Review of “Pentecostalism: A Guide for the Perplexed”

Pentecostalism: A Guide for the PerplexedPentecostalism: A Guide for the Perplexed by Wolfgang Vondey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I generously gave this book three stars when I really felt like it deserved two. Then I started thinking about how I wasn’t really the target audience. It’s really geared towards more academically inclined people as is evident by the liberal use of fifty dollar plus words that I have never heard in my lifetime. A large number of them are not even in the dictionary, which I made heavy use of.

Despite this, there was quite a lot of information in this book that I was unaware of or was presented from a perspective that I had not considered before. Each chapter covers a different aspect of Pentecostalism and is relatively short being around 20 to 22 pages each ( approximately).

When reading about things that I was familiar with, I found the information to be very accurate so I have confidence that the new information was just as accurate. Still, I can’t give the book more than three stars because it was difficult for me to follow the narrative most of the time, and I found myself having to go back and reread passages several times which made it take that much longer to finish reading the book. Had I been more academically inclined, I may have gotten more out of the book and been able to give it a higher rating. Then again, maybe not. I got the book from Logos.com and found that the average rating was only 2 stars, Which as I said earlier is what I really felt it deserved.

The crux of this book can be summed up in this quote from the epilogue of the book. “At the end of this brief guide, we arrive at yet one more perplexing insight: To understand Pentecostalism, one has to look beyond Pentecostalism.”

In spite of the low ratings, I do think that this book is worth reading. Just keep a really good dictionary close at hand when you do.

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Review of “Introduction to Pentecostal Doctrine” By Zenas Bicket

Introduction to Pentecostal DoctrineIntroduction to Pentecostal Doctrine by Zenas Bicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but I could only give it three stars because there was so much that I disagreed with. Much of the book is based on an individual interpretation of scripture that I found lacking in scholarship. Of course, I have no doubt that others would give this book very high marks because they agreed with most, if not all, of what Bicket says.

For me, the one thing that I had no quarrels with the discussion of salvation. I am in complete agreement with Zenas Bicket in this particular area. On the rest of the book, I found myself do massive highlights and making abundant notes discussing my own views of what Bicket had to say. I will admit, however, that there are large sections of the book that have neither highlights nor notes written about it. In these cases, I just read and absorbed and decided to make no judgments one way or the other until I had time to study the issue more.

Even though I only gave it three stars, I can recommend this book as a good primer on Pentecostal doctrine, especially within the Assemblies of God Church. Just because I found myself in disagreement with much of it does not mean that I am always right. During my study I did come across one issue where I was led to change my mind because of the presentation of irrefutable scripture on the subject. Admittedly, it was not from this book that I was led to the discovery of the error of my own views, but the topic was covered in the last chapter of the book.

Perhaps after more study on the issues raised in the reading of this book I will be compelled to come back and raise the rating to higher than three stars, but not right now.

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Review of “Destination Unknown”

Destination Unknown (Wings of Steele #1)Destination Unknown by Jeffrey Burger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed this book. If you have ever wondered what happened to all those people on ships and planes that disappeared inside the Bermuda Triangle, this story gives you one possibility.

When Jack Steele disappears inside the Bermuda Triangle with a vintage bomber that he supposed to be delivering for the CIA many Federal agencies become involved in looking for him.

Meanwhile, Steele and others who disappeared with him find themselves on a ship in space that is of alien origin. In the beginning, all he can think about is where is he and how is he going to get back home. However, as things play out he finds himself commanding a spaceship of his own.

There were not a lot of Star Wars’esque space battles in this book, but there was indeed plenty of action.

Love the characters. By the end of the book I found myself caring about them and wanting to know more. Thank goodness there are more books to be had.

The narrator of Destination Unknown, Kevin Clay, had a voice that kind of reminded me a newscaster. He would seem to have had some voice training as all of his characters were separate and distinct. One or two might have been a little cheesy, but the overall effect was very entertaining.

