Is there really a human race? When did it start?”

“Who says, ‘Ready, set, go?’ What’s the race like, are there rules; is it fair?”

“Do some win and some lose? What keeps the world going?”

“If I get off track when I take the wrong turn, do I make my way back from mistakes? Why do I do it?”

Like most books for children, the story does not end with the questions, but answers.

“If we don’t help each other, we’re all going to crash.”

“Shouldn’t it be that you just try your best? And that’s more important than beating the rest?”

“Shouldn’t it be looking back at the end you judge your own race by the help that you lend?”

“So take what’s inside you and make big, bold choices. And for those who can’t speak for themselves, use bold voices.”

“And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make this world better for the whole human race.” 

This sounds pretty good, right? If we all thought of the other person and became artistic this world would be a better place. While I fully agree that we need to make friends, love well, and have the courage to do the right thing, there are many assumptions in this book that deserve our attention.

Continue reading