In the midst of the other things I have been doing in my life, I have been reading two more books for the Cross Focused Reviews team. Because of all the other things I am doing, I decided to review them in a single post. Hope that’s OK with everyone.
Ruth: From Bitter to Sweet is a Welwyn Commentary by John Currid. Commentaries are research books, which, by definition, are not designed to be read in a linear cover-to-cover fashion; I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to find myself reading more of a devotional than a standard commentary. I’m pretty familiar with Ruth, and this little volume didn’t have anything new or flashy to bring to the table. When it comes to commentaries that is always a mark in the “pro” column as far as I am concerned. Instead, it is a traditionally exegetical study of a book that many read as a beautiful love story, but few study as a part of the redemptive arc of scripture.
Currid takes great effort to root his study of Ruth in the book of Judges as they take place within the same time frame and does an excellent job of placing Ruth against that backdrop without letting Judges become the primary focus. He then makes a methodical and clearly organized exposition of the text. It is well written and well laid out, with excellent questions at the end of each chapter designed to apply the lessons of Ruth to a contemporary life. Despite the title “commentary”, this is a bible study and would be helpful for individual or group study on the book of Ruth. I would highly recommend it, and intend to go back to my review copy and use it for my private quiet times, now that I don’t have a deadline attached to it.
You, Your Family and the Internet: What Every Christian in the Digital Age Ought to Know by David Clark is a completely different book. Again on a subject with which I am fairly familiar, and dealing with some of the things about which I have blogged here, this book is an excellent resource. Clark is a professional within the tech field, and knows the subject of Information Technology with an intimacy few can boast, but he is also a firmly grounded believer who appears to root his principles and his practices in scripture. Neither in fear mongering, nor in band-wagon jumping, David Clark lays out a history of the technology most at use in our homes, presents dangers, concerns and practical benefits of each, and then applies scriptural principles to help guide contemporary families in their use of social media and information technology. I felt he presented a very balanced approach, discussing both the pitfalls of over connectedness and of technological ignorance.
This book is an excellent tool to assist contemporary families in making God honoring decisions regarding their use of the internet and related technology. Each chapter contains well researched data, strong biblical exhortation, and specific technical suggestions for the application of principle. This is a well balanced, well informed book and should be widely read within the Church.
You, Your Family & the Internet Ebook is free until December 31st if you click that sentence. If you’d prefer a physical book, clicking the title at the beginning of the book will take you to Amazon. (*updated with real link*)
The author has also been interviewed on this subject:
I received no compensation for this post. I was provided ebook editions for the purpose of review. I was not required to provide a positive one. I keep a disclosure statement here.