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The Monitor's Guide to Religion Bestsellers

By Staff / July 8, 1999


1. APOLLYON by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Tyndale House, $19.97 As the Apocalypse lengthens, our friends from the Tribulation Force continue to battle the anti-Christ to bring souls to Jesus. The woes that John prophesied in Revelation continue to afflict the world, and things worsen before they get better. Unfortunately, the more I read this series, the more disappointed I get. The authors attempt too much by providing more background than is necessary. The writing is choppy, and as the plot leaps from location to location, the reader is often left behind.

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2. ONE DAY MY SOUL JUST OPENED U by Iyanla Vanzant, Fireside, $13 Vanzant admonishes us in the opening page to "remain open. There is something bigger than you know going on here." And that's her underlying point throughout - let go and let God work in your life. She's structured her ideas into a 40-day spiritual regeneration plan, with a daily principle to mull over, starting with "truth" and ending with "unconditional love." But many of the principles in between veer away from the spiritual toward simple suggestions on changing your outlook. (303 pp.) By Kristina Lanier

3. GOD IS IN THE SMALL STUFF... by Bruce Bickel, Barbour, $12.99 The makers of the W(hat) W(ould) J(esus) D(o) bracelets have come out with a book based on the same principle: Realize that all the details of your life matter and that you will find peace and happiness only if you find your way through Jesus Christ. The framework and even some of the content of this book are similar to those quotation books that encourage readers to simplify their lives, listen to their mothers, and even grab wisdom from their pets. If you're looking for a Christian gift book, this could be a sweet choice. (249 pp.) By Christy Ellington

4. LIGHTPOSTS FOR LIVING by Thomas Kinkade, Warner, $20 Kinkade's latest book is the ginger ale of inspirational books: It's got some sparkle and even some surprising bubbles, but in the end it comes up dry and leaves you a little thirsty. Better known as the "painter of light" because of his ability to paint scenes of warmth and happiness, Kinkade loses his simple flavor in this wordy attempt to sketch ways of living a life full of beauty. His advice to simplify one's life by shopping less and knowing what is most important gives this book the core of many others, although it's decorated with pretty pictures. (238 pp). By Christy Ellington

5. JUST LIKE JESUS by Max Lucado, Word, $19.99 The Rev. Max Lucado's book encourages readers to make changes in their lives by following Jesus' example. Lucado infuses his chapters with examples of common challenges, many from his own family's experience. While this book would be of great value to someone exploring faith anew, it's also for any reader wishing to improve by considering the statement, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Included is a study guide, correlative Bible passages, and questions corresponding to the chapters. (223 pp.) By Leigh Montgomery