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Straightforward and clever in its choices—Christians coping with uncertainties should find inspiration in Jesus' turmoil...

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Using Jesus’ experiences in the Garden of Gethsemane, a debut spiritual guide offers instruction and rumination for Christians dealing with spiritual doubts.

In her book, Faulks looks to one of the greatest challenges Christians encounter when their beliefs are tested and they feel God’s purpose is no longer clear to them. This Gethsemane experience, so named for the temptations Jesus himself grappled with as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his Crucifixion, is a time when believers will confront pain, humiliation, slander, disappointment, betrayal, and most notably doubt as to the purpose of their ministries. To persevere over this kind of trial is no easy task, as, unlike Jesus, the individuals are not omniscient and cannot know the hearts of others. So instead, the path to becoming a Gethsemane believer focuses on self-examination, utilizing fasting, prayer, and the teachings of the Bible to recognize the sacrifices God asks for and to face these losses with humility instead of bitterness or anger. Ministry is emphasized not as a manner to exalt oneself or achieve personal salvation but rather as a gift given by God that is not to be sacrificed even in times of suffering or inconvenience. The end result, if the believer does not succumb to torment or grief, is a great strength of purpose and understanding of what the faith asks of its followers and deigns their destinies to be. The book is simple in its presentation and execution. It elucidates little on what one’s own spiritual fate will be, as such realizations are personal fare, and instead deftly illustrates the obstacles to its discovery. The biggest of these is “double-mindedness”—a person whose will is not wholly in agreement with God's and whose instability can lead to temptation by Satan and spiritual disobedience. The astute book breaks down concepts of ministry and prayer as actions that do not make demands but rather conform to God’s will, skillfully using well-cited Scripture and providing helpful questions and personal reflections to help strengthen and exercise Gethsemane belief. The work also details what the evidence of success might look like—from answered prayers to more spiritual thinking.

Straightforward and clever in its choices—Christians coping with uncertainties should find inspiration in Jesus' turmoil when facing Golgotha.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973607-87-8

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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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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