Thursday, 30 January 2014

Book Review - The Two Fears: Tremble Before God Alone (30/1)

Everyone fears, the question is who or what do we fear? Jesus puts it as explicitly as he can when he says ‘And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matthew 10:28) And this is what The Two Fears seeks to do.


First, it explains what fear is, ‘To fear something is to give credence to its power over you’. Which is i think a better explanation of fear as compared to how Christian normally explains that fear of God is not like your fear of spider. This definition works well in both kind of fears.

After defining it, it then moves to explain why we must fear God. Mainly explaining about the characteristics of God, most importantly, His Otherness (set apart-ness), i.e. His Holiness. After explain who God is, Poblete then explains what God does (or will do), namely judge all sinners.

Which then moves to the next motivation of our fear as Christians, we fear God not because of punishment, but because we are saved by the Son, we fear out of a grateful heart, this is what Poblete calls Holy Fear. Which he then moves on to explain what benefits we as Christians can have as we cultivate such holy fear.

Next, he explains the unholy fear, which is directly opposite of holy fear. The consequences of unholy fear are then examined. Personally  I thought that this chapter was the most well written since it really can show the heart of a person who shows unholy fear in his life.

Two more examples of unholy fear is then expounded, first the fear of man, and then the fear of situation. The fear of situation and the following chapter after that was also well written and shows close connection between the unholy fear, and the God whom we should have holy fear for. Poblete correctly points out that both christians and non-christians will face situations that may have cause for fear, the only difference is that as christians our focus is not on the situation, our focus is on the God who brings us in, and through the situation, all the way.

The last chapter is a heralding call to the church, to fear God together as a congregation.

This is a good book with points adeptly explained and well illustrated, very good for those who need an introduction to this topic and even for those who already have some knowledge about the topic. This is not a dry-as-bone book, but enriching and practical.

Ratings: 3.75/5

If you're interested you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Book Review - Doing Doing Archaeology in the Land of the Bible (20/1)

Sorry, I know I've been absent for quite some time, but more reviews will appear soon! So do continue follow with this blog.

John Currid has done a valuable work in his book “Doing Archaeology in the Land of the Bible.  I’m sure as Christian you’ve probably heard many times about how certain sites were dug up and shows how accurate the bible is, that is of course a heart warming discovery, but how does one actually to know where to dig, and how to dig? Why aren’t there much more startlingly archaeological finds?
This is the first of such book that I’ve read and found that it was especially helpful for this book to be written in such a non-technical laymen way.  In this thin book (approx. 120 pg), Currid does a great job giving a brief overview of the subject, along with a brief history of the growth and improvement in archaeology.

Thereafter, he has specific chapters to explain technical terms that are used in archaeology and highlights the many problems an archaeologist faces in the field, such as decided/knowing where to start digging, how do you date the items you have found, what can you tell from the soil patterns you see while digging. It does bring with it many interesting facts and finding that you might not expect from such a dry looking topic.

Pictures and diagrams are also located within the book to help the reader visualise what the author is describing, and these pictures are certainly helpful when you are lost at what the author is trying to describe. However if this book goes for a second printing or revision, some of these pictures could be a little more recent (however, I do understand that even to include pictures in the book already adds to their costs considerable, so thanks for the publisher for making these pictures available, without them this book wouldn’t have been as useful as it was)