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

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

more