A short and refreshingly direct call for Christians to rededicate their lives to God.


A writer urges Christians to reorient their worldview toward the spiritual.

The latest book from Porter (Making Room for a Big God, 2003, etc.) is neatly summed up by a line from 2 Corinthians quoted by the author: “We walk by faith and not by sight.” Porter wants his readers to shift the emphasis of their daily lives from the short-term and material to the eternal and divine—to trust in faith. The author asserts that “God-centric living means a life of almost total (because no one but God is perfect) submission to God’s sovereignty.” The God-centric view allows Christians to tap into the Heavenly Father’s own power in order to overcome “the weeping nights” sparked by life’s setbacks. The nature of those disappointments forms the center and most memorable sections of this brief book. Since “situation-centric” living must eventually involve letdowns, the author spends some time attempting to draw distinctions between plain old suffering and the concept of suffering for Jesus. Suffering, he claims, is not merely facing an adverse physical, mental, or spiritual event but rather the personal results of surviving such encounters. These experiences are differentiated from “godly suffering.” Porter warns against idolizing anguish; it’s only suffering for the cause of righteousness that makes readers blessed. These kinds of tortured distinctions have never enriched the arguments of Christian apologists, (Surely all suffering is bad, and surely all suffering has the potential to deepen religious faith.) But the author concentrates on New Testament examples of Jesus’ suffering and effectively furthers his case that “the church’s preoccupation with the legalisms of being correct in one’s relationship with and worship, service, and praise of and to God…keeps us more situation-centric and less God-centric.” The writing here is clear and concise, although the final third of the book consists of empty pages for taking notes.

A short and refreshingly direct call for Christians to rededicate their lives to God.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-973636-76-2

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: May 7, 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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