Learning can be fun!
by Neil Saavedra
FIVE SACRED CROSSINGS
By Craig J. Hazen
Here is a little confession; I don’t read a lot of fiction. I enjoy it when I do, but there’s something inside me that makes me feel guilty about spending my time reading fiction when I seem to be so behind in my studies of the more scholastic, apologetic sort.
Here’s a second little confession; critiquing a book written by someone I know personally, and respect tremendously always makes me a tiny bit nervous.
Wonderfully enough, reading “Five Sacred Crossings” alleviated both of these concerns simultaneously.
Craig Hazen has managed to stuff thought provoking and weighty philosophical concepts, as well as the emotional and inter-personal grappling that goes with them, into an incredibly well written, engaging story-line that provokes you to not only care about what the characters are discussing but to care about the characters themselves. This book is fiction, but important fiction. Fiction filled with solid philosophical arguments for the faith.
While reading “Five Sacred Crossings”, I couldn’t help but envision two students walking down a sidewalk, one holding a novel and one holding a philosophical text book about religion bumping into each other. The first student exclaiming, “Hey, you got your novel in my philosophical text book!” and the other would reply, “Well, you got your philosophical text book in my novel!” Of course upon reading the new hybrid, they both concur, “two great tastes that taste great together!”
I really enjoyed this book and loved that is was almost like eavesdropping on a comparative religion class, with all of the biases, agendas and logic…both good and faulty.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you the only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the book’s cover; it was a bit on the generic side and doesn’t really convey the depth of its contents. Also, the tag line, “A novel approach to apologetics” was a bit on the cute side for me.
So, to whom would I recommend this book? Well, anyone who enjoys a good story and anyone who enjoys good arguments for why we believe. I bet that’s you!
- Neil Saavedra
Book description from Amazon.com: Five Sacred Crossings presents the Christian worldview’s uniqueness through creative fiction. Professor Michael Jernigan, a Christian, is teaching a religions course at community college. A local, barely halted act of religious terrorism throws a teeth on edge relevancy into the class discussions. Jernigan teaches from a rare text he obtained while in Cambodia the Five Crossings. Each Crossing unveils a universal spiritual question, which only Christianity can satisfactorily address because it… is testable presents salvation as a free gift paints a picture of the world that matches reality makes a non compartmentalized life possible has Jesus at the center Non Christians will relate to the storytelling context and will see the overarching truth about the God who transcends time and culture. Christians are helped with their doubts and their desire to attractively present Christianity to our multireligious culture.
By C. Fred Dickason
What are angels like? How many kinds are there? Are mental disorders caused by their influence? Long favored by scholars, this classic has now been rewritten to give us accessible scriptural answers to our questions about the spiritual world. (from Amazon.com)
What a fantastic book this is! like an easy to read text book on angels. But don’t be mistaken, Dickason’s “Angels” is an amazing theological work that examines in detail the Biblical perspective of angelology and demonology. – Neil Saavedra
By Iva Hoth & Andre Le Blanc
I know what you’re thinking, this is just for kids, right? Wrong. Although nothing can replace a good translation like the NASB for real studying – sometimes scripture in its traditional form can be overwhelming. The Picture Bible can give you an amazing overview of the Word of God with pictures to help guide you along and help you see important time-lines and chronology in a new way.
