Good Books

 

RECOMMENDED READING

 

We will never recommend a book we have not read.

CHRISTIANITY

Will Davis Jr., Enough: Finding More By Living With Less (Grand Rapids: Revel Books, 2012).

Davis gives us a great book for downsizing and getting our lives back into proper perspective.  “Our culture pushes us to strive for more – more money, more stuff, more clout.  But how much is enough?…Will Davis Jr. challenges us to discover the peace that comes through contentment with what we have and compassion for those in need. Through surprising statistics, scriptural insight, and powerful real-life stories, Davis shows us the rewards of living with less in order to be more and do more with our lives.”

Will Davis Jr. is the senior pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship (nondenominational church) in Austin, Texas.  He is an author, family man and avid outdoorsman.

Gabe Lyons, The Next Christians, How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith (New York: Doubleday, 2010).

This is a truly thought-provoking book, offering many original ideas about how the church can recover from its great decline of the last few decades. “The next Christians exposes a whole movement of Christians—evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and others—who desire to be a force for restoration even as they proclaim the Christian Gospel. They want the label ‘Christian’ to mean something good, intelligent, authentic, and beautiful.” The next Christians are said to display six characteristics which are these: “Provoked, not offended; Creators, not critics; Called, not employed; Grounded, not distracted; In community, not alone; and Countercultural, not ‘relevant.’”

The author, Gabe Lyons, is co-founder of Catalyst, the nation’s largest gathering of young Christian leaders. He is author of the landmark book, UnChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why it Matters.

Philip Yancey, What Good is God? In Search of a Faith That Matters (New York: Hatchett Book Group, 2010).

Billy Graham says of this New York Times best-selling author: “There is no writer in the evangelical world that I admire and appreciate more.”

The publishers summarize the book perfectly saying: “This book recounts Yancey’s search, including meetings with leaders of the underground church in China, with Dalits (untouchables) in India, with prostitutes, alcoholics, and Bible college students in the U.S.,and with charismatic Christians in Johannesburg. Each stop provides a fascinating clue to answering life’s most profound questions…This unique combination provides a compelling reading experience, as well as firsthand evidence that faith really does make a difference, even when belief is severely tested.”

DEFENDING OUR FAITH

Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009).

Overman explores fundamental questions about why our world exists and how it functions, using principles of logic, physics, and theology in a time when religion and science are often portrayed as diametrically opposed, A Case for the Existence of God presents a refreshing view of the interplay between science and religion and makes a compelling case for the existence of God and his role in our world.

Dean L Overman is a former senior partner of the international law firm of Winston & Strawn, LLP. He was a Templeton scholar at Oxford University in the fields of information theory, physics, and religion. He also studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University. He is the author of A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization. (Taken from the book’s flyleaf)

GETTING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF OUR CULTURE

Matt Walsh, The Unholy Trinity, Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage, and Gender (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2017).

Matt Walsh is a writer, speaker, and one of the religious Right’s most influential young voices.  Millions of people read his columns on The Blaze every month.

For years conservatives have worried endlessly about peripheral issues while liberals have been hard at work chipping away at the bedrock of our civilization, and putting a new foundation in its place.  New attitudes on abortion, gay marriage, and gender identity threaten to become culture-defining victories for progressives- not just radically altering our politics but dangerously placing man above God and the self above the good of the whole. (from flyleaf)

Tim Challies, The Next Story, Life and Faith after The Digital Explosion (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).

Tim Challies is pastor, noted speaker, and author of numerous articles. He is a pioneer in the Christian blogosphere. Over 20,000 people visit Challies.com each day, making it one of the most widely read and recognized Christian blogs in the world. Tim is also the editor of DiscerningReader.com, a site dedicated to offering thoughtful reviews of books. What does it mean that almost two billion human beings are connected by the Internet…with hundreds of millions more coming online each year: How has life-and faith’ changed since we have become available all the time through our mobile phones: How are family and church affected now that we are connected to this network all day, every day?…Often we feel like slaves to our technology instead of using it to serve and honor God…Explore how Christians can live in this new reality with character, virtue, and wisdom – and how we can respond to these revolutionary changes as followers of Christ in a digital age, learning to live faithfully as “the next story” unfolds. (info. from the flyleaf)

Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (New York: Encounter Books, 2010).

