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Bryan E. Leed "Jesus says, 'Go and Sin No More!" RSS Feed (Dayton, OH USA)

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Dwight Yoakam: A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (American Music Series)
Dwight Yoakam: A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (American Music Series)
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The best Dwight Yoakam biography anywhere, October 25, 2013
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I thought this was a really good book about Dwight Yoakam and his musical career. It gives some decent references to his personal life, but it is mostly about his career in the public eye.

The writing is very straightforward. Some other reviewers have said that the writing is a little bit abstract. I feel like the author always got straight to the point, in plain language. It is very easy to follow what is going on.

Sometimes the writer explains the musical environment going on around Yoakam. So he might spend a few pages talking about the music scene in that city or in the country, instead of specifically about Dwight. I did not mind this at all. I learned some things about other musical artists from this era that I did not know before.

I feel that I got my money's worth. You will probably like this book as much as you like Dwight Yoakam the musical artist.

Magician / Gershwin & Kern
Magician / Gershwin & Kern
Price: $13.49
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Sound Quality on this Off Brand CD, Well Worth Buying!, October 3, 2013
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I am very happy with the sound quality on this CD, even though it is not from a major recording label. I think it sounds better than the major label CDs for "Concert By The Sea" and "Body & Soul," which are both from the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series.

This CD is a combined CD of two separate Erroll Garner albums, originally released in his lifetime, "Magician" and "Gershwin & Kern." Erroll covers plenty of well-known tunes on this CD, not songs that Erroll made famous, but he plays songs that other folks made famous. On this CD, he often starts out by doing some discordant jazz tinkling, then sliding into the well-known tune, and staying in tune for the rest of the song. There is plenty of Erroll's famous mumbling in the background, for those who enjoy his irreverence. The mumbling is there if you listen for it, but not loud enough to distract from the piano playing. Erroll's mumbling makes the piano playing more enjoyable, as every Erroll Garner fan already knows.

What sets this apart from the Columbia albums that I mentioned is that the bass and percussion are recorded and mixed better than on "Concert by the Sea" and "Body & Soul," in comparison. "Concert by the Sea" and "Body & Soul" feature bass and percussion that sounds muted, if it was even recorded nicely to begin with, they sound as though they only exist if the piano microphone accidentally recorded them.

"Magician/Gershwin & Kern" has good audio separation between the different musicians. It is still mostly Erroll's piano, but the bass and drummer sound like they were recorded and mixed separately. You will even hear an organ in the background on occasion.

This is a pretty interesting Erroll Garner CD that will provide over an hour of enjoyable listening. I listen to it in the car with my dad, the true Erroll Garner fan in my family. He seems to enjoy it as much as any other Erroll Garner album.

The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas
The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas
by Jonah Goldberg
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $25.73
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio CD Version is Read by the Author, a Great Book on CD, May 1, 2012
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The audio CD versionThe Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas of "The Tyranny of Cliches" is read by the author himself, Jonah Goldberg. It is a very fun book to listen to because Jonah has given this a serious effort to put emphasis on the best words to make each point during his reading. This is not a boring, droning voice; on this audio CD, Jonah's voice if full of inflection. He is trying hard to supply an enjoyable listening experience for his audience; mission accomplished!

Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God
Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God
by David Platt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.17
202 used & new from $0.64

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, but the Author is NOT the Audio CD Reader!, May 3, 2011
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This is a great book for Christians who want to mature in the faith. It is shorter than the original bestselling "Radical," but it is also more to the point. It also helps correct some misunderstandings that Christian readers may have experienced with the previous book, (ex., we do NOT work our way into Heaven by giving up everything we own to become an international missionary, but we MIGHT end up doing that because we WANT to).

The author's writing is better, making "Radical Together" a much shorter book than "Radical" was, but it is nonetheless powerful. The writing is more to the point, so there is less fat to trim from the text while reading. Also, the author even seems beautifully poetic at times, in "Radical Together," as in the opening paragraph that compares Christians to a drop of water that eventually joins other drops of water to ultimately become a might force like the Amazon river!

