Tag Archives: Matt Chandler

Book Review: The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler #MinglingOfSouls

Book Review: The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler

The Good:

Attention all teenagers/young adults/parents of teens & young adults/etc etc. Tell all teenagers and young adults to read the 1st three chapters of this book right now! No seriously, get them out of school/wake them up/take them from work and leave them in a park somewhere and tell them to read the 1st three chapters of this book and discuss it with you. In these three chapters are priceless advice for anyone that is pre-marriage.

Bible-based. The problem with many marriage books is the source of the advice. Sure, psychologists and marriage counselors have wisdom to share, but they pale in comparison to the Word of God. This book guides the reader through the Song of Solomon and draws advice from the wisest man to ever live who, by the way, was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Check please.331639

A Must for Marriage Counselors & Pastors. This book is perfect for any number of scenarios. Whether you want to improve in marriage counseling, or you are a pastor formulating your wedding ceremony template, or you just want to help improve your marriage or a friend’s…this book is for you.

A Challenge From The Start. Let’s be honest, some books tend to trail off like a cell phone in the mountains. Not this book. A blow-by-blow heavyweight fight from start to finish, with challenges for those not married, newly married, and long-married (long-married…is that a word?).

Conflict Resolution. Chandler does not dance around this subject, because in marriage there will be conflict. This chapter is pure gold. Rather than just provide advice for husbands, this book provides great balance between the sexes in dealing with conflict. In fact, the entire book is very well-balanced for both spouses in not just conflict, but all areas of marriage.

The Bad:

A Warning. Chapter five is not for young readers. This chapter is designed for engaged/married couples, but still has value in understanding the true purpose of sexual intimacy designed by God. In this chapter, younger readers will still find valuable warnings of how the world has distorted sex.

Too Much Gospel? This is hard to say. We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves in everything we do, including marriage. But, I felt at times, the Gospel was used almost too often and brought some confusion. Almost like, sprinkle a little Gospel on it and it will taste better. At times, could have used more explanation. I understand the intent and I hesitated to even mention it, but felt I needed to be honest.

The Grade: A+

This book is real, honest, but never lets up on the pursuit of a marriage how God intended it to be. It takes the reader on an enjoyable ride through the twists and turns of marriage, but slow enough to provide valuable insight and advice from the Word of God that is attainable, useful, and life-changing. Chandler uses transparency and real-life examples to illustrate lessons learned the hard way. This book should be the next read for anyone reaching for the ultimate joy in marriage. (Hint: It’s not you or your spouse).

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Book Review: Excellence in Preaching

Book Review:  Excellence in Preaching by Simon Vibert

excellence in preachingThe Good:

Bite-Size Candy. Have you noticed how all the favorite candies are going to bite-size now? You can get all your favorite treats in a little bag, all in bite size nuggets. Basically, it allows you to think you are eating less calories, while eating more than you would in a king-size pack. Essentially, that is what happened with this book. I found myself enjoying the “bite-sized” chapters, hoping to just digest one chapter at a time. And I found myself wanting to read more than my original appetite dictated.

Better Preacher Infomercial. You can almost hear in the background as you read, “Will make you a better preacher, or your money back!” You know what, this book could deliver on this promise. It truly holds golden principles that, if you put them into practice, will allow you to be a better preacher.

Come Along for the Ride. Each chapter summarizes sermons from some of the best preachers of God’s Word on the planet (Mr. Vibert, you forget Matt Chandler on this list…think about that for your sequel). The chapters take the strengths of each preacher and teach you how to implement those strengths into your preaching. Also, the author does a good job of keeping balance for the reader, understanding it is not intending to produce clones of these preachers, by following every aspect of their personality and preaching mannerisms.

The Bad:

Can’t Have Just One. It’s like Lay’s potato chips (can you tell I’m trying to eat right this week), you can’t eat just one. Same with the sermon summaries. Many times, the author chooses just one sermon to give illustrations of the preacher’s strengths. In my opinion, the chapters that mentioned other sermons brought more credibility to the instruction.

Pace Yourself. File this in the “not the author’s fault” category. But it would be wise to pace yourself. With the amount of “tips” this book provides, it would be wise to take them in bite-size chunks (again with the food!)

The Grade: B+

Every preacher should at least read the conclusion of the book. In fact, I’ll be sharing with my senior pastor the “12 Things Preachers Do Well” this week. Stay tuned, next week I will give you those 12 tips. You won’t want to miss those.

As I mentioned before, it was a fun ride. To be able to learn from some of the best preachers, and to have someone spell out what makes them good, makes it worth a read. I’ve got a long way to go in my preaching, but this was worth it for the training. I’m blessed to have a mentor to help me in my sermon prep and delivery, if you do not have someone like this, allow this book to mentor you and develop your preaching.

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Book Reviews: Explicit Gospel & Mentoring The Next Generation

the-explicit-gospel-BOOKBook Review:  Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

The Good:  Maybe I should label this category, “The Great” or “The Awesome”, because that would describe this book much better.  It totally blew me out of the water for most of the reading experience.  Any book that makes you love the Gospel more is a must read, but this goes beyond that.  It helps you love, appreciate, understand, and want to share the Gospel more.  It presents a Gospel that is not watered-down, one that needs to preached from every pulpit and spoken by every Christian.  This book takes you on a Gospel journey that you never want to leave.

The Bad:  There were some subtle theological differences that I personally had in the Consummation and End Times discussion.  Not anything that would taint or misrepresent the Gospel.  But found myself raising a quarter to a half eyebrow once or twice.

The Grade:  A. you heard me right, I said an A.  This book deserves it and will be on my favorites shelf for all to see.  I read this book with one of my college students, and we both couldn’t wait to discuss it each week.  It drives a passion for the Gospel within you like no other.  It was written with high academia, yet has well placed humor to keep it light and fresh.  Absolutely loved this book.

mentoringnextgenBook Review:  Mentoring the Next Generation by Mel Walker

The Good:  You know what I love about this book; well it comes down to two things.  One, whatever principle or idea that is presented is well backed with Scripture.  Not every book on mentoring or discipleship can hold that claim, and I really appreciate the research done to make sure the thoughts presented are Biblical.  Second, it is extremely practical.  This is like a mentoring kit in a short book form.  Pick it up, read it, and begin mentoring.  The ideas are practical and logical.  Meaning, they are easy steps to follow.  On a side note, the idea presented in chapter 6, basing mentoring on time availability is pure genius.  There go all the “I don’t have time” excuses right out the window!

The Bad:  Chapter 3 presents some contradictions when presenting the weaknesses and strengths of choosing mentoring partners.  Also, this is at no fault of the author, but there are some areas that can use some updating.  For example, instead of “instant messenger” it would read “Facebook”.

The Grade:  A-.    Put this in the hands of every church leader in America.  I am such a proponent of mentoring/discipleship, and this book allows you to put mentoring in motion.  It gives you practical ways to make discipleship happen, and Scriptural basis for doing so.  What a combination!

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