Christian Retailing

PRODUCT NEWS Book Reviews Book Reviews CR April 2010
Book Reviews CR April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Production   
Friday, 05 March 2010 11:50 AM EST

The Truth About the Shroud of TurinThe Truth About the Shroud of Turin
Robert K. Wilcox
Regnery Publishing
softcover, $16.95, 234 pages

Casual readers may have forgotten about the holy relic explored in The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery, as it has faded from its earlier prominence in the news in the '70s and '80s. Since then, however, novelists such as Dan Brown have introduced readers to spiritual mysteries in books such as The Da Vinci Code, so a true-to-life, faith-fueled narrative on conspiracies and cover-ups could provoke new interest.

Wilcox wipes the dust from the subject, consulting experts in various scientific disciplines as well as addressing carbon-dating controversies contributing to the dismissal of the shroud's authenticity. He summarizes 10 compelling reasons for its authenticity, including how starkly the image of Christ contradicts popular renderings of Him from the time of its discovery.

Regardless of individual conclusions, however, Wilcox offers a fair, thorough and fascinating narrative on the relic's history.

—DeWayne Hamby


Ace Collins
softcover, 192 pages, $14.99

In GrAttitude: Practicing Contagious Optimism for a Positive Change, Collins points out that gratitude is much more Collins tells stories of individuals who have learned gratitude, such as missions pioneer William Carey, who reached out to a world beyond himself to share the gospel. Another story includes a young lady inspired to love and serve others after witnessing a nun at her school working diligently.

GrAttitude is characterized by great stories that serve as an encouragement for readers to take on a fresh perspective on life and the call of Christ.

—Heidi L. Ippolito


Plan BPlan B
Pete Wilson
Thomas Nelson
softcover, 224 pages, $14.99

Nashville pastor Wilson's Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? is a book Plan B offers encouragement to those struggling to redeem their decisions or who are facing doubts about their direction in life. Wilson's pastoral heart speaks clearly, pointing to the cross of Christ as the ultimate solution of love and hope.

—Bonnie Bruner


Pure ScumPure Scum
Mike Sares
IVP Books (InterVarsity Press)
softcover, 174 pages, $15

Pastor Sares chronicles the development of Scum of the Earth, the unusually named, Denver-based church for the
Pure Scum: The Left-Out, the Right-Brained and the Grace of God. The title and the church's name are derived from 1 Cor. 4:9-13.

Following a series of unsatisfying jobs, from steel to sales, Sares entered the ministry at age 40, his first church assignment ending in a forced resignation. Supportive friends and family provide funding for Sares to start his own church, and he conceived Scum: welcoming all regardless of past sins, focusing on God without "Christianese" and reaching out to those intimidated by traditional churches.

Sares goes on to describe Scum's ongoing challenges, such as congregants who come only for the meal served before the sermon and others who find Jesus and then backslide.
While some readers may not agree with Sares' concept of Scum as what a church should be, this unique approach to evangelism should be useful reading for anyone interested in outreach ministry.

—John D. Leatherman


Valley of BonesValley of Bones
Eric Wilson
Thomas Nelson
softcover, 416 pages, $14.99

Valley of Bones, the final installment of the "Jerusalem Undead" trilogy, blends best-selling author Wilson's After Gina Lazarescu stages her own death to protect herself and her loved ones from Akeldama, a blood-collecting cluster of demons, she finds that her son—dead for the past seven years—has been resurrected.

Meanwhile, Akeldama warrior Natria sets out to find answers to Gina's staged "death" and plans to destroy members of the Concealed Ones, the original 36 raised from the dead during Jesus' crucifixion.

Valley of Bones is an exciting adventure that will grab readers' interest in the power of the Nazarene's blood. A beginning summary of past settings and character relationships is provided to help readers who have not yet read the trilogy's previous titles.

—Nicole Anderson


Michelle McKinney Hammond
Tyndale House Publishers
softcover, 272 pages, $12.99

In Divanomics: How to Still Be Fabulous When You're Broke, speaker and TV host Hammond is candid about her Using the Bible as her guide, along with wise counsel, Hammond shows how to maintain one's "Diva" status through organization, pinching pennies and learning the difference between needs and wants. She teaches from personal experience that no one cares more about your money than you do.

Divanomics shows readers how to hold their heads high with dignity and grace, rebuilding self- and financial worth with simple tools. McKinney defines a true Diva as a woman "who knows that life is not about her, but rather the contribution she makes to others … and the legacy she will leave." Written with such Diva girls in mind, the book is a hopeful, encouraging read for women who were never taught how to spend and save responsibly.

—Andrealynn Boyd


Edge of ApocalypseEdge of Apocalypse
Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
hardcover, 432 pages. $24.99
audio CD, unabridged, $29.99

Best-selling author LaHaye ("Left Behind" series) partners with Parshall for Edge of Apocalypse, the debut release in the new prophecy-based fiction series "The End."

Joshua Jordan, former U.S. spy-plane-hero-turned-weapons-designer, has created a missile defense system christened "Return to Sender." He uses it to diffuse a North Korean attack designed to level New York City. Following that success, he is caught in a web of political double-dealing, international intrigue and personal danger. Jordan's integrity, personal values and patriotism are put to the test, as he feels his wife pushing him to accept a Savior he is not ready for.

Though it's fiction combined with eschatology, Edge of Apocalypse has a realistic feel, as if it were lifted from tomorrow's headlines. Readers seeking end-times adventure will welcome this action-packed beginning and look forward to future releases in the series.

—Beth Anderson