A powerful, sometimes strident urging for Christians to improve their discipleship.



A debut work offers a call to Christian discipleship—and an examination of what that means.

In his concise book, Copper tells his Christian readers that energetic, committed discipleship is not an optional component of their faith. Rather, it’s an explicit command from Jesus, who enjoined his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations.” In the author’s view, this discipleship is an “ever-growing and never-ending” process. The concern hovering over his chapters is that even people who call themselves disciples of Jesus don’t have a very good understanding of the relationship they’ve undertaken. Although Copper’s outlook on these and other faith-related matters has a certain fundamentalist clarity (“The goal of the Christian is to glorify God in our lives. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else”), his discussion of various aspects of discipleship, including an examination of servitude and slavery as described in the Old Testament, is thorough and scripturally literate. Each chapter is followed by discussion questions clearly designed to facilitate further investigation by individuals and Bible study groups. This kind of study is important in the book’s narrative since Copper grimly points out that in his opinion “most Christians know just enough about the Bible to be dangerous.” His characterization of the relationship at the core of Christianity—between the believer and Jesus— may strike a discordant note in the modern era, since he explicitly calls it a master-slave bond. Likewise, some of his readers will disagree with his stance that true Christians should believe as literal truth Noah’s Flood and the Creation of the universe, Earth, and all life forms in six days. But the passion and scholarship Copper displays everywhere else in his book will make it invigorating reading for his fellow believers.

A powerful, sometimes strident urging for Christians to improve their discipleship.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-973687-31-3

Page Count: 126

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2020

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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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