Personal Faith, Public Policy
By Harry R. Jackson Jr. and Tony Perkins,
FrontLine, hardcover, 256 pages, $21.99.
Is the Religious Right splintering, infighting and growing irrelevant, as pundits and politicos suggest? No, say Harry R. Jackson Jr. and Tony Perkins, who argue the contrary in Personal Faith, Public Policy. The movement isn’t falling apart, they contend, but adapting instead to a changing political environment. It is “poised for greater influence” if Christians will unify over seven core values—human life, immigration, poverty and justice, racial reconciliation, religious freedom, marriage and family, and the environment. The authors discuss these with regard to America’s moral integrity and attempt to lay out a strategy for enacting change. While doing so, Jackson, founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition in Washington, D.C., and Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, provide a capsulated history of the political movement founded by the late Jerry Falwell and other conservative Christians. Though Jackson and Perkins successfully argue that the Religious Right is poised to influence America, one chapter alone (“Taking the Land”) isn’t enough to provide a definitive strategy for change.
The Reformation Manifesto
By Cindy Jacobs, Bethany House,
hardcover, 208 pages, $19.99.
Prophetic intercessor and international conference speaker Cindy Jacobs sends out an urgent SOS to the body of Christ in her new book, The Reformation Manifesto. She points out that other social and political groups through the ages found the courage to adamantly declare their views and see that they be incorporated into the culture and into government laws across the globe. Jacobs, founder of Generals International, says it is now time for the people of God to stand up and see the culture changed for the sake of righteousness. This caliber of reformation—the Martin Luther kind of reformation—which Jacobs promotes began with the prayer movement and will end with the people of God taking action against the systems of the world through godly strategies. This soul-stirring, passionate book outlines those strategies and stands as formal documentation that God’s ways will prevail.
God’s Unfolding Battle Plan,br>
By Chuck D. Pierce, Regal Books,
softcover, 224 pages, $14.99.
Chuck D. Pierce reveals eight structures of war that believers must become aware of in the end times: mind war, blood war, time war, presence-and-glory war, power war, wealth war, war of the nations and harvest war. Readers should expect to be well-informed about who they are and what belongs to them; how to secure and protect their covenant blessings; how to discern rightly between good and evil; how to recognize satanic influences in economics, times and laws; how to gain a clear understanding of the war over blood; and the significance of the conflicts in the Middle East. Pierce also equips readers to face battle as he teaches on night watches, worship warfare and knowing the enemy. This is an all-encompassing volume for believers who seek to advance with the armies of God against the forces of darkness.
The Beautiful Fight
By Gary Thomas, Zondervan,
272 pages, hardcover, $18.99.
Best-selling author Gary Thomas views a holy man or woman as a “spiritual force” and a “God-oasis” for weary souls. He says the “beautiful fight” to become holy and transformed into the image of Christ is the Christian’s duty to pursue. Thomas, with the boldness of John the Baptist crying out a radical message, uses references from Christians throughout history to show the high cost of Christ-likeness. The book has three sections that work together to demonstrate how faith and continued surrender to Christ transform Christians who, in turn, impact others. The body becomes God’s “servant” and “instrument of peace.” A Christian’s eyes become God’s eyes, seeing with compassion. Their mouths speak Christ’s words of encouragement. Their hands heal instead of hurt. Their feet take them to places where there is a need. Thomas’ hope is that Christians become authentic vessels who are available to God and are not merely focusing on themselves. If you are hungry for a deeper walk with God, this book will encourage you to pursue Him.
Tracee N. Mason
Shifting Shadows of Supernatural Experiences
By James W. Goll and Julia Loren,
Destiny Image, softcover, 244 pages, $15.99.
The mention of “supernatural experiences” can elicit a variety of responses, including joy, fear, confusion and blank stares. James W. Goll and Julia Loren come to the rescue with an organized, biblically based examination of such topics as out-of- body experiences, dreams, visions, trances and miracles. Using contemporary and biblical examples, the authors even venture into areas usually ignored, such as near-death experiences and supernatural manifestations involving children. But equally important is the discussion of how to discern the origin of the various experiences, whether from the Holy Spirit, the human soul or the realm of evil spirits. Goll and Loren write in an easily understandable style. They invite readers to explore the vast array of experiences the Holy Spirit still uses today.
By Leeland, Essential Records.
When Leeland burst onto the scene with much pomp and circumstance two years ago, the young guns actually managed to live up to the hype in convincing fashion. The next challenge: Prove it wasn’t a fluke. The group does just that on sophomore release Opposite Way—a near-perfect exercise in balancing vertical worship and horizontal edification. On “Count Me In,” Leeland accept their divine calling with a punchy, staccato bass line and 1990s-inspired modern-rock guitar riffs. Another highlight is the title track, which tells how Jesus sacrificed His life so we might run the “Opposite Way” of sin and death. At times, Leeland maintains a poetic approach but more often espouses a straightforward lyrical style that might remind some of the late Keith Green (for example, “Enter This Temple” and “Thief in the Night”). If you missed Leeland’s first effort, don’t make the same mistake twice. Opposite Way is chock full of instant classics that will leave you clamoring for more from this buzz band turned legitimate music industry player.
Right Now Praise
By Jonathan Nelson & Purpose, Integrity Gospel.
Jonathan Nelson is regarded as one of gospel music’s in-demand songwriters. He has been compared to gospel greats Donald Lawrence and Fred Hammond in his ability to incorporate prophetic messages in music to encourage the spirit and soul. But Nelson has a style all his own. For debut Right Now Praise, Nelson & Purpose pulled out all the stops to deliver a solid collection of soul-stirring music. The CD kicks into high gear with such declarative anthems as “Champions” and “My Name Is Victory.” They also articulate their soulful melodies and moving worship on such songs as “Bettah,” “Drench My Heart,” “Fill My Cup/I Need the Lord Medley,” and Nelson’s personal anthem “Right Now Praise,” featuring Jason Nelson, Jonathan’s twin brother. This album is a musical jewel and is destined as a future classic to be embraced by all who listen.
A Cry From Iran
JFA Productions/Open Doors International, $12.99.
First screened in September in Los Angeles, this moving 54-minute documentary won six first-place awards at various film festivals. It poses a vivid reminder that beliefs have consequences—and for nearly a dozen martyrs in Iran since 1979, eternal ones. A Cry From Iran centers on the ultimate price paid by Assemblies of God (AG) pastor Haik Hovsepian. Although more than 14 years have passed since his death, the circumstances around it are as fresh as today’s headlines.
Hovsepian was brutally stabbed after successfully pressuring his nation’s hard-line, theocratic government to waive the death sentence of an Iranian convert whose only “crime” was departing from the Islamic faith. Yet, as the film makes clear, the noted evangelical leader’s death was the culmination of hostility and death threats that stalked him for decades. Nor did the killing stop with Hovsepian. Just five months after the campaign that freed him, Mehdi Dibaj became a martyr. The slayings continue today, with four AG figures among the victims. Although this oppression may spark animosity, at Hovsepian’s funeral Brother Andrew reminded Christians of the correct response: To treat “Islam” as an acronym that stands for “I Sincerely Love All Muslims.”