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The Awesome, Fantastic Greatness of God

Allen Steely
Allen Steely Author Interview

A God-Centered View of Salvation helps readers understand why their motivation for salvation is essential to receiving forgiveness for their sins. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Protestant Christianity stresses the steps to salvation — what a person must believe in order to be saved. Our motivation for salvation is basically ignored as we witness to others. But since the Holy Bible teaches that God seeks out our motivation and desires correct motivation, which aligns with His will, then seekers must be warned of this and taught about this as they approach God for the forgiveness of their sins. In fact, since God is Holy and cannot condone sin, a selfish motivation for salvation such as seeking to be saved in order to avoid eternal suffering in Hell for our sins leads to God rejecting that person and their remaining unsaved.

What do you feel is a common misconception people have about their relationship with God?

I believe that since we are the ones being saved most people look upon salvation as being for our sake. But God is primary and mankind is of lesser importance than our Creator. Therefore, everything must be first and foremost for His benefit — not ours. At the most basic level our Salvation is primarily for God’s sake so He can defeat Satan in spiritual warfare.

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

The awesome, fantastic greatness of God (His preeminence).

The insignificance of mankind who is a created being that belongs to his Creator.

What God expects of us is willing submission to His will even in the act of our salvation. Selfish motivation is idolatry with “self” as the idol. We must humble ourselves before the awesome, almighty God.

That since there are many benefits for God in mankind’s salvation, just as there are benefits for us in our salvation — God’s are primary! We should seek salvation so God gets His rightful due and just trust that He, being a loving God, will bless us with our lesser, secondary benefits in our salvation.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

That God is sovereign, supreme, and preeminent! To be correctly understood, everything must be theocentric (have God at the core) including our motivation for our salvation. God is primary and everything exists for His sake! Even our salvation is primarily for God’s sake and only secondarily for us to receive our benefits.

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This book will tell you why our motivation for salvation is essential, is all important, to our receiving forgiveness for our sins. Even though it is mankind that is being saved, at a deeper level salvation is intrinsically about God receiving His benefits from our salvation. God is primary, man is secondary. Therefore, God receiving His benefits from our salvation is of primary importance, is foundational, and must occur before any of the benefits for mankind in our salvation even exist for us to receive. Because justice is an intrinsic part of God’s character, we cannot selfishly seek salvation for the benefits we will experience such as to escape eternal punishment in Hell, or to gain the pleasures of Heaven… and be accepted by God and saved. Selfishly seeking after salvation for our benefits is idolatry with “self” as the “idol”. You cannot be committing the new sins of greed, selfishness, and idolatry in the very act of asking for forgiveness of your sins! We must submit to God’s preeminence, His rightful lordship, and come submissively to God with our motivation being for Him to receive His benefits and then, and only then, can He forgive our sins and bless us with the side benefits for us in salvation.

A GOD-CENTERED VIEW OF SALVATION

A GOD-CENTERED VIEW OF SALVATION: A Theocentric Perspective of the Gospel by [Allen Steely]

Author Allen M. Steely explains to Christians what it means to be saved in his thought-provoking book A God-Centered View of Salvation. Everyone has their own definition of salvation, depending on how they relate with God and the church. In his book, Allen Steely lays it all out and explains how to do Christianity right, live righteously and get to be God’s chosen child. I like how the author starts the book by asking simple questions which he gives answers to. The author writes extensively and in detail, talking about faith and being a believer. Whether talking about God, human beings or whichever subject, the author uses a unique way of presenting facts and stories that help one relate to the topic being discussed.

A God Centered View of Salvation is a book that will trigger your interest in history. The author talks of different churches in the middle ages, and how change in the church had an impact in today’s ministry. The author talks of the missteps made by old churches and advises Christians today on which path to take. Reading this book was a wonderful experience and makes one have a sense of fulfillment in being a believer. While reading the book, I notice that the author does not move away from the main topic even when he introduces a new subject. This helps the reader focus on the main subject and gets one to fully understand the text being discussed.