This book is also more concise because it immediately spells out the handful of main points made throughout the book, which are all interesting and applicable, immediately edifying and helpful. Reading David Platt is often like suddenly seeing the obvious Bible teachings that have been hidden in plain sight for too long. He is not a perfect author, but there is no current Christian author that I know of who is better in the past couple of years!

I love reading the paperback version of this sequel, "Radical Together," which is a real page-turner, but I am disappointed that the author himself, David Platt, is not the reader on this Audio CD version. The author, David Platt, actually was the reader of the previous audio CD book, "Radical," which this book is a sequel to. I would recommend that you buy the original book on Audio CD to hear the author himself, instead of this sequel that is not read by the author.Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

I give this book 5 stars for good Christian teachings that have not been clarified elsewhere recently, but I give the Audio CD version a 1 star rating because they did not have the author reading the text, as was the case with the original book, "Radical."

The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command
The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command
by James Kalb
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $14.30

13 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Written Too "Smart" for Its Own Good, or the Readers, February 22, 2010
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"The Tyranny of Liberalism" was a disappointment for me because I could not finish it, I got about one third into it, but the writing level seemed to be purposely dense, as if to impress you that you can't read this sucker. I think it might be one of those books written as a college thesis or to beef up a scholarly resume', in which case, it truly is meant to seem too smart for mere mortals to comprehend.

I bought it because the ideas that I thought were discussed in it are interesting to me, but it is just not an accessible read for me.

When I was in the Air Force, whenever a report had to be written, the enlisted would get out a thesaurus and write really long sentences with uncommon words, trying to impress. Similarly, I took some film study courses in college, where the textbooks tried way to hard to seem "scientific" and "scholarly," by hiding behind really dense writing that was hard to read, as if being hard to understand was the same thing as teaching something really weighty and important.

That reminds me of this book, except this book's author seems to have some great ideas, he just seems to be having trouble explaining them to the reader. This book has really long sentences that are too complex to follow. It's like you have to struggle to understand the sentence structures. I can understand the ideas presented, but they just are not presented in a way that is easy to absorb.

I would instead recommend a conservative writer like Thomas Sowell, who is established as a wise writer of conservative thought, and he is very good at explaining the core forces at work in the struggle between liberal and conservative values. Intellectuals and Society A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2013 7:13 AM PST

John Calvin (Heroes of the Faith (Barbour Paperback))
John Calvin (Heroes of the Faith (Barbour Paperback))
by Sam Wellman
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aimed at Teen Readers but Too Detailed on Complex Theology, February 22, 2010
"John Calvin: Father of Reformed Theology" is the first book I have ever read about John Calvin. Everything I know about John Calvin is from this book.

This book is aimed at teen readers, but it will still take a serious adult many hours to read through the entire book.

Basically, what I learned from this book is that during the 1500s, John Calvin was a struggling, middle class scholar in France who gained some trouble and some acclaim for translating the Bible and writing influential commentaries, working in the shadow of the more influential Martin Luther who was his contemporary. Luther inspired Calvin to work harder with more depth.

John Calvin became a working pastor and scholar in Geneva, where he settled down with his wife, (she was a widow with two kids, John Calvin never fathered biological children himself). His career was constantly in and out of trouble with the locals and with the Catholic church in Rome, and the Protestant movement brewing across Europe, borne of Martin Luther in Germany, but Calvin was second only to Luther in influence, in the Protestant movement.

His major work, "Institutes," was a large summing up of Bible teachings, organized into categories, which he continually updated throughout his life.

After his death, his teachings are summed up with the acronym, TULIP, (Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saint). TULIP presents some of Calvin's writings posthumously deemed controversial as much as it seems to misrepresent John Calvin's theological focus. Calvin had many enemies who were glad to hurt his reputation by misrepresenting Calvin's teachings.

As far as inspirational content in this book, I guess the most developed idea that I got from this book was how even God's most influential workers can be bogged down with endless distractions, traumas, and poor health.

