When I heard that Levi Lusko was releasing a new book, I was so excited. I would consider him to be one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to purchase the book. However, it wasn’t until the book arrived at my doorstep that I realized how vast this book is. The other titles he released were more the less average length for Christian non-fiction and sold in paperback, while this title was only available in hardcover and was over 400 pages. When I finally sat down to read the book, I was in awe of how so many aspects of the space program and man’s attempts to go to the moon could connect back to Jesus’ death on the cross and our struggles to overcome our battles with our sinful nature. This is a book I can’t recommend enough ~ Bethel
So many of us struggle with the age-old battle of person versus self. There are so many places in our hearts and minds that seem as impossible to redeem as outer space itself. We long to be happy and feel fulfilled, but it seems elusive when these dark corners of our inner selves rear their ugly head. Many of us are unsure if we will ever find happiness or if our inner self can ever be conquered. It makes us ask the question: how are we supposed to conquer our inner space?
In his book The Last Supper on the Moon, Levi Lusko helps his readers discover how to conquer their inner space using surprising but insightful parallels between outer space and the moon landing in 1969. Starting with the story of astronaut Buzz Aldrin taking Holy Communion on the moon, Lusko creatively weaves a powerful connection between the mission to the moon, Christ’s death on the cross, and how Christ’s death impacts our ability to overcome our most personal struggles. Through a book of over 400 pages, Lusko takes his time driving deep into the details surrounding the moon landing, including the challenge from President Kennedy to get the moon before the end of the decade and the previous Apollo missions that enabled Apollo 11 to make its historic lunar landing. But beyond just sharing NASA history, he also takes time to examine the seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross as well as the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation and some of the Psalms. Tying all of it together with some powerful biblical truths and some personal illustrations from his life and family, this book provides inspiration from an unexpected source. While the trip to get to the “moon and back” is lengthier than it is for most books of this type, it is certainly a trip worth taking. If you allow yourself to take these truths to heart, you will never look at the moon the same way again.
I also used the audiobook book while reading the print book of this title and have to say that I really enjoyed it. There are a few aspects of the audiobook that make it unique. First, they inserted actual audio recordings from different space missions as well as a few of President Kennedy’s speeches. Second, Levi Lusko’s wife Jennie reads some parts of the book, such as the “Conquer Your Inner Space” sections as well as the letters to the churches in Revelation. Lastly, there are a few places in which Lusko himself adds additional stories or context that is not seen in the print book. Although there were sections of the audiobook that didn’t match with the print book, all of the unique aspects made for a great listening experience. If you like audiobooks, this one I highly recommend.
Audiobook Rating. The only thing I had an issue with was the inconsistency between the print book and the audiobook. While the supplementary parts were great, some sections almost sounded like it was recorded before the final edit was complete (Some words were omitted, some words were added, and some words were different). If you are just listening, this won’t be an issue, but since I was listening while reading, it was rather distracting in some sections. Other than this, I enjoyed the audiobook very much and would still recommend it.
I was not familiar with this author when I first heard about this book, but once I heard what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed this book as it reminded me of things that I have learned through my own trials and suffering, especially when it talked about bearing fruit during our most difficult circumstances. While most people do not think this way, I am learning what it means to be thankful, not despite the trials, but because of them. I was so grateful for the chance to be a part of the book’s launch team and look forward to reading more by this author in the future ~ Bethel
We all go through difficult circumstances and suffering. This fact was magnified and brought to the forefront by the 2020 pandemic. No matter the size or difficulty of the circumstance, suffering, pain, fear, worry, and uncertainty are all part of life, whether we like it or not. When it hits us unexpectedly, we often don’t know what to do and begin to feel overwhelmed. Some let the fear and worry consume their time and thoughts. Over let their pain harden them through anger and hatred. Others will isolate from others. None of these responses are healthy and tend to push us further away from a solution. For Christians, while we know that we have hope in Jesus, we often struggle to trust Him completely, especially when life is a mess. It makes us ask the question: how do we make it through our struggles when life is hard?