Everyone learns differently so if you are a visual person this is a wonderful tool. Oh, and kids will like it as well. – Neil Saavedra
By Norm Geisler & Ron Brooks
God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires-aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a “nice guy.” It is no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death. In this provocative book, Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be-dangerous, passionate, alive, and free. (From AMAZON.COM)
Personally, I have always had a hard time fitting the traditional mold of a modern “Christian man” as it seemed to me the “church” wanted us men to be Christian women with more facial hair and an Adam’s apple. Eldredge’s book so clearly states what I have believed for so long, a Christian man is both a Christian and a man. The great men of scripture would never be mistaken for what many modern churches try to pass off as Christian men. Don’t be fooled, this book is not just for men it will also be appreciated by women as well. I loved this book. – Neil Saavedra
Why are there kosher dietary laws, why must the chapter of curses in the Tora be read quickly in a low voice, and what’s the point of visiting a body of water to empty pockets of crumbs on Rosh Hashana? Kolatch writes lucidly and knowingly, explaining the biblical, traditional and superstitious sources of thousands of questions pertaining to Judaism; the comprehensive index is expertly organized. (From AMAZON.COM)
What a great reference book. You can’t know who you are without knowing from where you came. This incredibly informative book answers a wealth of questions about our Jewish brothers and sisters that I know you will enjoy. – Neil Saavedra
By Scott Jette
125 pages never packed so much truth and real life-tested wisdom.
This book is a wonderful look at truth through the eyes of a young Marine. I know your first reaction will be to buy this book for a man in your life but this book is for everyone, young, old, male and female.
I could not be more proud to call Scott a friend and sounding board in my life. -Neil Saavedra
SCALING THE SECULAR CITY
By J.P. Moreland
This is one of my all time favorite books. J.P. Moreland has really put together an incredibly well-rounded apologetic work in Scaling the Secular City.
With several chapters that make this book stand out like; God and the Argument from the Mind,
God and the Meaning of Life,
Science and Christianity, this is one of the few books I enjoy reading over and over (my personal copy looks like someone drove over it with a truck).
‘No evangelical now writing on apologetics surpasses Moreland in philosophical ability. Every person who intends to speak for Christ to the contemporary mind should master the content and spirit of this book.’ -Dallas Willard (University of Southern California) – AMEN! – Neil Saavedra
By C.S. Lewis
What can I say? I love me some C.S. Lewis! Mr. Lewis makes me think like no other author does.
His head and heart are in constant tandem.
C.S. Lewis had so many of his own trials in life his writings surpass theological academics becoming living and breathing life examples. – Neil Saavedra
THE GREAT DIVORCE
By C.S. Lewis
This is an amazing work of fiction. Not unlike all of Mr. Lewis’ fictional works, The Great Divorce, tackles weighty concepts in the most entertaining of ways. -Neil Saavedra
Dr. Walter Martin (the original Bible Answer Man) is really the man that made me fall in love with defending the Christian faith (other then Jesus that is). Quick on his feet, educated, with a wonderful sense of humor (yes, Christians are allowed to have those) not to mention a man of great candor, Walter Martin was and is one of my all time heroes. Dr. Martin went to be with the Lord June 26, 1989 – he is missed.
If you need to use biblical truth to counter the efforts of cults that masquerade as mainstream Christians (and you do), The Kingdom of the Cults is an amazing and comprehensive, must-have resource.
Readable and reliable this wonderful work will help guide everyone from teachers and pastors to the every-day believers in understanding and sharing your faith with the cultist. – Neil Saavedra
Ross’ overall philosophy is that science and religion are not only compatible but complementary, I could not agree more!
An astronomer by training, Dr. Ross has established his own ministry called Reasons To Believe. I encourage you to also check out his website www.reasons.org with all of your science questions. It has been my pleasure to meet Dr. Ross many times and I will tell you his incredible mind of science is only shadowed by his complete love and devotion to Jesus Christ.
Richard Smalley, 1996 Nobel prize winner in chemistry, said of Hugh Ross’ book, Origins of Life (co-authord by Fazale Rana), “Evolution has just been dealt its deathblow.” – Neil Saavedra
This voluminous law-book-like work examines the Jewish world in the times of Christ. From culture and traditions to politics and the Jewish notions of Hades.
This book makes Biblical history come alive! Alfred Edersheim will take you back in a literary time-machine to the days of Jesus of Nazareth and allow you to stand right there at the wedding at Cana or witness the healing of the ten lepers. – Neil Saavedra
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