This book is not very balanced in its coverage. It is kind of uneven with its momentum and time line, sometimes dwelling for too long on certain times and topics in Calvin's life and teachings, other times seeming to skim through too quickly. It also seems to get bogged down in more complex theological arguments, instead of presenting Calvin's teachings in a simpler overview that might be more expected for a book aimed at teens.

Billy Sunday, Home Run to Heaven (Sowers)
Billy Sunday, Home Run to Heaven (Sowers)
by Robert A. Allen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.91
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Decent, Compact Look at Billy Sunday's Entire Life and Career as a Famous Preacher, November 24, 2009
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This book is a good introduction to the life of Billy Sunday. You can then decide if you want to read more about him or if you have learned enough about him.

This is a book written for teens, it is somewhat brief and to the point, not going too far in-depth, with a drawing to open each chapter. I learned a lot about Billy Sunday's life and career, from his Civil War father whom Billy never met, to his mother giving up Billy and his brother to a soldier's orphanage, to Billy getting discovered and recruited into professional baseball, to Billy getting Saved and becoming the most famous preacher of his era.

The book is a relatively quick read. Too long to read in one sitting, but easy to finish in a week's worth of reading sessions.

A much better book for those who love much longer reads would be "Billy Sunday: 1862-1935. The Life and Works of the Baseball Evangelist," by Elijah P. Brown. Billy Sunday: The Life and Work of the Baseball Evangelist (Ambassador Classic Biography Series)

Billy Sunday: The Life and Work of the Baseball Evangelist (Ambassador Classic Biography Series)
Billy Sunday: The Life and Work of the Baseball Evangelist (Ambassador Classic Biography Series)
by Elijah P. Brown
Edition: Paperback
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting as a Book First Published During Sunday's Evangelical Career, 1913, November 24, 2009
Though this book seems to gush too much praise over Billy Sunday, it is equally interesting as being an authentic artifact from Sunday's lifetime, an authorized biography!

Billy Sunday was an early baseball professional, playing alongside early baseball Hall of Famers like Cap Anson, who discovered and recruited Billy, but Billy later gave up his baseball career to preach the Gospel and fight the alcohol trade in the days of Prohibition. He preached famously for about 4 decades, into the 1930s, and was sort of like a rowdy rockstar in his onstage preaching delivery, jumping around the stage, picking up chairs as if to throw them at the devil, leaning over the stage and over the crowd. He drew big crowds for his day, VERY big crowds for his day. His tours were well orchestrated and encompassed weeks of community planning and participation, culminating in a week of Billy Sunday live sermons, which were heavily reported in the newspapers of the day, though since forgotten or overshadowed by radio and television era preachers since, like Billy Graham. We can easily say that Billy Sunday was the equivalent of Billy Graham in the public eye of his era.

It is interesting to see and read a biography of Billy Sunday which is from this era, receiving Billy's blessing. The dedication page of this book shows Billy Sunday's handwritten note that praises the author, other than that, there is no further information about the author anywhere.

There is no copyright date of publication in the opening pages of this informative book about Billy Sunday, but it can be calculated from hints in the text that this book was first published in 1913, putting it about one third of the way into Billy's long and famous preaching career. Page 15 gives his date of birth as November 19, 1862, then page 183 says Billy is 50 years old. Pages 175 and 177 provide similar proofs based upon the children of Billy Sunday.

The book has several surprising family photos, reproduced surprisingly well in this book, featuring portraits and photos of Billy's parents -- how about Billy's father, whom Billy never met, wearing his Civil War uniform in a posed photo -- now THAT is rare to me. There are also photos of other family members, as well as photographic documentation of the kind of revival meetings that Billy Sunday was famous for, all in the days before modern PA systems to amplify his voice. There were no microphones used in this 1913 era, just a silent, BIG crowd hanging on every word from the preacher, in a tent especially arranged for his voice to carry in.

The book chronicles the main landmarks of Billy's life, starting in his early years when his destitute mother had to give up her two sons to an orphanage, into Billy getting discovered and playing professional baseball, then on into Billy getting Saved and beginning his mission to evangelize the common people of the Midwest.

