A succinct but thorough analysis of the Christian faith that raises thought-provoking questions in a personable voice.

God So Loved...

An investigation into the foundations of Christianity through one of its most popular verses.

Ink, an attorney with experience in full-time and lay ministry positions, brings careful, precise analysis to one of the Bible’s most well-known lines: John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”). Citing quotes from a range of cultural figures, such the Rev. Billy Graham an Christian author Max Lucado, Ink discusses the impact of simple, profound phrases on our conscience as a society. For him, though, nothing compares to the depth and profound nature of John 3:16: “One could dwell and meditate for a lifetime on this one sentence.” Ink offers a thorough probe into the words of the verse, including an insightful retelling of the Gospels for context. He deconstructs its words and phrases to find the engaging subjects they represent by blending historical references, personal anecdotes, biblical analysis, and figures of popular culture. The components of the verse—including “God,” “the world,” “believes in him”—become springboards to discuss myriad issues and ideas pertaining to modern Christianity. In the section on the phrase “his one and only Son,” which covers both notions of parenthood and Jesus as “a historical figure,” Ink shows his true powers as a researcher, bringing together information from varied sources and making it all accessible to a wide audience. He often shows skill at filtering complexities and making them relatable. He often inserts clever takes on classic ideas, as when he refers to John as having been “a strange desert creature” before finding Christ, or when he breaks down the complicated theological study of sin into layman’s terms. Overall, Ink has produced a very close textual reading that’s academic in its approach but clearly intended for a wide audience. His inclusion of “Thought Questions” at the ends of chapters make it ideal for personal or group Bible study, but his accessible tone and obvious knowledge may appeal also to other readers who are curious about Christianity.

A succinct but thorough analysis of the Christian faith that raises thought-provoking questions in a personable voice.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4908-7688-7

Page Count: 202

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2015

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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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