A worthwhile compilation of daily readings for Christians who believe in prosperity theology.

READ REVIEW

GOD'FESSIONS 3

This third installment of a series offers 90 days of proclamations and Scriptures centered on affirming God’s blessings in readers’ lives.

According to Coker (God’fessions 2, 2015, etc.), an associate pastor of a Nigerian megachurch, Christians should stop thinking of “confession” as a negative term that acknowledges one’s shortcomings before God. Instead, the word should be reinterpreted to mean “to repeatedly and continually say a thing in order to achieve a desired end.” Just as God spoke the world into existence in Genesis and Jesus performed miracles through the mere uttering of words, so can readers who are made in God’s own image use their statements to “create, re-create, change, prohibit, and allow things” in their lives. Each of the author’s daily declarations uses proclamations, affirmations, and Scriptures—all of which are to be spoken out loud by readers—to summon life-changing miracles and transformations. These assertions cover a variety of topics, including casting out fear, obtaining wisdom, discovering one’s purpose, and, most commonly, achieving “victory” in all aspects of life, including attaining prosperity. For example, in Coker’s typical grandiose style, one daily pronouncement encourages everyone to embrace the idea that “I am born to reign and created for dominion; greatness is attracted to me. I win always, and everything is working for me.” Another reading announces: “I am wiser than my peers…I am immune to failure, and success is attracted to me.” For Christians of Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions that embrace prosperity theology, the author provides concise, potent daily affirmations that focus on the creation of wealth, success, and wisdom. Alternately, many mainline Christians may find his self-help theology off-putting in its constant emphasis on bringing blessings solely to individuals and their friends and families. Christians who follow traditions that embrace self-denial and suffering as a means to experience God will also not find a place in Coker’s daily readings. Moreover, the author is much less concerned with theological exegesis and the doctrinal implications of his statements than he is with their intended power to radically change the lives of his readers.

A worthwhile compilation of daily readings for Christians who believe in prosperity theology.

Pub Date: June 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5462-3992-5

Page Count: 196

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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