HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Two Men…: Articles on Practical Christian Living
Author: Bill Hall
Publisher: DeWard, republished in 2012
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Good for teenagers and adults
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Hall, Bill. Two Men…: Articles on Practical Christian Living (published in 1997 by Gary Fisher, 2685 W. Riley Rd., Floyds Knobs, IN 47119). Most of the books that I review would fall into the category of “children’s literature” (fiction, biography, true facts, etc.), along with others that I feel would be beneficial to home educators, such as books on homeschooling, parenting, and evidences, for example. As a minister, I also read “theological” (i.e., specifically religious) books but usually do not include mention of them in these pages. However, this is an exception. I consider the author of this book to be among my personal friends. Although I had heard of his name for years, I first became acquainted with his family when I went to college with one of his nephews. In the years since then, I came to know him, his wife, children, brother, sisters, other nieces and nephews, and even his late mother. My first personal memories of him are when we lived in northeast Ohio and he was preaching in Canada. He would come to annual lectures conducted by the Thayer St. church in Akron, OH, either to speak or to attend. Since he often told us to come and visit him in Canada, we did so one year (under rather trying circumstances due to car trouble, but we still had a very pleasant time). Although I have not been in close contact with him since we moved to Missouri in 2002, there had been previous times in my life when I was feeling somewhat discouraged, down, and disheartened for various reasons, and some word or act on his part served to encourage me and cheer me up. He may be totally unaware of these times, but they still mean a lot to me.
Actually, this book is a collection of articles written by him over a period of time. The foreword by the publisher says, “Practical. Jesus does not want the truth to be taught just theoretically; He also wants it to be applied. That’s how He taught….While these articles by Bill Hall are certainly well-studied and insightful, most of all they are practical.” The first section of the book contains articles about two (or sometimes three) men, women, teenagers, preachers, churches, etc., which discuss contrasting attitudes towards various spiritual issues. The second part is made up of articles grouped together on various themes: authority, God, Christian living, encouragement, church, teaching and leading, tough questions, family, and brief points. For Christians who are trying to build solid homes and bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the articles on family alone are worth the price of the book.
The fact is that I had read most of these articles when they first appeared in Perspectives (the bulletin of the old 77th St. church of Christ in Birmingham, AL, where Bill once labored), Christianity Magazine, and other sources, but rereading them was very refreshing. The reader will come away from the book with the same feeling of encouragement and cheer that I have experienced from my personal relationship with the author. That is not to say that the book is always easy reading. It will sometimes challenge your faith and cause you to examine yourself, but in a positive way that will leave you feeling that you want to do better in your service to the Lord. I highly recommend it.