Friday, February 24, 2012


D.A. HORTON (D.Ed.Min candidate at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO) was born in inner city Kansas City, KS and was "headed to the grave or prison" before God called him to salvation and into evangelism and Gospel rap (under the name Azriel). Horton is now the Lead Teaching Elder at Koinonia Bible Church in Kansas City, MO and a professor of Systematic Theology and at Calvary Bible College and Contemporary Theology at Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO). He is currently developing Urban Ministry courses for the college as well as an Urban Ministry masters degree program for the seminary. D.A. (Azriel) is still a D.J. and rapper who seeks to utilize his theological training to pronounce the gospel through his lyrics.;

Publication Date: 1/1/2012
ISBN - 13:  978-0-8024-0589-0
Pages: 77 (Paperback)
Price: $3.99 US

What is the Gospel?  D.A. Horton "chops it up" (to converse with someone in-depth on a particular subject) in seven chapters:

G - God's Image
O - Open Fellowship
S - Sin Introduced
P - Penalty and Price
E - Enter Jesus
L - Life Everlasting

This book explains the gospel in an urban context.  In the introduction, D.A. Horton gives a brief history of the Hip Hop culture.  He also explains the study of Thebonics and includes a Thebonical glossary in the back of the book to refer to (which is where I got "chop it up" from).

D.A. Horton goes on to explain that "Ebonics derives from ebony and phonics (street slang). Thebonics is the merging of theological truths rendered in Scripture and broken down into bite size pieces to be exposited to the urban context in its own unique language of Ebonics."

After each chapter, he includes one of his gospel rap songs, which summarizes each theme of that particular chapter.  This particular lyric stood out for me from his gospel rap song, "God's Image":

"We ain't God, even tho we made in God's image.  He's infinite, we finite, meaning that we got limits."

I enjoyed reading the Gospel explained in a raw, uncut and urban way.  I gleaned from the Thebonic terms, especially living in New York City and hearing it all around me.  I knew some of the sayings, because my husband is familiar with street slang.  He grew up in the Hood (the city neighborhood), surrounded by the hip hop culture.

In the last chapter entitled "What Now?", D.A. Horton gives his testimony and explains step by step how to get saved.  What I thought was interesting is that he advises to look for a healthy church; by examining the three Ps: the preaching, the people and the process.  I liked how he included this important and helpful information.

Overall, this book is Bangin'! (something that is appealing or pleasing).  I appreciate how it was written and would really love to see this book get into the hands of the youth and youth leaders alike.

In conclusion, I want to personally thank Janis Backing of Moody Publishers for sending me this book for free to review.

You can purchase this book at the following sites: (ebook)

Barnes & Noble:


Friday, February 17, 2012

MOODY PUBLISHERS REVIEW: Unfriend Yourself by Kyle Tennant

Kyle Tennant is a youth director, a recovering social media junkie, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, and a guy trying to have real friendships.

Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern and Decide about Social Media is a book I really wanted to read.  The premise of this book is the effects of social media on our relationships.  I had been thinking about this topic for awhile, on how much I rely on social media to maintain contact with friends as opposed to getting together in person.

Kyle Tennant makes an excellent argument on this subject throughout this short, but meaty book.  I agreed with much of what he accurately describes as flaws that exist with social media.  His findings were thoroughly researched and biblical.  What I also appreciated was that he never tells you to delete your Facebook or Twitter accounts, on the contrary.  However, what he does convey is the need for awareness in the utilization of any social medium.

In our fast paced society, it is very tempting to rely solely on electronic means of communication.  We hardly pick up a phone or even get together with friends anymore.  I can admit that this has been the case in my life.  I am guilty of relying heavily on emailing, texting or interacting on Facebook, rather than getting together with friends.  However, after reading this book, I am fully convinced that social media should be supplemental to real relationships.

I admit, I actually started to see how social media is just a cheap substitute for the real thing; relationships, communication and community.  I really identified and agreed with Kyle Tennant's points.  One point that stood out for me in his book is this, "Here is the linchpin of why we must not seek community online: when we venture there, we miss the most important part of community, which is experiencing God as we experience one another."  What a true statement. 

Kyle Tennant also references the apostle John preferring in-the-flesh communication over writing letters.  "Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink.  Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete." (2 John 12)  Later he writes, "I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink.  I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face." (3 John 13-14) 

I never quite saw that before. When I read those Scriptures it just jumped off the page and pierced my heart.  I bore witness that social media can never replace an in person friendship, communication or community.  Kyle Tennant writes that social media is a great tool - a tool we must subdue, and not be subdued by. 

All in all, I thought it was a very good, informative and helpful book.  I highly recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to personally thank Janis Backing of Moody Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.   

You can purchase the books at:


Barnes & Noble:


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tyndale House Publishers Book Review: {W}hole by Lisa Whittle

Lisa Whittle, the author of three books, is a not-your-typical ministry leader whose past experiences include writing for Women of Faith and Catalyst, church planting, and traveling with Compassion International. She speaks to audiences across the United States, leading the church in conversation on wholeness. Lisa is a wife and a mother of three who resides in North Carolina.

{W}hole by Lisa Whittle is about how our life experiences, whether good or bad, can leave holes in us.  These holes effect how we see ourselves, others and God.  Lisa Whittle shares her personal testimony (and holes) throughout this honest and revelatory book.  She states, that our experiences and/or roles don't define us.  But it's about allowing Jesus Christ to fill our holes, by making us "whole" and thereby re-writing our story.  

This book is jam packed full of incredible insights which made me take my sweet time reading it.  I would read a page and then stop to reflect on it.  I would find myself underlining passages and then thinking about it the rest of the day.  This is one of those special books that can change your life.

I really appreciate Lisa Whittle's transparency in revealing some very painful and personal experiences in her life.  I was able to identify with a lot of what she wrote, especially the feelings accompanying those experiences.  It actually stirred me and made me reflect upon my own holes.  The holes that I would rather ignore, bury or run from.  The holes that came from very pivotal or painful moments in my life, which in turn, changed the course of my life. 

As a result, this book wasn't easy for me to read.  However, it was necessary as it was timely.  

I want to share some passages from this book that spoke to me:

* Often, the things we find most demanding and difficult are the very places we most need to have healed.

* God seeks our dependence upon Him to make us whole.

* Wholeness rises from the ashes of our experiences when we cling to the God who makes it all possible.

I believe this is a very important and helpful book and I highly recommend it to everyone. 

In conclusion, I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House.    

If you would like to purchase this book, here are some links:


Barnes & Noble: