Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

September 2018 – A republic to keep
If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, by New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas, (photo, above) rediscovers the forgotten sacred calling of America. These seminal ideas that have been lost for the last half-century are the key to the survival of the nation, Metaxas argues.

In his praise for the book, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and writer Dennis Prager wrote: “Not only should every American read it – they should then reread it aloud to their children and grandchildren.”

With a remarkable gift for bringing clarity and historical insight, Metaxas challenges readers to see the hand of God in weaving events, ideas, and people into the nation whose greatness is found in her calling to exist not merely for herself.

Metaxas’s message moves beyond “liberal” or “conservative” labels. He unfolds critical ideas that were understood or assumed in generations past, but are no longer part of the American conversation – ideas such as the “Golden Triangle of Freedom” (faith, freedom, and virtue), the necessity of venerating our heroes, and what it means to love America without denying her mistakes and flaws.

Supporters and detractors alike should appreciate the research, insights, and fair treatment of the nation’s history – positive and negative – as well as the historical vignettes and profiles that bring these themes to life.

The title of the book is taken from Benjamin Franklin’s quip to a lady who asked him as he was leaving the constitutional convention: “Well, doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic, madam,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it.” Available at online and retail booksellers.

Rusty Benson

undefinedThe Third Option
The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation by Pastor Miles McPherson releases
September 11.

Candidly, compassionately, and with the exacting skill of a gifted surgeon, McPherson thoroughly examines racism, revealing how stereotypes are developed personally, institutionally, and internally. The Third Option also helps readers discern personal blind spots of racism by shining God’s loving light on the sinful darkness of racism in hearts, heads, homes – and even in churches.

Using personal experiences as a black Christian man with white and Chinese heritage, McPherson cites scientific findings, relevant Bible stories, Scripture-based prayers, and practical exercises to encourage people to shift their thinking and align with God’s Word on the subject of racism.

Ultimately, he reminds readers that each person is made in the image of God, and in order to honor His image among others, one must choose the “third option,” which is God’s option to lay down personal agendas, love enemies, and partner with God to bless others.

Joy Lucius

undefinedWhat Every Youngster Needs to Know About Finances
Teaching children to use money responsibly and effectively can be a daunting task. Cameron Triplett makes the challenge much less intimidating with his new book What Every Youngster Needs to Know About Finances. It’s a resource young readers can understand and absorb on their own, but it may be most effective when parents read through, discuss, and reinforce the principles with their children.

Triplett offers frequent scriptural principles, beginning with the basics. For example in chapter one, titled “Work,” he cites Proverbs 28:19 – “Hard workers have plenty of food; playing around brings poverty.” He proceeds with practical guidelines for saving money, budgeting, investing, and giving.

Parents and children alike will appreciate that it’s a concise 30-page volume that cuts to the chase with no complicated explanations or drawn out processes, just simple, practical ideas to develop fiscal disciplines. E-book and paperback available at online booksellers.

Randall Murphree

undefinedInvisible Scars
Over 23 million veterans live in the U.S., exceeding the population of New York state by roughly 3 million people. Although these men and women have returned home to their families and friends, many of them face a completely new fight upon reentering civilian life: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Invisible Scars, a sobering documentary by Front Porch Media and the Crosswinds Foundation, portrays and describes various effects PTSD can produce in the lives of veterans. The film incorporates real life testimonies of veterans who have struggled with PTSD, and how their lives are challenged by it.

This valuable resource identifies ways veterans can receive help with PTSD. Professionals such as Col. (Ret.) Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, M.D., and Shannon Polson, a clinical social worker, offer their mental health expertise. Their insights are corroborated by an impressive array of chaplains, counselors, clergy, and PTSD victims and family members to give a thorough look into the issue.

Practical pointers are highlighted regarding common warning signs of PTSD, possible treatment plans, and how to care for someone with the issue.

Parents should be cautioned that the film contains brief war footage and references to alcohol.

The DVD and streaming online are available free to veterans and their families. Find Invisible Scars and other resources at crosswindsfoundation.org or 205-327-8317.

Mason Beasler

undefinedForensic Faith for Kids
Forensic Faith for Kids is the third of three novels for children by homicide detective and apologist J. Warner Wallace and his wife, Susie Wallace. All three books focus on the adventures of the cadets taught by Detective Jeffries at Police Junior Cadet Academy. Along the way, the cadets learn that the forensic skills they are learning also prove truths about the universe – and its Creator.

Wallace is also a senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University. He has authored several books, including Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and .

Interactive learning materials at casemakersacademy.com allow any or all of these three books to become an apologetics curriculum for use by parents, homeschools, and teachers. Books available at retail and online booksellers.

Stacy Singh