Thorough, articulate, and astute advice for Christian leaders.



In this Christian guidebook, debut author Klender offers 40 rules, or “keys,” to help fellow religious leaders guard against spiritual downfall.

Referring to an Old Testament king whose pride led to his ruin, the author uses the term “Uzziah Syndrome” to describe how some religious leaders start their ministries well but end them dishonorably, for various reasons. Klender puts forth “a biblical strategy for inoculating leaders against the spiritual malaise of the Uzziah Syndrome,” relying on biblical quotes and personal accounts of spiritual experiences, often drawing analogies from his own service as a U.S. Navy chaplain. Throughout, the author urges readers to take seriously the various threats that he believes Satan poses. He presents a wealth of advice in 40 chapters, including essays on avoiding selfish ambition and egoism, not allowing comfort to stunt spiritual growth, embracing a correct view of God, and forgiving oneself and others. One of his overarching principles is that one should maintain a keen awareness of one’s thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions, making course corrections when needed. He follows each chapter with meaningful review questions that invite both reflection and application, such as “Can you think of a time in your ministry where spiritual success or victory made you vulnerable to temptation?” and “Is there an offence that has been committed against you that you refuse to forgive? Explain.” Some readers may find 40 “keys” to guard against personal apostasy excessive. However, each one is unique, valuable, and well-developed. The author’s prose offers a pleasant balance of memorable stories, supporting quotations from the Bible, and a variety of other sources, as well as Klender’s own insights. His questions, in particular, truly evoke contemplation as they attempt to promote personal change. That said, there are occasionally distracting punctuation errors, and some readers may find that the occasional right-leaning political opinions feel out of place in the spiritually focused text.

Thorough, articulate, and astute advice for Christian leaders.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973610-42-7

Page Count: 666

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2018

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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 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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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