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Reviews Written by
Mark Nenadov "arm-chair reader" (Essex, Ontario Canada)
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Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.43
30 used & new from CDN$ 10.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Feb. 26 2013
This is an extremely helpful classic from the 20th century Welsh pastor, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As is usually the case with his books, this is a collection of transcribed sermons.

There is a lot of fantastic insight and great gems are to be found here. Reading the book has personally been beneficial to me. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that this book is merely about "clinical depression". The term "depression" is used far more broadly here than we are used to hearing. The topic applies to Christians no matter what their temperamental tendencies are. Christians of all temperaments, including those with the most sunny dispositions, will find much that is helpful herein.

Lloyd-Jones was a medical doctor as well as a pastor and it shows in his approach here. He is not merely satisfied to lay out general theological concepts, he works very hard and systematically to work them out into practice. He presses to evaluate causes, diagnosis and treatment in a logical, ordered, and conscience way.

You probably should be prepared for some heavy sledding here. Don't get me wrong, Lloyd-Jones writes in a transparent and clear way that is very easy for a contemporary audience to understand. However, these are transcribed sermons and they are pretty searching. Be prepared to bite off small parts and chew on them a bit. There aren't any "sub chapters", so you sort of have to find good paragraphs to stop at. I found that I normally was best suited to doing about 10 pages at a time.

This book really showcases how much D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones has influenced present-day Protestant Christianity. Suddenly, you realize that much of what contemporary figures such as Jerry Bridges have been saying is, in a large degree, repeating what Lloyd-Jones was saying. And, in turn, Lloyd-Jones is building on the works of others who came before him.

Another work worth exploring on this topic, written centuries earlier, is A Lifting Up For The Downcast by William Bridge. In that work, a collection of Bridge's sermons on one particular text from the Psalms is compiled, and he comes to very many of the same conclusions as Lloyd-Jones, and perhaps works out some of the points in a bit more detail. That said, Bridge would be quite a far bit more removed by time from the contemporary reader than Lloyd-Jones. And for that reason, this book is probably a better starting point than A Lifting Up For The Downcast.

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England.
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England.
by Phillis Wheatley
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.64
12 used & new from CDN$ 14.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, Feb. 8 2013
A wonderful collection of poems from one of the first "African American" poets. She was brought to America as child from Africa. It contains many lovely poems, including a moving elegy for George Whitefield.

Finding Faithful Elders And Deacons
Finding Faithful Elders And Deacons
by Thabiti M. Anyabwile
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.69
34 used & new from CDN$ 4.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Feb. 6 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Thabiti has done an excellent work in putting together this book. It's a fairly quick read, and yet there is a lot of good stuff here. He basically goes through all the qualifications for the offices of deacon and elder. But it is far from a plain exposition of these qualifications. There is a lot of good practical advice here. The advice is profitable for church officers, those who are evaluating potential church officers, and, really, anyone who is a Christian and is a member in a church. As a lay person, I found it incredibly profitable.

Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Price: CDN$ 0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Satisfying, Jan. 25 2013
This review is from: Daniel Defoe (Kindle Edition)
I'm afraid that all but the most serious Defoe nerds will be disappointed with this one. It gives some valuable historical contextualization and there are some golden moments where Minto shines, such as the last few pages, but all in all, it's tedious and doesn't give a very satisfying or thorough portrait of Defoe.

Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
by William Minto
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 39.32
8 used & new from CDN$ 32.82

2.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Satisfying, Jan. 25 2013
This review is from: Daniel Defoe (Hardcover)
I'm afraid that all but the most serious Defoe nerds will be disappointed with this one. It gives some valuable historical contextualization and there are some golden moments where Minto shines, such as the last few pages, but all in all, it's tedious and doesn't give a very satisfying or thorough portrait of Defoe.

David: Man of Prayer, Man of War
David: Man of Prayer, Man of War
by Walter Chantry
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 13.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good, Jan. 25 2013
I highly recommend this book on the life of David. It's highly informative, but isn't merely a list of facts. It is very passionate and Chantry does a fantastic job of weaving application into factual information.

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)
You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)
Price: CDN$ 5.54

1.0 out of 5 stars I Sat Through A Sales Pitch, And All I Got Was A Good Title, Jan. 25 2013
Imagine a public speaking book married a weight loss treatment sales pamphlet and had a child about writing. Okay, I admit that's an awkward image, but it seems fitting here. To be fair, the central point of the book is valid. If you are an aspiring writer, don't wait for approval, write and build an audience.

