Category Archives: Review

Book Review: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

Soul KeepingNow this review is special as I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of the book from Zondervan which is published today (22nd April)

Here is stolen blurb from anywhere that sells the book : 

Many people think that the “soul” is a theologically abstract subject. But Jesus said it’s worth more than the world! With Ortberg’s signature insight, inspiration, and wit, you’ll rediscover your soul and how to care for it. Making a challenging topic accessible, he’ll help you take your relationship with God to the next level.

Continue reading Book Review: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

Book review: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

I haven’t reviewed for a while, but I have been reading!  Here’s a fresh one for you

Here is stolen blurb from anywhere that sells the book : 

Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.

Continue reading Book review: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

An overview of 2012 and Goals for 2013

My theme for 2012 was Growth.

I planned to grow in my faith, love for my family/friends etc, fitness, fruits of the Spirit and generosity.  I also wanted to write more articles for Dadzclub and maybe learn a new skill, like the Tango.

Well, I have grown in my faith as the result of having been tested a few times over, which included being knocked off of my bike and having the wheel fall of of my car after a 130 mile journey (2 near death experiences will focus the mind a tad)

I have definately grown in my love for family and friends, especially as a result of the two near-death experiences – I appreciate their love of me and the fact that I am accepted for who I am, faults, foibels and facial hair.

My fitness has definately improved as I’ve taken to cycling to work, which has sadly come at a cost to my running.  Being knocked off my bike meant that I had to shelf my Half Marathon training and forfeit the place as well, and I have since struggled to get back into running, but I really want to continue.

I can’t really comment on Spiritual growth as it something that should really be identified by others, but I’m pretty sure that each fruit is a little bigger.

As for writing and the Tango, well, that’s gone out the window due to work commitments and being a very busy bee, which is a shame, but that is life I guess.

And now to 2013

I’m not really sure what the theme is yet, but I have set 5 goals, which are mostly achieveable:

  1. Read through the whole bible
  2. Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in under 2 hours with no shoes
  3. Regular dates with Jen and each of the kids
  4. Reach Technician Membership of the Institute of Structural Engineers
  5. Return to Centre Parcs on holiday.

I have set a target for each and will expand on each goal to work out how I will achieve them, and I will review them to make sure I’m staying on track.

Growing often involves struggle and pain, hopefully this year will be less of that.


Book review: Love in Hard Places by D.A. Carson

Another review for your reading pleasure

Here is stolen blurb from anywhere that sells the book : 

Too often the Christian version of popular culture’s sentimental view of love is that, of all things, Christians should be nice. After all, people ask, isn’t the Church about forgiveness? Aren’t Christians supposed to love others without condition?

This book not only focuses on the aspects of Christian love that are not easy–such as when it comes to loving our enemies, and even forgiving those loved ones who have hurt us–but also helps readers understand, then, what biblical love really is. As author D. A. Carson points out, thinking seriously about Christian love soon embroils us in reflection on justice, revenge, war, the authority of the state, forgiveness, hate, and much more. This book shows some of the important ways in which the love of Christians is a reflection of the love of God, and enables believers to develop an appropriate understanding of how to love in the hard places of life.

My thoughts :

This book is an amalgamation of 3 lectures, so it reads like that rather than a book and keeps referring to the other lectures.  Carson starts by exploring the various aspects of Gods love and presents some truths that are hard to swallow, such as, while God has love for all of his creation evidenced in common grace, for example, he also shows conditional love in forgiveness (if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive yours)  He then goes on to talk about 2 large issues, namely racism and terrorism.  The lectures were given post-9/11, but many years before Osama Bin Laden was killed, and he references that in the book.  He talks about the God-given authority of the state to wield the sword in judgement, about revenge, forgiveness, just war and wrongly using rasicm to personal advantage, and he finishes with the purity of the gospel, which is highlighted in Galatians 2:11-14

It was a bit heavy going and not so laden with one-liners, but many points sub-divided into further points until you lose track of which number you’re on.

I found it challenging, informative, at times inspirational and at other times really difficult to read.  Most of what you need in a book about the love of God really.

The book is centred around the 2 greatest commandments “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

If you can nail these, everything else will fall into place, and you will be able to love in the hardest of places. Easier said than done, yes, but still possible.

It is one I’d read again, if only because it’ll be easier the second time around, but also because I’d be able to glean more from it.  You too should go and read it.

First sentence | Last sentence :

“Three years agoI gave some lectures that were eventually published uder the title The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God” | “But the love will remain, unalloyed, immensely rich, reflecting in small but glorious ways the immeasurable love we have received”

In a nutshell :

Love is a distinguishing feature of Christianity and should motivate everything we do, being fuelled by an undivided and complete love for the Godhead.  This will allow us to love even the most cruel and evil of people.

Score :



Did you find this review helpful? Leave a comment and let me know!

To find out more follow on Don twitter (@DACarson_) or find him on facebook. He is also a member of The Gospel Coalition, which you can find out about here, on facebook and on twitter @TGC

September Monthly Round-up

This month I have been a busy bee, and in case you’ve missed anything, here’s what I wrote about:

Gods Favour

My lunch break

A visit to a local park

The return of my blogging mojo

Being careful what you ask for

A book I read

Should Christians push against authority

Another book I read

Adultury (Part 1)



My Paralympic Adventure, with Spongebob.

And now for something completely different…