Phillips is an award winning columnist for London’s Daily Mail. She was educated at Oxford and won the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996. She has authored Londonistan, All Must Have Prizes, and several other books.

She remarks that in this so-called age of reason, we are all behaving in an increasingly irrational manner. Phillips claims that the basic cause of all this unreason is the erosion of the major building blocks of Western civilization. She notes that Christianity and the Hebrew Bible made up much of that basic foundation and that they gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world-the foundations of science and modernity.

With ferocious courage, Phillips challenges a series of myths and irrationalities that have achieved canonical status in the contemporary world. This is not a book to read unless we are prepared to have a lot of our modern concepts and idols smashed.

David Kupelian, How Evil Works: Understanding and Overcoming the Destructive Forces That Are Transforming America (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010).

Despite the human race’s extraordinary capacity for invention and progress, we clearly have a millennia-old blind spot in one all-important area: We don’t understand evil- what it is, how it works, and why it so routinely and effortlessly ruins our lives.  Put another way, we don’t understand ourselves.

David Kupelian is an award-winning journalist and managing editor of online news giant WorldNetDaily.com as well as its monthly newsmagazine, Whistlebower.  His bestselling book, The Marketing of Evil, is currently in its tenth printing.  He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children. [from book’s flyleaf]

Gordon MacDonald, Who Stole My Church? What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007).

Here is a book that will really help those older Christians who are terribly confused and upset by the postmodern youth culture with its loud and seemingly meaningless music, nose rings, and sloppy dress.  MacDonald has done his homework on the past music wars in the church and seems to be up to date on the culture wars and generation gaps that so affect the church.  His book is a fictional masterpiece where he weaves in forty years of ministry with many exciting church characters and brings it all to a glorious climax.  After this book we will feel like we have had a college course on solving the generation gap and the church music dilemmas.

Gordon MacDonald is a pastor and author with more than forty years of experience.  He has authored several books and has also served as a former president of World Relief.  He is a New Englander who loves to hike with his wife and grandchildren.

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

Robert Spencer, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2015).

Now New York Times bestselling author Robert Spencer reveals the blood-drenched history and inner workings of the Islamic State- its military conquests, how it is financing it’s expansion, the significance of the newly declared caliphate and its long roots in Muslim history, and the ideology that is driving its success.  As Spencer reveals, the Islamic State has taken the first steps on the path to becoming a world power – steps that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda dreamed of but were afraid to take.  The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS is your one-stop easy reference for all you need to know about ISIS – and how to stop its reign of terror.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of fourteen books on Islam and jihad.  Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, United States Central Command, and other intelligence and military groups. [all taken from flyleaf].

Raymond Ibrahim, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Washington: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2013).

This is a shocking expose` documenting the appalling suffering of Christians throughout the Islamic world, or everywhere Islamic Sharia law holds sway.  Ibrahim, who is a Coptic Christian and one fluent in Arabic, cuts through the politically correct fog that has engulfed many modern countries including the US.  His book makes clear why the almost universal persecution of Christians in Arab lands, is called “the greatest human rights abuse crisis of our time.”

“Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and Al Jazeera and testified before Congress on the plight of persecuted Christians…His writing has appeared in a wide variety of media including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, the Middle East Quarterly, the World Almanac of Islamism, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and United Press International, as well as his own website, RaymondIbrahim.com.” [from flyleaf]

Geert Wilders, Marked For Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me (Washington, Regnery, 2012).

A member of the Dutch Parliament since 1998, Geert Wilders is the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands. Since 2004, he has been living under round-the-clock police protection due to death threats from extremist Muslims. In 2008, he attracted international attention when he was taken to court over Fitna, a documentary he filmed that explores Islamic terrorism and the spread of Islam in the Netherlands. Mr. Wilders now travels the world in defense of liberty and freedom of expression…

Fanatics, terrorists, and appeasers have tried everything to silence Geert Wilders, Europe’s most controversial Member of Parliament- from putting him on trial to putting a price on his head. But Wilders refuses to be silenced- and one result is the book you have in your hands.

