August 30, 2005

Review: Unlock the Prison Doors

I've had this one for a while -- it was actually the first book I volunteered for from Mind and Media. And yes, I got it free, but nobody paid me to write this -- as will probably become obvious to you.

This book is, first of all, tough to read in public. If you don't believe me, try taking a book subtitled "Keys to Breaking the Chains of Habitual Sin" to the doctor's office and reading it in the waiting room. Check out the looks you get. The nice thing is, you won't be crowded -- nobody will sit next to you.

The book was poorly edited -- there's a noticable typo on the very first page of text. Errors like this abound in the book -- it is almost as if they sent out proofers copies rather than a finished product. Typos, misspellings, and errors like that are glaring to me -- ironic, since I don't always catch them in my blog posts, but even there I will correct them once I see them. That illustrates the importance of having someone else look at your work before sending it out.

But a book, ultimately, is judged on what it says, not how it's spelled. The book has some promise; the topic is one that evry Christian struggles with at some point or other. But the book seems to be focused more at new Christians than at older saints. The tone is, as another reviewer has said, similar to a Sunday School teacher teaching a class of young children.

Read by a new Christian, this book could be valuable. It presents the material simply and quickly, with ample Scriptural support. But it doesn't say anything that most older Christians haven't heard before in church services. I looked forward to the book "provid[ing] ... a better understanding of [myself] and the trap of 'sin cycles' and the oppression of spiritual strongholds." I was disappointed.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:10 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Book Review: The Thinking Toolbox

This book needs to be taught in America's classrooms. Desperately. If I was still teaching full time, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Now that the gushing is out of the way, let me expand on that. Critical thinking is an important skill that everyone needs to acquire. Unfortunately, critical thinking doesn't show up on standardized tests, so schools aren't as concerned about teaching it. And it shows.

This book makes it easy to teach your kids how to think critically. It goes into enough depth that it's valuable for kids of all ages, but it can easilly be taught to smaller kids. You can use this book at home, too -- no special skills are required, as long as you can read and think.

Two years ago, when I taught computer applications, I spent several weeks teaching my students about the internet, and how to evaluate the information they find there. I pointed out a site -- www.dhmo.org. The site provides valuable information about the effects of a substance called dihydrogen monoxide, and its use in everyday life. Read the site, and you get outraged.

Then, the punchline. DHMO is ....................................... water. Dihydrogen (H2) monoxide (O). But everything the site says about water is true. The problem is in how it's presented. It's all about thinking critically -- taking facts and evaluating what they actually are saying.

That's what this book teaches. That is what kids need to learn. Just don't wait for the schools to do it -- get this book and do it yourself.

{And, yes, I got this book from Mind and Media for free. Nobody paid me to write the review -- if I thought the book was bad, you'd know it. The book is not just good -- it's important.}

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 10:56 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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August 10, 2005

Christian Parodies -- Paul Aldrich's Mock and Roll

I love parody. Weird Al, Cledus T. Judd, ApologetiX. Even Bob Rivers. So when I heard about Paul Aldrich's CD Mock 'n' Roll, I knew that it had to be mine.

I've now listened to it four times. I've only had it a day, or I'd have listened more, I promise. I made my wife listen to it. My daughter has listened to it. I've told my sister about it.

Do you get the idea I like this CD? more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 11:24 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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