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Showing 1-10 of 22 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 33 reviews
on November 13, 2012
I am such a fan of Steven James! I simply couldn't pass this one up. I am very glad I didn't. Enlightening, inspiring, and thought-provoking this book will jump start your heart and make your soul stand at attention! I laughed, I cried, and I learned so much about myself and about the temptations we all face. I was able to relate to biblical characters that were once just people on the page. Mr. James writes them, and their stories, in such a masterful way that they jump off the page, they come alive, and you are right there with them! The stories really put me "there" and allowed for me to have such a deeper understanding. I found my walk with the Lord to be much closer and intimate as I continued to read. There are so many wonderful examples and bits of wisdom within the pages that is very hard to pick just one. Among many passages that I highlighted is this: "God allows us to make the choice between safe but fatal skepticism or dangerous but life-giving faith. Real life lies on the edge of a dare." I found myself suddenly thankful for hardships, misfortune, and especially unanswered prayers... for God's "wake up calls" when I have become numb in my comfort and security. I will not settle here and invest my future in the wrong place! Thank you, Mr. James for entertaining my mind with your thrilling suspense series, for inspiring me to work harder to be a better writer and story-teller, but most of all for sharing such insights that stir my soul and drive the messages home-- straight to the heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has not read it yet! I'm reading through it for the third time now. ;)
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on February 15, 2013
My husband is a huge Steve James fan and he recommended that I take a look at his book "Flirting with the Forbidden." I know that Steve James is known for Christian suspense fiction, but also writes in other genres as well, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a beautiful gem of a book that has wonderful insight while being entertaining.

Each chapter of this book begins with an account from a character in the Bible. Steven James gives us a fictional account that builds on the Biblical account of that person. We can get a grasp for what that person, whether it's Joseph, or a Jewish mourner, or even a disciple, might have been thinking as they recount a specific incident in the Bible. This brought the stories to life in a whole new way for me. Then he goes even further by adding a thoughts and study ideas to go along with the key points from the fiction story. This adds depth and richness to the story and really helps people apply those truths to their own lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could see it being used for small group study in addition to just individual reading. The writing is excellent and the concepts are well thought out and deal with real issues that we all face. I highly recommend "Flirting with the Forbidden."
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on December 29, 2013
Everyone tends to flirt with the forbidden. Even when they don't intend to. As Steven clearly points out, we're no better than our ancestors and our ancestors were no better than us. Even the best-of-the-best are shown to have gone through temptations, and were human.
Each chapter has the same structure:
First-person view of a specific person dealing with a specific time in their life. A direct Biblical reference (I was stunned that I completely missed a part in the Gospels where Pilate's wife had a dream and wrote about it to give to him dealing with Jesus, read it myself and, yep... it's there!) to where the story came from. A relevant, applicable meaning to the whole chapter and how to deal with it Biblically.
Steven doesn't sugarcoat how temptations can feel to any of us, so it can get uncomfortable for some, but it's necessary to face evil in the face rather than be timid and shy. So I'm glad there's authors like Steven that doesn't censor evil, no matter the form it takes. Keep encouraging us, we need it!
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Things are important only because of the stories around them, so begins the author. Instead of things, Steven James re-tells several Bible stories around certain themes. Stories like Cain/Abel, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, Hannah's silent struggle, David/Bathsheba, Solomon, Naomi/Ruth, stories of Jesus, the wedding at Cana, Lazarus, Paul/Barnabas, and several others.

Some readers may be wondering if the author has taken too much liberty with the Bible characters in the paraphrasing. The author freely acknowledges that, taking some 'creative license' and at the same time maintain respect and regard for the Bible stories. In doing so, the author has hoped that the re-telling will have made the Biblical scene more vivid and easier for modern readers to identify with. I think this is a very novel way of bridging the ancient texts for contemporary eyes. Positively, it brings the characters alive. Negatively, some parts are fiction, and new readers may not be able to tell the which parts are truly in the Bible or not. Paraphrasing has its limitations after all. Having said that, I think there is something more valuable apart from the re-telling of the stories. The small nuggets of wisdom and learning at the end of each chapter are clearly the gems readers must not miss out.

Initially, the book reads a little strange, as I find myself constantly comparing and contrasting what the author says versus what the Bible says. While some instances are fictional, there are certain areas which the author has helped to expand, which throws new light on an old story. For example, the conversations between Paul and Demas, prior to Demas forsaking the mission team and even the faith, is a worthy read. In summary, the first-person narrative makes the retelling of the story very much alive and enjoyable. The nuggets of wisdom set forth plenty of applications for the layperson.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.

conrade

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
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on March 13, 2012
If you're looking for some good devotional reading, try this. It's about finding grace in a world of temptation, but far more insightful than the trite guilt-inducing reminders not to cheat on my taxes or lust after a beautiful woman. Indeed, there are so many other ways in which I am tempted to do and be what I do not want to do or be. James demythologizes 15 biblical heroes so we can see them as real people who struggle as we do with things large and small, and he does this with superb storytelling skill that makes his considerations a joy to explore.
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on June 12, 2014
I've read fiction by Steven James, The Bower Series, and loved his writing, so I began purchasing his non-fiction work. All three of the books I've read so far have been very insightful and caused me to think deeper on my Christian walk. Our small group of guys bought this book to read through together and were not disappointed. "Sailing Between the Stars" is also worth picking up.
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on September 5, 2012
Have read all the fictional books by this author and was surprised to see this book recently. I've read this book about 3 times now! I really like how this author weaves a story around bible scripture to add feeling to the characters. He also adds his own experience/thoughts to each chapter as well as some tips to avoiding sin. This book is so good that a group of us are reading and discussing it as part of our Bible Study group.
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on November 30, 2014
This is the kind of book you read for thought provoking contemplation. It forces you to consider something you know a little about in a whole new way. It accomplishes that purpose but is somewhat disjointed in its approach. I would recommend it but would not reread it.
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on September 6, 2013
Reading the Bible was one of those things I did, but always took it at face value. Steven James makes those stories come alive, digging deeper into the familiar until they're literally unforgettable. I will never read the Bible the same again.
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on January 7, 2014
I already love Steven James, so anything he writes works for me. I am glad he wrote a devotional type book. It is genuine, interesting, and very very relatable. My favorite part of the book is the fact James is honest about himself, and the victorious ending.
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