A stirring spiritual account for Christians searching for motivation.

WANTED

From the Restoring the Years series , Vol. 2

A sequel describes the contest between Jesus and Satan for the souls of humankind. 

In his autobiographical debut, Lucas (The Potter and the Clay, 2014) recounted his tumultuous journey from drug-addled dissipation to redemption through Jesus. In this volume, he relates the traps set by Satan for those who have yet to craft a strong relationship with Jesus, and the various ways in which one can resist evil and craft a joyous spirituality: “The purpose in my writing this book is to expose the fallacy of Satan’s intentional mental warfare designed to crush the spirit and decrease the stability of our minds.” According to the author, people live in times particularly susceptible to Satan’s mendacious attacks, given the undermining of objective truth by postmodern culture. Furthermore, Satan—“the father of the unbelieving slaves”—exploits people’s credulity to appeal to their principal temptations: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Those who are lost in depression and loneliness are Satan’s primary targets, but the good news is that God maintains a “special heart” for those trapped in suffering. Lucas draws on Scripture and his own personal experiences to describe the spiritual redemption made available to everyone by Jesus’ sacrifice. He also furnishes arguments regarding the historicity of Jesus as well as his ministry’s fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The author’s anecdotal remembrance of his own perilous journey from anguish to spiritual contentment is both remarkable and inspiring. In addition, he provides a thorough rendering of Satan’s role in Christian theology. Still, the point of the book is less argumentative persuasion than Christian cheerleading, presented as a homiletic sermon more than a philosophical study: “I know from experience that if there’s one thing that strikes fear in the darkened soul of Satan, it’s the name of Jesus!” While Lucas’ entreaties may very well become a source of encouragement to the faithful in need of it, they will not convince unbelievers. This is a work of preaching—unsurprising because the author is in fact an Evangelical preacher—and a rousing one at that. 

A stirring spiritual account for Christians searching for motivation.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-64471-801-8

Page Count: 172

Publisher: Covenant Books, Inc.

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2019

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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