An engaging and scripturally literate call for readers to “open their spiritual ears” to God’s plan for them.

THE CRIMSON THREAD OF THE BIBLE

FOLLOWING THE RIBBON OF REDEMPTION FROM CREATION TO CHRIST

A senior Baptist pastor tracks the faithfulness of God through the books of the Bible.

As a fairly clear signal to what is obviously his target audience of fellow fundamentalist Christians, McClure (Made for Glory, 2016, etc.) begins this work of biblical exhortation with a faith claim. The Bible, he writes, is unlike any other volume because its origin is divine: “Its author is God; it contains the words of God and shows how the believer is to apply His word to his life.” He asserts that it is to be read not piecemeal, but as one completed book (“It is a completed plan, God’s plan of redemption for a lost humanity, and in the divine plan God reveals to us our ending is our beginning”). In saying this, McClure writes, “I am fully aware of the naysayers who cite the Bible is nothing other than a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over a period of approximately 1,600 years.” But as McClure must know, it isn’t just “naysayers” who cite these things—it’s also centuries of biblical scholars establishing actual, textual, datable, verifiable facts. Maintaining otherwise is the epistemological equivalent of declaring that water is chocolate candy, and only readers willing to make such a leap will likely follow McClure to the end of his work’s 168 pages. But once past such a daunting requirement, audiences should find that the author is a genial, welcoming reader of Scripture who patiently and enthusiastically traces the “crimson thread of redemption flowing through God’s divine plan.” McClure follows this ribbon through nearly every book of the Bible, adroitly picking passages to illustrate his contention that God has from the beginning of time sought to create beings capable of having a fruitful relationship with him, a “loving fellowship” that was only brought to fruition through the teachings and sacrifice of Jesus. McClure effectively illustrates his readings with real-world comparisons, from the playful (about baseball) to the intensely personal (his sister’s fight with cancer).

An engaging and scripturally literate call for readers to “open their spiritual ears” to God’s plan for them.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-935265-91-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Deep River Books

Review Posted Online: June 5, 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 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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