KILLING REAGAN – Bill O’Reilly (2015)

•September 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Some people love him; others hate him. But one thing is certainreagan about Bill O’Reilly. The popular host of the O’Reilly Factor makes history interesting. The “no-spin” Irish-American journalist began a series of killing books, with the publication of Killing Lincoln. This effort was followed by Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton. O’Reilly’s latest offering, Killing Reagan has sparked a bit of controversy, since unlike the other characters, Reagan was not murdered.

Readers will not be surprised that at the heart of this book is an insiders look at the assassination attempt of President Reagan. The would be executioner, John Hinckley Jr. is rightly portrayed as a psycho-path drifter who will go to any length, including killing the President of the United States to impress the actress, Jodi Foster.

But readers may be surprised at how O’Reilly portrays the President. The author carefully paints a portrait of the 40th president and includes details that are making some readers uncomfortable and even upset. Make no mistake: the king of no-spin in unwilling to leave any stone unturned in this book.

Apart from some of the more controversial elements of the book, O’Reilly includes fascinating discussion about Reagan’s relationship with Nancy, staff members, Mikhail Gorbachev, and of course, the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.

This book will draw criticism from liberals. But it will also invite the critical response of conservative who revere Ronald Reagan. But it is clear that O’Reilly writes as an unbiased journalist here. He has no bone to pick. He has no axe to grind. He merely desires a telling of the facts. The end result is a fascinating read that ultimately honors the 40th President of the United States. Killing Reagan is a memorial to one of America’s great leaders. It is a vivid reminder of the importance of freedom. This is the story of Ronald Wilson Reagan – patriot, promoter of liberty, and President of the United States of America.


•September 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

jonathan-edwardsThe 21st century ushered in a new emphasis that had an effect on ecclesiology and anthropology.  The so-called seeker-sensitive movement held that unregenerate people seek God.  However, the notion that unconverted people seek God is absent from the pages of Scripture.  Jonathan Edwards present the biblical case against such an idea in his sermon, Unbelievers Contemn the Glory of Christ.

The Doctrine

Unbelievers set at nought the glory and excellency of Christ.

Edwards sets forth two propositions that support his doctrine:

  1. They set at nought the excellency of his person.  Christ is a great and glorious person, a person of infinite worthiness, on which account he is infinitely esteemed and loved of the Father, and is continually adored by the angels.
  2. They set at nought his excellency in his work and office.  They are told how glorious and complete a mediator he is, how sufficient to answer all our necessities, and to save sinners to the uttermost; but they make light of it all; yea, they make nothing of it.

Four evidences are presented to support the doctrine:

  1. They never give Christ an honor on account of his glory and excellency.
  2. They have no love to him on account of his glory and excellency.
  3. Unbelievers have no desires after the enjoyment of Christ.
  4. They show that they set at nought the glory and excellency of Christ, in that they seek not a conformity to that glory and excellency.


Edwards argues: “This doctrine may teach us the heinousness of the sin of unbelief, as this sin sets all the glory and excellency of Christ at nought.”

The sermon concludes with four practical applications, each of which are directed to unbelieving people.

  1. Hereby you may be convinced of the greatness of your guilt.
  2. Hereby you may be convinced of your danger.  You must needs think that such guilt will bring great wrath.
  3. You may hence be led to see how worthless many of those things in yourselves are, that you have been ready to make much of.
  4. Hence learn how justly God might forever refuse to give you an interest in Christ.  For why should God give you any part or interest in him who you set at nought, all whose glory and excellency you value not in the least, but rather trample it under your feet.

Jonathan Edward’s sermon is a vivid reminder about the serious nature of the sin of unbelief.  His heart for lost people shines brightly in this sermon.  And his love for God’s glory is manifest as well.

THE COLUMBUS CODE – Mike Evans (2015)

•September 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

columbusModern day readers in search of a thriller packed with action, intrigue, and espionage turn to authors like Daniel Silva, Vince Flynn, or Tom Clancy. Readers looking for historical drama may turn to Dan Brown or Bernard Cornwall. When I learned about the chance to read and review Mike Evans novel, The Columbus Code, I jumped at the opportunity. Initially, the book appeared promising and seemed to offer not only a good story but an inside look at the mysterious figure, Christopher Columbus. Unfortunately, the storyline in this book drags and the characters are not developed in a way that holds the attention of the reader. But the inability to hold the attention of the reader is not the greatest concern. The chief problem with The Columbus Code is the scanty discussion about the famous explorer. A small portion of the book is devoted to unwrapping the story of Columbus. Personally, I was disappointed with how The Columbus Code unfolded.

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review.

PRAYING THE BIBLE – Donald Whitney (2015)

•September 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

whitPraying the Bible by Don Whitney identifies a problem that concerns prayer, namely – we pray “the same old things about the same old things.”  Whitney adds, “It seems that virtually everyone begins to pray this way sooner or later, and it is boring.  And when prayer is boring, we don’t feel like praying.  When we don’t feel like praying, it’s hard to pray, at least in any sort of focused way.”

Once the author identifies the problem, he proposes a solution:

When you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a psalm.  

Whitney spends a good portion of the rest of the book, helping readers pray the Bible: “So basically what you are doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God.  By this means his words become the wings of your prayers.”

