Blogs
enfrdeitptrues

Christ Centered Gamer Blog

This blog contains non-gaming related reviews and random ramblings

The Mark of the Beast: Revelations 13

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us a copy of this book to review!

There are many theories about the end times, the anti-Christ and the mark of the beast.  I have read theories of the anti-Christ being the current or future President or Pope.  While the Catholic church is referenced as the “wounded head of Revelation,” the author, Ezra Celestin believes that the Beast of Revelations is not an obvious target.

The Catholic church got its “wounded head” from the reformation movement and the Protestants are still in the dark to the truth, unlike the Seventh Day Adventists.  E.G. White is quoted in the first chapter saying “We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.  God and heaven alone are infallible.  Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed.  As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.”  Despite the obvious ties with the Seventh Day Adventist church, this book was an insightful read.

I got quite the history lesson with the fall of the Roman empire, the origins of the reformation movement, the French Revolution, and World War II.  There are many Bible verses quoted to back up claims of the four great kingdoms being Babylon as the head of gold, Media and Persia are the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs are Greece and the legs of iron represent Rome in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision.  Daniel’s vision of the four beasts are translated as the lion representing Babylon, the bear is Media and Persia, Greece is the leopard with four wings and four heads, and Rome is depicted as the beast with ten horns.  

*spoiler alert* As for the beast itself, it’s none other than the Unites States with its calling down fire upon Japan in World War 2.  Also, if you add up the number of people in the president’s cabinet, legislative and judicial branches the number comes out to 666.  With the Republican and Democratic parties, the United States fits the description of the two-horned beast while the United Nations is the image of it.  */spoiler*

This 152-page book can be digitally purchased for $3.99 or acquired in paperback form for $16.95 or in hard cover for $24.95.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

 

Continue reading
  2384 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2384 Hits
0 Comments

Trimillennialism: Revelation 20 and the Final Judgment

Trimillennialism: Revelation 20 and the Final Judgment 
Author: Ritchie Way

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us this book to review!

In Revelation 20, there is a passage that has been debated for thousands of years. Here it is, in full:

"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

Having read this, it's understandable that it would require significant study to truly understand what is being said here.  There are two major camps in Biblical scholarship around this passage: the Amillennialists and the Premillennialists. Premillennialists believe that it is literally describing a future event. Amillennialists believe that there will not be a literal future thousand years as described, but instead that it is symbolic of a current reality.  Both viewpoints have had major supporters, including whole denominations.  Ritchie Way believes that he has cracked this ages long issue in perhaps the simplest way possible:  

Why not both?

The author spends nearly half of the book making the case for amillennialism, explaining how the spiritual reality that we now live in very much mirrors the patterns set in Revelation 20.  After he has made his case, he goes on to explain why the more obvious reading that premillennialists believe is also true.  He then sums most of it up in this excerpt on page 154:

"Are the aillennialists right when they claim that Revelation 19 applies to this present era of gospel outreach into the entire world?  They certainly are!  Are premillennialists right when they claim that Revelation 19 "depicts the events of the consummation: the marriage of the Lamb, and the coming of Christ"?  Of course they are!  What they don't seem to realize is that their particular view does not necessarily exclude the other…"

He also covers related topics, including a few other examples of patterns in Scripture being duplicated in both other passages and in history.  He also goes on to explain his view of the ultimate destiny of the ungodly, which he believes is annihilation rather than eternal torment.

I feel that the title of this book does the author and his work a disservice.  Putting 'Tri' in the title because it's Trinitarian means that anyone else who has a similar idea would never find this book while doing research because it is not an obvious name given the subject matter.  So it will likely fall into obscurity, which is a shame.  Titles should reflect their content.  When I read this title, I wonder if the author thinks there are three millenniums, which is not the case here.

