Monday, June 28, 2010

Jesus Manifesto

Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola is a great book to get you into studying the scripture to see who Jesus really is, which is not always who He’s made out to be. This book makes you see for yourself what your answer is to the important question “Who do you say that I am?” Have you lost sight of who Jesus really is and instead replaced Him with the doctrines of a church or what someone else says about Him? Each person needs to know who Christ is through their own study of the Word and own encounter with Him.

Sweet and Viola take the time to point out the problem—that many people have “Jesus Deficit Disorder.” They make the gospel about so many other things but don’t realize that unless Christ is at the center of it all, even the good things don’t matter. As Sweet and Viola point out the things that have stopped us from seeing Jesus for who He really is and placing Him in His rightful place, they also se scripture to point us in the right direction—that said, one should still always study the scripture for themselves. This is a good book, and a good tool for anyone that wants to make sure they know Jesus for who He really is.

Book provided by Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jerusalem's Undead: Valley of Bones

Eric Wilson, your Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy has placed itself permanently at the top of my favorite series list. The story contained within those three books is brilliantly inspired. I fell in love with the characters . . . well, except the Collectors, in which case, I loved to hate them. Okay, I do admit, one of them I didn’t hate, but anyway.

On to my comments.

So could vampires be explained Biblically? In the story that spans three books—Field of Blood, Haunt of Jackals, and Valley of Bones—it certainly seems possible. While they aren’t exactly explained with scripture, the way history is tied into the story, one would wonder just how possible it could really be.

Valley of Bones continues right where Haunt of Jackals leaves off. (For any who haven’t read these books yet, I won’t spoil it—WELL worth the read.) The story of Gina, Cal, the Nistarim, and the Collectors comes together in a climactic battle of good and evil. The Collectors are trying to bring final vengeance on their terms by taking out the Nistarim, those who bear the burdens of the world. If even one Nistarim falls without another to take his place, the world would end. But the Collectors’ numbers are dwindling. Will they succeed in ushering in their Final Vengeance? Or will the Nistarim and Those Who Resist succeed in taking out the Akeldama Cluster?

As I mentioned, history is tied into this story. First, the history of the Nistarim found in Matthew 27:52-53. From there, Eric ties in other pieces of history--usually with a bit of something left unexplained. These bits and pieces are weaved perfectly into the story, making it that much more enthralling.

The description and exploration of the settings in the story also add to the believability. In reading about the foreign places, and even the places within the US, it was easy to envision it in my mind even though I’ve never been to most of them myself.

And of course, the characters are what make the story. Following Gina, Cal, Natira, Erota, and the others within the pages, you find yourself captured within their minds, reading their thoughts, feeling their emotions—whether you love or hate them.

All in all, Valley of Bones is an amazing ending to this excellent trilogy. And I am sure I will read these books again and again.