Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mangalwadi’s View from India is Breathtaking

A review of-
The Book that Made Your World:
How the Bible Created the Soul of western civilization

Viewing Western civilization from his native India, Vishal Mangalwadi has no trouble seeing the forest for the trees. The scope and magnitude of his well researched study of centuries of documented historical events is staggering.

Educated in Indian Universities,  Ashrams, and L’Abri in Switzerland,  Mangalwadi sheds light on the people and events that led to the industrial revolution, the rise of democracy, the abolishment of British and American slavery, and the development of education, medicine, and the arts. Mangalwadi, a professing Christian, asserts that the Biblical worldview of God’s creation and redemption of mankind has made the present world a better place than any other view such as Hinduism, Islam or Atheism could offer. 

Even more compelling is Mangalwadi’s humanitarian work, along with his wife, in the impoverished regions where India’s untouchables live in almost hopeless squalor. One senses that in person Mangalwadi embodies that compassion that he believes inspired a revolution of hope and inspiration in the human spirit.
I read at a breakneck pace, so fascinated was I that a man who learned English as a second language knew so much more about the West than the average westerner, and believed so passionately in values that I, a multi-generational  American,  take for granted. This book is number one on my top three for this year!*
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for my honest opinion.

*Top three books of 2011
The Sabbath by Dan Allender
The Book that Changed Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unearthing Tilly - an excerpt

     “Pilot body scan.”
     Gloria’s voice followed the scanner, mounted on the chair and headset which monitored his blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level and body temperature. A slight deviation from normal would delay a flight, or cause an aborted mission. Rigo let out the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in.
     “All clear. System check complete.”
     He spoke into the microphone on the panel, pulling on the fireproof headgear with provisional oxygen, and hose connected to a water reservoir should it be needed. He’d long ago grown immune to the obvious foreboding nature of these precautions.
     “Preparing trajectory lock-in.”
     “Trajectory mount cleared.”
     The screen ahead showed the two massive ski like structures upon which the catapulting rocket would be hurled into space. The new design with its combined power of centrifugal force and horizontal movement had saved barrels of rocket fuel over the past decade, causing billions of funding to be diverted from operating costs to research and exploration.
     He carefully lowered the craft into place and the ‘claw’ which suspended him released its grip. He felt the clamping motion as the four ton machine was locked onto its launch mount.

     The strains of Handel’s water music filled the cabin. Some long hair type had decided that classical music rather than a digital signal would create a more positive, human environment as a pilot took off. Rigo would have preferred Bob Dylan, or even Aerosmith, but he didn’t make those kinds of decisions. Each month the piece was changed out, only occasionally reverting to a composer from a recent century. There had been some objections to this at first, but George Frederic Handel was Mr. Futere’s personal favorite, and you didn’t tell the third most important man in the world ‘No’ without repercussions.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From the Library of AW Tozer is Meaty Feast

A seven-course meal where every course held a juicy steak would not be as rich a feast as this book which compiles selections from the extensive library of renown theologian, AW Tozer.

From French mystic Madame Guyon, declared heretical by the church, to practical American evangelist Dwight L Moody, this collection pares Catholic and Protestant writings side by side in relative harmony, although the flavor of each is apparent. Plan on reading this in several well-space settings, as it is heavy reading. Organized in such categories as Prayer and Contemplation and Our Counselor: the Holy Spirit, the book can be read devotionally as well as informatively.

I loved it, but I must confess I found it very weighty reading. An excellent resource for the serious Christian's library.

Conversations with God Disappoints

Review of: A Conversation with God
by Alton Gansky

A book with the premise that the words are God talking to you scares me to start with. This is Mr. Gansky’s bold assumption; his book is a kind of an interactive Bible.  He takes questions that he supposes the average person might have and then answers them from what he purports to be God’s point of view and in the point of view of some of the Biblical saints.  The book covers extensively the points of the Christian faith, including such controversial topics as homosexual behavior. The easy style in which it is written is devotional and informative.
Outside of the fact that there is already a rather charming book in this vein written by a Neale D Walsh, who does not write from a conservative, protestant worldview, I found this book disappointing. 

Although most theologians would not take issue with any of Mr. Gansky’s themes and answers to the questions, it seemed contrived. I found myself reading the answers under the heading marked GOD with a sense of resistance. Unfortunately, I cannot readily recommend this book to the curious seeker, or the serious Christian.

I received a complimentary copy of Conversations with God from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for my honest opinion.

Gatehouse is Smooth, Easy Read

Mariah Aubrey has gotten herself into a predicament. When she leaves her home to live in the gatehouse on her wealthy aunt’s estate with her faithful friend and house servant Dixon, the reader has no idea why.
Her aunt’s death a few months later leaves Mariah with just an old trunk of memories, and a cousin breathing down her neck to get at them. She spends her time secretly writing novels for publication that her family would never approve of.

The estate’s new tenant, a retired military man, is dashing, but not quite available as he is pining away for a woman who has refused his advances. Besides, Mariah’s memories hint at a dishonor she feels she can never overcome. 

The nearby poorhouse reveals further mystery as a certain old man is seen walking on the roof talking madly to himself and sometimes using a spyglass to peer in at the two women in the gatehouse. The two often wonder if the poorhouse will be their next home. Mariah and Dixon continue to scrape by, barely able to pay the rent on the gatehouse, until a publisher finally accepts Mariah’s work.

Just when all the plotlines are tangling to a dizzying mess, Klassen deftly ties them into a satisfying end. This book has all the elements of mystery, and romance with a bit of humor. I found it smooth reading, and a bit predictable, but still wanted to keep reading to see how it played out.

I received a complimentary copy of The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest opinion.