Despite this, the author does a decent job of making his case, and some of what he says has merit.  My major complaint is that there is a lot of filler and segues that make it difficult to follow at times.  He often uses these in an attempt to give God glory, and in that sense, I found the book inspiring.  But, at the same time, taking so long to get to the point means that I had many unplanned augmentations to my rest schedule.  As a result, it took me much longer to get through this relatively short 192 page book than I anticipated.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  2136 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2136 Hits
0 Comments

Heaven Is for Animals Too: Hope and Comfort for Believers and Skeptics

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us this book to review!

When Melinda Cerisano, the author of Heaven Is For Animal Too, was ten years old she asked a Methodist minister if animals go to heaven.  He told her that they did not since they lacked souls and were not made in the likeness of God.  As a certified animal trainer, behaviorist, and accomplished equestrian, she was not satisfied with that answer and  set out on a seven year journey to prove that animals do indeed go to heaven when they die.

This 257 page book began as eight verses in the Bible that comforted Melinda and several of her friends when they suffered the loss of their pets.  After seeing how these verses (Gen 1:30, Hos 2:18-19, Pro 12:!0, Ecc 3:21, Joel 1:18,20, 2:22, Rom 8:20-21) affected her friends and even brought some of them closer to God, she embarked on her journey to write a book. While she doesn't claim to be a theologian, she does cite and reference various Bible translations, texts, and scrolls in their original language.  

The Bible translations used include the New King James Version, the Darby New Translation, the New Living Translation, the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible,  and the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Interlinear Bible is used for translating between Greek, Hebrew, and English.

I found it fascinating that most of the modern day translations replace the word "soul" for "creature" instead.  With the word soul in place, verses like Genesis 1:29-30 give animals more hope of joining us in heaven one day.  There is an entire chapter dedicated to explaining the word for word translation and its significance.  

In the chapter discussing the True Meaning of Dominion, Melinda interviewed a man with a PhD in Hebrew who shed some light on Judaism's take on Genesis 3:21.  This PhD suggested that instead of making skin garments for Adam and Eve, he clothed them with skins/ bodies that will now age and deteriorate over time.  It's certainly an interesting theory.  Animal sacrifices were required as a result regardless until Jesus became The Last Sacrificial Lamb which is the name of another chapter in this book. 

I have no doubt that God loves and cares for all of His creation as it is demonstrated in verses like Matt: 10:29 and saving animals along with humans in Noah's ark. However, I have no problems eating meat as many people in Bible times have done so.  Jesus fed his thousands of followers fish and bread in Luke 9:16.    Some of his followers were fishermen as stated in Mark 1:16.  While some of the hunters in the past (Nimrod and Ishmael) were not the best people, that certainly doesn't speak for the majority of them.  The author makes it clear that she's a vegetarian and approves of the Daniel diet (Dan 1:12) over most everyone else's.  

Despite some opinions that I don't agree with,  Heaven Is For Animals Too was an interesting read that was fairly easy to follow along with.  The paperback edition sells for less than $18 and the kindle edition is $9.99 on Amazon.  This would be a comforting book for anyone who lost a pet that was dear to them.  You might not want to give it to hunters though.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  2156 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2156 Hits
0 Comments

Living The Christian Life

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us this book to review!

John F. Hunter, the author of Living The Christian Life is a pastor, evangelist, chaplain, and a missionary.  He put together an eighty-eight page book that nicely summarizes the basics of Christianity without going over people's heads.  There are plenty of life stories, analogies, and scripture references to back up the fundamentals of living a God honoring life. 

There are thirteen chapters  discussing salvation, baptism, communion, praying, serving, and reaching out to others.  I like the analogy of the hub, spokes, and rim being all part of a tire much like God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all integrated into one God.  The author recommends spending some alone time with God and listening to what his purpose for your life is.  Though I'm not sure if I would spend a couple of weeks in the wilderness like he did and deal with ticks, raccoons, and thunderstorms.  To each their own.  

Some of the other life stories are fascinating as well including a vivid dream he had about his unborn daughter and got to meet her nine months later and the mysterious person/potential angel that helped his family out when their truck's engine threw a rod in the desert.  When they got their truck looked at, nobody knew of anyone by the helpful person's name.  

