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Book Reviews

You can tell alot about a person by the books he reads. These are reviews written by our church members on books that they have found helpful.

Crossfire Cover

Title: Crossfire: The Life of Chuck Svoboda, a Foot Soldier in God's Army

Author: David J. Bauer

Publisher: Grace Acres Press, Larkspur, CO.

Copyright: 2014

Review: This is the amazing story of Charles Svoboda from the streets of Cicero, IL … from his ties to the mafia … to his salvation and street preaching … to the foxholes in World War II … his return to serve his Lord in many places and in many ways. Well written by a close associate, Dave Bauer, it reveals Chuck to be a true and willing follower of wherever God wanted him to be. After some years in the academic field, he was instrumental in planting many churches (including MBC) and in later years was used by God to doctor many churches who had become less than healthy. The believing reader will give glory to God and great respect to Chuck who never wavered in his zeal for the gospel and being in the center of God's will for him.

The author, David Bauer, is the director of Bible Related Ministries, an organization dedicated to dealing with internal strife issues in the local church, unleashing churches for active ministry, and recommending quality pastors to churches with empty pulpits. Visit their website at

Crossfire Cover

Title: Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation

Author: Erwin W. Lutzer

Publisher: Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI.

Copyright: 2016

Review: There can be no doubt that the events of the Reformation changed the world. Whether you are a history lover or not, the figure Martin Luther has impacted your life. This book seeks to explain that impact in a way that is easy to read and easy to digest. Those who are simply curious about the Reformation will find it an intriguing introduction of the major events and characters, such as Wickliffe, Hus, Zwingli, Calvin, King Henry, and others. The history buff will find it accurate, well-researched, and a refreshing reminder of the men women and events God used to restor the Gospel to its place of prominence in the church. It's sections on Martin Luther's home life, his marriage to Katharine, and the raising of his children bring a warmth and tenderness to the narrative of those tumultuous times. Well-illustrated well written, it is a delightful read.

Culture, by A.W. Tozer

Title: Culture: Living as Citizens of Heaven on Earth

Author: A. W. Tozer

Publisher: Moody Press

Copyright: 2016

Review: This collection of excerpts from the works of A.W. Tozer addresses a variety of issues. As with all of Tozer's work, his candid style is appealing. At times he meanders from his original point, but he speaks plainly yet poetically of the issues the church faces, and his manner of dealing with issues in his day seems to stretch beyond the years to reach our situations as well. Particularly challenging are the chapters which deal with the need for the church to refuse to become like world, not even to gain a hearing among them. The cross calls us to 'put our face into the wind' (chapter 19) and go against the flow, which is the harder way.

As with most works of men, you must be careful and read with discernment. Tozer welcomes a positive assessment of a group of revivalists who interrupt each other during the worship service, and stop the sermon to sing a lively hymn. The point he seems to be making is that our worship should be heartfelt and energetic, and to be sure these things are at times lacking. But to ignore Paul's instructions that things should be done 'decently and in order' (I Cor. 14), and that preaching should be preeminent in the service, is to invite chaos into our church. We may indeed encourage heart-felt lively worship, but not by ignoring God's instructions for how it is to be accomplished.

Aside from that caveat, this book is an encouraging and refreshing challenge to follow the way of the Cross in the midst of an antagonistic world. The Church must not compromise its practice or its belief, because if we try to become like the world in order to gain their approval, then we cease to be like the church.

Crossfire Cover

Title: Freedom

Author: Kevin Swanson

Publisher: Generations With Vision

Copyright: 2015

Review: Many an Evangelical Christian is watching the political landscape in our day with a growing sense of concern for what the future may hold in terms of Religious Freedom. The Bible and its message of repentance from sin is increasingly labelled as 'hate speech.' Some in the scientific community are beginning to throw around the term 'child-abuse' for teaching children creationism. The recent Obergefell Vs. Hodges decision of the Supreme Court will seek to force everyone in the country to agree with and support homosexual marriage, without any regard for religious convictions. But while Evangelicals are by and large concerned about how these sorts of events will play out, some are cheering them as greater freedom and greater protection of civil rights.

In this book, Kevin Swanson presents a biblical defense of freedom as rooted in the Scriptures and particularly the freedom we have in Christ from our greatest Tyrant, our own sin. He gives historical surveys of men who fought for freedom throughout history, and how that has affected the original founding of America and its ideas of freedom. And he makes some suggestions for practical ways for believers to protect freedom for the future. For anyone wrestling with the question of what a Christian's role should be in the battle for freedom in America, this book is a valuable asset.

