The Message

Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within By Dr. Gregory Jantz

Posted on

By Dr. Gregory Jantz

Fear is an emotion I’ve dealt with much of my life. The fears and struggles have changed throughout time, but the overall feelings resulted by each fear and struggle has remained with the exact same effect. I am not afraid to admit I am an imperfect person, in fact this is one of the reasons why I love Jesus as I do, but I also have recognized as of late it is something which has held me back in life. Not too long after a conversation with my wife, I ran into Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book: Battles Men Face, which I hoped would give some clarity to what I’ve felt for a long time…

Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within is a self-help book, targeted for men, which guides the reader with both Christian theology and clinical psychology. Dr. Jantz examines The What, The Why, and The How of various issues Men face. He also guides men with patient testimonies, scriptural passages, and even personal experiences in order for readers to understand and relate to what’s going on within their hearts. Battles Men Face is a book which reveals many thoughts readers might have never thought about as specifically as they might think, and it is also a book which asks the reader some tough yet essential questions…

Though not every man has every problem Dr. Jantz describes, he writes about the inner struggle exactly how it is; at least within my heart. Partially thanks to Dr. Jantz’s book, I realize I have even more growing up to do but what I learned from his book is a good start on my journey. It was eye-opening for me to see a glimpse of why I struggle with the issues I do, and how I should respond to those issues from now on… Based on my personal experience reading Battles Men Face, I’m confident not only was this a very good book for me as a man, but also for any man who wants to be honest enough with themselves. The only complaint I have about Dr. Jantz’ book is every time, I remember, he sources scripture he uses The Message translation; I feel there are better translations out there than the MSG. Otherwise I did not see anything promoted by Dr. Jantz which is contrary to what scripture says. It’s great to see there is a Christian out there who isn’t just trying to help people with their issues, but is also trying to lead them to Jesus Christ; the most important thing a man and woman can do to respond to their inner struggles. I recommend this book highly, and I am encouraged to check out some of his other books as well.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

Posted on Updated on

You were made to make a difference
by Max Lucado

I found Out Live your Life to contain several useful scriptural passages, personal anecdotes, humorous comments, and motivational tips. To summarize, he challenges people to ‘get out of your shell’ and do something for Christ. I find this admirable and I agree we Christians can’t be overwhelmed by problems like world hunger, poverty, oppression, violence, the child sex trade, etc. When in the face any terrifying ordeal we can’t say “Why bother? I’m too insignificant”, or “I’m not qualified enough… it’s too big for me”, or even “I’m not useful enough for the Kingdom of God”, one reason being the early church founders didn’t waiver to such lies; many literally died for Christ.

Many times the Book of Acts is referred to in this book as evidence the early church was filled with socially ordinary people who through the power of God did extraordinary things. Overall I enjoyed reading Out Live your Life. However, my one complaint  is he seems to endorse  the Jim Wallis gospel; as evident in chapter 10. (I used to have a link to a good video talking about it, but You Tube took it down sorry, 😦 )Good works are important, but they aren’t the gospel. Despite our misdeeds, imperfections, and lackings we don’t work in order to become saved, because Jesus Christ died for our redemption, rather we are to work for the Kingdom of God because of our salvation! Do I feel Mr. Lucado is intentionally sending people on a guilt trip? No. Most of his message is a necessary reminder, under the condition it isn’t to ‘earn’ or ‘maintain’ our salvation.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Thomas Nelson Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

UPDATE: There was one other thing I was displeased about, which is what persuaded me to change my Thomas Nelson review from a 4 out of 5 stars to 3 out of 5 stars.  My other complaint was that most of the time when Max Lucado referred to scripture he used a translation called the MSG, which is short for ‘the Message.’ Now I’m not one of those “King James Only” people, I have read several biblical translations and haven’t had an issue, but I looked up various verses of the MSG and compared them to other translations and I gotta say I’m not a fan of the MSG. It just seems like the MSG waters down scripture a bit by making it more simplistic, dumbed down, and less poetic. I feel such a translation is more appropriate for a children’s book.