Since I was raised Christian, I can't really say that this book has changed my life much.  I have put into practice many of its teachings including: prayer, fellowship, Bible study, witnessing, worship, and giving.  However, I do recommend this book to new believers and those who are curious to what Christianity is all about.  The language is pretty easy to understand and the concepts are straightforward and easy to follow.  Because this book is so short and I was able to finish it in two sittings, I recommend getting the $3.99 digital version as opposed to the $15.99 paperback.  Unless of course, you're getting it as a gift for someone you love.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  1575 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1575 Hits
0 Comments

What Is Salvation

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us a copy of this book!

Many Christians often wonder if they are truly saved and many non-believers wonder what salvation is all about.  Is it simply praying a prayer and apologizing for your sins, or is there more to it?  Can a person lose their salvation?  Pastor Bill Parker has spent over thirty years studying the Bible and has put together a comprehensive guide for true salvation.

The book What is Salvation contains eight chapters and is 101 pages long.  It looks at salvation from the eternal realm,  legal realm, spiritual realm, and from the glorified realm.  Each of these realms have four common truths.  All four of them are of the Lord, all of them are necessary for the salvation of God's people, and they are all founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ as the salvation of His people.  According to this book "...Salvation, including faith, is a free gift that comes by the sovereign will, power, mercy, and grace of God, not by the sinner's will." (page 60)    The passage this statement is based on is Romans 9:15-16.  

There are many bold statements made by this book and each one of them is backed by scripture.  Many believers debate about the possibility of losing one's salvation.  The stance this book takes is that "Truly saved people can never be condemned or lost again" and that "the reason so many believe salvation can be lost is because they believe salvation can be gained/and or maintained by some condition(s) sinners meet, at least in some way, at some stage, to some degree."  (page 68)  Those quotes are based on passages like John 6:37-40, John 10:27-30, and Romans 8:31-39.  The whole passages are displayed which makes this book a little easier to read without having to crack open the Bible every five paragraphs to look up the reference verse.  

With that said, this book is very thorough and I could only read a chapter or two a day to have enough time to let the information absorb into my non-seminary student brain.   While it wasn't exactly a page turner for me, I did find it well written and relatively easy to follow.  The asking price is a reasonable $7.99 on Amazon and I recommend looking into it if you have any questions about your or any loved one's salvation.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  2084 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2084 Hits
0 Comments

Godfit: Through Love Serve

logo

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us this book to review!

John Hayden is a Christian certified fitness trainer that uses his skills to train others to stay fit and glorify God.  The goal of Godfit is to challenge believers to be both spiritually and physically well.  If believers stay healthy, they can live and serve others longer.  This 117 page book is broken down into a six week program that has both exercise routines and devotional questions.

Before you begin, you should make sure you have the required equipment including dumbbells, kettlebells, and a Bible.  The book also recommends using a photo of yourself for inspiration.  There's a core strength assessment that is highly recommended to complete in order to gauge your fitness level.   There is a spiritual questionnaire to evaluate your religious life as well.

Each workout is between twenty and thirty minutes long.  There are various warm-up and cool down routines to choose from.  If you're unsure of how to do an exercise, there are video examples on http://www.godfit.com.  The videos are password protected but the password is in the book (page 5).

Each week has a spiritual theme including: Solitude, Meditation, Prayer, Simplicity, Study, and Service.  There are many convicting devotional questions to make sure you are growing spiritually as you tone your body.  There are prayer examples as well to give you the strength and the faith to become a better follower of Christ.  Praying for strength is a good idea since the exercises get more challenging throughout the book.  Thankfully the book gives you a list of ten exercises and lets you pick which ones to do with the option of skipping a couple.

I like the included list of energetic Christian songs to work out with.  I was happy to find out that many of them were free to listen to with my Amazon prime membership.  :)  Towards the back of the book there are some healthy meal and snack ideas.  There is also a leadership guide with outline and group activity suggestions.  