I felt like I was sitting through an awkward sales pitch. It's as if I was reading a self-help book, and got the striking sense that the author was trying out his techniques on me!

I mean no personal offence towards Jeff at all, but I'm not sure I want to become this kind of writer. I see little, if anything, in the writing style that could inspire emulation. If one were looking for a pep talk, they could probably find a more generic self-help book helpful.

I'm thankful I got the book for free and it was a really quick read. I recommend that readers read the title and move on, applying the title to their craft. I also recommend that this book be renamed to capture a broader audience. Perhaps "You Are A Sales Person (Now Start Pitching Yourself)" would be suitable.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
by Pamela Druckerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.24
53 used & new from CDN$ 10.11

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed It, Jan. 25 2013
Parents wanting to raise their kids thoughtfully and learn from different cultures will likely find this book helpful and entertaining. It's a memoir by an American expatriate mother living in France, documenting her investigation of French parenting.

It's not that I necessarily agree with everything here. I don't think that's the point. The idea isn't that the French do parenting perfectly or that everyone should thoughtlessly copy them. Rather, the point is that while some French parenting practices may seem foreign to Americans, many of them really make sense and are very helpful and amazingly successful. And there is some clear evidence of better results.

Unlike many parenting books and memoirs, this book is actually written in a skillful, fun and fresh way. It is intimate and emotional but not overly sentimental either. Even though it describes a mom's perspective, dads can enjoy it too! In fact, even if you never have had, and never will have, any children, it's unlikely you'll find this dull!

Anne Steele and Her Spiritual Vision
Anne Steele and Her Spiritual Vision
Price: CDN$ 8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent-Worth Buying!, Jan. 25 2013
I came to Christ in a denomination with roots in the Anabaptist movement. Their song book was mainly composed of old Lutheran hymns. After leaving, I retained an appreciation for the piety expressed in their hymnody. Since then, I've written some of my own poetry, leading me to further appreciate the literary value which hymns can have.

While researching the life and ideas of the English dissenters, to my delight I found their treasury of hymns and poems. One such English hymn writing giant is the 18th century Baptist Anne Steele, who wrote under the pen name Theodosia. Recently, I was delighted to receive this new book about her as a Christmas present from my dear wife.

Picking up this little book, I was immediately struck by its beauty. The cover is delightfully designed and appealing. The photo captures Steele's hometown in Broughton, England. This positive first impression persisted and I was almost over halfway done the day I started.

There aren't many books about Anne Steele, and Mrs. Wong's is a valuable contribution to the history of English hymnody. Her approach is informative and scholarly, but also intensely practical. Her writing style is warm and intimate, exuding devotional fervour.

At its core, the book is an exposition of a handful of key themes in Steele's hymns: The Glory of God In Creation, Faith in the Face Of Suffering, and Hope in the Promised Glory. Mrs. Wong starts off each theme by using John Gill's thoughts to lay the groundwork. Then she methodically analyzes small portions of the hymns, showing the meaning, literary devices used, and, above all, highlighting the faith and piety they expose. The result is really quite exquisite. I must point out that I found her comparison of Steele and Isaac Watts in the conclusion to be especially helpful and worth noting.

I do have a layout-based quibble. The footnotes are both my favourite and least favourite parts of the book. They're full of gems, and naturally one wants to review them, but due to their weight, the reading can get choppy at times. Often, the footnotes cover a large portion of the page, sometimes even quoting large sections of hymns. I think a typical reader would find them a bit intimidating and off-putting. Perhaps a few of them could have been integrated to the body or moved off into an appendix.

Be that as it may, this beautiful little book is well worth buying and reading, perhaps twice. Anne Steele is long gone, but her verses still speak and Mrs. Wong has represented her well.

It's been inspiring to read a book like this we move on into 2013. May our conduct in 2013 reflect Steele's words: "His smile is my life, his favour is my end". I pray that this book will revive Anne Steele's devotion and piety, and perhaps the emulation of her literary skills as well!

A Lifetime of Church
A Lifetime of Church
by Tom Speicher
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.65
21 used & new from CDN$ 20.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Jan. 25 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Lifetime of Church (Paperback)
I just couldn't put this book down. Approximately half of the book relates his experiences in the Apostolic Christian Church, eventually becoming a minister and eventually leaving, and the other half covers his experiences with a group that forms another church.

Tom writes with an amazing amount of depth and packs an amazing amount of detail into 600 pages. This is a must read for those who have an interest in the Apostolic Christian Church or church leadership in general. He is frank and not afraid to outline areas of concern and grief. Highly recommended!!!!

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