Book Reviews: Christian Living

Pentecostal Fire: Your Supernatural Inheritance

Larry Sparks (©2022); Rating: 4

This book is about returning to what made the first-century church so powerful and effective. Twenty-five well-known pastors and evangelists wrote endorsements for the book. The author explains how the church drifted away from its roots, why our prayers for revival and heaven to “come down” once again are misdirected, and how we can facilitate a genuine spiritual renewal for ourselves and other believers.

Shattering Your Strongholds: Freedom From Your Struggles

Liberty Savard (©1992); Rating: 4

The author’s application of “binding and loosing” clearly gets results and affects people’s lives. Scripture only records two instances of Jesus using these terms and both are very general: “whatever you bind … whatever you loose” (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). Because Jesus’ statements were so general, we can use the principle to address strongholds, as the author does; a general principle used for a specific application. However, I believe the key is exercising our spiritual authority against strongholds of false beliefs, regardless of the specific words we use.

Your Kingdom Come: Unlocking the Miraculous Through Faith and Prayer

Daniel Kolenda (©2011); Rating: 5

The author clearly and powerfully explains the purposes and proper usage of prayer in this valuable guidebook. God has given us not only the authority but also the responsibility to influence matters on earth, which we do primarily through prayer. Prayerful intercession can only be done by humans and Jesus, the Son of Man, is our example by always interceding for us. Kolenda points out that as long as the enemy can convince us we’re powerless and our prayers don’t matter, we’ll have little positive impact on earth.

The Kingdom System: A Pattern for Guaranteed Success

Charlie Lewis (©2013); Rating: 5

It seems most Christians aren’t aware of God’s kingdom and many who are don’t understand its significance to our daily lives. The author presents useful and practical insight to our position and role in God’s kingdom. A key point is that, while most Christians are concerned about the gifts and blessings we receive from God, he’s concerned about the return or increase he receives on what he gave us; that is, our faithfulness to him and his kingdom is the issue. I’m looking forward to reading this book again.

The Overcomer’s Anointing: God’s Plan to Use Your Darkest Hour as Your Greatest Spiritual Weapon

Barbara J. Yoder (©2009); Rating: 5

This is a powerful explanation of an experience almost all Christians have but few understand. The author examines Bible passages and uses her personal experiences to help us see how God uses our darkest, seemingly hopeless situations for our benefit. Whether we call them wilderness experiences or dark nights of the soul, we need to know how to respond to these important experiences and this book provides invaluable insight. The book is understandable and skillfully written. A must read.

Derek Prince on Experiencing God’s Power

Derek Prince (©1988); Rating: 5

This is a collection of nine short books by Derek Prince in a single volume. The book makes it clear why the author was one of the world’s most-admired Bible teachers. It contains very understandable explanations of scripture, timeless truths and life-changing insights. Topics include the Holy Spirit’s activities in each believer, healing, God’s remedy for rejection, the marriage covenant, a biblical perspective of money, the importance and impact of what we say, how to fast successfully and why, the value of combining prayer and fasting, and spiritual warfare. Regardless of your spiritual condition, I’m confident you’ll find several of these topics helpful.

Spiritual Avalanche: The Threat of False Teachings that Could Destroy Millions

Steve Hill (©2013); Rating: 4

Based on a vision from God, the book uses snow-skiing and avalanches as visual images representing the dangers of false teachings prevalent in today’s churches. I’ve never snow-skied, but the author’s explanations of the dangers associated with it are interesting and understandable, which then helps the reader understand the dangers presented by false doctrines. As the author explains, the remedy to false doctrines is to carefully examine the Bible, especially the words of Jesus – the “words in red.” The book is easy to read and important for believers at all levels of spiritual maturity.

Create Your World: Activating Your God-Given Power to Create Realms and Atmospheres

Patricia King (©2012); Rating: 4

The author’s premise is that we have God-given authority to create a life of blessing, favor and success. The problem is that most of us don’t realize we have that authority or don’t know how to use it to achieve our destinies, but the author identifies multiple keys to doing this effectively. She legitimately cautions against idolizing one’s wealth or personal success, and advocates “strategic worship” by focusing on the attributes of God’s nature. The book includes practical recommendations based on scripture, her life experiences and scientific evidence.