If you looking to workout by yourself or with a group, Godfit offers a unique approach that will help you strengthen both your faith and your body.  The Godfit website sells the book along with shirts and stickers.  You can get the book on Amazon for the same price, but the shipping will be cheaper if you're a prime member or have other items to buy to qualify for free shipping.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

 

Continue reading
  2221 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2221 Hits
0 Comments

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation

Thank you HarperCollins for sending us a copy of this book to review!

The videogame industry is a huge multi-billion dollar industry.  It started and flopped in the early eighties with notable failures like Atari burying between 700,000 to three million copies of ET in a landfill.   Nintendo and Sega continued on and started a battle that defined a generation.  Console Wars is a 576 page book written by Blake J. Harris and weaves the history of these two companies based on over two hundred interviews from family, friends, and former employees of Sega and Nintendo.    

In 1990 Nintendo was dominating the videogame market with its 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and soon to be released 16 bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).   Even though Sega's Genesis was the first available 16 bit console, it didn't get much recognition and as a result it failed to sell very well.  That changed when Tom Kalinske was personally recruited by Sega of Japan's president to become the CEO of Sega of America.  

When Tom started at Sega, he didn't know much about videogames, but he did know how to market things with huge successes including Barbie, He-Man, and Flintstone multivitamins.  He specialized in uphill battles and this story is no exception. It's so good, a feature film is being made about it!

The book goes into the humble beginnings of Sega, Nintendo, and eventually Sony's endeavors into the videogame industry.  Nintendo has an interesting past with their playing cards origins and briefly owning a hourly rental hotel.  They definitely became more family friendly later on which gave Sega a target for their aggressive commercials aimed at slightly older gamers.  Sonic the Hedgehog gave Nintendo and their mascot, Mario, a run for their money.  

While I enjoyed the book and look forward to the upcoming movie, I must caution parents thinking about letting their kids read or see Console Wars.  There is a lot of language (including F bombs) throughout the story and in the Foreward by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

For mature gamers, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out this book to learn how Sega briefly toppled Nintendo with their aggressive marketing but ultimately lost the war once Sony's PlayStation came into the market.  Even though Nintendo's side is fairly represented and respected, the story focuses more on Sega's viewpoint.   I could not help but root for the underdog while I read Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  1759 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1759 Hits
0 Comments

Extravagant Graces

 Thank you Bohlen Group for sending us this book to review!

Extravagant Graces is written by Jeanette Chaffee, a survivor from the TWA Flight 840 that had a bomb detonate in mid-air. She goes into detail with her story and how she believes that a guardian angel was among the passengers to spare the structure of the plane and many of the lives within it. Upon sharing her story over the years, she has chronicled twenty-two other stories that defy luck and show God's grace in the midst of chaos.

There are two plane crash stories and two stories of martyrdom. Many people are familiar with the five missionaries who were speared to death by the Ecuadorian Acua tribe in 1955. Not only does this book retell that story, but it goes into details about the lives of the widows and how the Auca tribes people heard the musical score from the 2005 movie, Beyond the Gates of Splendor, before it was even released!

In the 1960s Phyliss and Phil Masters went to Dutch New Guinea to reach out to the cannibal Yali tribe. After converting several tribesmen, including the shaman's son, there was some hostility. This cost Phil his life in 1968. Amazingly, Christianity still thrived within the tribe and when a plane crashed nearby later that year, the only survivor was a nine year old boy that the tribe took in as an attempt at peace.

Not all of the stories are heavy hearted, like the one of Shirley Dobson leaving her hometown of thirty years to move to Colorado Springs. Her husband, James Dobson, joked that she left drag marks from California all across the Rockies. By their faithfulness, their ministry has flourished and is still going strong today!

Extravagant Graces is available on Amazon for less than $14 and is emotionally impacting and worth reading. The garden gnome story made me laugh out loud. In all seriousness, this book shows how God powerfully works in people's lives, even during hardships and suffering. God is always in control and has a plan for everyone. It's awesome when we get to witness our part in His grand plan. 


