This post will finally catch us up on book reviews! (At least, until I finish another book.)
originally published 1942, my copy published by Harper Collins in 2001 (209 pages)
I have had this book on my shelf for a long time, and a member at Lebanon Road suggested that I would love it. That gave me the “umph” needed to add it to my reading list.
I’m so glad I did!
Lewis is able to weave through the letters from “Wormwood” to “Screwtape” (an uncle demon to his nephew) the way we see Satan working in our world. The allegory is clear, but haunting. At times, it is almost too real.
Lewis stated that he struggled writing this book because he had to think like the devil would think. However, just looking at the world around with a clear mind will show how Satan works, and it comes across very clearly in this work.
In my mind, the most powerful letter is #25, where Wormwood tries to show how “the same old thing” is the worst thing humans can think of. In other words, we are always looking for the newest, fastest, and most exciting. Sound familiar?
Read this book! It is short, but will truly cause you to think about how subtle Satan is, and of how well he does what he sets his mind to do.
Thomas Nelson, 2006 (233 pages)
Based upon the life of David, this volume shares with readers how we can face the insurmountable times in our lives with God’s help. Lucado is able to take some of the more familiar times in the life of David and show how they were used to defeat more “giants” than just one named Goliath.
In my mind, that is the best part of this book. It is not just a look at David and Goliath. Instead, it is a devotional style walk through major times in the life of David, and it shows how this man faced many giants. We rarely will face a bully like Goliath, but we will face the “giants” of fear, betrayal, and loss. David faced these, too, and Lucado is able to use those common areas of life to show us how to handle them.
This is very much a devotional-level book. There are some times where I feel the author takes a few too many liberties with the text, but overall the book is helpful. The study guide in the back of the book is one that I find more helpful than many others I have seen.
Andy Stanley and Lane Jones
Multnomah Books, 2006 (199 pages)
This book does one thing, and that is that it tries to get those of us who preach to, well, do one thing: preach one point.
199 pages are spent showing the “why’s” and “how’s,” of doing that, but the one point of this book is to preach just one point.
I preach multi-point sermons like many other preachers do, but I didn’t see this book as an “affront” to that style. I read it as a different approach to preaching, and I did find a lot in it to be helpful. I see this book as another in a long line of books that show other ways of preaching (and preaching Biblically). It is up to the preacher and those who hear to determine what is best for the situation. Some need to be one-point preachers. Others need to preach several points. Some need to learn to make a point!
If you agree with the overall premise or not, this is still a must-read for preachers.