Beyond Discipleship to Relationship

From author Brehon (Reach Me with SMILES, 2014) comes a guide for developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and helping others do the same.
How does one go from accepting Jesus Christ as savior to having a more intimate relationship with the son of God? “Jesus must be more than a casual acquaintance,” Brehon says, as she lays out a plan aimed at both new and old believers both. In brief chapters that conclude with points for personal reflection—e.g., “How can you use your worst situation in service to the Lord?”—a plan is laid not only for individual spiritual growth, but with a nod toward helping develop it in others. Small groups, ideally with three members, are most effective for fostering Christian development, Brehon says, and the book includes forms that can be distributed to elicit feedback from group members. “When others see the presence of Christ in another person’s life that they know, they are more likely to want the same transformation in their own lives,” she writes, so trust in prayer, lead by example and accept regular feedback. Brief and never far from the point, the easy-to-follow book is peppered with biblical references and ideas stressing the importance of trusting the Almighty. The overall feeling is a heartfelt one, whether the topic is personal welfare—“You must take an all-inclusive approach to caring for yourself and maintain your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to be the most effective instrument possible”—or what to do once the church has agreed to small group meetings: “Locate partners who will hold you accountable for who you say you are.” For readers open to the idea, they’ll find plenty of inspiration in this slim, practical guide.

Useful advice for Christians seeking to develop their own personal relationships with Christ while encouraging others to do the same.

Pub Date: March 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1490829685

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2014

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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