An inspirational but familiar guide to the promises of eternity offered by Christian Scripture.



A motivational manual focuses on the Christian concepts of death and the afterlife.

This slim volume from Swets (Finding Happiness, 2015, etc.) takes a very simple and straightforward approach. The author, a pastoral counselor, assembles virtually everything in Christian Scripture pertaining to death and the afterlife. “Life is a battleground. Death is an enemy,” Swets writes. “If you have been hurt in this fight, or if you feel you have already lost the battle for faith, do not despair. Victory is still possible.” The author quotes from the Gospels, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation, in all cases stressing the notes of hope and continuation. In this sense, Jesus’ words in the Gospel of St. Matthew form the guiding sentiment: “For I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The book’s organization invites easy consultation: Sections are short and relevant Scriptural passages are offset in italics. And Swets’ scriptural interpretations make all the customary logical and deductive jumps that Christian eschatology requires. “The Bible does not tell us a great deal about this intermediate state,” he writes at one point, discussing the transition from earthly flesh to resurrected eternal life. “Lack of detail is part of the grand mystery of God.” And lack of detail applies to the whole discussion here. “Historical fact lays the groundwork for our hope,” Swets asserts. “We are not talking about wish fulfillment or mystic vision or conjecture. God’s power raised Jesus Christ—body and soul—from the dead. This is the historical basis for the hope of our own bodily resurrection.” Of course, no historical facts attest to the resurrection of Jesus or any other person; mystic visions and conjectures are what the author has to deal with. The Christian faithful, for whom this work is obviously written, will already be familiar with both its verses and interpretations. But there’s a comfort and ease to having all of the relevant passages collected in one handy volume. 

An inspirational but familiar guide to the promises of eternity offered by Christian Scripture.

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63357-163-1

Page Count: 175

Publisher: Crosslink Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2019

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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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