Mini Book Reviews – August 2009

Since giving up television, I’ve been reading more books than at any other time of my life. I figured I should keep track of the books I read and offer a few thoughts on each one. So, without further adieu, here are the books I read in August…

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis [audiobook]
Interesting retelling of the myth of Psyche and an allegory for fallen man’s view of Christians. I wasn’t personally that interested in the story, especially because it wasn’t a clear, one-to-one allegory, but included lots of complex themes and plot points. Might like it more, if I read the book rather than listened to the audiobook.
Grade: C

C. S. Lewis’s Case for Christ by Art Lindsley
This was the first book on my reading list for the C.S. Lewis Institute’s Basic Apologetics course. I read it in one night, because it’s written in such a quick, easy style. It was fascinating to see how much insight Lewis had on the Christian life — even though the author rightly points out an example where Lewis was wrong about his interpretation of Scripture. Great insight into the theological mind of C.S. Lewis.
Grade: B

Choosing God’s Best by Dr. Don Raunikar
My first exposure to the counter-dating practice of courting. This book took on a much more personal importance to me, because I was/am going through this courting process. The book presents a biblical view of finding a marriage partner, contrary to the modern view of dating. The author explains how dating can be destructive to your future marriage, and how the Bible provides a less emotionally, physically, and spiritually damaging way of finding a marriage partner — which is courting. Revolutionary to my view of love & dating.
Grade: A

How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Dr. Henry Cloud [audiobook]
An alternative view of dating, directly contradictory to the ideas of courting. Dr. Cloud (best known for his Boundaries books) suggests that Christians should date many people in order to build social skills and eventually find out what they really want in a mate. He suggests going out with people — not because you’re interested in them — but because you need practice interacting with people. Something about this seemed disingenuous to me and very self-centered. Dr. Cloud also had very little biblical backing for any of his arguments. He approached the subject from a very secular, psychological point of view, rather than basing his views on Scripture.
Grade: D

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
Excellent exposition of the topic of lust. Joshua Harris talks about his struggles with lust and how he deals with it. Very short, but effective. Every guy should read this.
Grade: A

Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James
I thought this was going to be inspiring, but it rather seemed somewhat childish. Granted, it was written for young adults (i.e., teenagers) by a young adult (Christian musician Rebecca St. James). James is a virgin, who uses her celebrity to champion abstinence — which is awesome. I just didn’t feel as though she was an authority on the subject as I was reading her book, due to her age and “lack of experience.” Also, the majority of her scripture “quotes” were taken from The Message, which is a pretty poor “watered down” translation of the Bible. I just was not into it.
Grade: D

Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris [audiobook]
I’m starting to really like Josh Harris’ style. This is an excellent book on courtship (even better than Choosing God’s Best), with more real-world examples taken from Harris’ own courtship with his now-wife. Incredibly good advice for couples pursuing marriage through courtship.
Grade: A

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