There are many long quotes from newspapers of the day, which get monotonous, but prove that the fame, popularity and influence were for real.

The book ends with several sermons by Billy Sunday. These are sometimes inspiring to me, but are filled with too much contemporary talk of the era. Maybe I just don't get the references as well as they did back in 1913. I find Billy Sunday to be interesting regardless of what I think about his sermons, because Sunday is a stepping stone in the line of famous American preachers. He doesn't corrupt Bible teachings, though I feel that he could have done more verse quoting, but he's the famous preacher of his day, not me.

If you are curious about Billy Sunday, then this book is well worth reading!

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
by R. Crumb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.63
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Crumb Artwork Sprinkled with Poisonous Editorial Comments, November 4, 2009
I will give this book a 5-star rating, because I love Robert Crumb with brotherly love, and I want to encourage him to do more Bible study, and 5-stars are well-deserved for the great artwork, but as a Christian witnessing tool this book earns a 1-star rating, so Christians should be aware of the anti-belief editorial content within this book!

For any Christian considering this book, you should know that the author, Robert Crumb, is a very famous and highly regarded underground comic book artist from the 1960s, who has achieved acclaim as a fine artist. Crumb behaves himself in this "Genesis" book, but the main body of his career work is R and X-rated. R. Crumb is sort of like a very famous painter, like Picasso, perhaps, except that Crumb's field is comics art. He became famous for a style of art which is very "cute" in its appearance, yet shocking for its pornography and illegal drug references. Much of his work is his sexual fantasizing on paper, and his amusing or traumatic stories from his own life. Crumb fans really get to know the artist because his work is a tell-all rollercoaster ride!

I know a lot about Robert Crumb, which is very easy for any Crumb fan to do. Part of the appeal of R. Crumb is that much his work is heavily and deeply autobiographical. Many of his books, including this "Genesis," contain a Foreword written in his own handwriting, reminiscing about the contents and the work. There is also the ultimate biographical film, "Crumb," available on DVD, which is a look at a few years of his life circa 1990, where you meet many of the folks in his life and in his extremely dysfunctional family and childhood. I felt like I could understand R. Crumb because his family problems reminded me of my own upbringing, except Crumb's was at least 10x worse, but the feelings were similar. He is also the ultimate, stereotypical comic book nerd, who did things in the comics art field before anybody else. Crumb (Special Edition)

Before I became a Christian in 1998, I was a very big fan of Robert Crumb, but the R and X-rated content of much of his work made it unsuitable for a Christian household.

I wanted this book to be great, to be able to use it as a Christian witnessing tool, to get the attention of non-believers who would identify with the work of R. Crumb, and to then get a foot in the door for talking about Jesus and Bible teachings. Unfortunately, even though the artwork is great, as usual for this artist; Robert Crumb adds too many unbelieving comments which disqualify the book as a Christian witnessing tool.

The book does not necessarily use any standard Bible translation, instead relying heavily on the work of a professor from Berkeley. I think of Berkeley as the ultimate in non-believers, a place where one can study the Bible -- not to believe it better, but rather to debunk it better.

There is no, "In the Beginning," to kick off the proceedings in a classic way. That's too bad. I don't know why it is necessary to rewrite the most famous opening in literature, but that's what this book does. I don't believe that it is more accurate to rewrite it, and believing Bible teachers concur with me on this opening text. Look it up, believing writers don't complain that "In the beginning" is a bad translation.

Perhaps the biggest mistake in the work is when Crumb adds a footnote concerning Abram's meeting with the high priest Melchizedek, praising "El Elyon" whose name Crumb educationally points out is the name of a pagan Canaanite sky god. This is a major boo-boo for a non-believer to make, as Melchizedek is later reverently referred to in the Bible as an important, early type of Christ figure. Melchizedek is IMPORTANT in the Bible, and Abram and Melchizedek do NOT pray to a pagan Canaanite sky god, as the footnote might lead the reader to believe incorrectly.

Psalm 110:4
"The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.'"