Visit Generations With Vision

Taming The Techno-Beast

Title: Taming The Techno-Beast: Helping You Understand and Navigate Your Child's Electronic World

Author: Todd Wilson

Publisher: Familyman Ministries

Copyright: 2009


There is no doubt that technology is everywhere. While a calculator used to take up a whole building, now we carry the sum-total of human knowledge in our pockets via our smart-phones and their connection to Google, and Wiki-pedia, etc. But it seems that the more our devices can do, the more of our attention they require! Perhaps you saw recently the stampede of people looking for a Pokémon in Central Park, New York? Maybe you were one of them! Maybe you're asking, "What is this craze all about?"

We do love our Tech.

This book by Todd Wilson is an enlightening look into the techno-crazy world we and our kids inhabit. Todd moves from pointing out the problem of how much time we spend on our gadgets (tell me you haven't noticed how much longer the chores seem to take, even though you only sat down to check your Facebook page 'for just a few minutes'!), to analyzing what the real problem is (spoiler alert - the real problem is we don/'t want a real world! It/'s too hard, so we opt for the virtual, where, if I trying to save the princess, I can just respawn and keep practicing until I get it right!). Todd points out some of the fundamental impulses that draw us into the Techno-world, such as a man's inner desire to be a might warrior, or great builder, or a woman's need to be connected. Our technology promises to provide all of those things in nice, risk-free, virtual environment. In the final pages Todd moves to giving some basic Battle plans for teaching our children how to exist in our Techno-loving world. He doesn't advocate retreating in a gadget-less compound and refusing to use any tech, but he highlights some practical ways we can help ourselves and our kids to effectively use the devices without becoming enslaved to them. Visit their website at

Family Is Hard:  Deal With It!

Title:Family Is Hard: Deal With It!

Author:Todd Wilson

Publisher:Familyman Ministries



This short little book may only be sixty-six pages long, but its message is worth a thousand. Good things are hard. They're not just a little hard, but they are mind-bending, body-exhausting, soul-wearying hard. That goes for marriage, childraising, church, everything. If it is a good thing, given by our good God, then it will only get 'gooder' with time and difficulty. The encouragement from Todd is for anyone in the midst of the difficulty not to give up. The hard is the pathway to the good. So hang in there and keep fighting for it. Keep praying about it. Keep working at it. Don't expect it to be easy, and deal with it.

You can visit Familyman Ministries at

Biblical Slave Leadership Cover

Title: Biblical Slave Leadership: A Stewardship From Above To Lead From Below

Author: Daniel L. Anderson

Publisher: Regular Baptist Books, Schaumburg, Ill.

Copyright: 2013


Leadership models abound these days. Especially in the church. Multitudes of books are written to explain the way a person should lead the church of God so that it can be effective, and ultimately, to grow. So why does this book stand out from the others? What possible nuance could be added to the cacophany of voices already describing how to lead?

Having been privileged to study under the author of this book, Dr. Daniel Anderson, (or as we all called him, Dr. A) I can personally attest that the model described in this book is effectively lived out both by him and by the faculty and staff of the college he serves. That model is Biblical Slave Leadership. Many have written on the merits of Servant Leadership, but Dr. A. developes the concept using the more biblical term, Slave. Those who want to be leaders in the Church of Christ must do so only by becoming first of all slaves to God, and then exercising the stewardship which He grants for the benefit of the church.

The book opens in chapter 1 by surveying the popular modern models of leadership, and shows how those models fall short of the biblical command. Chapter 2 then defines exactly what Biblical Slave Leadership is. This definition will form the refrain of the book. It is repeated to help us remember it, and explained to help us understand it, all from an exposition of the biblical model given in various passages.

Biblical Slave Leadership is a stewardship from and to God requiring the surrender of one's life to God for the development of others in the will of God.

Chapters 3-5 give practical application of this definition to the Slave Leader's personal life, home life, and ministry life. These chapters are important, because they show that the Biblical Slave Leader is not just a leader of an organization. This Slave Leadership mentality must permeate his entire life, as he recognizes his stewardship from God to God. He will give an account of his leadership for himself, and for his family, and for his flock.

Chapters 6-8 apply the Biblical Slave Leadership principle to the challenges of ministry, such as how to deal with risks, and opposition, how to measure success, and the benefits of leading as a Slave Leader.

The final section of the book, chapters 9-11 give biblical examples of Slave Leaders in Paul, Nehemiah, and Moses.

This book is definitely a beneficial read for any person who belongs to the church of God. Every person has been granted some level of stewardship for which he or she will give an account, whether it is children in the home, persons in a class at church, or a circle of friends in which the Lord Jesus has granted some influence. Biblical Slave Leadership is not only for those in offices of leadership in the church of another organization. It is a mindset that must control every follower of Christ.

