Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Reviews Fall 2010

Brouwer, Sigmund (2008).  Who Made the Moon? A Father Explores how Faith and Science Agree. Brouwer writes for parents wanting to explain questions of beginnings to their children. In so doing he attempts to reconcile questions of faith as they relate to modern science. Very interesting presentation of elementary scientific principles but without a young earth construct.

Hankins, Barry (1996). God's rascal: J. Frank Norris and the Beginnings of Southern Fundamentalism. Hankins approaches the life of Norris regarding his views of populism, fundamentalism, dispensationalism, and crusader against communism, while also discussing Norris' political transformation and views on race.  A fascinating study of the fundamentalist preacher's inconsistencies, and in some cases, downright meanness.  To say Norris was controversial is an understatement; let's face it, shooting and killing a man in your pastor's office is not what you might expect from a preacher of the Word.

Cothen, Grady (1993). What Happened to the Southern Baptist Convention? A Memoir of the Controversy. Dr. Cothen is a former President of OBU and President of the Sunday School Board (now Lifeway).  Having the opportunity to spend a day with him earlier this fall, I found him to be a very engaging and kind gentleman. His memoir of the conservative resurgence in the SBC is at once fascinating and grieving and tells the story from the perspective of a leader who is theologically conservative yet denominationally moderate.

Grisham, John (2009).  Ford County. In his collection of short stories, the author's tales are great opportunities for fans to get quick fixes of Grisham in small doses.

Grudem, Wayne (2003). Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business. This little volume is a quick read but splendid in its approach to moral goodness of profit and free enterprise.  A must read for any business professional and a should read for everyone else.

Hughes, Lynn (2010). Lame Science Blind Religion.  This book is written by an OBU alum and Profile in Excellence honoree by his alma mater.  Like Brouwer, Hughes attempts to reconcile faith and science through his own personal experiences and perspectives. He unashamedly presents faith and the Bible as true, yet does not hold to a classic creationism or young earth perspective.

Humphreys, Kent (2010). Christ@Work In Your Transition: From the Campus to the Workplace.  Humphreys book is designed to help college students transition from the life on campus to the workplace.Specifically, he focuses on carrying out a graduate's Christian commitment as she moves into the often rough and tumble world of the modern work environment.  This book makes an excellent graduation gift for the college student in your life.

Marshall, Colin, and Tony Payne (2009). The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift that Changes Everything.  The authors present a model of church management that de-emphasizes corporate business models too often prevalent in modern ministry; they present a very biblical model for ministers.

Moreland, J. P., Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. As a long-time admirer of the work and contributions of Dr. Moreland, we were pleased to host him on our campus last year.  In this book, he does a masterful job of explaining the importance of Christ's Great Commandment to love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. 

Parrish, John W. (2010).  Proudly Stand on Bison Hill: A Pictorial History of Oklahoma Baptist University 1910-2010.  Parrish did a wonderful job of documenting through pictures and highlights, the story of Oklahoma Baptist University.  This book is part of the OBU Centennial Series and a must-have for all those who love OBU and Bison Hill.

Puzo, Mario (1969). The Godfather. I've never seen the movie but two good friends constantly quote from the movie, so when I saw the reissue of the classic Puzo novel, I picked it up at Borders.  Two words: violent and gruesome. The novel is a a fascinating perspective on leadership and management but is replete with foul language and explicit scenes inappropriate for most readers.  My friends tell me the movie is not as graphic...

Raley, John Wesley Raley, et. al. (1935). Why Christian Education?  So far ahead of his time, Dr. Raley had this book compiled by the faculty of OBU on the occasion of the University's 25th anniversary.  It has an introduction by the great George Truett--his address on the 25th convocation.  The book explores the distinctives of a Christian approach to higher education that is still timely and a must read for current educators, parents, and students.  I am working on getting this republished and exploring the possibility of having a new edition written by current faculty.

Reichs, Kathy (2007). Bones to Ashes.  Reichs continues her Temperance Brennan series with a story of a skeleton discovered in Acadia, Canada.  She becomes dedicated to solving the crime as she discovers connections with the mysterious disappearance of a childhood friend.  If you like the TV series "Bones" you will enjoy Reichs' books.

Stokes, David (2010). Apparent Danger: The Pastor of America's First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920s.  In this true story of J. Frank Norris and the killing of an unarmed man that took place in in the pastor's office at First Baptist, Fort Worth, the author covers the crime, trial, and consequences. Norris claimed self defense, however, all witnesses agreed along with Norris that the man was unarmed.

Wester, Ruth Lance, and June Proctor (2007).  Ropin the Dream: The Story of the Ken Lance Sports Arena 1964-1994.  Told by his former wife and her sister, this story is a memoir of the lifework of Ken and Ruth Lance who built a famous rodeo arena and helped launch the careers of some of the most notable country singers in the world.  A virtual who's who of country music is but one of the story lines in this candid look at a bit of cowboy and western history. Ruth's maiden name is Whitlock and we became friends during my nineteen years of living in Durant, Oklahoma.

Willis, Avery, and Henry Blackaby (2002). On Mission With God: Living God's Purpose for His Glory.  At the funeral of Dr. Willis, his friend Henry Blackaby spoke and the family gave copies of this book to all present.  For those who were changed by reading "Experiencing God," this book is the most appropriate follow-up work to read.  The book is challenging and life changing.

For additional Book Reviews, see August 1, 2010 post.

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