From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put down Why Men Hate Going to Church unless I absolutely had to. While this book is certainly not politically correct, it is incredibly frank, and touches on issues that aren’t necessarily touchy, but something that individual churches really could change in order to attract more men. While this is towards the back of the book, the introductory paragraph to Chapter 23 really hits home why men may feel uncomfortable in church, with the example of taking away all the things in church where women serve disproportionately and replacing them with more male oriented activities. While Murrow uses hypotheticals to make points, his chapters are filled with citations to recent studies on the church which he uses as evidence.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, both lay people and church leadership. I could even possibly suggest this book to a man you know who is Christian but, as the title suggests, hates going to church. If you are looking for a men’s devotional type reading, this is not it—though the author may be able to make some decent suggestions for you. However, I would call this a must-read before starting any kind of men’s outreach, and definitely a thought provoking book. You will notice so much in your own church after you read it.
I received a free review copy of this book through the BookSneeze program but was under no obligation to write a positive review.
Max Lucado is one of my mother’s favorite authors, (as well as the author of a children’s book that makes me cry to this day), so I was looking forward to trying out When God Whispers Your Name. However, this book was not what I expected. It was filled with Lucado’s signature simple, short sentences, as well as short, easy to read chapters. However, I personally did not find a great connection between what the cover makes me expect and what is inside the book. I expected more references to New Testament passages about being a child of God, bought with the blood of Christ. While this did happen, I found the book talked much more about the Old Testament heroes, who after a closer look did not always live so heroically.
Once you look at the discussion guide, the life application, as well at the Christ-centeredness, is more obvious. However, not everyone will do this and may then miss out on the book. I also feel that going through this book in a small group would lead to an entirely different understanding than reading it as an individual. I can’t think of any specific group that would benefit more from this book than others, however, it may not be the perfect book for teenagers trying to know that God cares for them.
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
This was my first experience reading Wilkinson, and due to the mixed reputation of The Prayer of Jabez, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My experience with The God Pocket was also mixed. On one hand, this could be the start of a great movement within individual churches as well as the Church at large, one where Christians reach out to touch the lives of people who may not be obviously needy, but who need to know that God is thinking about them. On the other hand, there are parts of the book that could give Christians unrealistic expectations.
Mind you, I am not doubting God’s ability to work through even one Christian who would implement the God pocket principles. Also, in most of the book, Wilkinson tries to make it clear that the return on giving is not always financial—though he does give examples of stories where it was. However, there is one sentence that seems to potentially undo most of that hard work, on page 99, when he is emphasizing that the God pocket should not replace regular tithing, he also states that most God pocket participants become more enthusiastic in giving to their local church and “have more funds to give”. While this could be a way of saying that participating in the God pocket makes people realize that everything they have belongs to the Lord, it could also sound to some like the God pocket would lead to a raise in their salary or a decrease in the electric bill. Another concern was the mention of a website where you can order your own “God pocket” which may imply a desire of the authors to make a profit through this movement.
Overall, I think this book could be useful when read discerningly. It could be a great thing to try for a small group or even an entire church—particularly in a season without any obvious outreach program. I would just say to be very cautious in your reading of it.
I received a free copy of this book through Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.