August 7, 2012

A Portrait of Calvin by T.H.L Parker

 John Piper says that his first encounter with John Calvin was through this short biography, called Portrait Of Calvin by T.H.L. Parker.  Hearing that made me want to pick this book up.

I will say first of all that John Calvin was not what I had expected.  Because of "Calvinism" he has been portrayed as this cold, unfeeling, almost dictatorial leader.  Reality though, none of those is true.  He was actually a very warm, tender individual.  He showed great care and concern for the people he was pastoring.

Though there was political influence that he showed, the reality is that he was simply a pastor.  He preached the word of God and he did that consistently.  Throughout his life he would preach in an expository fashion through books of the Bible.  Whether it be Old Testament or New Testament, he plodded his way through passage after passage, making the central theme of his preaching Christ and the core of that preaching focused on the passage.

If you would like a taste of who John Calvin was, not simply as the historical figure that you've heard about, but a closer examination of his life and ministry, then I would like to highly recommend this book.  You can get a hard copy through Amazon, but the Desiring God website has a free ebook (that's where I picked it up).

If you read it, let me know what you think.


The Dragon's Curse

I found The Dragons Curse by J.J. Abrams with the free books on Amazon.  I noticed it because it was J.J. Abrams... I think the same J.J. Abrams known for his work in television and movies.  It was free, so I picked it up.

The book's description on Amazon:
An innkeeper's son is entrusted with a dragon egg, leading to a quest to restore the ancient race of dragons to their former glory.
The setting was definitely medieval times.  No description was given of the time or place.  The kings and kingdoms are not mentioned in detail, but only in passing, focusing on the boy and his grandfather. Though there was definitely some predictable aspects of the story, there were also a couple of twists and turns along the way.

One particular aspect that I enjoyed was that the boy was continually respectful to his parents and others throughout the book.  So often there is the expected rebellious hero that has to go through a series of issues with the parents and other authorities, which leads to other complications in the story.  This book didn't go that route.  The parents were also portrayed as open-minded and wise, something that lacks in so much literature geared towards the preteen and teen crowd.

I would recommend this book.  I am going to try to get one of my kids to read it.  Like I said, it was geared toward the younger crowd, but it definitely portrayed a respect and wisdom of the adults in the book.  There was also the promotion of good character and the value of hard work and that finding your place doesn't always mean leaving.

I don't think the kindle book is still free, but it is still an affordable price.  Click on through to Amazon and check it out.