I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of “Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions vol. 1” by Leon J. Suprenant and Philip C. L. Gray

Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic QuestionsFaith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions by Leon J. Suprenant Jr.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book but could only give it three stars. CUF, Catholics United for the Faith, has a thing they call Faith Facts. People call or write to them and ask questions about the Catholic faith and they have a team of people who research the answers thoroughly and then answer them via these Faith Facts. There are presently two books covering several major topics; things like the Creed, Mary, Mortal Sin, the eucharist, etc.

I only gave the book three stars because I as a practicing catholic for 17 years understood their answers to the questions, but I felt that a person outside the church or even a new convert might have difficulty with them. They reference a lot of scripture, but they also reference a lot of church documents that someone outside of the church would most likely have never heard about. At times, they get into some Catholic theology that can be difficult to understand especially if you have not taken the time to do much outside reading on the subject, whatever the subject being discussed is.

Still, I would recommend the books to someone who maybe has done some reading on Catholic doctrine, and, perhaps, these books would take them a little deeper.

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Review of “Bricks” by Tony Bertauski and Narrated by David Dietz

Bricks (Halfskin, #3)Bricks by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that I was certainly not expecting the ending to this series the way it happened. I guess that’s a good thing, though. Nothing is worse than for a book to be so obvious that you see the ending coming a mile away. Predictable is so boring.

I have enjoyed the series. The first book I was a bit miffed at how it ended, but the second book made up for it. Now for this series to end on the note that it did was just fantastic. I did take one star off though because of the fairly liberal use of foul language in the book.

David Dietz’s narration was wonderful. His voices for each character remained consistent throughout the series even when showing extreme emotions, which he often had to in this book. I give David’s narration five stars. Overall the book is just four stars for me because of the language.

I received this book from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of “Red Zeppelin” by Jack Treby and Narrated by Angela Dawe

The Red ZeppelinThe Red Zeppelin by Jack Treby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I really enjoyed listening to this short mystery. It took me several days due to other commitments. I didn’t have much time to get on the computer this week, and when I was in bed I had three other books to read, two of them dead tree books, but overall it was very enjoyable. I like that it kept me guessing right up until the end. There were a few surprise twists that I was not expecting. That was good.

I enjoyed the narrator, but if I had one complaint it was that she did not do male voices that well. I would have thought that would have been a necessity since the main character was supposed to be a male. Oops! Did I give something away? Probably not since this is actually book two in a series. If you have read book one you would know that our protagonist masquerades as male, but is, in fact, a woman. Still there were other characters that were actually male, and she did not do them justice either. I don’t think she can do an Irish accent either because early in the book there is a character that the author describes as Irish, yet Dawe doesn’t even try to do an Irish accent for him. Her German accent is pretty good, though, at least inasmuch as it sounded like what I thought it should have sounded like.

I will give this one 4 stars for the story, 4 stars for the narrator and 4 stars overall.

I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review!

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St. Catherine of Siena: A Saint for Our Time

A little bit about the upcoming docu-drama on EWTN about St. Catherine of Sienna that will air this Sunday night at 9 PM CST.

Inside EWTN

St. Catherine of Siena by Elisabetta Valgiusti 15She is one of the most important figures in Church history – one of only four female doctors out of the 36 doctors of the Church. Yet St. Catherine of Siena, a 14th Century mystic, was only 24 when she began her public mission, which lasted just eight years. Despite living at a time when most women were regarded as little more than chattel, she managed to accomplish things that seemed impossible for anyone, much less a female.

This spiritual dynamo also happens to be the subject of new EWTN docu-drama “St. Catherine of Siena” by Writer/Producer/Director Elisabetta Valgiusti, who is well-known to EWTN audiences for her courageous documentaries on religious persecution around the world. (Airs 10 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 24; 5 a.m. ET, Thursday, April 28; 10 a.m. ET, Friday, April 29; and 1 a.m. ET, Saturday, April 30.)

“How alive she was!” says Valgiusti. “She…

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