Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Daniel Cure: The Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health
By Susan Gregory and Richard J. Bloomer 
Zondervan, 2013
English, 336 pgs

One of the most popular fasts in recent years has been the Daniel Fast, a 21-day period of prayer and fasting based on the Old Testament prophet's fasts recorded in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10.

The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, in which certain foods are restricted and others are consumed. This fast is similar to a 'purified' vegan diet; in addition to the exclusion of all animal products, no additives, preservatives, sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, or processed foods are allowed.

With the Daniel Fast people can eat as much Daniel-Fast-friendly food as they would like. Though most people begin the Daniel Fast for a spiritual purpose, many are amazed by the physical transformation that takes place. Many with high cholesterol experience a drop to healthy levels; people who have wrestled with weight issues are suddenly able to lose the pounds. The vast majority of participants following the Daniel Fast report a general sense of well-being and increased energy.

Recent published scientific studies of the Daniel Fast have confirmed these findings, with additional benefits, such as a reduction in systemic inflammation, a reduction in blood pressure, and an improvement in antioxidant defenses.

The Daniel Cure will help readers take the next step by focusing on the health benefits of the Daniel Fast. By following the advice in this book, readers will convert the Daniel Fast from a once-a-year spiritual discipline into a new way of life that can begin any time of the year. In a nation suffering an epidemic of obesity and its resulting ills, The Daniel Cure may be just what the Great Physician ordered.

The Daniel Cure includes a 21-Day Daniel Cure Devotional, four chapters detailing the lifestyle diseases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation, eleven chapters of recipes and meal planning advice, a recipe index, complete nutritional guidance, and an appendix detailing 'The Science behind the Daniel Fast.'

This is a very descriptive book. It tells you a lot about the science behind the diet/fast. It is by no means an easy diet or lifestyle to adopt. It is something that should be undertaken after careful study, consideration and a discussion with your doctor about whether or not you can do this.

There are chapters and chapters about the science that is described in the book description. I appreciate that the authors make every effort to inform your decision. 

 The 21 day devotional and the recipes are the part that I really was interested in with this book. They're excellent. You get more than just a basic salad, shake or soup with these recipes. Of course, the authors also give a lot of help with meal planning and that will really help you stay on the diet. 

This is something that my husband and I have been interested in for a while and we're working toward being able to do the fast. We're weaning ourselves off caffeine and processed foods. The author is very careful to tell you not to just start this on one day. You have to rid yourself of the toxins from the junk in our foods and it is not an easy process. 

If you're looking for a good solid reference about the diet this is your book. You can always find more recipes online if you're not interested in the ones in the book.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a review on this blog and a commercial bookselling site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Stealing From God

Stealing From God
By Frank Turek
NavPress, 2014
English, 304 pgs

If you think atheists have reason, evidence, and science on their side, think again! Award-winning author Dr. Frank Turek (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist) will show you how atheists steal reason, evidence, science, and other arguments from God in trying to make their case for atheism. If that sounds contradictory, it’s because it is! Atheists can’t make their case without appealing to realities only theism can explain. In an engaging and memorable way, Stealing from God exposes these intellectual crimes atheists are committing and then provides four powerful reasons for why Christianity is true.

Frank Turek makes a salient case in Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God To Make Their Case that the atheist worldview unintentionally relies on theistic foundations from which it derives its order. Turek cleverly alliterates the theme of theft by assigning each of the six major chapters as C.R.I.M.E.S. – C-Causality, R-Reason, I-Information & Intentionality, M-Morality, E-Evil, and S-Science.

Each of these chapters takes apart the prevailing atheistic positions on the listed subjects and displays a clear logic that undermines the positions. The logic and discussion in each chapter is clear and presented in an easy-to-understand language. Turek’s obvious intention is to make his conclusion that God exists readily understood by virtually any reader. There is no slight-of-hand or logical obfuscation occurring here.

In particular, the fifth and sixth chapter’s tackling the subjects of “evil” and “science” are timely responses to “new” positions promoted by the most famous authors from the “New Atheist” movement, such as Dr. Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. Specifically, the discussion of perspective on understanding evil and the possibility of good coming from it are important. The recognition of the limit of human understanding in deference to God is clearly written and logically defended. As Turek surmises, “…evil turns out to be an even bigger problem for atheism. Christianity has a reasonable explanation for evil and a solution to it. Atheism has neither.”

The audience for this book is wide – individual readers will find a solidly presented apologetic on a number of current topics, groups will find ample fodder for discussion and learning. Likewise, pastors and other leaders who are regularly confronted with opposing viewpoints will find this book an excellent primer on Christian apologetics.

Turek holds an earned doctorate in Christian Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary and has authored or co-authored three other books: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality.  He hosts the weekly television programs I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist and CrossExamined With Frank Turek.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of a review on this site and a commercial bookselling site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: Esther: Royal Beauty

Esther: Royal Beauty
By Angela Hunt
Bethany House, 2015
English, 352 pgs

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

I really enjoyed this novelization of the story of Esther. The story is told from a rotating point of view, between Esther and Harbonah (the king's eunich), which is unique to any other stories I've read about Esther. The eunich's point of view serves to help us understand the king and his motivation better and to tell a lot of the historical background of the story.

I was extremely impressed with how well researched the book is. I can't recall another fiction book lately that has had footnotes at the end. There are parts that the author admits she had to "fill in" and fictionalize but they are consistent with the story and the Biblical account of Esther.

I love how personal it got with her and the king's children and how she was torn about her love for the king, since he was of a different faith.  I found it really hard to put down and have already recommended it to other women I know in the church!

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House for the purpose of a review on this blog and a commercial bookselling website. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.