May 2011

Ron’s #16: Hudson Taylor by J. Hudson Taylor

May 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

This autobiography has special significance for me, as Hudson Taylor is the namesake of our son, Hudson Coia. We like that our son is named after the man who impacted China with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by becoming one of the Chinese, adopting the language, cultures, and practices.  Taylor follows the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill, and our prayer is that our Hudson will have a passion, love, and longing for a people group in this world. Read this short book, and your faith in the God of all peoples will increase.   Share on Facebook

Ally’s #8: “Redemption Accomplished & Applied” by John Murray

May 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Here’s a truncated version of the book review I turned in for my theology class: Looks can be deceiving, and upon first glance, I would not have anticipated such breadth and depth to reside within the cover of John Murray’s petite text, Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Admittedly, I also did not expect that Murray would be able to carry on a discussion of redemption that was so consistently profitable, systematic, and concise. As I pressed on into this text, I was delighted and challenged by Murray’s presentation, motivated to draw ever closer to the treasures of the atonement described therein. Murray has a knack for knowing when to switch gears in order to be better understood, and he rather effortlessly flows between academic language and writing that is more accessible to the average reader. It was a comfort to know that whenever I saw phrases like “in other words,” I was about to receive clarification on a rather heavy point the author did not want me to miss. That is one of the beauties of this text. Murray genuinely desires to get through to his audience, as the eternal weight of the subject matter demands it. While other books on […]

Mark’s #24 – Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell

May 30, 2011 // 1 Comment

Malcom Gladwell set out to answer the question, “Why do some people really succeed, while others don’t?”  In particular, why do the best of the best succeed? For example, in this book, what was it about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, The Beattles, professional hockey players, top lawyers like Joe Flam, and Asian students who excel in math? As Americans, we love the “pulled up from their own bootstraps” “rags to riches” success stories.  Parents often tell their kids, “you can be anything you want to be when you grow up.”  But is that true?  Is it all just a matter of hard work and perseverance, or are their other factors in play?  Is it just natural talent?  Is that what made Mozart – Mozart? In this book, Gladwell argues (convincingly) that there are other factors.  To be sure, extremely hard work and intelligence are necessary conditions for the successful (sorry, no shortcuts to success), but there almost always is one very key element to a person’s meteoric rise to the top; opportunity. Opportunity is the reason Bill Gates became the richest man in the world.  Two key factors for Bill: First, he was born in 1955 – which turns out […]

JRF’s #16 – The Cambridge Seven by John Pollock

May 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

This true story recounts one of the key moments in modern missions history, when God seized the hearts of 7 Cambridge students, all very different from each other, and compelled them to give up their all to join Hudson Taylor in bringing the Gospel to the lost of China. The book focuses on how God beautifully worked and weaved these men’s lives together in a way that not only brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to hundreds in China, but also awakened thousands of Western Christians to embrace the long neglected command of their Lord to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Although at times difficult to follow due to the stilted writing style and many names to keep track of, this book was a thrilling and encouraging read.  It was thrilling because the hand of God is so clearly seen as He responded to the prayers of His children, from a missionary professor in China to an old widow in a poor English cottage and countless others, so that at the right time and the right place the right men would respond to His call.  It was encouraging because the author was not shy about […]

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