A brief, heartfelt work but one that’s certainly heterodox and controversial.

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Releasing End Time Power

BIBLE PROPHECIES AS IT RELATES TO THE END TIMES

A debut book about claiming the power of Pentecost for the church of today.

Newton challenges fellow Christians to use the power of the Holy Spirit, gifted to the church at Pentecost, in order to prepare for “spiritual battle”; at the same time, he warns the church against errors of complacency and worldliness. The author begins by explaining the background leading up to the story of Pentecost—the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, as found in the book of Acts. He also discusses the immediate ramifications of the Pentecost experience: an empowerment of the apostolic church to go forth and begin a widespread conversion effort. Newton then asserts that there are three principles of Pentecost: obedience, sanctification, and becoming of one accord. He notes that all three must be “working simultaneously together, to achieve the Pentecostal effect.” He elaborates by saying that “The general idea of Pentecost is to summon the presence and power of God.” The author speaks from the vantage point of a Pentecostalist tradition (specifically, the Assemblies of God), but many other Christians may find the concept of summoning God’s power to be difficult to accept. They may find it easier, however, to accept Newton’s view that obedience, sanctity, and harmony give the Holy Spirit a better outlet to work through the lives of believers. The author rightly notes that, in too many cases, these principles aren’t found in modern churches. “The church is supposed to be a watering hole for the saints,” he says, “but instead it is a breeding ground for devils and demons.” However, the author also asserts that humanity is definitively witnessing the signs of the end times, pointing to the rapid change in views on homosexuality and “the prevalence of the works of the flesh.” Socially progressive readers will be taken aback by Newton’s treatment of homosexuality in particular (“Homophobia is a word created by Satan himself to deceive the world into accepting homosexual behavior”).

A brief, heartfelt work but one that’s certainly heterodox and controversial.

Pub Date: June 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5175-1469-3

Page Count: 98

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2016

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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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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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