A highly readable reminder to Christians about where their true priorities should lie.

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Spiritual Fear Factor

LIVING MARKED BY THE FEAR OF GOD TO TRANSFORM A WORLD CENTERED ON THE FEAR OF MAN

A handbook for devout Christians invokes diverse pop-culture references.

The key organizing conceit of Abraham’s nonfiction debut is an extended comparison between true living in the Christian faith and the TV series Fear Factor, in which contestants were essentially pitted against their own worst fears and urged to overcome them to win prizes. In an analogy no less effective for being so cheesy, the author asks his target audience to apply the format and consequences of a show like Fear Factor to their spiritual lives: in this world, do believers fear human things they can see when they should be afraid of the divine things that matter most? “What if,” Abraham asks, “we live in a world centered on the fear of man, but have the opportunity to transform it by living marked by the fear of God?” The author contends that the noisy, attention-grabbing modern world around believers can distract them from the “straight, safe and godly path” that will lead to salvation. In the somewhat convoluted phrasing so common in modern self-actualization ministries, he contends that “God commands us to ask Him to show us the right path,” and the bulk of this book focuses on helping to show the way. These chapters forego doctrinal disagreements in favor of concentrating on spiritual basics and on trying to teach readers to be “shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” about their faith practices. Abraham makes liberal use of pop culture, citing TV shows and movies and even indulging in some textual criticism of the Pharrell Williams hit song “Happy” (readers are told it “implicitly speaks to the fear of man and the fear of God”). There are digressions on subjects like chaos theory or the various names of God in the Bible, and footnotes accompany the whole narrative, usually providing Abraham with opportunities to tell jokes and lighten the mood a bit. The result is a fast-paced, engaging faith manual for the millennial set.

A highly readable reminder to Christians about where their true priorities should lie.

Pub Date: May 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4984-7141-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Xulon

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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