One of the perks of working at American Family Association is all the books and movies that publishers and filmmakers make available to the staff in hopes of earning an interview on American Family Radio or a review in AFA Journal. In fact, we receive far more than we can read, watch, or review. I’m sure some excellent titles are overlooked.
I can only speak for the AFA Journal, but the process of determining which book or film is reviewed is totally subjective. In making choices, we are simply attempting to cover the range of topics that connect with AFA’s mission. Or a project may be reviewed if we think the content of the book or movie is particularly profitable for readers or their families. For example, we often review children’s books. And, of course, the overall theme and quality, as well as the track record of the author or filmmaker, can also be a factor.
So, that’s my disclaimer in offering thoughts on the three resources below.
The first review was published in the January/February 2019 issue of AFA Journal. It addresses a critical but seldom discussed issue – whether youth sports is a good thing or a bad thing for Christian families. Hang on, don’t start throwing tomatoes yet; this book is an unusually valuable resource full of biblical wisdom.
Even if you are not a big fan of biblical history or apologetics that focuses on archaeology, the only documentary on my list could grab your interest just because it’s so well done. The review below will appear in the upcoming May issue of AFA Journal. I’m letting the cat out of the bag early because it is premiering in some movie theaters now.
Finally, there’s one for my peers, a wonderful mini-book on a subject that is becoming more and more imminent in my life – retirement. And who could handle that subject with more grace, wisdom, and humor than Dr. Steve Brown – himself “old as dirt” (his words, not mine)?
Time Out! The Gift or God of Youth Sports
If you love your children or grandchildren and you want to impact their lives for Christ, Time Out! The Gift or God of Youth Sports by John Perritt should top your reading list.
Perritt, a veteran youth pastor, father, and sports fan, wrote the book as a framework to help parents, coaches, and youth leaders think biblically about the culture’s obsession with athletics. However, his insights are equally applicable for any endeavor that could become an idol.
Although he often draws illustrations from his own youth ministry experience, the real value in Time Out! lies in Perritt’s careful application of the Scripture that calls on a wide range of biblical doctrines including creation and the fall, grace, worship, lordship, idolatry, and especially stewardship.
Time Out! will challenge, correct, convict, and possibly even confuse. But in the end, it drives readers to the cross, and that’s good news. It is available at online and retail booksellers.
Patterns of Evidence: the Moses Controversy
A new documentary that premieres at Fathom Events nationwide on March 14, 16, and 19 asks if Moses could have really been the author of the first five books of the Old Testament and an eyewitness to many of its events.
Patterns of Evidence: the Moses Controversy is a follow-up film to Timothy P. Mahoney’s similarly themed first documentary, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus. (AFA Journal review.)
In the new film, Mahoney interviews skeptics and critics who challenge Moses authenticity. The center of the controversy surrounds whether a written Hebrew language even existed at the time of Moses. Scholars, authors, and experts on both sides of the controversy are interviewed on camera.
Mahoney’s research, analysis, and arguments are detailed, so viewers’ close attention is required.
Those who are drawn to biblical history and archeology will really dig Mahoney’s film…pun intended.
More information and a trailer are available at patternsofevidence.com.
Life after Retirement
Some things in life just sneak up on you – like walking your daughter down the aisle and handing her off to another man. You figured it was coming, but the reality can leave a parent dazed and confused.
So it is with the end of our formal work lives. Where we’ve been ruled by schedules, deadlines, and responsibilities for nearly a half-century, soon there will be lots of empty space.
That’s where many in my generation are or soon will be. We are asking ourselves How can life in the “last third” (as it is popularly called) count?
While Dr. Steve Brown’s mini-book titled Life after Retirement isn’t an exhaustive treatment of the subject, it’s a great starting point. The founder of KeyLife Ministries asks the right questions and offers solid biblical answers.
He first reminds believers that a Christian’s commission – whether young or old – is to proclaim the gospel as we go into the world (Psalm 71:17). That’s a non-negotiable that can be fulfilled in many different ways.
He also reminds believers of the blessings of aging in Christ: a godly perspective, humility, honesty, and freedom from the opinions of others. All that can contribute to making days on earth honoring to Him and fulfilling to us.
Life after Retirement is only available in a five-pack at New Growth Press. But that’s OK. There are lots of us in the same boat.