The bible is an important book for every Christian. Allen Steely explains the significance of reading the bible often and understanding God’s word. The author also gives tips on how to interpret the teachings in the bible, which was helpful as not many people know how to interpret the scriptures. While talking about salvation and religion as a whole, the author added bible scriptures in between the paragraphs. This was a brilliant idea, by including the bible verses he encourages readers to read the bible more by having the verses as references. Each verse Allen Steely added had a lesson that would assist believers in their journey to salvation.

Apart from the exceptional work the author did with breaking down verses, history lessons and excellent narration, something else stood out in his writing; how honest and rational he was. Allen Steely freely unabashedly lays out his thoughts and is honest with his opinions on different things in life. The author does not sugar coat his opinions and tells it how it is. He also appears to be reasonable and someone whom every believer would want to have a sober discussion with. A God-Centered View of Salvation is enlightening and is useful to both Christians and non-Christians.

Pages: 278 | ASIN: B07PXVZWKS

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The Universality and Singularity of God

Haribakth
Haribakth Author Interview

aKsara Bhagavad Gita is an enlightening book that provides a unique view of the Bhagavad Gita. Why was this an important book for you to write?

To usher in cosmic harmony and promote universal brotherhood amongst different religionists by proposing a common paradigm to interpret scripture of any religion/philosophy or ideology. It is based on logic and derives authority from the Gita itself. The proposed paradigm codifies all rules of interpretation. This is done by enunciating rules of interpretation from the God’s quotes in the Gita, substantiating the enunciated principles by way of a mock debate, and providing an built-in checker to cross verify our interpretations and also an provides inbuilt auto updater so as to stay relevant under all changing times and circumstances. It is a Hermeneuticians touchstone and fulfilment of their long sought quest.

What were some key ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

The words/sentences uttered in the Gita have been analysed and commented upon in a number of different ways by innumerable persons since 3270 B.C.

The untouched part of the concept underlying the words, beyond the words and the positioning of the words and sentences, that which is communicated but not spoken, the relationship between the concepts and the words, between different branches of learning and their relationship with the Gita and its usage, cognition thereof and metacognition are some ideas explored. At another level, the universality and singularity of God, relationship of humans and living entities with God, and how He wanted us to understand and act, these and some other ideas are also examined in the book.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

God is one, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, irrespective of the name you choose to identify Him, the rituals you follow or the beliefs you profess, and He didn’t ask His children to fight amongst themselves or endorse killing in His name to uphold His superiority or His words.

What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book?

If you observe closely, you will notice that there are two parts the book. The Gita proper and other subjects like grammar, law, management, logic, science etc. I haven’t researched anything about Gita. It was a revelation or an inspired communication from the divine without any intervening media.

The other mundane part required research. I had vague memory of the fundamental concepts of those branches of knowledge which required to be refreshed and correlated with Gita. I have used Google, Wikipedia, and Dictionary etc. extensively for this purpose.

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How were the rules framed? They were framed based on the parameters. How was Parameter identified and on what authority? Parameters were identified based on the attributes of the Gita. The authority too is derived from God/Gita. Isn’t the identification process obsolete and unscientific? There isn’t anything more scientific than the Gita. Just see the explosion of Artificial intelligence applications, be it Drones, Siri, Echo, or Robots. They are all non-human but endowed with intelligence.

Ten Keys to Effective Leadership

Ten Keys to Effective Leadership: A Guidebook for Women of Faith by [Marilyn Donnellan, David Condon, Wayne Elsey, Andy Gilliam, Linda Lysakowski, Margaux Pagán, Donna Poppendieck, Michael Sand, Joel Zimmerman]

Ten Keys to Effective Leadership: A Guidebook for Women of Faith will help readers understand the fundamentals and essentials to effective leadership. Marilyn L. Donnellan MS expounds qualities of a great leader in a straightforward but illuminating manner. To be in charge of a group of people; whether big or small, means that they trust you and believe in your views. To be a leader means that you have to take every challenge as it comes and be strong for your people, something not many people are built to do. Marilyn L. Donnellan MS’s notes on effective leadership will help you understand that being the head of anything requires skills, dedication, patience, a forgiving heart and kindness among other virtues.

Marilyn L. Donnellan MS explains why female leadership is important in society. The author compares women in power in the 60s to women in power today. I enjoyed reading her thoughts on feminism as it gives one an understanding of why female empowerment has been a crucial process throughout the years. Reading the author’s opinion on women in leadership and why they deserve more spaces was eye opening.

