The Church At Third and Main by Reg Quist ~ Review

Church at Third and Main pic

The Church At Third and Main by Reg Quist

Have you ever read a book that at one point elicited a response like, “Oh, I remember doing that!” or “Yep, been there, done that, and have the t-shirt for it,” or others like those comments? Deja vu? or “Ah! I know what that’s like”. Or how about this, “Yes, sadly, that is true”? Those were some of my thoughts as I read through this book, twice. That’s because if you have ever been intertwined with the inner workings of a congregation of Christian believers whose church has seen better days and better times, you understand the angst of trying to bring it back to life. Oh, I’m not talking about the church building. That doesn’t really matter so much; it’s the inner soul of a church fellowship, the collective group of people where the total becomes greater than the number of its parts–individuals.

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This is the story of a man who loves God better than himself. He has been approached by a person with God’s interest at heart. And this older member has asked Jonathon McCann to take on a two-year project, to attempt to bring the old congretation with its few remaining members back to life, to impact the neighborhood again, for the Lord. Jonathon was not a preacher or a pastor or a reverend or a Father. He was just a godly man, a husband, a father of children, a friend, a coworker. He was even a businessman. How could he possibly attempt such a hurculean task? That’s what this book is about. For me, since I have been close to this type of experience, seen its attempts, prayed for those who have tried, and cried over the failures and the hurts, this was a riveting read.

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This may not be interesting reading for all persons. This story definitely has a target audience. But I hope you’ll give it a chance. If you’ve ever been a member of a group of people who love God, honor Him, and want to dedicate their lives to Him, then you may have shared some of the experiences found in this book. It will touch your heart and perhaps encourage you to look around and see where you fit in. It certainly touched mine and helped me gain some new perspectives.

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My favorite parts of this book involved times when a few people’s souls were mended from past hurts and slights. These were not the prettiest parts of the story, but certainly central to what Jonathon was trying to do and central to what God is always doing, because His entire message to us humans is about reconciliation. Sometimes the right thing to do is the toughest thing to do. The writer skillfully portrays some of these crucial moments with sensitivity and heart.

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There are also amusing incidents, crazy times, silly people, angry people, vindictive and unforgiving people in this story. A fellowship of Christian believers is like a family. You will always have a wide variety of members like this. They are part of this story and crucial to the plot. This is certainly a memorable book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from CKN Christian Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Naomi Chronicles Book 2: Choosing to Be by Paula Rose Michelson ~ Review

Naomi Chronicles Choosing to Be new cover

The Naomi Chronicles Book 2: Choosing to Be by Paula Rose Michelson

This is book two of the series, The Naomi Chronicles. Both books are very closely tied, so even though they are complete books and can be read on their own, this second book closely continues the story begun in the first book and resolves much of it. I recommend you purchase them together and read them one right after the other.

The focus of this book divides between Naomi and her husband, Chaz. They are separated after only one week of marriage at the beginning of this story. What’s unique about this book is that the first book emphasized how most of life’s choices had been removed from Naomi’s life in her first thirty years. How many of us readers can identify with that? Stuff happens, and sometimes leads us places we hadn’t originally wanted to go. But now, she is at a crossroads and begins to realize she has many choices to make. The choices do not come easy to her, so this is her opportunity to learn many truths, find her inner peace, especially coming to peace with her past, and figure out how to proceed. Does she go back into hiding, or will she become like a butterfly, finally released from her cocoon?

Also in this second book, we become more acquainted with Chaz as an individual. We only get to know him briefly in the first book, so now his character becomes a little more developed and we see why he does the things he does. There is a twist in the plot here that may surprise you. I know it certainly knocked me for a loop when I learned more of his background. All I will tell you at this point is that there is a resolution for Naomi and Chaz. But the twist and the means of resolution is what makes this part of the tale so interesting.

Naomi Chronicles Choosing to Be quote1

Meeting with God

There is so much to love in this second book. First, the author does a remarkable job of fashioning an old world atmosphere in the way Naomi dresses, talks and thinks that’s charming. But it is also in stark contrast to the rest of this new world, and it takes her time to adjust to the American way of life. I find that so endearing. The author uses a small boy to make that transition more palatable for Naomi. As the saying goes, “out of the mouth of babes…”

Second, the same little boy brings in comic relief while Naomi grapples with heavy life issues. How true to life! Often when we are trying to take in what God is speaking to us about, distractions are a way of bringing relief to the intensity of the moment. Either it becomes a way to take our minds off the issue and leads us away, or it helps us focus better on the point God is trying to make. I enjoy seeing how the author uses this feature for Naomi’s good.

