4 out of 4 stars
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Living life as a Christian can be confusing at times. The Bible appears to have contradicting verses about how a Christian is supposed to live; this is especially true for topics such as sexual relations, forgiveness, and love. Is there a way to list all of the verses relating to one sin or lifestyle into bite-sized portions? J. Marie Jones did just that in the book Affirm The Word, a spiritual guidebook written for Christians to assist them in living by the Word of God. Throughout the text, the author lists numerous sins and what to do about them and occasionally provides her input. She includes Bible verses about ways to live that involve work, money, marriage, faith, and many others.
The design of the cover is what drew me in the most. The yellow is optimistic, which matches the tone that the author used throughout the book. Using the color blue also indicates that the author is calm and thoughtful. Both impressions stayed true throughout the book; Ms. Jones does not judge anyone regardless of their choices or where they are in life. Readers will be able to read her reflections on some of the sins and guidance from the Bible, further adding to her authenticity and sympathetic nature.
I loved the author’s boldness in describing the changes that have occurred in Christianity over the years. An example of this would be tithing. Tithing has been ten percent of a person's income for years, but the author explains why this method of tithing is not proper anymore. The way she explained it had me questioning my decisions about giving money to the church in a good way. The section about divorce was another well-liked part of the book. Ms. Jones is divorced, making this section intriguing. Christian readers who want directions from the Bible about living a certain way while also using critical thinking skills will not want to skip this book.
I also enjoyed the way that the author made the discussion of topics easy to follow. When listing a sin or lifestyle, she lists verses from the Bible chronologically. If there is a verse from Psalms and another verse from John that references the same item, they are in order. This style does not change throughout the book; consistency is strong within its pages.
There were a few things that I felt needed improvement. Grammatical errors are in the book but are just shy of ten. Due to this, I did not deduct a star. However, it would improve the book’s image. One thing I also noticed was that the prayers the author provided were from already-existing websites. I was surprised because I expected the author to give readers these prayers in her own words. I also did not see reflections after each of the sins and lifestyles. However, if the author had done this, it would have made the book too long.
Based on the comments above, I see no reason to rate this title anything lower than 4 out of 4 stars. In all honesty, I contemplated giving this book three stars due to the lack of originality in the prayers. But I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the ability to think outside of the normalcy of the Christian religion. I have already recommended Affirm The Word to a few of my friends and have added it to my permanent reading shelf. A Christian family could also use this book to guide their children in living their lives and treating people right.
Affirm The Word
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