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


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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An erudite and artful, though frustratingly restrained, look at Old Testament stories.


The Book of Genesis as imagined by a veteran voice of underground comics.

R. Crumb’s pass at the opening chapters of the Bible isn’t nearly the act of heresy the comic artist’s reputation might suggest. In fact, the creator of Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural is fastidiously respectful. Crumb took pains to preserve every word of Genesis—drawing from numerous source texts, but mainly Robert Alter’s translation, The Five Books of Moses (2004)—and he clearly did his homework on the clothing, shelter and landscapes that surrounded Noah, Abraham and Isaac. This dedication to faithful representation makes the book, as Crumb writes in his introduction, a “straight illustration job, with no intention to ridicule or make visual jokes.” But his efforts are in their own way irreverent, and Crumb feels no particular need to deify even the most divine characters. God Himself is not much taller than Adam and Eve, and instead of omnisciently imparting orders and judgment He stands beside them in Eden, speaking to them directly. Jacob wrestles not with an angel, as is so often depicted in paintings, but with a man who looks not much different from himself. The women are uniformly Crumbian, voluptuous Earth goddesses who are both sexualized and strong-willed. (The endnotes offer a close study of the kinds of power women wielded in Genesis.) The downside of fitting all the text in is that many pages are packed tight with small panels, and too rarely—as with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—does Crumb expand his lens and treat signature events dramatically. Even the Flood is fairly restrained, though the exodus of the animals from the Ark is beautifully detailed. The author’s respect for Genesis is admirable, but it may leave readers wishing he had taken a few more chances with his interpretation, as when he draws the serpent in the Garden of Eden as a provocative half-man/half-lizard. On the whole, though, the book is largely a tribute to Crumb’s immense talents as a draftsman and stubborn adherence to the script.

An erudite and artful, though frustratingly restrained, look at Old Testament stories.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-393-06102-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2009

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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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