The Best Books of 2016 — #8 The Looming Tower–Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

 

loomingNovember 13, 2015 around dusk here in Dothan, I had just gotten in my car around 6 PM for a drive of a little over an hour to a sectional rally when the top of the hour newscast began describing the terrorist attacks in Paris.  These attacks fell into a different category because they had been coordinated to hit several different places in Paris at the same time.  Only 10 months earlier in January, terrorists had attacked Charlie Hebdo and two days later a Jewish grocery store had been attacked as well all leaving a small number of casualties but not a large amount of injuries.  On the way home from the sectional rally, the talk radio outlets, which I hadn’t listened to for several years lured me back in, because they were blazing with opinions and reports.  I cannot remember where or how I ran across a New York Times journalist but Rukmini Callimachi entered my world that evening when I got home and started reading on the internet the accounts of the Paris attacks.  She had a Twitter feed that she was using very well and tagging a variety of articles that she had written in the past on terrorism.  I started following her on Twitter although admittedly she is very liberal in much of her ideations, I began to learn much more about terrorism and its origins.  I then contacted her via email and surprisingly she replied to me several times with book suggestions and various journal articles, some that were hers and some that were written by others.  She suggested a book that I am putting in the eighth slot of best books that I read in 2016.  The book she wrote that everyone should start with is by Lawrence Wright.

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Book Recommendation: Unashamed Workmen: How Expositors Prepare and Preach – Rhett Dodson

Increasingly I am much encouraged by some of the conversations that I am having with various Pentecostal pastors around the nation.  It is becoming more and more common that I am finding men who are paying the price with discipline and diligence to really dig into the Word so that their preaching has taken a different direction.  This direction change is coming because of the challenges that we are facing in our culture and the deep moral depravity that is assaulting the church.  We also have to contend more and more with the onward advancement of various world religions that are making inroads to the United States.  Our preaching has to change to meet those challenges for we can no longer afford to simply preach to the moment so that people get out of their seats and flutter about for a little while to satisfy some shallow emotional need they need to feel better about.

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A Book Recommendation – Don Basham, Deliver Us From Evil

I am quick out of the chute this year having already finished a book in the first week of the New Year.  This book is not a particularly new book with an original publishing date of 1972 but it has gone through at least thirteen printings of the original edition.  Furthermore it has gone through a revision in 2005 and I have the second printing of that copy also.  Last year, I wrote several lengthy posts of some personal Bible study notes as I trackedthrough Kay Arthur’s book, Lord, Is ItWarfare?  Those are still available although I did not complete them because I had started writing with a fountain pen as described in the first post of this year.  I do have those notes written in another journal and perhaps may need to revisit them and post the rest of them.
Spiritual warfare has always been an interest of mine and I have more than 100 books in my personal library that deals with this subject.  The only subject that I have more single volumes about is holiness which logs in at more than 150 books devoted to that subject.  I have discovered over the course of the years that when you read and study about personal holiness and spiritual warfare together that you will have to come to grips with the very close link between to the two.  A commitment to personal holiness gives a Christian great power when he is dealing with the attack of the devil.  Indeed!  A real live devil who is not a concept, theme, or ideal planted in the human consciousness but an arch-angel who fell from heaven to lead a rebellion against God.  Spiritual warfare operates in zones that attempts to weaken the commitments that we make toward personal holiness and when we fall in the battle, we suffer and those around us suffer.

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