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  1559 Hits
  1 Comment
Tags:
Recent comment in this post
Kaitlyn Gress
Hey, I'm reading that book and its really good. My fave story is the one where the author meets a guardian angel. But still, it's ... Read More
Sunday, 24 May 2015 13:00
1559 Hits
1 Comment

Sweet Gentle Rain

Thank you James Samuel Gutshall for sending us a copy of your book to review!

Sweet Gentle Rain is a collection of poems and short stories that the author has written and gathered together since the mid 1980s.  In 2006, he received a trophy from the International Society of Poets for reciting his poem "Breakers" in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Inside this twenty-seven page book, you'll find poems about thankfulness, hardships, wonder, searching, time passing, grandkids, and annoyances. 

Some of the poems are light hearted while most of them are thought provoking.  Almost all of them are spiritual in nature and give thanks to God, our wonderful creator.  Each of the poems are accompanied by photographs or paintings.  All of them are fitting, but some of them are higher quality than others.   

As a mother of three, my favorite poem was "Ladybugs and Squirrels" talking about the curiosity and short attention span of his grandson, Nicholas.  My ten year old daughter enjoyed reading this book as well.  Sweet Gentle Rain can truly be enjoyed by young and old alike.  There is one alcoholic reference in the book and sadly it contains a grammatical error on page 19, "And drank way to[o] much wine".

 Sweet  Gentle Rain  is self published through Xlibris and is available online for over  $18.  I find that price too steep for my liking.  Fortunately,  the kindle version is more reasonably priced at $3.99.  

Amazon Affiliate Link

Continue reading
  1450 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1450 Hits
0 Comments

Alvirithian Archives: The Rogue Knight

Written by: Benjamin K. Corum
Published by: Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC
Released: February 10, 2015
Price: $21.99

Thank you, Benjamin Corum, for sending us this book to review!

As an aspiring writer, I've spent quite a bit of time looking into the publishing industry and what it takes to get a novel published. One of the things I have learned from well-established authors is that publishers will pay you for your works. If you write it and write it well, then a publisher would publish it. Or it's possible that you can submit it to an agent, and they will find a publisher for you.

Although rewarding, this can be a difficult and challenging road to take. Publishers – especially those that take submissions from authors themselves, without an agent – receive thousands of submissions a year. Some submissions never even get read. 

In these days of the Internet, though, it is possible to publish a novel without a publisher. Companies like Amazon's CreateSpace or Lulu give an author the power to present their books to the digital marketplace for anyone to purchase. However, not all of these books will be of quality. Without the filter of agents or publishers, anything could be listed, and if there's any truth to Sturgeon's Law, 90% of it will barely be worth your time. 

But then there are some publishers that are a bit dodgy in their practices. They offer authors a chance to get their works edited, published and even advertised... for a price. Sometimes a very steep price. They aren't looking to actually sell books or help authors – merely trying to get as much as they can out of people desperate to have their names on a published book. These scammers provide about as much quality control as the self-publishing route, but unfortunately fleece the aspiring author in the process. 

While I'm not saying Tate Publishing falls into the latter category, it's one of the few reasons I can find as to why an established publisher would release a book of such poor quality as “The Rogue Knight.”

The novel details the adventures of a young princess named Sara. Her abusive fiancee seems to be controlling her father, the king. With the help of a mysterious rogue assassin named Johnathan Black, she travels to several other kingdoms to try and build an army to battle her father's forces. She meets other allies and trainers, learns how to use her mysterious magical powers, and takes lots of baths. The overused plot of the guarded princess falling in love with her bodyguard is here as well. The only unpredictable aspect would be determining if they will live happily ever after, or if Johnathan will die at the end, trying feebly to make it a tragic romance. I'll leave the ending a surprise for anyone who wants to try to suffer through the novel.