In his book You’re Gonna Make It, Daniel Fusco walks through what it looks like to unlock resilience and hold onto hope in the middle of suffering, worry, stress, and difficult circumstances. Using Scriptures like the book of Job, Isaiah 40:31, and some of the Psalms, Fusco reminds his readers that the Lord can become the source of our hope and strength during our greatest times of uncertainty and suffering if we look “upward, inward, and outward.” In fact, hope is found in the person who embodies hope and that person is Jesus Christ. If we choose to trust him through our troubles, we will find our resilience and bear fruit through them. This book has the same hope and grit that the author encourages his audience to find. Compelling and powerful, this is a book that any Christian would find encouragement from reading, especially in a post-pandemic world.
* I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
I had to read this book for Health class in high school. This might sound kind of strange, but it’s not when you understand that I attended a Christian school. They chose to split up the boys and the girls to talk about purity, as was common with youth groups at the time. I remember enjoying the study at the time since I was doing it the girls in my class. As I look back, I realize that there were good things I learned from this study and some things that had a negative impact on my perspective of purity and relationships. As was common of many Christian purity books and studies, there were many things that were taught during the purity movement that were not helpful or biblical grounded, while there were also other helpful that have been overshadowed by the negative impressions of this movement. As I look as this book and other books like it, I hope to identify the positive and negative elements to discern what still be useful for parents and youth leaders to teach students today ~ Bethel
In her book And the Bride Wore White, Dannah Gresh helps teen girls break down lies that many of us believe about sexuality and reveals seven “secrets” for living a life of sexuality purity. Through understanding these lies and presenting these keys to pursuing purity, Gresh is able to offer foundation truths about the way that God designed sex. The updated edition includes additional information on understanding purity, “celebration stories” of young women successes or redeemed failures in their pursuit of purity, and some letters directly at readers with specific struggles. While this book does have some great content and biblical truth, it falls into some of the pit falls of many of the teachings of the purity movement of the 90’s/2000’s. This book does a great job of helping readers understand that sex is a beautiful gift from God that we should wait until the right time and place to use. It also does a great job at addressing lies many of us believe about sex and offering practical tips to help readers live in purity. One of my favorite parts is its emphasis on purity embracing the wise guidance of parents, grandparents, and mentors, since that is something that many young people struggle to do. Overall, it has some great insights to help young women pursue sexual purity.
However, this book does have some issues. One of the “secrets” she suggest to achieve purity is to envision a godly husband, even suggesting that you should write down in a journal a description of your future husband. While I believe a young woman should figure out the qualities he wants in a future husband, the way that she suggests doing the exercise implies that you should even write down exactly how you expect him to look. Doing this exercise as a teen fueled different lies than addressed in the book. First, God often surprises us by doing things in His time and His way. It often doesn’t match up with what we picture for ourselves, especially when we get caught up in trivial details like his eye color or favorite movie. We aren’t even guaranteed a husband. We should instead be teaching young women to look at young men for their godly characteristics, like how responsible they are with money or how they treat their family.
This book also tends to struggle with leaving those who have failed in their pursuit of purity feeling like unforgivable because of the high emphasis on virginity. We need to make sure that young women understand that premarital sex, other types of sexual immorality, and abortion are not unforgiveable sins that make you “damaged goods.” Instead, if you do the work of repentance in those areas, they can can become scars that God can redeem for His glory and even turn into your greatest ministry to help others. One of the reasons young women struggle with confessing sexual sin is because there is so much shame associated with other people know their struggles. They will be more likely to open up about their struggles if we help them understand that redemption is their sexual past is possible.
I am grateful for what I learned from this book as a teen, and believe that even though some of the content has flaws, it could still have value for teens today, especially as a way to introduce purity to older pre-teen girls. Get your copy today.