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Third, I love the way the author leaves an opening for further development near the conclusion of the book. It makes me look forward to reading more of this series.

If you enjoyed this review, see my review of The Naomi Chronicles Book 1: No Other Choice here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of book 1 (basically) from the author and purchased this book on my own but with the author’s knowledge. My intention is to write a completely honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Naomi Chronicles Book 1: No Other Choice by Paula Rose Michelson ~ Review

No Other Choice new cover

The Naomi Chronicles Book 1: No Other Choice by Paula Rose Michelson

I have to say that this book and its sequel are some of the most intriguing reading I’ve experienced in a long while. It is the kind of story that makes you “walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins.” It is fiction, but based on history. That’s one of the reasons I love these books by this author so much.

First, the author prefaces the piece by asking us to imagine “what if” our beliefs were what threatened our family’s very lives. How would we live to survive? Suppose we saw our families and friends all around us killed or expelled or mistreated because of their similar beliefs? What would you do as a daughter of the house? Would you go into hiding? Live a lie? Fear for your life? Sacrifice for your family’s safety? With this mindset established, Naomi is introduced to us just as she sets foot in immigration as a 15-year-old girl, about to be deported because the family that was supposed to support her suddenly refuses to sponsor her in America. But she is rescued. The question presented in this book is this: was that rescue a blessing or a curse? You have to read this story to find out.

God puts things togeher

This book and book two used to be one story. So you need to purchase the second book to find the resolution to the first, which ends on a mild cliff hanger. Fortunately, book two picks up about five minutes after the first ends. Since this is a series, I didn’t mind that so much. But I feel you should know this and prepare to purchase both books together. In spite of that, book one is complete in that it encapsulates a complete idea and develops it thoroughly.

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I enjoy getting to know a subculture of America I have never become acquainted with, in this case the Spanish Harlem area, or Harlem as it’s known today. The author uses this setting to make the surrounding circumstances Naomi finds herself in alive and familiar. You get to know and somewhat understand her community, watch how Naomi sacrifices her life goals to play an important part of the barrio and in the lives of its citizens. The author writes this so well I felt as if I were part of the community.

Naomi herself is going through a transition. The reader becomes privy to her inner turmoil as she struggles to find her place in life. Then the author adds a sweet romance in the final chapters that brings all the circumstances to a head, adding slight tension in Naomi’s character development.

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I highly recommend this book, and of course, the entire series. It appears there is more to come, so I am looking forward to reading all the books based on how much I enjoyed the first two. I hope you will grow to love this series too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was approached by this author to write a review of her books, and she offered me this one as a complimentary copy. (But I had already gotten it last year. So technically I am writing this review for my opinion with the blessing of the author.) I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Rushing Mighty Wind by Angus Buchan ~Review~

A Rushing Mighty Wind by Angus Buchan

A Rushing Mighty Wind

I first became aware of the author Angus Buchan, through the movie Faith Like Potatoes. The movie is based on his life as a young farmer in Zambia, Africa. Because of political unrest and land re-claims, he left the country to move south to KwaZulu Natal, South Africa to begin a new farm with his wife and children. Their struggle to get established was tense and desperate, but with the help of his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, they scraped by. Hardships and personal tragedy made Angus angry and disillusioned until he met Jesus. His life was transformed. I know that sounds cliche, but it isn’t in this movie. The movie is well worth your time to watch if you want to get the background on this preacher of God’s Word today.

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The book, A Rushing Mighty Wind, is one of Mr. Buchan’s most recent updates. I was very excited to have this opportunity to read and review it. He shares with his readers of an extraordinary experience that occurred at a Christian get together in Israel. Mr. Buchan, who by now is a popular conference speaker as well as preacher and teacher, was asked by the International Christian Embassy to be the keynote speaker at the annual Feast of Tabernacles for Christians held in En-Gedi, the Dead Sea, on September 30, 2012. This event hosts delegates from countries from all over the world to meet in a spirit of unity, to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, to worship God and to address world Christian issues and pray over them. 2012’s theme was taken from Zecharaiah 12:10, “The Spirit of Grace and Supplication.”

