Reviews 

Book Review: The Gospel According to Ruth

The Gospel According to Ruth by Iain D. Campbell My rating: 3 of 5 stars I decided to read this short book as part of my regular Bile study and took a chapter a day approach. The first thing to note is this is essentially a book of sermons and is all too evident all too often that this is material primarily to be listened to rather than read. If you can read it with a Scottish accent in your head you’ll probably imagine what it would have been like…

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Book Review: Boomerang

Boomerang by Michael Lewis My rating: 4 of 5 stars The financial crisis of 2008 was a shocking event. But I’m willing to bet you have no idea how shocking it really was. That happens when you truly realise the scale of the greed, duplicity & stupidity of the staggeringly small number of people involved who managed to bankrupt entire nations. Here Lewis tours Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany & the US to discover how whole nations got themselves into a massive mess. No one comes out looking good. In Boomerang,…

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Book review: Apostolic Church Planting

Apostolic Church Planting: Birthing New Churches from New Believers by J.D. Payne My rating: 3 of 5 stars This short book on church planting is a contribution to the conversation around disciple-making movements (DMM) and Church Planting Movements (CPM). It offers a clear model, a clear pathway and a clear theology for the methods it outlines. The strongest conviction that the book outlines is that new churches should come from new believers and that where you see groups of new believers come to faith in Jesus they should constitute a…

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Book Review: Foundation and Earth

Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov My rating: 2 of 5 stars The final book in the Foundation series isn’t really about the Foundation at all. As I’ve re-read this series the more I’ve become convinced that Asimov really ran out of ideas with the series. It started on the idea of a Foundation designed in the final days of a Galactic Empire to overcome 30,000 years of ruin in just 1000 years. The Foundation overcomes a series of crises as it progresses – that’s the first book. Then Asimov…

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Book Review: Engaging with Hindus

Engaging with Hindus: Understanding their world; sharing good news by Robin Thomson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Encountering Hindus and Hindu beliefs can sometimes be overwhelming to some Christians because it all seems so different. Yet the basic principles of respectful listening, genuine love, faithful prayer and presenting Christ not Christianity are fundamental to living well in a pluralistic culture. In this simple and easy to read book Robin Thomson gives a very good primer to engaging with Hindus in a respectful & genuine way. He introduces basic concepts…

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Book Review: Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov My rating: 3 of 5 stars Set in a multi-planetary future some 20,000 years the Galactic Empire is in technological decay. Too vast, too unwieldy and racked by power games – innovation has ceased, sciences and skills are being forgotten (like weather forecasting)and populations are shrinking. Into this comes mathematician Hari Seldon with a new proposal, how to quantify and calculate the various probabilities of the future of civilisations. He has only shown that his theory is possible but he has no idea how…

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Book Review: Prisoners of Geography

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall My rating: 4 of 5 stars The subtitle says that these ten maps ‘tell you everything you need to know about global politics’ – well that’s not true. But they tell you much more than you realise. There’s nothing particularly unique or clever about the maps, no weird angle or dataset. Instead just careful studying of the geographical features that is on everyone’s maps: mountains, rivers, deserts, oceans and then drawing…

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Book Review: When breath becomes air

Death, it awaits us all but few of us think about that very much. Even less of us live as if that fact is important. We live as if life will just carry on until one day it doesn’t and we, despite all the overwhelming evidence, find that somehow shocking. Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the age of 36. When Breath Becomes Air  is his moving account of his journey from neurosurgeon to cancer patient. From driven student to doting father and from life to death.…

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