For years, from his native Netherlands, Wilders has sounded the alarm about the relentless spread of Islam in the West. And he has paid a steep personal price, enduring countless death threats and being forced into a permanent state of hiding. Expelled from Britain, banned from Indonesia, denounced by the UN Secretary General, prosecuted in court for his beliefs, forced into government safe houses and constantly threatened with death, Geert Wilders is unbowed and unapologetic. Marked for Death is a stark warning about a growing threat to our liberties written by a man who has lost his freedom- and would not see the rest of us suffer the same fate. (from book’s flyleaf)

Mitchell Bard, The Arab Lobby, The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests In The Middle East (NY: Harper Collins, 2010).

Bard is an authority on US-Israeli relations. He has written more than 20 books on the subject and is highly qualified, holding a doctorate from UCLA with his specialty in politics and international relations. In this book he tackles the sinister and long-standing Arab lobby that has worked against both Israel and the US by utilizing an almost unlimited supply of petrodollars. Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the lobby has used numerous tactics, even including threats and bribes to skew US policy and to subvert US institutions of learning. The Saudis have sought to blind policy-makers and educators regarding their own gross human rights abuses and their rather open support of terrorism. They have sought to poison both politics and education in America regarding Israel, and they have warped American policy away from its own best interests.

Wafa Sultan, A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed The Muslim World Speaks Out Against The Evils of Islam (NY: St Martin’s Press, 2009).

This book is nothing less than an exposé of Islam from a female insider. It is also a shocking revelation of Islam’s treatment of women. Sultan says, “Muslims hate their women, and any group who hates their women can’t love anyone else.” She says of this hatred, “It is, in many ways, the vilest and most hateful treatment the Muslim world visits on others.” Sultan sighs as she says, “For fourteen centuries Muslim women have been the dirt of Islam that Muslim men have trod on and ‘planted’ in their role as farmer.”

The cover states that “Wafa Sultan is a Syrian-born American psychiatrist included on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2006. She created a firestorm on Al Jazeera as the first Arab Muslim woman on that network who demanded to be heard.”

Brigitte Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008).

They Must Be Stopped is New York Times best selling author Brigitte Gabriel’s warning to the world: We can no longer ignore the growth of radical Islam – we must act soon, and powerfully. Gabriel challenges our Western and politically correct notions about Islam, demonstrating why radical Islam is so deadly and how we can halt its progress.

Gabriel says radical Islamists are utterly contemptuous of all “infidels” (non-Muslims) an regard them as enemies worthy of death. She says that Madrassas in America are increasing in number, and they are just one part of a growing radical Islamic army on U.S. soil. Her call is that America must organize a unified voice that says “enough” to political correctness, and demands that government officials and elected representatives do whatever is necessary to protect us. This book is a real “eye opener” concerning the present Islamic invasion of the west.

Walid Phares, The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Walid Phares who has long roots in Lebanon is the Middle East expert and Fox News terrorism expert. He is also senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy. He has briefed and testified before US government departments and before the US Congress.

His book is focused on helping us understand the global confrontation with Jihadism. Phares is very thorough in tracing all the influences and links of this global network. It is shocking and unnerving to see how Saudi money has already made deep penetration
into our circles of higher education in the US. It is from these very Saudi-infiltrated institutions that many of our government officials are now chosen.

Walid Shoebat with Joel Richardson, God’s War on Terror, Islam, Prophecy and the Bible (US: Top Executive Media, 2008).

Shoebat grew up an Islamic terrorist in Bethlehem. After he married a Christian woman he was challenged by her to examine the Bible and compare it with the Qu’ran. He became a Christian in 1993. His life mission and driving passion is to bring the truth about the Bible to the forefront, and also to bring out the persecution of Israel and Christians by Islam.

His book likely has the most comprehensive and detailed research done so far on the subject of Islam and its relationship to the End-Times. The book is shocking in how it presents Islam as a major player in the last-day scheme of things, and how it debunks the “European ten nation” models of interpretation that have long held sway. This is an important book for perspective on the Last Days. Shoebat seems to be well informed on history, theology and eschatology.

Brigitte Gabriel, Because They HateA Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006).