When Angus Buchan was speaking, a miracle happened reminiscent of Acts chapter two. There were over 4,500 people at the event who witnessed God’s affirmation and power. The first several chapters of the book provides us with a background of the Feast of the Tabernacles, a brief purpose of the Christian Embassy, a description of the events, testimony from several delegates who were there, and a heart-felt follow-up from Mr. Buchan on what he believes we can take from this experience. The book is uplifting and encouraging.

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One of the things that’s important to me when I read Christian non-fiction is to determine whether the book has established a firm foundation: the foundation being salvation through trust in Jesus Christ alone for reconciliation with God, the Father. When the foundation is firmly established in teaching books like this, then I look at whether the foundation is being built upon, using good material. I search to see if growth is encouraged through sound teaching from the Bible. Are readers urged to practice what they are taught? Are people led to maturity in their faith in the Lord, and in their walk with the Holy Spirit? Are they shown how to reach out to others in love? And finally, I observe to see if they are taught to be obedient to God in fulfilling His directive to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ “unto the ends of the world.” Additionally, I look to see if the truth is being diluted or if believers are being distracted by something that could be good on its own merit but may be misused, overemphasized or under-emphasized.

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In my opinion, this book demonstrates sound teaching from the Bible. “The Holy Spirit is regarded as a mirror. He reflects the glory of God. He will not try to take the place of Jesus; He is Jesus in the Spirit. This forms the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three are one and yet they are different entities.” The author does not emphasize one over the other as more important. He didn’t overemphasize or misuse the working of the Holy Spirit. Instead his book encourages us to develop an anticipation toward revival all around the world.

The author teaches others to teach others. One of the results of the modern day miracle of En-Gedi in 2012 was the creation of a new ministry that God led Mr. Buchan to begin: the Mighty Men Conferences. Part two of this book covers the exciting adventure God led the author through this ministry. People were being encouraged to mature in their faith in the Lord and in their walk with the Holy Spirit. The men returned home to become leaders in their own communities.

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One powerful demonstration of leading others to reach out in love, was the story the author told about a special meeting in a city where there was labor unrest. The meeting went along as planned, there were no outbreaks in the stadium, and after the meeting where Mr. Buchan prayed for workers to give their all to their jobs and families, preached reconciliation, many people went back to work, and the entire work atmosphere changed positively. God can work in our hearts toward a spirit of cooperation and peace if we listen to Him.

I especially enjoyed the third part of this short 191-page book in which Mr. Buchan gives us an overview of some historical revivals from all over the world, a Welsh revival, an Indonesian revival and others. It reminded me that we need to keep praying for a revival right where we live as well as in our country and around the world.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network ( on behalf of Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell ~ Review

Awakening FaithAwakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Kelly

“History instructs us, the law teaches us, prophecy foretells, rebukes condemn us,
wisdom persuades us, but the book of Psalms goes further than all of these. It is medicine for our spiritual health. When we read it, we find a medicine to cure the wounds caused by any of our passions. Whoever studies it deeply will find it to be like a gymnasium for their soul, where the different psalms are like different exercises set out before them. In that gymnasium, in that stadium of virtue, they can choose the exercises that will best train them to win the victor’s crown.”Ambrose

Is it possible for speakers, writers, musicians, artists, teachers, political leaders, missionaries and ministers to reach out to an audience 2,000 years in the future? Could they have something to express that we want to hear? Do we have anything in common with such persons of the past? If we strip away the culture, the dross and history of the ages, is there anything left to communicate? In my opinion, there certainly is.

When I received the book, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell, I was excited at the opportunity to finally fill in some of the gaping holes in my knowledge of the early history of the Christian church and the Church Fathers. After reading several of the 366 offerings, I haven’t been disappointed. While the language has been simplified, the content is deep and thought provoking. This is a book of devotions presented by many writers, speakers, and leaders of the early church; it is not a history book. However, there is a section at the end of the book that offers a brief history of each contributor. Armed with the synopses and the Internet, I enjoyed
expanding my understanding while reading the devotions.

I’ve often heard pastors teach that Christ came at one of the most opportune times in history, where the Roman Empire offered a tremendous means for the Gospel message to travel the length and breadth of Europe, the Middle East, the British Isles and the northern regions of Africa. In reading some of the devotional entries, I noticed how widespread so many of the contributors were…from Patrick of Ireland, and Sulpitius Severus in Gaul (France) to Cyprian of Carthage, Egypt, and Boniface known as the Aspostle of the Germans to Braulio who was a bishop in Spain, and Ephrem the Syrian, a deacon and hymn writer in Turkey to Theodore the Studite, a monk in Constantinople.