Living Among Lions: How to Thrive Like Daniel in Today’s Babylon

David & Jason Benham (©2016); Rating: 4

I highly recommend this book, written by two young men with a message every Christian needs to hear and take to heart. It’s an easy read and biblically accurate, showing how we’re to focus on serving the people in our culture rather than our own well-being, serving as light rather than cursing the darkness. I especially enjoyed the “Benham Principles” at the end, a list of their main points which we could use as guiding principles for life.

The Spirit Contemporary Life: Unleashing the Miraculous in Your Everyday World

Leon Fontaine (©2016); Rating: 4

This is a fascinating and insightful book about the author’s experiences as he learned how to be an authentic Christian in today’s culture. He explains how we can and must be relevant to everyday life, meeting people’s needs miraculously yet in a natural and loving way. He encourages us to get back to the basics of real Christianity by presenting the reality of God’s love to the world that desperately needs him, even if they don’t realize it.

Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today and Forever (10th Anniversary Edition)

John Bevere (©2016); Rating: 5

John Bevere does it again! He skillfully explains how biblical revelation of our eternal future should motivate us in life, knowing that what we do now affects both where and how we’ll spend eternity. As he states, “when we stand before our Creator, it is too late for a do-over.” An excellent book for individual or group study, with discussion questions after each section.

UNDENIABLE: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America

First Liberty Institute (©2013-2017); Rating: 4

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in America dedicated to defending religious liberty. This document, which is available for download, summarizes attacks on religious liberty in four areas of American culture: the public arena (government, public places, the workplace), education, religious institutions and the U.S. military. The survey includes descriptions of specific cases investigated by Liberty Institute, and simply browsing through the pages reveals the extent of not just domestic opposition to religious practice, but increasing hostility that leads to persecution. What we see today are not isolated events, but evidence of a growing and dangerous trend which will continue if we refuse to challenge it.

Operating in the Courts of Heaven: Granting God the Legal Right to Fulfill His Passion and Answer Our Prayers

Robert Henderson (©2014); Rating: 3

This book explains many of the otherwise confusing scenes we see and statements we read in the Bible. God operates by standards and protocols he established, which from our human perspective we’d call a legal-judicial system. The author uses human terminology and understanding to describe an overlooked aspect of our relationship with God, as well as the rights and responsibilities we have as a result of that relationship. It’s time we begin viewing our interaction with the spiritual realm from a legal-judicial perspective. Three stars only because I believe the author stretches the context of some biblical passages to make them fit his point; his message, however, is totally accurate.

Aligning with Heaven: Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest

Dr. David Herzog (©2015); Rating: 4

This is a combination of new and old themes from a different perspective. The author presents biblical wisdom, revelation and knowledge as keys to receiving what God promises. He describes the value of identifying seasons and locations that provide greater access to God’s presence, and the importance of acting within the protocols of heaven. If we’re wanting greater effectiveness in life, including spiritual matters, we’d be wise to align ourselves with God and the way he works.

Birthing the Miraculous: The Power of Personal Encounters…

Heidi Baker (©2014); Rating: 5

If God has given you a promise that seems totally impossible – as promises from God almost always are – then this book is for you. It’s Heidi Baker’s firsthand account of how God led her through countless humanly impossible steps to touch millions of children with his love and mercy.

Baker writes that there may be a steep price for the promises God’s given us, but if we honor our relationship with him, we’ll pay the price. It’s easy to hear a great prophetic word but often it’ll be costly and challenging to do our part to “give birth” to it. We must decide to nurture the promises God gives us and believe they’ll be accomplished, especially when we see no evidence. Each day we must faithfully make choices and decisions that align with the promises and nurture them as they grow. “The Lord wants to take you beyond who you are and what you can do.”

Though my experience hasn’t been as dramatic as Baker’s, I can relate to her struggles and perseverance. I found this book to be very encouraging, and you probably will, too.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Eric Metaxas (©2010); Rating: 2

I was overwhelmed by the historical detail, much of which amounted to trivia. I’m glad so many people enjoyed the book, but I couldn’t finish it.

Find other book reviews by Larry Fox