March 2007
BOOK REVIEWS

Islam Rising: The Never Ending Jihad Against Christianity

By Jim Murk|
21st Century Press, 2006,
246 pages Available at www.afa.store.net

Dr. Jim Murk opens Islam Rising with the proposal that when history looks back on the turn of the 21st Century, three phenomena will stand out: the rapid world-wide expansion of grassroots Christianity, the resurrection of the nation of Israel, and the surging rise of militant Islam.

The author writes: “Israel and Christianity are presently in grave conflict with the rise of Islam, and, as the world looks on, one wonders who will endure.” The late Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote a foreword saying every concerned Christian should read this volume. The truths Murk presents will startle – and, no doubt, alarm – readers.

Murk tackles critical questions: What are the core teachings of Islam? How does Islam differ from Christianity? What is the difference between Islam and militant Islamism? What is jihad? Who are the terrorists and what do they want from us?

The author draws disturbing parallels between Nazism, Communism and Islamic fundamentalism, pointing out that the three have used the same techniques – mass killing or murder of millions of inconvenient and innocent persons, hatred as a part of their philosophy, manipulative propaganda and totalitarian systems to impose their will on others.

He contrasts Islam and Christianity by pointing out that Christianity desires to win others by persuasion, while Islam envisions a military type takeover of all the nations of the world.

Murk has extensive credentials, holding master’s degrees in cultural anthropology and theology. He also earned a Ph.D. degree and developed a course called “The Islamic Culture Sphere” for Wheaton College.

His insights are provocative and sobering.

Reviving Your Romance: 40 Days to a Better Marriage

By Terry and Barbi Franklin
Tylis Publishing, 2005, 96 pages
Available at www.afa.store.net

Marriage is “a powder keg of vulnerability eliciting emotions of love one moment ... and contrasting explosive ones the next,” say Terry and Barbi Franklin. The Nashville couple, married 24 years, urges couples to approach the study of Reviving Your Romance with humility and a teachable spirit so that both partners in the marriage grow together.

As the subtitle suggests, The Franklins recommend that a couple use the book and/or its CD version (included free of charge) for 40 consecutive days. Their major premise is that most marriages don’t measure up to the depth and passion that God desires for marriage. The Franklins are convinced that, working prayerfully together, studying relevant Scriptures and seeking God, a couple can enhance both qualities – depth and passion.

Each day, husband and wife read a two-page devotion together, consider some practical applications, study a few Scriptures on the day’s subject, then ask some hard questions. There are questions to ask oneself and questions to ask one’s spouse. Each devotion concludes with a suggested prayer.

For example, Day 1, titled “Rare Treasures,” includes this question to oneself: “Am I putting as much effort into mining the treasure from my marriage as I am the other lesser riches in my life?”

Other intriguing daily titles include “Managing Tempers,” “Annoying Behaviors” and “You Tarzan, Me Jane.” They supplement the text with a number of surveys and appendices such as “Tips for the Romantically Challenged Man.”

Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom

By Howard Dayton
Moody Press, 2006, 252 pages
Available at www.americanfamilyresourcecenter.com

When it comes to financial planning and responsibility, few names are more familiar in Christian circles than Howard Dayton and Crown Financial Ministries (CFM). Dayton says the Bible contains 2,350 verses dealing with money and possessions. His new book Your Money Map is a practical, Biblically-based handbook for families who want to get their finances under control.

It not only offers the “Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom,” but also provides a number of CFM’s resources, both print and online versions.

“TV, mail, celebrities, friends and sometimes even our churches offer us ways to get tangled in a noose of spending and debt,” Dayton said. “Instead, the Bible cuts past human wisdom to guide us as we find the full life that only God can give.”

In Your Money Map, Dayton helps readers deal with such issues as:

The poverty-prosperity dilemma. The Bible doesn’t tell us whether we should own a lot or a little, but it teaches responsibility in handling what God puts in our care.

A strategy of offense. Don’t wait for creditors to call; call them to explain what you’re doing and how you’ll pay.

The home free strategy. Increase your mortgage payment by paying extra cash on the principal each month.

Dayton’s hope is that others can apply the same principles that have worked for him to find true financial freedom.