The book is filled with grammatical errors, typos, plot holes and more tired cliches than you can shake a stick at. (Yes, that was intentional.) The writing style is amateurish at best. This feels more like a second or third draft of a novel, rather than a finished work. If the author or the publisher paid for an editor, they may want to get their money back. If it wasn't for my desire to make the review as comprehensive as possible, I would have stopped reading after the second or third chapter. 

There is some merit to the novel, though. It's clear that the author loves the setting he created, and it is an imaginative approach combining ancient technological beings known as “synthetics” with a standard fantasy setting of forest-dwelling elves, underground-dwelling dwarves, and expansive humans. The theological system that Corum uses is a monotheistic one, with obvious influence from Christianity. Although some of it does feel shoehorned in – such as the communion-style opening to the elven feast – it's a nice attempt to create a fantasy setting that doesn't focus on polytheism. For the most part, the book is actually pretty good in terms of moral considerations. There is some graphic violence as many characters get killed in a variety of gruesome – but quick – ways. But there are no language issues, and no “adult situations.” This is a valiant attempt to make a “clean” fantasy novel that wouldn't meet very many objections in terms of amoral content.

Overall, though, the attempt fails due to the clumsy writing style. While some of the errors in the book do make the novel humorous (for example, when two of the characters battle at the end of the book, one decides to time his strike during his opponent's “most venerable time” (p. 286)), the humor is clearly unintentional, and doesn't make up for the sheer amount of other flaws. 

Many outside the Christian faith tend to look down on Christian media, viewing it as subpar with secular works. “Alvirithian Archives: The Rogue Knight” actually helps to reinforce this sentiment, because this work definitely qualifies as “shoddy.” It's a valiant attempt on the author's part, but the book is in serious need of an editor, and never should have gotten to the point where it was published. In short, if you're looking for an entertaining fantasy novel to read, your time would be better spent looking elsewhere.

One final word of advice for the author – if you intend to continue this series, invest the money into a solid editor instead, and listen to his or her advice. Then use CreateSpace or Lulu to upload the book and sell it. You'll find that to be a much better use of your funds, and it may help you become a better author. Because if you intend this to be your chosen career, you'll really need more help.


Affiliacte Link

Continue reading
  2482 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2482 Hits
0 Comments

Putting Tradition on Trial

Thank you Bohlsen Group for sending us this book to review!

Many Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th and Easter on a Sunday in late March or Early April.  What if our traditions were proven to be wrong?  Patrick Cavanagh is Putting Tradition on Trial using astronomy and ancient Greek texts as evidence against an Easter Sunday resurrection.

I recently did (and highly recommend) a Bible Study called The Life of Jesus Christ Love. Life. Message. Mission. with my small group at church.    It's a great study that's easy to read and one of the chapters had a nice day by day break down of the last week of Jesus' life on earth.   Most Christians accept that the Last Supper was on a Thursday and that he was captured later that night and put on trial and to death on Friday.   Traditionally, Christians believe and celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday.  

While united in celebrating Easter, Christians have often contemplated the year of Christ's death. Many believe it's either 30, 31, or 33 CE.    Using astronomical calculations of the full moon in 14 Nisan, Patrick Cavanagh suggests that Christ died on Tuesday, April 15th in 32 CE and that by late Friday (approximately 72 hours), the women were informed that He had risen.  These are some pretty bold statements and the author makes a compelling case for them by providing Greek text and the works of Josephus to analyze key dates and how they all piece together.  

Putting Tradition on Trial continues to assimilate other historical events like the births of John the Baptist and Jesus in 3 BCE and Herod's death in 1 BCE.  Most people believe that Herod died in 4 BCE.  The book also mentions how the former pope Benedict stated his beliefs that Jesus birth had to be sooner than the currently believed timeframe of 5 or 6 BCE.  Since I'm not Catholic, I usually take statements from the pope with a grain of salt.  

