An intriguing and heartfelt but overreaching attempt to find Christian consolation in even the worst complications life can...



A longtime nurse and minister explores the spiritual dimensions of physical illness.

Debut author Frost reports that he’s been sensitive to the correlation between physical disorders and Christian lessons since his earliest days in nursing school. That’s when he first began to see parallels between Scripture and medical care (pathology, diagnosis, and treatment). “I believe God has intertwined the physical and spiritual body,” he writes, “in such a way to reveal a mystery here that unlocks powerful insight into the workings of both.” Frost’s earnest book delves into the spiritual facets of a whole range of health problems, from heart disease and cancer to less likely candidates like STDs, obesity, and even constipation. In all these cases, the author looks for what he calls “intercessory prayer warriors”: “They are spiritual paramedics,” he writes, “EMTs, and health care workers who must always be ready to rescue those in spiritual danger.” In his diverse examples, Frost draws lessons from physical ailments, all of them derived from Christian Scripture, as in his chapter on immunity disorders. After a careful and detailed explanation of blood cell types and the like, he shifts to discussing spiritual aspects. “We need the blood in every ministry in order for each to live,” he writes. “Circulate the blood of Christ in your preaching, and the lost will be saved.” Readers should notice immediately what Frost himself freely admits: that some of these parallels are long, long stretches, untenable except perhaps for the fundamentalist Christians who are undoubtedly the author’s target audience. Frost’s imagination, rhetorical inventiveness, and sincerity notwithstanding, there’s something noticeably absurd in trying to find a spiritual element to chlamydia or cholesterol. For every such malady, the author insists, “God has a message He wants to convey to us or those around us.” But readers who’ve come face to face with the essential pointlessness of suffering may be harder to convince.

An intriguing and heartfelt but overreaching attempt to find Christian consolation in even the worst complications life can throw at people.

Pub Date: April 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5320-1817-6

Page Count: 198

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2017

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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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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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