Book Review: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer
The Good: First off, bravo for the impact of this book, yet it taking only 30-45 minutes to read. Don’t let the brevity full you, like a featherweight boxer it still packs a punch. This book contains 6 chapters and 6 ways to become a better church member, each with Biblical backing and strong conviction and practicality. Rainer does a great job combating what he calls the “country club” philosophy of church membership and promotes a giving, serving, and putting others first membership philosophy. The opening illustration in each chapter keep the reading fresh and applicable to real life. If anything, you have to read the “child facing two scenarios” illustration in chapter 6. Priceless.
The Bad: The pledge in the back of each chapter may be a little corny. I get the concept, but could be condensed in the final chapter holding all the truths.
The Grade: A. There a great misunderstanding of both the importance of being a member of a church and also the responsibilities associated with church membership. This books helps solve that mystery. It is a much needed kick in the pants for those that would rather their backsides not be bothered and heavily cushioned during a church service. It puts people in motion to properly serve and function in the church body, like Christ, the head of the church, intended.
Book Review: Closing the Window by Tim Chester
The Good: My fingers may get tired from typing if I listed how important this book is in today’s society, especially for young people. Here’s a stat for you…93% of teenagers have access to the internet. Do you know the percentage of teenage boys who have been exposed to internet pornography…93%! Girls aren’t far behind, with exposure at 62%. I realize this is under the GOOD column. Here is the good news, this book provides a solution to the problem. It offers a five-tier process that breaks through the myths and straw-like answers that often fail, and presents a Biblical, life-transforming model that withstands for the long haul.
What’s great about this book is its approach. While there are underlying reasons for the use of porn, it goes even deeper than the emotional or personality struggles. The solution starts and ends with God. Think about it, you really think someone can defeat porn using filters, accountability, or DVD pass codes. Come on, those should be used, but the user will find a way around those man-made barricades if he or she so desires. Removing porn from your life is not about what you are losing or blocking, but what you gain. Many try to take porn away, but don’t replace it, and then find themselves returning to fill the void. Let me use a quote from the book to explain: “What happens if you weigh a life with porn against a life without porn? Put like that, porn will always win, for it offers excitement, pleasure, thrills…by definition…a lesser life…weighing a life with porn against a life lived for God’s glory. Porn versus glory, porn versus God, fleeting pleasure versus lasting pleasure, shame versus glory, destruction versus eternal life: which looks the lesser now?”
The Bad: The only bad…how this book is not better known (this picture above was only available on google images) & how this book is not required for every man to read. Let me ask you a question: Do you or anyone you know ever struggled with porn? Virtually everyone will answer yes to that question. Whether you need help, or you are in a position to offer help, you need to consider reading this book.
The Grade: A+. Please listen to me when I say this, this is not just a book for someone that is addicted to pornography. This book will help you in your marriage, it will provide you with a proper view of women, and along the way provide Biblical and life-lasting ways to defeat lust in your life. I’ve read in multiple articles that this book is the best book on counseling someone who is addicted to pornography. It did not disappoint. Read it to get out of your addiction. Read it to help others with their addiction. Read it to prevent addiction. Read it to bring you closer to your spouse (or to your future spouse) and read it to become closer in your relationship with God.