Category Archives: Books

Audio Bible for only $7.49

audio_bibleChristian Audio currently has The Word of Promise: The Complete NKJV Audio Bible on sale. It retails for $69.99, but is only $7.49 right now. That’s 98 hours of audio for less than eight bucks.

This would be great for your commute, fitness routine, or even family worship time. I listened to a few excerpts, and it seems to have professional voice actors with a tasteful background score and sound effects.

I’m already a big fan of Max McLean’s Listener’s Bible in ESV, and would commend that to you too. But for the low price and dramatic flavor, this deal is hard to pass up.

Please note this is the MP3 version. After purchase, you will need to download all or part of the Bible to your computer. Here’s the link to order.

Book Review: The Invisibles

Invisibles“When I grow up, I want to be invisible.” Most kids would never say such a thing, but David Zweig shows they may be missing out on the most satisfying careers of all.

Most of us don’t value the things we can’t see. “Out of sight, out of mind,” the old saying goes. But that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. In fact, some of the most essential jobs in the world happen behind the scenes. That’s the premise of Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion.

Think “Wayfinding” sounds unimportant? Think again. Walking through an airport without careful work by a wayfinder like Jim Harding would be an exercise in panic and confusion.

Ever heard of “simultaneous interpretation?” Probably not. But without gifted interpreters like Giulia Wilkins Ary, international diplomacy would come to a grinding halt.

With a background in fact-checking, the author began to notice that behind every great enterprise, there were people quietly doing their job, far away from the spotlight, who were absolutely essential. He calls them, the “Invisibles.” “The invisibles, as I define them (really, as they came to be defined through my research), are highly skilled, and people whose roles are critical to whatever enterprise they are a part of” (p. 7). In fact, about the only time they become “visible” is when their job is done poorly.

Zweig identifies three common traits across his research. Invisibles will have (1) ambivalence toward recognition; (2) meticulousness; and (3) savoring of responsibility. Their success lies not in being the center of attention, but doing their job well and getting out of the way.

As a Christian, this book took on even deeper meaning for me. Jesus Himself said that true greatness is in humility rather than self-promotion. “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” (Lk. 17:33).

Perhaps John the Baptist was the greatest Invisible of all. He saw himself as merely the “friend of the bridegroom” whose sole purpose was to fade into the background and let Christ take center stage. “The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:29-30). Can I say the same?

Invisibles was not only interesting and fun to read; it was thought provoking. Am I content to remain invisible? Who are the invisibles that could use a simple word of appreciation? Are we raising the next generation to value the things that matter most?

Book Review: Commentaries for Biblical Expositors

rosscupWhat are the three best commentaries on the Book of Isaiah? Where can I find a devotional on Romans? How can I compare a premill and amill approach to Revelation? Whatever kind of commentary you’re looking for, Commentaries for Biblical Expositors will help you find it fast.

This book is a goldmine for students and teachers of the Word. It’s like a Consumer Reports for Commentaries — a no-holds barred review of every major evangelical commentary on the market.

After a brief introduction, Rosscup gives an overview of Commentaries on the Whole Bible (pp. 20-35). “Synthetical” is a way to group more general, survey works and “Analytical” refers to more in-depth, technical commentaries. The author then moves to Commentaries covering the entire Old Testament (pp. 36-38) and on the Penteteuch (pp. 39-40). Finally, we get into the meat of the book with a concise review of every commentary on every book of the Old Testament (pp. 41-195) and New Testament (pp. 196-351).

Here’s a sampling of the kind of content you’ll find inside. This comes from Rosscup’s review of John Stott’s commentary on the Book of Acts:

This evangelical exposition is verse by verse, and it also takes up key questions such as charismatic gifts, signs and wonders, baptism in the spirit, etc. After his introduction, Stott has four divisions … As he usually is, Stott is very articulate in capturing the message, showing the flow, and letting the text come alive. This and the works by Phillips, Kistemaker, McClain, Ryrie, Scroggie and Toussaint are lucid for lay people and also helpful many times for pastors (p. 248).

Now in its third edition (2004), this book should really be re-published every decade or so to stay up to date with newer works being released. (Maybe one of Dr. Rosscup’s protege’s could take up this task?)

Tim Challies has also been doing a great series on “Best Commentaries.” His most recent post was on the Book of Daniel. I usually consult his recommendations too. But it’s really nice to have Dr. Rosscup’s lifetime of learning and thoughtful analysis consolidated into one volume.

We’re all on a budget, and this book will ensure you’re investing your time and money on only the very best commentaries. I can’t think of a better way to spend fourteen bucks.

(I noticed the book may be out of stock right now at Amazon. You can also buy it directly from the publisher, but the price is considerably higher. )

Question: How do you decide which commentaries to buy? Click here to leave a comment.

Book Review: F is for Fenway

It’s been a great postseason, and now the Boston Red Sox are headed to the World Series to take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

This promises to be a great World Series, and it will be played on one of baseball’s greatest stages — Fenway Park. Kids can learn all about this unique stadium in the cute book F is for Fenway.

F is for Fenway is an alphabet book about “America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark.”  Even if you’re not a die-hard Red Sox fan, you’ll enjoy the artwork and endless trivia on Fenway.

Each page contains an alphabet rhyme, a vintage-looking illustration, and a sidebar with interesting stories and factoids. Some of the poems require a bit more explanation for younger readers to understand.

Every letter of the alphabet has its own poem about Fenway Park. In case you’re wondering what’s on the “Q” page…

Q is for Quarter
You can’t get much for a quarter these days,
But back at the start of the baseball craze,
A dime would get you a bleacher seat
With plenty left over for something to eat. 

Bet they’ll be spending a little more than that for World Series tickets.

This book was reviewed through the Amazon Vine Program. 

Book Review: California’s Best Trips

If ever a state was made for road trips, it’s California.

With its moderate climate, scenic coasts, urban culture, snow-capped peaks, sprawling farmlands, and quirky deserts, every corner of California is ripe and ready to be explored. And California’s Best Trips is a great guide to plan your next family vacation in the Golden State.

There are two basic ways to plan a trip:

  1. Region. Choose a specific attraction or region you want to travel to, then pick one of the road trips in that area. The book is divided into three main sections: Northern California (pp. 31-148), Central California (pp. 149-168), and Southern California (pp. 269-363). Each section offers an overview map as well as specific itineraries, attractions, driving instructions, and local dining and hotel options. 
  2. Theme. What really sets this book apart is that if you don’t already have a destination in mind, you can build your itinerary around a theme. Choose from seven Classic Road Trips (pp. 8-11), five Scenic Routes (p. 15) or four Historical Routes (p. 22). Explore some of California’s Major Cities (pp. 26-29) or slow down in one of the Best Small Towns (p. 17). You can even choose a road trip geared toward children (p. 23) or the great outdoors at one of the national or state parks (p. 23).

A word of caution: make sure you budget ample time and travel expenses to get to the start point and return from the end point of your trip. Most of these are one-way trips from point A to B, and will take significantly longer when you factor in travel time from your home. For example, Road Trip #11 “Trinity Scenic Byway” is 235 miles long and covers some beautiful territory in Northern California. But someone living in San Diego would have to drive 724 miles (11 hours) just to arrive at the base of Mount Shasta and begin the road trip. You’ll definitely want to factor that in.

California’s Best Trips is a fun and unique tour guide to California. My family can’t wait to jump in the minivan and start our next trip! But remember, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey to get there.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program and was not influenced in any way by the publisher.