Hebrews 6:20
"...where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

In R. Crumb's version of Genesis, he unwittingly debunks this important Christ-like figure as if Melchizedek is a merely a pagan Sumerian god. This is right in line with unbelieving scholars who relentlessly try to destroy the foundations of the Bible by teaching how it is just a mish-mash of forgotten pagan beliefs, etc. Is it possible that forgotten pagan beliefs are likely a mish-mash of the true story that God has protected to survive thousands of years, instead of the opposite that non-believers teach?

This is poisonous for believers to be assaulted with while reading Scripture and it is just plain incorrect. A good, believing Bible teacher would confirm that it is certainly NOT meant as a reference to a Sumerian pagan god. John MacArthur, my preferred Bible teaching author, says that exact thing in his study Bible. concerning this verse in question. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible Large Print

This non-believing aspect is admitted by Crumb in his Foreword. Crumb respects the Bible's longevity, but does not believe it to be the Word of God, and Crumb says so in this book. That's turns out to be the problem that I have with the book, because there are too many comments that are negative for believers to truly enjoy Crumb's version of Genesis. It's like being served a truly great steak dinner, but knowing that a little poison has been sprinkled throughout, making it less desirable to enjoy.

To be fair, in this book R. Crumb says he approached the work as a straight illustration job, with no intentions of being disrespectful, and with great reverence for the seriousness which millions of people give to the Bible. He kept his word. The artwork is Crumb at his best, despite his advanced, senior years, (like an old blues musician, Crumb gets better as he ages), but, unfortunately, Crumb admits to being a non-believer in the pages of this book, and he adds many comments that disqualify it from being a good tool for Christian witnessing.

In the back of the book there are further comments from Crumb, mentioning a feminist writer who seems to have influenced his view of the Bible. This is just as bad as the Berkeley author's influence.

There are two kinds of Bible teachers, those who want to encourage and strengthen your belief, and those who want to destroy your faith. Know who you are studying under! The Bible is meant to teach you how to live and how to prepare for your eternal afterlife, through Christ Jesus alone. Why spend time with the Bible if you don't believe it? The Bible itself says that if it is not true, then believers are the most pathetic people and we are all without hope.

1 Corinthians 15:14
"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

Crumb dedicates this book to his wife, Aline. It is wise to listen to a wife who has a heart for the Bible and the Word of God, but you can't work your way into Heaven, no matter how nice your work is. The Bible teaches that all adults are sinners and on their way to eternal Hell, but God provides the sole escape -- true belief in Christ Jesus. You cannot please God with good works from an unbelieving heart. The Bible says so.

Hebrews 11:6
"...without faith it is impossible to please God..."

I think Crumb would do better to re-edit this book, removing the anti-belief comments and footnotes, making it suitable for Christian believers, instead of anti-Christian deceivers. I would love for him to do some Bible study from a believing author instead of debunkers who do NOT believe. I would recommend my favorite contemporary Bible teacher and writer, John MacArthur.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2009 4:33 PM PST

Thru the Bible Commentary Vol. 01: The Law (Genesis 1-15)
Thru the Bible Commentary Vol. 01: The Law (Genesis 1-15)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Home-Spun Style that is Still Popular Decades After the Author's Death, October 28, 2009
I enjoy these radio transcription books of J. Vernon McGee's famous 5-year study of the Bible in 20-minute episodes. McGee is like a friendly Southern grandfather type who is very peaceful to listen to, (or read along with), while he tries to grow your faith. These radio episodes are still played daily, more than 20 years after McGee's death in the 1980s.

I don't necessarily agree with every single comment that he makes, but he is interesting to consider, and I usually agree with 95% or more of what he says about the Bible. Where we differ is pretty much NOT anything foundational, just peripheral things that I think are not worth arguing too hard over. If I really disagreed with McGee, I wouldn't read him at all, but McGee has been a favorite of mine ever since I became a Christian in 1998.

John MacArthur's NASB Bible, or his NKJV Bible, are better researched and more scholarly, but MacArthur only goes as in-depth in his New Testament commentary books, while McGee does both the complete Old and New Testaments in these in-depth books of his radio broadcasts.

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