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

July 2021Eric Liddell – first a missionary, then a champion
As the fastest runner around, Eric Liddell’s Scottish countrymen pridefully anticipated him bringing home the gold medal for the 100-meter run in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Upon learning the event would be held on a Sunday, Liddell declined the chance of a lifetime due to his religious convictions.

Later, Liddell was offered the chance to run in the 200- and 400-meter races instead. Though not his best event, he competed anyway and won the bronze and gold, respectively.

With newfound fame, and as a surprise to many, Liddell left what promised to be a successful athletic career to go to China and spread the gospel, serving there for 20 years with his wife and children.

Even as the early years of World War II reached China, Liddell passed up the opportunity to flee for safety, and instead stayed and helped the wounded and continued to share the gospel.

The Eric Liddell Story, 30 minutes
Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith

Matthew White

The Authority of Love
In The Authority of Love, author and speaker Greg Williams looks at real love – humble, unselfish, sacrificial – as defined and displayed by its author, God Himself. Using a wide array of scriptural references, Williams helps the reader search inwardly to discover areas in which one has slipped out from under the loving authority of Christ, resulting in strife within the context of marriage, family, and other relationships.

Readers may not agree with every interpretation of Scripture but will likely be inspired to live worthy of the calling set before them – obedient, well-ordered, and relationally rich. 

Self-published, 206 pages

Anne Reed

Corporate Worship
In Corporate Worship, author Matt Merker challenges Christians to rethink how they view worship in their local church. The songs sung are not just an item on the order of service before the preaching, but rather an aspect of all parts of Christian assembly. God created His people to worship; it is a high calling and not an afterthought. In this little book, Merker walks the reader through the who, what, and why of corporate worship and how meaningful attention to worship strengthens the body of Christ. He also lays out examples for orders of service as well as suggestions on how to incorporate theology and theme rather than feeling and spiritual highs made to please the culture.

Crossway, 176 pages

Canada Burns

The Real Jesus
Author Jonathan Stockstill paints scriptural vignettes to remind readers of the true character of Jesus. For example, when Peter first encountered Jesus after His resurrection, how did he feel? Afraid? Convicted? After all, he had denied Jesus three times just before the cross. Now they were face-to-face.

How did Jesus react? Rebuke? Condemnation? No, He responded with an offer for Peter to declare his love and restore his relationship to the Savior. Again and again, Stockstill cites actions of the “real” Jesus and emphasizes how critical it is for a believer to put Him at the center of everything a Christ-follower does.

Charisma House, 165 pages

Randall Murphree

This is Love
The tightly-knit voices of Keith, Kody, Kris, and Katie Erwin captivate worshippers on This is Love, their eight-song album released in April. The Southern gospel influence is evident, but the Erwins’ style crosses over into various genres.

Their debut single (also on this project), “The God I Know,” proclaims “Keep holding on to faith/The God I know can still move mountains/The God I know still calms the raging sea.” The musical setting for this one elicits the emotion of a rich ballad. The lyrics of “The Blood of Jesus” lift up praise and thanksgiving for His ultimate sacrifice, a solid throwback to traditional hymn themes that are deeply rooted in scriptural truths.

Slow Town Records, eight songs

Randall Murphree

The Whole Story for the Whole Family
In an easily accessible format, author Michael Kelley provides parents a tool to disciple their children through family devotions four times per week. Kelley uses object lessons, small bits of Scripture, and simple discussion questions in a five-pronged approach to help each family member find his or her specific place in the ongoing story of God. The Whole Story for the Whole Family utilizes each of those five components so that parents can show, read, explain, and reflect on each biblically-based lesson and then close their family devotion by praying with their children.

B&H Publishing, 432 pages

Joy Lucius

Hadley: Finding God in Autism
Parenting is not an easy task regardless of the situation, but parenting an autistic child is an altogether different struggle. Mary Ann Payne understands those struggles firsthand. Her daughter Hadley, now 23, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3.

Payne collected stories about Hadley and her family’s trials and triumphs while struggling to live with autism and not let go of God. Consequently, Hadley is an inspiring and eye-opening book, filled with laughter, tears, and words of wisdom. It is also a reminder that Christians can choose to respond positively to adversity, regardless of circumstances.

CreateSpace, Second Edition
233 pages, online booksellers

Joy Lucius

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected
Based on the bestselling book by the same title, The Insanity of God documents the ministry of missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken. As the couple from rural Kentucky traveled the world ministering in areas where the church is facing some of the most intense persecution, they found themselves wrestling with the profound question, “Is Jesus worth it?”

Despite their crisis of faith, they pressed into God. What they learned and the stories they share from suffering believers will inspire one’s faith.

Lifeway Films, 92 minutes

Matthew White

What Do I Do With Worry?
In their most recent children’s book, What Do I Do With Worry?, Dr. Josh and Christi Straub tackle the sometimes overwhelming question of “What if ...?” The story follows a young girl named Willow who has just moved to a new neighborhood. When she is invited to a birthday party by her neighbor Sam, she is plagued by worry. Through the wise counsel of her grandmother, she learns to name her “worry birds” and release them to God. 

B&H Kids, 24 pages

Canada Burns