After the case for a non-Sunday resurrection is made, the author states the importance of not celebrating it and puts Christians in two camps, the Sunday keepers and the Sabbath keepers. Verses used in defending the Sabbath include Exodus 19:8, Matt 12:7-8,  24:15-21, Luke 6:5 and Isaiah 66:22-23.  

At the end of the book the author delves into current affairs and shares his thoughts on the end times and on abortion.  And yes, he believes that we are living in the end times and that abortion is indeed murder.  

Putting Tradition on Trial is not an easy or a light read, I've had to read it in small doses to absorb all of the evidence being brought forth.  Thankfully the chapters are relatively short at a few pages apiece.  In total this book has 163 pages and 20 chapters.  The paperback is relatively pricey at over $30 and the hard cover is over $47 on Amazon.  If you have a kindle and are interested in reading it, it's more reasonably priced at $4.99.


Affiliate Link

Continue reading
  1853 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1853 Hits
0 Comments

Finding Jesus: Fact. Faith. Forgery.

Thank you St. Martin's press for sending us a review copy of this book!

CNN is doing a six-part series titled Finding Jesus and it discusses prominent figures and relics associated with Jesus and Christianity.  Finding Jesus: Fact. Faith. Forgery. is the companion book written by David Gibson and Michael McKinley.  The book covers John the Baptist's role and remains, The James Ossuary, Mary Magdalene's roles and remains,  the Gospel of Judas, the True Cross, and the Shroud and Sudarium.  

Each chapter discusses the relic or person's history, significance and authenticity.  According to the book, early churches were required to possess a relic in order to be considered credible.   The black market for Christian relics thrived then and it's still alive and well in the twenty-first century.  There are many verified hoaxes when it comes to bones of supposed prophets.  While some churches unknowingly acquired pig bones, other churches like one in Bulgaria, has a bone  from a Middle Eastern man.  Could it really be from John the Baptist?

The James Ossuary is another hot topic for several reasons.  Since Catholics believe that Mary remained a virgin, how could Jesus have a brother named James as the ossuary claims? The Catholic author(s?) suggests that Jesus had step brothers from a possible previous marriage of Joseph's.  The relic itself is a bit questionable since the inscription has two different authors and writing styles.   While the ossuary is genuine, the inscription on it could very well be fake.  The forgery was taken to court, but the accused forger was acquitted.

The gnostic gospels are brought up on two occasions with the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Jesus' Wife.  The Gospel of Judas paints the relationship of Jesus and Judas in a different light and shows them working together on the betrayal instead of it being one-sided as the other gospels proclaim.  The gospel claiming that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife is just as sketchy with many words and context missing from the text used to base this argument on.   While that argument isn't very convincing, the book suggests that Mary Magdalene could have been the woman who had demons expelled from her, and possibly the adulterer that Jesus pardoned.  

The last chapter of the book discusses the mysterious Shroud of Turin and it's accompanying Sudarium from Oviedo.  Both of these burial clothes are cherished relics and believed to be used on Jesus's body.  The Shroud of Turin has a faint image of a bearded man with blood markings matching the wounds of the crucifixion and piercings from scripture.  When combined with the Sudarium from Oviedo, the blood markings match up perfectly.  Forensically, the Shroud of Turin hits a homerun, but when it comes to the carbon dating it's inconclusive.  Some of the carbon dating results show the samples to be from the renaissance.  This can be attributed to mishandling or repairs made to it after it nearly got destroyed in a fire.  One thing that the Shroud of Turin is not, is a photograph or a painting because of the 3D impression left on it.  

Finding Jesus: Fact. Faith. Forgery. is a fascinating read regardless if you have seen the CNN special or not.  I haven't seen it, but i have thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The hard cover edition lists for $26.99 but I have seen it for less than $20 online and even cheaper digitally.


Affiliate Link

Continue reading
  2182 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2182 Hits
0 Comments

The Happy Christian

Thank you Thomas Nelson for sending us this book to review!