I remember being quite curious when I heard about this book for the first time. I was in my fourth year of college and was enrolled in a reading course on apologetics, which meant that I had a long list of books I had to pick to read during the semester. I picked this one because the title sounded interesting, but I found this book to be so much more than I anticipated. I loved the premise and the sincere nature with which the content is presented. Even almost 10 years after reading it, I still think fondly of my experience reading it and what I learned from it. This review happens to be based on the book report I wrote for that college course. If you want to have a sincere and honest dialogue with skeptics in your life, I highly recommend this book ~ Bethel
In his book Letters from a Skeptic, Dr. Gregory Boyd takes a very unique premise in addressing the major questions of the Christian faith. Instead of just presenting theological arguments from the start, this book contains the correspondence between Dr. Boyd and his father Ed, a man who was a true skeptic of Christianity at the time. Dr. Boyd told his father to ask him any question he had about his faith and his father gladly accepted. Ed had many questions burning in his mind for a long time and many of them were legitimate questions of honest struggles, everything from the loss of his wife and the nature of suffering to the reliability of the Bible and everything in between. Their conversation was very civil, for Ed never told his son he was wrong and Greg was always patient and understanding with his father’s questions. Greg was hopeful that his father would someday come to understand this truth for himself. After about two years and a half years of writing these letters, Ed decided to give his life to Christ and he was transformed into a different person for the last 10 years of his life.
This is a wonderful book with one of the most unique approaches to this subject I have seen. It was incredible to see how Dr. Boyd was so clear and concise with the way he explained things to his father. His father could hardly argue with him. The honesty of the struggle on the part of Ed Boyd was also incredibly insightful. Seeing the struggles of someone unsure of who God is in a real-life situation was incredibly helpful. Greg’s persistence with helping his father see the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ was inspiring. This is a wonderful resource for apologetics, which I read entirely. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to defend their faith to a skeptic and possibly lead to them to Christ in the process.
I was so excited when I heard that Caleb Kaltenbach was going to be releasing another book on the topic of handling LGBTQ discussions and issues within the church. I was so encouraged and impacted by his first book Messy Grace that I knew I had to read this one. In the end, I found this book to be just as good and is a fantastic companion to Messy Grace. Speaking from his experience of being raised by gay parents, becoming a pastor, maintaining his convictions about the biblical definition of marriage, and still making how to love others and foster community with those who disagree with him, there is a wealth of wisdom to be gained from this book. Besides all this, I have to give him extra brownie points since he graduated from my alma mater, Ozark Christian College. If you read the first book, this one is a must-read. If you haven’t read either book, I highly recommend both of them together ~ Bethel
Living our lives in light of the truth can sometimes be messy. This is because we live in a world that at best undervalues the truth and at worst is dismissive of any form of objective truth. This can make it difficult for those that embrace truth to build community with those that only embrace truth subjectively. This principle is proven true when observing the LGBTQ community and its activists. Finding ways to walk the tightrope of balancing grace and truth for Christians towards these individuals is a journey that too few Christians and churches have embarked upon and those that do are often left with more questions than answers. It makes us ask the question: how do we build influence and an inclusive community without sacrificing our convictions?
In his book Messy Truth, Caleb Kaltenbach walks through ways in which Christians and church leaders can build inclusive communities without sacrificing theological convictions. Speaking from experience of years of pastoral work, Kaltenbach acknowledges the difficulties of balancing grace and truth and concludes that it is necessary to build the community and influence we need to reach those that need Christ’s love. We are reminded that more than our stances on the biblical definition of marriage or any other theological convictions, we need to see everything we meet those the lens of value they have as an image-bearer of God that Christ died to redeem, and that knowing their value should dictate how we treat them. We learn that we need to be willing to surrender all of our convictions and personal views to align with Christ, even if we disagree with Him. With these principles as the foundation, we can start using our influence to make our churches into places where the people we disagree with belong by acknowledging their experiences and learning to empathize with them. This will put you in the best position to walk alongside those who may be walking away from sinful choices or to confront them in a God-honoring way. The principles on how to prepare for and facilitate discussions are insightful and practical, regardless of the type of difficult conversation you are facing. This book needs to become a significant part of the conversation on how to unify churches when people disagree, not just about LGBTQ issues, but about any issue that has the potential to divide us. I was encouraged, impacted, and challenged by this book, and I believe you will be too. Get your copy today!
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
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