Another thing I noticed is that many of the early writings were in response to heretical beliefs that had gained popularity, drawing Christians away from basic Biblical truth. The abundance of heresies and the incursion of pagan beliefs in the early church prompted many leaders to write encouragement for young believers to stay true to Jesus’ teachings, and to refute errors. Consequently, there is a prolific amount of written documents kept and preserved to this day. What was written is still relevant for us.

Here are a few examples of wisdom that never grows old.

Newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisib...

Newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis, where Ephrem taught and ministered. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The [Holy] Spirit makes one person a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret Holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one person’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. The Scripture says, ‘In each person the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good’ (1 Corinthians 12:7).” Cyril of Jerusalem

“When the Holy Spirit saw that virtue was difficult for us, and that we neglected holy living because of our inclination toward pleasure, what did he do? He mingled the doctrines with delightful melodies, so that we would receive the benefit of divine wisdom through soft and pleasing sounds, just as wise doctors do who smear the cup of medicine with honey. Therefore, he devised these harmonious melodies for us to sing and, while singing, to be trained in goodness. For while it is difficult to hold in our mind an apostolic or prophetic message, we easily chant the words of the Psalms, even in the home and around in the marketplace. They can even sooth our wrath and lull us to sleep through their sweet melodies.” Basil the Great

“But how can we correct someone else when we are neglecting ourselves? We are wrapped up in worldly concerns, and the more we devote ourselves to superficial things, the more insensitive we become to spiritual things.” Gregory the Great

Cross Focused Reviews

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Apparently human nature and our spiritual needs haven’t changed much in the past 2,000 years.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) and Zondervan Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies ~ Promo and Review

examine your faith by pamela christianExamine Your Faith!: Finding Truth in a World of Lies

Well-meaning people want to believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven. But wanting something to be true is far different from truth lining up with reality. Unless you make an intentional effort to examine what you believe and why you believe it, it’s quite possible you are living your life on the basis of a lie, and don’t know it.

• What is truth?

• Is it relative or absolute?

• Is it personal or universal?

• What are the differences among the various religious faiths? Can they be blended?

• Are we creating faith—a belief system—that is impotent by trying to accept all religions as equal?

(This book has been endorsed by Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen, and Dan Story.)

You can purchase Examine Your Faith! at:

~~~ Pamela Christian Ministries ~~~

~~~ Amazon ~~~

~~~ Barnes and Noble ~~~

~~~ Deeper Shopping ~~~

pamela chistianAbout the Author

For over twenty years, coast to coast, Pamela Christian, “the Faith Doctor,” has been helping people in matters of faith. Pam compassionately wants people to confidently discover and live in, life-giving truth. Her ministry experience began as Teaching Director for Community Bible Study, (an independent, interdenominational, international organization). This led to her receiving invitations to speak nationally, followed by work as radio talk-show host in two major markets. She is a contributing writer to various books and magazines. Her education includes a certificate in apologetics from Biola University. As a book author and media personality Pam’s desire is to reach as many people as possible. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children living nearby.

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Blog Tour Schedule

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My Review

“This book is based on two core premesis: the belief that human beings intrinsically desire truth, and the belief that our soul and spirit are eternal. As humans, we hold in common an undeniable desire to discover and live in truth. Additionally, as humans, we are both mortal and immortal–our bodies are mortal while our spirit and soul are eternal. I realize some people do not believe that the human soul and spirit are everlasting. But even that belief is an aspect of faith that deserves examination.

If you are not sure that your faith is based on a solid foundation, then by all means, you should examine your faith! Finding truth in a deceptive world is possible. A renewed faith producing real hope and certain joy is available. And it’s exactly what ‘the Faith Doctor’ (this author) prescribes for you within the contents of this book.”

Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a world of Lies by Pamela Christian is the first book in a three book series. The second book is Renew Your Hope! Remedy for Personal Breakthrough. The third book in the series is Revive Your Life! Rest for Your Anxious Heart. After Pamela suffered a crisis of faith that shook her to the bone, she was determined to find a solid foundation for a faith that would fulfill her deepest needs. This book is the report of her methodical search and her findings. She wants to share them with her readers so that they too can stand firm when a crisis approaches them. She doesn’t want her readers’ faith to fail them when they need it the most.