This book is most beneficial to women of faith that are looking for way to increase their leadership skills and encourages more women to get into power and challenge men that have been raised in misogynistic settings. What I liked most was that the book goes beyond leadership and educates readers on how to become better people, live righteously, and improve your relationship with God to become a better Christian. Marilyn L. Donnellan MS goes on to explains how these traits go hand in hand and improves your leadership abilities.

The book explores the different myths of female leadership that have been passed on through the years and challenges her readers to seek the truth by providing facts. Though she bases her teachings on religion and the bible, the author also considers non-religious folks and readers from different backgrounds. She uses a modest and friendly language which encourages one to keep reading.

The title of the book had me assume we would only learn about leadership, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the book teaches readers so much more. Leadership and having faith are the main discussions but the author also teaches the reader on how to live with people, correcting mistakes and being a wholesome person.

Ten Keys to Effective Leadership: A Guidebook for Women of Faith is an enlightening and inspirational book that will encourage women, and men, to lead and provide them with the tools be successful when they do.

Pages: 205 | ASIN: B07SQ3ZPBF

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Spirituality in the 21St Century

Spirituality in the 21St Century by [Frank P. Daversa]

Spirituality in the 21st Century by Frank P. Daversa offers readers Frank’s personal take on spirituality while reflecting on his own beliefs. I knew this book was going to resonate with my own personal experience, at least to some degree, because Daversa describes himself as spiritual but not religious, which is how I would describe myself as well.

Daversa’s take on spirituality is exactly as he explains it, a “primer” towards one’s own spiritual self-discovery. Daversa’s provides a space for conversation about spirituality and one’s own faith. He states that there are three spiritual lessons that as humans we should concern ourselves with and those are global warming, overpopulation and environmental degradation. He states that he considers them as “spiritual” because we have to reach deep into our souls to work towards fixing these issues. His take on spirituality in the 21st century also deals with consumerism and how we should focus on what we need rather than what we want. I was surprised to see this as a part of spirituality but he argues that we should be more conscious of this. He ties this point later to the way in which we tend to attach ourselves. He clarifies that he doesn’t find anything wrong with material possessions but basing our worth on those possessions isn’t beneficial to anyone. I found this to be enlightening especially as there has been more discussion around consumerism, specifically sustainable consumerism.

This is by far one of the most open to discussion books I’ve read about spirituality this year. As it is centered around the 21st century I’m glad that the author Frank P. Daversa included the Black and LGBTQ+ community in his discourse. I definitely recommend Spirituality in the 21st Century to anyone who considers themselves spiritual, whether you’re just beginning the journey or are familiar with it. Spirituality in the 21st Century is thought-provoking and intellectually invigorating.

Pages: 108 | ASIN: B079J5VL55

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Indelibly Inscribed: Collected Musings on Christian Spirituality

Indelibly Inscribed: Collected Musings on Christian Spirituality explains and expounds on both simple and deep subjects in religion. Reading this book gets one to understand not just where the author comes from, but also why many believers choose religion and salvation. Readers learn about the love of God and how faithful he has been to his servants. Anthony Maranise explores various religious topics and even goes the extra mile to discuss what many call earthly matters. I like Anthony Maranise as an author because he does not force one to subscribe to his beliefs. All he does is write about God, the Holy Spirit and religion as he understands them, and leaves the reader to make a decision on what to believe. Not many authors in this genre can write like Anthony Maranise. The author starts from the basics and progresses to weighty subjects that require both attention and assessment.

One of the best things about this book was the historical tales that the author squeezed in between chapters. The addition of the stories breaks up the monotony of explanation about God and spirituality. Anthony Maranise takes the reader back in the day, narrating accounts of religious icons and historical figures that young readers may not have known of. I also enjoyed reading about the author’s personal stories. Anthony Maranise’s life has been nothing short of a miracle. Not many people get to experience the grace of God the way the author did. By telling his story, the author gave many Christians hope of emerging triumphant in whatever battles they are fighting.

Indelibly Inscribed gives hope gets one to have a different perspective about religion and about spirituality, and life in general. Anthony Maranise also gets the reader to reflect on their loves. The text causes you to reflect on your actions, responsibilities and how you lead your life. When talking about an event, activity, idea or the word of god, Anthony Maranise looks for the most relatable things that the reader can find practical.