Brigitte Gabriel grew up as a Christian in war-torn Lebanon and was severely wounded in a Palestinian attack on her village. She survived the horrors of the war and perils of the Islamic culture around her and later became anchor for World News, an Arabic broadcast through the Middle East. Her stay in an Israeli hospital during the war and her time as a television anchor in Jerusalem gave her an entirely new view of Israelis. That new view placed her life in grave danger with Muslim people. Today she lives in Washington, D.C., and as she appears extensively on US television, radio and in lectures she must often have a security guard to protect her. Her compelling and spell-binding book must be read by all Christians who are seeking a better understanding of Islam, of Israel and of how to protect their own way of life. This is one of the most shocking books we have read.

UNDERSTANDING ISRAEL

Caroline B. Glick, The Israel Solution, A One-State Plan For Peace In The Middle East (New York: Crown Forum, 2014).

Carolyn B. Glick is the senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post, where she writes two weekly syndicated columns.  Her writing has also been published in leading newspapers and journals, including the Wall Street journal, National Review, The Journal of International Security Affairs, and Commentary.  She is the director of the Israeli Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles and an adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.  From 1994 to 1996, Glick was a core member of the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinians.  She lives in Jerusalem with her family (from flyleaf)

Glick is one of the few people in the media with a clear understanding of Israel and its place among the nations.  She has consistently stood against the “politically correct” madness of the various peace processes.  Somehow she has maintained a clear head in the midst of all the bewildering confusion in the Middle East.  This book is simply a must for those who wish to understand Israel and the Middle East.

Marilynn Ahlin, Journey Into Zion (Israel: ZmanMa Publishing, 2013).

Marilynn is our great and long-time friend who has spent some fourteen years as a volunteer freelance writer and photographer in Israel.  She “oozes” with love for the Israeli people and was thus uniquely qualified to publish their many untold stories.  You will find this book really thrilling and heartwarming.

Journey Into Zion is a stunning and magnificent venture behind the scenes of the modern Jewish state!  With great care Marilynn Ahlin escorts us to those hard-to-reach, out-of-the-way places, inviting us to look out over the panoramic vistas we never knew existed…Ahlin’s Journey into Zion will grip you with two timeless truths.  First, the enormous price and unending sacrifice the Jewish people have paid to establish one of the most prosperous and delightful countries in the Middle East – Israel!  And second, God’s eternal commitment of love to Israel and the Jewish people” (from flyleaf).

Chris Mitchell, Dateline Jerusalem, An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2013).

Mitchell has produced a book that pictures in simple format the many important aspects of Jerusalem and the Middle East.  He deals with the Arab Spring, the rise of the Muslim Caliphate, the international legal foundation for the state of Israel, the importance of the land for Christians and Jews, and the importance of prayer for Israel. In this book one can get a quick education on the Middle East.

Chris Mitchell is not only a good personal friend but he has served as Bureau Chief of CBN News in Israel since 2000.  He is a man who understands Israel and the Middle East on a first-hand basis.

Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael’s House, A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).

Sir Martin Gilbert has authored over 80 books, with several outstanding volumes on Jewish history and the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this work Gilbert traces the 1400 year odyssey of Israel’s journey and lodging within the house of Ishmael or the Arab nations. This mostly untold story of suffering and disgrace to Israel is now revealed in great detail. This is not easy reading but it certainly sheds a lot of light on Israel’s relationship with Arabs and Arab nations today.

George Gilder, The Israel Test, (US: Richard Vigilante Books, 2009).

Gilder, who has long been a technical researcher and writer, turns his attention to the tiny nation of Israel. He reveals Israel as a present-day leader of human civilization. He states that the nation “…stands behind only the United States in technological contributions. In per-capita innovation, Israel dwarfs all nations.”  He says that “During the first five years of the twenty-first century, venture-capital outlays in Israel rivaled venture-capital outlays in all of the United States outside California.” In fact, the US was the only country that raised more venture capital in 2006 than Israel.

Israel’s prowess is perhaps seen more clearly in the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded so far in the 21st century. Israel and the Jewish people have taken 32 percent or almost a third of them.

Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (NY: Twelve Hachette Book Group, 2009).

“Start-up nation addresses the trillion-dollar question: How is it that Israel-a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources- produces more start-up companies
than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the United Kingdom?”

“As the authors argue, Israel is not just a country but a comprehensive state of mind. Whereas Americans emphasize decorum and exhaustive preparation, Israelis put chutzpah first. ‘When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week, one analyst put it.’”

Picture credit Wikimedia Commons