There are three parts to this book. The first part is her story how she came to a state of crisis, how she was able to move past it, and what she learned from her experience. In this part, you can feel her heart’s desire to share what she learned so others would not have to suffer as she did. You can see her desire to make our path to a solid faith easier than hers. It is this desire that has dubbed her the Faith Doctor. I believe it is well deserved, for she articulates her discoveries clearly, logically and thoroughly to make it easier for her readers (and conference attendees) to comprehend without insult to their intelligence. In addition, she addresses the trend she sees growing in America–that of religious plurality. She explains what that is, the goal of those who are promoting it, and the end result that’s most likely if the trend continues.

Part Two contains the most fair assessment of the world’s six most prominent religions I have ever read thus far, including secular Humanism, which she believes to be a system of beliefs, values and practices very much like a religion. Each of the subsequent chapters are dedicated to each religion, its history and origin and ultimate goal, and how they explore and approach topics such as the origin of the universe and the world, the origin of man, the foundation of truth and belief, evil and good, man’s purpose, man’s view of and relationship to others, eternal life or the lack thereof, the existence of God or lack of, man’s relationship to such a Being should one exist, His purpose and goals for mankind.

The author explains why she covers such a topic so thoroughly: “If you choose not to examine what you believe and why you believe it, then you are knowingly subjecting yourself to the prospect of deception. Although examining your personal faith is difficult, I suspect that you know in your heart it’s the wise thing to do.” Part 1 concludes with finding out what faith means and why we need to understand our beliefs. Part 2 explores Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Secular Humanism (which encompasses New Age, atheism, and agnosticism as secular/non-religions), Islam, and Christianity. In the introduction of the book, Pamela Christian explains that she consulted experts in the field to check her facts for accuracy. Each religion is approached in a respectful, non-biased manner.

In Part Three, the author reveals how she grappled with the information she discovered in her quest for truth in the second part of the book. To do this, she begins with sharing personal stories of individuals with backgrounds in the faiths and religions explored in Part Two. So we become acquainted with Aaron and Diane Schneiderman of California, Madeline Haydon, a Vietnamese scientist, Rev. Dr. Balaji Varadarajan, a pastor in India, Moira Noonan a successful publisher who was disabled in a car accident at 30, sent to a pain center where she became active in New Thought philosophy and Christian Science to control the pain, becoming a practitioner in New Age occult healing arts. The chapter concludes with Safi’s story who grew up in Iran a Muslin at the time of Khamenei. He came to America to attend college and remained to live in South Dakota.

Then in the subsequent chapters, the author examines faith perspectives on Good and Evil, the differing views of Jesus, prophecies and their fulfillments about Jesus, the evidences available to Jesus’ claim for his resurrection, and the impact of the varying religions on the world as a whole. By the final chapter she concludes her analysis and talks with us candidly about her faith conclusions. Chapter endnotes are a thorough bibliography of her sources so that a person desiring to learn more about her sources can do so easily. In conclusion, the author appeals to her readers to follow her example and strengthen their foundations of faith.

I found this book exhaustive, logical and well organized. I heartily endorse it for anyone who is determined to seek the truth in a maze of deceptive lies. The seventeen chapters average about ten page each. There is clear intellectual appeal to well educated individuals who want a concise expose without slogging through numerous texts to derive a conclusion. Yet the chapter end notes are so complete that an individual seeker can slog to his heart’s content using the sources listed. This book would also be a great resource for those who are in a position to talk with seeking individuals and desires to help them in their path.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and Pamela Christian Ministries. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Giveaway

For anyone that’s interested, the author is giving away one copy of Examine Your Faith! and a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Paypal for one lucky reader! U.S. addresses only. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced November 15, 2013. Good luck!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Pamela Christian. The author provided me with a free copy of Examine Your Faith! to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson – Review

ApostateApostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson

“Epistemology is the study of what is true and how one determines what is true. When any philosopher of epistemology wants to develop a theory of knowledge, he must seek an ultimate authority, since there must be some final standard by which all claims of truth may be tested. For the humanist, the final standard is man himself. For the Christian, the standard is God. The Christian recognizes that this is God’s world, planned and implemented by the mind of God. Therefore, God’s truth is the only possible standard for truth.” This book is written from the Christian worldview, acknowledging that God is the author’s source of truth.