There are several topics in the book that spoke to me on a personal level. Some of them include the chapters on Supernatural CPR, sacramentality and sport, and tattoos and the transmission of faith. In all my favorite topics, the author uses familiar wording and uses relevant examples in his descriptions. By the end of the reading, the reader gets to be more enlightened on spirituality, the bible, denominations like Catholicism, living righteously and being a wholesome and kind human being.

Pages: 138 | ISBN: 0578843757

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Trials and Tribulations Being Born Again

Trials and Tribulations of Being Born Again, documents the journey of being a born again Christian and finding a true relationship with God. I found this to be a very truthful and relatable account of one’s relationship with God but also with the church. I think something this story does successfully is warn others about pastors that might not actually have other’s best interest at heart. The author details how at a low point in his marriage with his wife, they went to their pastor but found the pastor to be unhelpful and rather contradicting the word of God. These few chapters in which he discusses how his pastor was trying to tear him down and how it made the situation with his wife worse, really broke my heart. In my experience, and personal belief, pastors are meant to guide the congregation closer to God and provide help and wisdom. That being said, they themselves are not above any other human because of their status within the church. Reading Brown’s experience with his pastor really brought to light how not every person in that position means well, but rather they see it as a position where one can take advantage.

I really appreciated the honesty that Dionne Brown provided with this heartfelt memoir as I think others would shy from the truth. Our faith isn’t always linear but we must always trust the direction He is taking us in, and I think Brown perfectly exemplifies that in his memoir. I really enjoyed reading Dionne Brown’s own experience with becoming a born-again Christian but also his insights on how he views a relationship between a person and the Lord. I definitely think that Brown provided some useful tips on what to be aware of when talking to those in the congregation.

I would recommend Trials and Tribulations of Being Born Again to anyone who enjoys reading about a motivational journey into becoming a born-again Christian but especially to readers who are looking for an inspirational story that follows an uplifting spiritual journey.

Pages: 68 | ISBN: 1977227937

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Walking with the Word: Viewing Chronic Health Issues Through the Lens of Scripture

Walking with the Word: Viewing Chronic Health Issues Through the Lens of Scripture will give readers the strength to face the challenges that they are going through. Aaron Montgomery gives readers a message of hope and optimism even when one feels like giving up. The text in the book is warm, welcoming, and pleasant. I like that the author never hides his vulnerability. The author feels very authentic and connects with his audience and does not try to conceal any truth. Reading this book is therapeutic and will have you change your perspective on many things in life.

Any reader who enjoys good inspiring stories will appreciate how Walking with the Word starts. In the introduction, the author directly speaks to readers that either have received news about their health or the health of their loved ones. This part of the book is important for many as it feels like a one-on-one session with the reader. I enjoyed reading the introduction because the author gives a sneak peek of Walking with the Word while mentally preparing the reader for the content in the book. Chapter one of the book is titled ‘Trust God and His Word’. This was one of my favorite chapters because of the assurance one gets while reading. Aaron Montgomery talks about the love of God and how faithful the lord has been to him. This chapter is refreshing to read and encouraging for any Christian who had started to lose faith. The author adds bible scriptures after every few pages to explain the content into perspective. I love this style of writing because the bible verses are a good reference point for those that want to read more.

Each chapter in the book has something different that the reader can learn about. Aaron Montgomery writes about being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome among other conditions. His journey is interesting as the reader takes us through the details of living with the mentioned conditions, relating with family and friends and how one can survive chronic ailments. The author tells it all. He is candid and has the ability to help the reader understand even the most complex of terms. One of the major lessons learned in this book is that it is important to have a strong support system when going through health issues. The support system could be one’s spouse, their children, colleagues at work, parents, and even friends and neighbors. Brandy, Aaron’s wife is an inspiration among many. I like how Aaron talked about his wife. One could feel the love through his words.

Walking with the Word is a motivational book that inspires faith in readers. Anyone looking for an easy to read book that will help them grow spiritually will find a wealth of knowledge and encouragement in this book.

Pages: 180 | ASIN: B08DTLQRJ4

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