A useful guidebook for Christians interested in literal answers to the Bible’s more acrimonious subjects.

PURE GOD

FINALLY, ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS!

An accessible look at some of Christianity’s biggest conundrums.

This work takes on some of the Christian faith’s larger questions and contradictions from the perspective of a deeply religious follower. Some are fairly general, such as, “What Happens after You Die?” and “What Is the Holy Trinity?” Others, however, take for granted that readers have a fairly in-depth knowledge of the subject (“Was God Being Evil When He Killed Ananias and Sapphira?”). Regardless of their complexity, however, the answers to many of the questions are fairly predictable. Edwards is an unabashedly devoted Christian and a firm literalist who states very early that he believes everything in the Bible is true: “The answers,” he writes, “are not out there; they are in there—in the Bible.” At times, readers may find this strict approach off-putting, as when he criticizes an old friend who used to question why God ordered the annihilation of the Canaanites: “By the way,” he declares, “anything that attributes evil to God is blasphemous—pure and simple.” At other times, however, the book may be a useful resource for believers. The author has a very thorough understanding of the Bible; if readers want to know more about the origins of the Holy Trinity in Scripture, for instance, this would be a good place to look. Despite his strong views, however, the author does take a balanced approach to issues such as the “end-times,” noting that “the words second coming and rapture appear nowhere in the Bible.” He’s also adept at pinpointing potentially confusing issues, such as why Jesus is known as both the Son of God and the Son of Man. The work, however, might have been improved by some consideration of other views, although, given the enormity of the subject, the author would have had to choose carefully.

A useful guidebook for Christians interested in literal answers to the Bible’s more acrimonious subjects.

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-1490819525

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: July 11, 2014

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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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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

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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