A Review for You, Your Family and the Internet by David Clark

Map of Roman roads in northeast Balkans

Map of Roman roads in northeast Balkans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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You, Your Family and the Internet: What Every Christian in the Digital Age Ought to Know by David Clark

Internet

Internet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“..There is nothing more important than studying and applying the Word of God if we are to understand how to live today.”

This book is written by Christians for Christians and emphasizes Christian principles to put into practice when using the Internet. The internet offers us great potential for good, but it is also a conduit for evil. The author, David Clark, compares the Internet to the well cared for roads built by the Romans. Most of the major cities during Roman times were connected and guarded by the Romans, drastically changing the economy by allowing much more trade between cities and countries. Lifestyles changed, more people traveled, education was enhanced, the use of exotic foods and spices increased. In much the same way, the Internet connects us to the world.  But the greatest difference in this particular cultural revolution is the illusion of privacy. When a computer is in the home and no one is around, we can start to believe that it is just you and the computer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the Old Testament, God laid down basic principles He wanted His people to use when they interacted with business colleagues, in the workforce, in their families, with their neighbors, their friends, acquaintenances and church family. Human nature hasn’t changed much since then, and Clark suggests the principles of self-control, accountability, and good stewardship apply to the Internet now as much as it did in history.

The author emphasizes being proactive rather than reactive throughout this 12-chapter book. An important step then toward responsible use of cyber technology is to know the benefits and the dangers offered on the Internet. The first chapters of David Clark’s book deal with some brief history, the social network influences, pornography, advertising and marketing, internet games, internet gambling, and the news. The final two chapters give us the practical steps to use. Chapter 11 offers five principles to learn from, and chapter 12 names five principles to run with.

“You, Your Family and the Internet” is not a how-to manual, but a foundation to build on. I consider this book a great tool and practical first step for those who are not too comfortable with the Internet and haven’t done much with it. If you have a friend or family member who wants to catch up quickly on the ins and outs of the web, I would recommend this book to them. I would also recommend this book for those young people who may already be tech-net savvy, but may need some guidance with governing principles. To continue the metaphor of the Roman roads, this book aids the reader in constructing guardrails to help the reader from wandering off the road into dangerous territory.

I received a free preview copy of this book for review from Cross Focused Reviews.

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Book Review for Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet by John Currid

Ruth, Naomi and Obed. Pen and brown ink over p...

Ruth, Naomi and Obed. Pen and brown ink over pencil on paper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to t...

Naomi entreating Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of Moab by William Blake, 1795 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A commentary that gives more than encyclopedic information and definitions is not easy to find. There is certainly a need for great references like that for Bible scholars in their research and studies. But in my opinion this one about the book of Ruth is one of the most reader-friendly, interesting and enlightening commentaries I’ve read recently, reminiscent of the Warren W. Wiersbe “Be” series of years ago.

By the time I finished reading this, I had a better understanding of the significance of the kinsman redeemer, the ‘goel,’ to Israel and the promised Redeemer of the world. The author, John Currid, leads the reader to understand more clearly the sovereignty of God. He draws from Hebraic customs, vocabulary and language and cross references these in Scripture whereever possible, inserting quotes and illustrations from other well-known Bible teachers and leaders.

I believe both the new believer and the seasoned Christian would enjoy this commentary; the new believer, if they have little experience in using commentaries, would benefit from the author’s conversational writing style. The 137-page book is divided in such a manner that it could be used as a devotional with the reader reflecting on a few paragraphs at a time. Another person may want to read the entire book in just a couple of sittings, absorbing the
overall scenario and getting a glimpse of God’s all encompassing plan, the one that points to the Savior to come. The book of Ruth, then, becomes much more than a pleasant story, but a link in a chain of events that indicates who the Savior was to be and how He would be recognized by future generations. It is a book of hope, looking forward to the future with optimism.

I received a free preview copy of this book for review from Cross Focused Reviews. It is so interesting that I know I will be returning to it to read many times over.

Review for Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology by Brian H. Cosby

Oil painting of a young John Calvin.

Oil painting of a young John Calvin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Once you glance at the subtitle and notice this is a book about Reformed Theology, don’t begin assuming it must be dry as dust and about as interesting. Please note that the title says this is a student’s guide…referring to young students rather than to theology students. Rebels Rescued is a brief summary of the beliefs and stands held by the scholars in the sixteenth century attempting to return the organized church back to the earlier and simpler Biblical practices based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord. After 1500 years of existence the reform leaders believed the church had wandered too far from the Biblical basics outlined in the gospels and put into practice during the letter writing era of the Apostle Paul and other disciples. Containing only a few short chapters, this book explains the basic 10 tenets of the “Christ-exalting, gospel-believing, and Word-centered expression of the Christian faith” (Kindle: loc 54) mentioned in the introduction of the book.

Because this guidebook is designed for young people today, it is filled with stories and illustrations of the concepts that will make them easier to understand and relevant for the current generation. I have two twenty-something young people in my family; should they come to me to ask about John Calvin (1509-1564) and his beliefs, this is the book I would give them to read. If I’d had this book when they were teens, I would have been completely comfortable using this as a reference tool. And I think many adults will find it interesting reading as well.

I highly recommend this booklet to youth leaders, teachers, pastors, counselors and parents of young people. Each chapter includes a reflection section for group or individual study. The ideas expressed here would be wonderful conversation starters in a family devotional time. I like to see children in this age group begin to reason out for themselves why they believe the way they do, why their parents/family believe the way they do, and what the church family believes and why. Without this soul searching exercise, their foundational beliefs are subject, like thistledown, to the winds of change and opinions as they blow in all different directions in this most vulnerable stage of their lives.

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