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“Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet” by Lyndal Roper

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Martin Luther: Renegade and ProphetMartin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Roper’s attempt at a truthful look at Luther, a historical figure that changed the landscape of Christianity, is honest and needed. At the time of the publication of this book, and this review as well, the 500 year anniversary is upon Germany for the Reformation. Luther accomplished much to transform Christianity and create the Protestant faith, even if it involved scandal and rampant antisemitism. Roper does not shy away from addressing Luther’s failures and struggles, which is appreciated. Prior to encountering this book (and using it as a course material in Len Sweet’s cohort Semiotics program), I was already aware of the Jew-hating approach that Luther held due to his own failure to convince the Jews of a Gospel they didn’t need. Roper took me even farther by revealing how engrained his antisemitism was to his works, and I appreciated the authentic approach to highlighting Luther as a man instead of as an idol.

Roper spends sufficient effort into laying out the land, as it were, for the reader to have a better grasp of who Luther was and what formed his flawed theological perspectives. Those looking for sole praise of this historical figure may be better off in the fiction section, but Roper does express some of Luther’s less negative accomplishments. As one that endorses orthodoxy and discourages evangelicalism, I found Roper’s work to be balanced and even-keeled, adhering to a regimen of historical reporting instead of alternative facts. In the realm of historic works, this title does a fair and candid job of revealing Luther to a new generation.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post. This product is reviewed based on content and quality in consideration of the intended audience. Review or recommendation of this product does not solicit endorsement from Reviews by J or the reviewer.

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“NKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers Bible”

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NKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers BibleNKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers Bible by Thomas Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When it comes to Christian Bibles, it seems that there is a difficult struggle between marketing for a specific age or purpose and balancing the “Bible-ness” of the product. In the case of this kids Bible, the book is a hardback book with a squishy front cover. One is welcomed with traditional Precious Moments artwork adorning the front of the Bible. Continue reading

“Why Be Jewish?” by Edgar Bronfman

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Why Be Jewish?: A TestamentWhy Be Jewish?: A Testament by Edgar Bronfman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bronfman, just before his passing, brings his lifelong questions and studies to the table in this book. When I first agreed to review this work, I had expected an argument for the Jewish faith. Continue reading

“Gertie’s Leap to Greatness” by Kate Beasley

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Gertie's Leap to GreatnessGertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this book, the author takes to tell the tale of Gertie Reece Foy, a fifth-grader who is as tenacious as one could be, or as her father would say, “she was a bulldog with its jaws locked on a car tire.” Continue reading