The Third Target

Title: The Third Target

Author: Joel C. Rosenburg

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright: 2014

Review: If you've ever watched "24" on television this book will keep you just as riveted and your brain active in trying to discern the good guys from the bad guys in a scenario that could very well happen in our world, perhaps sooner than we think. J. B. Collins is a New York newspaper reporter covering the uprising of the terrorists groups to later include ISIS. He is privileged to interview the ISIS leader and learn first-hand that they have recovered chemical weapons stored in Syria and was even shown their tortuous usage behind a window in a prison as enemies of ISIS were executed. There is plenty of violent terrorist activity, vividly described as to make the reader long for God's intervention. Mr. Collins is estranged from the God of his youth, but there is a narrative with his brother where they discuss eschatology and J.B.'s soul. There is evidence of God's protection later on in a fierce ISIS attack upon world leaders as they gather to sign a peace treaty between Jordan, the PA, Israel and the US. Despite the utmost security, there is evidence of sleeper cells made up of unvetted refugees allowed into Jordan and major evidence of a "mole" within the Jordanian palace. Many are killed at the historic event, including civilians, children, high officials, security personnel and army personal. Readers will be shocked at the evil, but hopes heightened by knowing that one day every knee will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Duncan's War

Title: Duncan's War

Author: Douglas Bond

Publisher: P&R Publishing, Phillibsburg, NJ

Copyright: 2002

Review: Duncan's War is the first in the Crown & Covenant series of books by Mr. Bond. This series follows a family of Scottish Covenanters who suffer under persecution by the English Anglican's during the reign of Charles the II. While the family itself is fictional, the historical events in which they take part is historical. Mr. Bond does a wonderful job of weaving the fictional characters in with the historical events. You learn to love the characters and feel their pain and rejoice in their heroic deeds. The characters exhibit strong faith in the Lord God, and devotion to their faith in Christ in the midst of many difficulties.

Since the books are set in historical events, you are immersed in happenings which are truly representative of what the Faithful experienced in those times. This first book follows young Duncan M'Kethe, a Scottish peasant during the mid 1600's. His family are Covenanters, people faithful to the principles of the Reformation which took place in Scottland in the mid 1500's. They are being sorely oppressed by the English Royalists, who wish to enforce Anglicanism upon all in the realm. Duncan is caught up in an uprising of other Covenanters who wish the Crown to stop fining them for their refusal to participate in the Anglican church, and to stop the wanton murder of those who hold fast to the Scottish Covenant. Duncan wrestles with his own devotion to Christ, and his hatred towards the English, constantly challenged by his faithful father Sandy M'Kethe to place his hope firmly in Christ, and not in force of arms or revenge no matter how unjustly the enemy has treated you.

The principles of devotion to Christ and His Word, and refusal to mix idolatrous practices with Biblical worship are strong throughout the book, as are the biblical commands to love even our enemies. Also strongly emphasized are the self-sacrificing nature of biblical love, and the endurance of great hardship to accomplish a righteous goal.

This book is a wonderful read. Though people do die in the fights which take place, it lacks the gory descriptions which might accompany of book of battles. I strongly recommend this book, and the rest of its series, and any other of Mr. Bond's books for that matter, for those who love a good story but also want to gain a better understanding of real history.

The Revolt

Title: The Revolt: A Novel of Wycliffe's England

Author: Douglas Bond

Publisher: P&R Publishing, Phillibsburg, NJ

Copyright: 2016

Review: The Revolt is a historical fiction, based in 14th century England. We follow the life of two people, one a scholar at Oxford University, and the other a mere peasant. Their two lives intersect numerous times, highlighting the drastically different existences for the two classes of people. But both come together around the person of one John of Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation. Mr. Bond does a fantastic and artful job of weaving a story around the historical events of the time. The reader is left feeling as if he had experienced them himself. Very good read!

The Thunder

Title: The Thunder: A Novel on John Knox

Author: Douglas Bond

Publisher: P&R Publishing, Phillibsburg, NJ

Copyright: 2012

Review: You are George Douglas, son of a Scottish nobleman. Your father has committed your training as a young man to a fiery scholar by the name of John Knox. You accompany John all throughout his travels and adventures, enduring a siege in St. Andrews while the Queen Regent of Scotland tries to subdue the rebel uprising. You and John are captured by the French and forced into slavery rowing their galleys all about the world, until you are released in England. Your tutor's preaching earns the ire of many Englishman, and he is forced into exile in Geneva, where you help him to translate the English Bible known as the Geneva Bible. Finally, you follow John Knox back to Scotland, where you assist him in his many pastoral duties in bringing reformation to the country.

This historical fiction, written by Douglas Bond, is a wonderful trip into the events of the Reformation in Scotland and the events which surround the famed John Knox. Written in first person narrative, you feel the hard pressed emotions of the young man whom you've become in the story as you follow Mr. Knox throughout his travels and hear him teach and preach. Far from being a dull recounting of the events which it describes, this book brings you directly into the history, and you get to watch as it is being made. You almost forget that you know how it all turns out! This is a worthwhile and excellent read for anyone who loves history, and wants to encounter it as a living story.