The world can be a pretty depressing place with natural disasters, murders and needless deaths occurring everywhere on a daily basis.  Turning on the evening news shows more bad news than good.  It doesn't take much for anybody, Christian or not, to lose heart with all of the negative media we're bombarded with.  

Dr. David Murray writes about ten ways Christians can be a joyful believer in a gloomy world.  To back up his claims he provides both Biblical and scientific anecdotes.    The foundation verse of this book is Nehemiah 8:10: "...for the joy of the LORD is your strength." No matter how down in the dumps we are, we can always call upon the Lord's strength.   Another verse referenced is Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."   How true is that verse?  Dr. David Murray suggests that Christians meditate on it daily.  I agree with him.  Not only can it improve our outlook on life, it can strengthen our bond with God and improve our physical and mental health. After all, happiness is 10% circumstance, 50% genetic and 40% choice.

Other suggestions from the book include forgetting the negative things and focusing on the positive influences in our lives.   No matter where we are: at church, at home, or at work.  We are to be biblical examples of being thankful, forgiving, praying, and celebrating diversity.  There is no sense in constantly reflecting on past mistakes, we are to live in the here and now and make the best of it.   The Happy Christian also tells us that we should actively praise people and to pray before criticizing people.  The healthiest balance of criticism to praise ratio is 1:5.  This is especially true in marriages and in the work place.  Positive workers have proven to be better performers.  Marriages last longer if spouses know that they are loved more than they are criticized.

Even though I consider myself pretty happy and laid back in general, I enjoyed my time in this book and learned a lot from it.  The Happy Christian is a great book for any believer who can use a little morale boost.


Affiliate Link

Continue reading
  2167 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2167 Hits
0 Comments

The Golden Thread: A Memoir

Thank you Kelly and Hall Book Publicity for sending us a copy of this book!

Kristiane Cates was living the dream with a successful, handsome, and doting husband.  After three years of marriage they were having some difficulty getting pregnant and prayed to have children to which the Lord provided them with a boy, and later on a girl.  Things continued to go well for them - in fact too well as they had a feeling that they were soon going to weather a difficult time in their lives.  While their premonition was correct, looking back on it all, Kristiane recollects how the Lord was with them every step of the way.  It's amazing how He dropped several hints of His presence in the most trying of times.  

Just because we're Christians, we're not entitled to an easy life.  After losing her son in a car accident in which she was the driver, Kristiane struggled to cope with the grieving process and hold her family and marriage together.  It was a long and difficult journey that doesn't have a fairy tale ending.   While the book ending seems a little rushed, it was cool seeing how the Lord turned her into a powerful prayer warrior.  

There are many lessons to be learned from The Golden Thread.  Just because somebody looks like they have it all together on the outside doesn't mean that is the case.  If you're blessed with a wonderful family, do not take them for granted and thank God for them DAILY.  As a happily married mother of three, this book made me give thanks for my many blessings and it made me cry on several occasions.  While there were moments where I didn't want to put it down, other times I was afraid to pick it up in fear of it making me cry again.

 

(Affiliate Link)

Continue reading
  2425 Hits
  1 Comment
Tags:
Recent comment in this post
Gary Wilson
Wow! This is a great topic to discuss here. Thanks a lot!... Read More
Thursday, 17 August 2017 04:46
2425 Hits
1 Comment

Like us!

Donate

Please consider supporting our efforts.  Since we're a 501 C3 Non-Profit organization, your donations are tax deductible.

Twitter Feed

divinegames @MasterMarioMX I figure if people can catch them great, if not, Youtube will have the replays :D
9hreplyretweetfavorite
divinegames It looks like 8PM is the preferred time slot for our future #Streams My next question is which days work best for you all?
10hreplyretweetfavorite
divinegames RT @FamilyFriendlyG: @TeamYouTube For the fourth time we have been demonetized in a year and a half. We are not Reusing content from other…
11hreplyretweetfavorite

Ko-Fi

Latest Comments

Newsletter

About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

S5 Box

Login

Register