Western civilization was built upon a set of ideas expressed over 2,000 years ago with the advent of Christianity. Establishment of such a culture was not an easy thing to do, especially when ideological opposition was present from the beginning. Greek and Roman philosophies were polytheistic and man-centered. You might even go so far as to say that humanism was birthed, or at least well expressed, through Aristotle and his contemporaries. Christian thinking gradually replaced pagan thinking from AD 475 through AD 1200. It was a war of ideas…a war of culture. But the tables turned and humanist ideologies began to overcome Christian thought over the next 800 years (from AD 1200 to AD 2000).

“Philosophers…dismantled the Christian faith in the Western world and replaced it with humanist ideas and institutions. As always happens to empires built on man-centered ideas, these humanist empires will soon collapse. Insofar as Western civilization remained a Christian worldview at its base, the foundations were sound [at first]. But when the philosophers of a new humanism introduced dry-rot into the foundations…they planted the seeds of their own destruction. By the end of this book, I hope the reader will fully understand how this happened.”

The author identifies three stages in which apostates of the Christian worldview participated in the dismantling process. The first stage involved philosophical ideas foreign to biblical truth. He introduces to the reader eleven men of “renown”, ones who are considered “great” thinkers by the modern educational elite: Thomas Aquinas – forming the humanist synthesis; Rene Descartes – forming the humanist philosopher; John Locke – forming the humanist theologian; John-Jacques Rousseau – forming the humanist society; Jeremy Bentham – forming the humanist ethic; Ralph Waldo Emerson – forming the humanist person; Karl Marx – forming the humanist political state; Charles Darwin – forming the humanist scientist; Friedrich Nietzsche – forming the humanist psychology; John Dewey – forming the humanist education; and Jean Paul Sartre – forming the humanist culture. Each chapter is dedicated to examining each person’s philosophy and
personal life. The author then explains how each influenced institutions such as the universities which at the time trained men for the ministry. These men moved their ideas from the universities to the pulpits and on to the ears of the congregants.


The second stage of the deconstruction of the Christian worldview addresses the arena of literature. “Since education is typically centered on literature and reading, we conclude that this is a critical, though oft-neglected battlefield in the war of the worldviews. Therefore, any treatise that intends to grapple with the disintegration of the Western Christian mind and culture must address the field of literature.” Kevin Swanson chose to examine five literary giants: William Shakespeare – Macbeth; Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter (severing the heritage); Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn (rejecting the faith); Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck (20th century literature). “Every author begins somewhere; he works off a baseline and a heritage. But his work also follows a trajectory that reflects his heart direction.” And wherever the heart direction leads, that is where the literature will attempt to lead its readers.

While the first stage of deconstruction began in the 1700’s with the philosophers of the Enlightenment period (Age of Reason) and moved into the 1900’s through the education system designed by John Dewey with the second stage repeating this pattern through literature, the third stage is pretty much unique to the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st century. The third stage involved the cultural revolution through the use of mass media. With the advent of radio, television, and the computer and internet, culture changes moved swiftly when the emphasis shifted from literature to the music and entertainment industry. The philosophies formerly expressed for the educated “pillars of society” was now conveyed to everyone else through music and movies. The author dedicated the final two chapters of the book to this phenomenon.

My first reaction after reading the book was fascination at the array of unique information and approach to the theme of the deconstruction of Western Civilization. Then when the implications finally hit me, I felt awed at the patterns in history, the battle plans and the lines drawn in the sand. For the most part, this is an analysis of an invisible, silent battle, that has taken place over hundreds of years, in graduated steps. The author does a wonderful job of stepping back from the details of life and looking at the big picture over the past 800 years of history. His approach is well organized, logical, thorough, and fairly easy to understand especially for those of us who align ourselves with the Christian worldview. Then I felt dismay at the scope of the battle, how like dominoes once one structure started to tumble others began to topple as well, until I remembered that “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)


I found it helpful to keep a glossary of terminology that I created myself as I read. Some of the terms I was only superficially familiar with and needed to consult a good dictionary to get the historical context as well as the complete meaning of the term. I think a short glossary should have been included in the book. I would have loved to have had this text to use with my two home-schooled high school students. I can easily see how this would have lent itself to the development of a one year history, literature and philosophy course. Like the author, I want my children and grandchildren to understand how our civilization became unraveled.

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Generations with Vision (publishers) and Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.