A pedestrian juxtaposition of Christianity and Islam.

THE QU'RAN BY THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL

Debut author John offers fellow Christians a succinct comparison of the Quran and the Bible on key doctrinal points—particularly those relating to the life and divinity of Jesus.

The author says that he seeks to provide a handbook so that “if an Imam asked a Christian Pastor to bring evidence of the Gospel’s authority,” he’d be able to do so. Notably, John does not go so far as to view the difference between the two faiths as one between good and evil, as some evangelical Christians do; indeed, he embraces Muslims as fellow “believers.” His main focus is to refute the Islamic rejection of the divinity of Christ. He asserts that whatever similarities that the Bible and Quran may share in their writing styles or their belief in the supremacy of God, the two are ultimately incompatible. To John, who says that he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible, the fundamental disagreement on the purpose, meaning, and very nature of Jesus is a chasm that will forever separate Christians and Muslims. Overall, this book may be useful to Protestants who seek a basic introduction to the similarities and differences between the two faiths. Readers looking for a scholarly comparison, however, will find that there are no footnotes; John only cites the two holy books, so that one can directly compare parallel passages on a range of topics. He also rejects the compatibility of Christianity with Catholicism—the world’s largest Christian denomination—by critiquing the Catholic practice of praying to the Virgin Mary. The author’s understanding of mainstream Christian doctrine isn’t always clear at times. He seems ambivalent toward the term “Trinity,” for example, and, in a chapter on the Quran’s alleged acceptance of violence, he doesn’t note the longstanding Christian concept of “just war.” Other readers may grow tired of the book’s repetitive style, as it offers passage after passage from the Bible and Quran with very little critical analysis, beyond surface-level comparisons and platitudes.

A pedestrian juxtaposition of Christianity and Islam.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-973607-67-0

Page Count: 244

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 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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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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