The Week in Books 2009, No. 36

After having received so many good books to review from NavPress recently, I was sort of disappointed in Quiet Influence. The book purports to be a Biblestudy, but is actually a book of six essays by different authors about women. I couldn’t really find a connecting theme between the women (Deborah and Mary from the Bible, Sarah Edwards, Lottie Moon and Shirley Lindsay) other than that they were all believers in God. I thought the chapter on Mary had some good points that could be extrapolated into a Bible study if you were really desperate to do a Bible study from out of this book. I also found it interesting that the author who wrote about Sarah Edwards focused on her hospitality as the source of her influence, rather than her raising of 11 children who went on to have an inordinate influence on nearly every aspect of life in the United States for generations. That is not to downplay Sarah Edwards’ hospitality, but if you’re really interested in her, I suggest you read Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards instead.

As far as I can tell, Quiet Influence is not available on Amazon, but you can get it through the NavPress site directly if you are interested in checking it out for yourself.

Under normal circumstances I would never pick up a book like The End of America because I am not that into “End Times” hype. However, my mother-in-law gave me her copy of this book and asked me to read it so she would have someone to talk about it with, so I obliged and gave it a whirl.

I found the book interesting, although I disagree with the author on theological and eschatalogical points too numerous to detail in this review. I don’t mean to put down those with alternative views of Scripture, and I am certainly no expert in these matters, I just found that I couldn’t agree with the basic premises of the book, and that sort of left me hanging.

Another main point in the book is the author’s assertion that al-Qa’ida wants to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Because of the papers I signed when I left my last job, I think the less I say about that the better, but I will mention that you can find translations of Bin Laden’s speeches and various fatwas on this topic readily available in open sources. That said, I think the author of the book goes too far in his assertion about what weapons terrorists actually currently possess, based on the information available to him.

The author concludes that in order to escape the impending doom of America, you should plan now to move to South or Central America. Although I don’t see that as a huge need at the moment it was interesting to consider what circumstances would prompt us to leave our country, and where we would go if we left. I think my conclusion is that if Christians came under persecution here I would consider leaving, but I think God would call some people to stay so we’d be trying to figure it out as we went. If we did ever emigrate I think I’d like to live in Chile, history with Pinochet notwithstanding. It seems like a very pretty country and there are a lot of interesting things to see and do there.

I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss The End of America with my mother-in-law yet, so I’m not sure what she thinks or what she wanted to talk about. I don’t really want this review to turn into a huge discussion of dispensationalism or pre/post/amillenialism or the cinematic vehicles of Kirk Cameron. If you have actual questions about these topics, I would suggest you ask your pastor.

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