Praying the Bible is both practical and potent.  Albert Mohler describes the book as “explosive and powerful.”  Bryan Chapell  adds, “It’s so simple it will shock you and, at the same time, invigorate a renewed prayer life with you God.”  I concur with Mohler and Chapell.  Whitney’s book is a powder keg for anyone committed to the discipline of prayer  This little treasure is destined to encourage a lot of people.

Highly recommended!


•September 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

frameThe Word of God is emphatic about our role as we enter the marketplace of ideas. The apostle Paul sounds the warning in Colossians 2:8 – “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Scripture instructs Christ-followers, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ …” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5, ESV).

John Frame maintains and promotes such a mind-set in his latest offering, A History of Western Philosophy and Theology (HWPT). The discipline of philosophy which is defined as “the disciplined attempt to articulate and defend a worldview” is broken down into three subdivisions including metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory. Readers familiar with Frame’s work will immediately recognize his commitment to perspectivalism, a powerful grid for thinking which includes three perspectives: normative, situational, and existential. This commitment has been clearly articulated and defended in his Lordship series, a series of books which are essential tools in every pastor’s library.

HWPT is dedicated to Dr. Cornelius Van Til, whose influence is evident throughout the book. Readers who are entrenched in Van Til’s methodology will quickly recognize themes such as the Creator-creature distinction and the charge that non-Christian thought lapses into the intellectual bankruptcies of rationalism and irrationalism.

On a large-scale, HWPT leads readers on a fascinating journey that educates, contextualizes, and warns.


Frame has a reputation for educating not only his Seminary students but a rather broad reading audience. HWPT is no exception. The author gives readers an up-close look at the history of western thought. Unlike the typical tour of philosophy and theology, Dr. Frame provides readers with the proper lens with which to view such ideas. The book is built on the immutable, authoritative, infallible, inerrant Word of God. Readers are alerted in advance that the author carries certain presuppositions, above all – an allegiance to sacred Scripture. The author clearly reveals the presuppositions which guide his writing and inform his worldview:

“As a Christian, I am committed to a worldview that comes from the Bible: God the Creator, the world as his creation, man made in his image, sin and its consequences as our predicament, Christ’s atonement as our salvation, his return as the consummation of all things.”

Such an admission is rare in the world of philosophy. Frame’s candor should be respected and greatly appreciated by believer and non-believer alike.


HWPT stands alone by contextualizing the various philosophic movements and the thinkers who represent those movements. The author helps readers understand how various philosophers influence future generations and worldviews. Such an approach is greatly needed, especially among undergraduate students who often see philosophy in bits and pieces instead of a unified whole.


The most helpful aspect of HWPT is the warning extended by Dr. Frame, a warning that takes Colossians 2:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:5 to heart. The author demonstrates how various philosophers have influenced generations and have contributed to the erosion of the Christian mind. These thinkers, most of whom continue to rule from the grave are exposed and for their futile thinking, which generally follows Van Til’s charge of being rationalistic and irrational at the same time.

I commend HWPT to pastors, Bible College students, Seminary students and Christ-followers who have a passion to see the picture in the world of philosophy and theology. HWPT is a serious book for serious Bible students. It is a book that I will return to again and again. May God use John Frame’s latest work to glorify the great God of the universe and encourage a new generation of Christian theologians, philosophers, pastors, and leaders.

Soli Deo Gloria!

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review.


•August 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

They call him the “Wacko Bird.”  Other words are often used to cruzdescribe the Senator from Texas: He’s accused of being “extreme,” “out of touch,” “crazy,” and  “arrogant.”  The media has caricatured him as a right-wing lunatic.  The liberals in Congress have tried to discount him and marginalize him.

After reading, A Time For Truth by Ted Cruz, I can say with confidence that the Senator is a man who means what he says and says what he means.  He is committed to conservative values and is willing to pay a personal price for standing up for those values.

A Time For Truth is the story of an immigrant’s son – a man who learned the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity at a young age.  It is the story of a Princeton graduate (cum laude) who walked away with an undergraduate degree in Public Policy.  Cruz went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.  The liberal law professor, Alan Dershowitz calls Cruz, “Off-the-charts brilliant.”  Yet the Senator from Texas is portrayed as a “dummy” and an “extremist.”

A Time For Truth sets the record straight.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Senator Cruz will get the last laugh.  Time will tell if he has the right stuff to secure the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  But one thing is for certain: The Senator from Texas is unwilling to waver.  He is unwilling to back down.  He is unwilling to compromise his conservative principles.  The “wacko bird” is just getting started!

AVENUE OF SPIES – Alex Kershaw (2015)

•August 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

My introduction to Alex Kershaw took place several years ago as I spiespoured over his excellent book, The Longest Winter.  Kershaw is back again with another historical gem, Avenue of Spies.  The book chronicles the life and legacy of Sumner Jackson and his wife, Toquette.  These brave people joined the French in their pushback against the Third Reich during the heart of World War II.

Kershaw is a master story teller who has a special gift for transporting readers into the heart of Paris, a city that was overtaken by Nazi thugs.  He carefully guides readers through the historical drama, noting the tragic turn of events for Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and their family.

The author educates readers by helping them understand the worldview of Hitler’s henchmen as well as those who fought against the Third Reich.  The attention to detail is breath-taking.  The scenes are memorable.  The heroic deeds of the Jackson’s are sure to inspire readers.

I heartily recommend Kershaw’s excellent book, which is researched with precision and recounted in a thoughtful and memorable way.

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review. 

4 stars


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