Friday, February 13, 2015

No Greater Valor - By Jerome Corsi

No Greater Valor:  The Siege of Bastogne And the Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory by Jerome Corsi deals with the surprise attack by Nazi forces against the Americans in Belgium that hinged upon the capturing/holding the town of Bastogne.  It is a very detailed account, almost too detailed for my taste, for instance, there are intricate accounts of the weapons used, what kinds they were, how many…etc.  Which just didn't capture my interest, but it makes absolute sense to have that type of info in a book about war.  And many probably prefer such attention to detail.  There are many maps in the book as well, illustrating what was happening, and many photographs from that time too. 

The thing I really didn’t like about this book was that, though trying to have a Christian aspect to it, it didn't really succeed in anything but showing that many of the allied forces were theists.  One of the main persons focused upon is a Catholic Priest rather than a protestant pastor.  I found the parts that dealt with him and his actions during the war, though obviously meant to be inspiring, were actually quite disheartening because the man was not teaching or promoting the Gospel of Christ but rather a works based salvation which will not save.  Corsi also tries to demonstrate that Patton was a devout Christian, but I didn't get that impression from all of Corsi's arguments, rather it seemed that Patton viewed God as more of a tool to be utilized rather than a God to be worshiped because He is what life is all about.  I just didn't get the idea that Patton was a very godly man.  Also, as this book was published by Thomas Nelson and supposed to be from a more Christian perspective(and is in Christian bookstores), I was quite shocked that there is a quotation with Christ's name being taken in vain while swear words are cut out and replaced with: [expletive].  Why didn't they take out the vain reference to Christ's name and put: [blasphemy] instead?  I mean, I find Christ's name being taken in vain more offensive than references to Hell, especially as it goes against the third commandment.  

Anyway, the book seemed to be written with more of a theistic perspective than a Christian one.  But again, if you like detailed books about war/battles, you'd probably like this one. There are a lot of references to other books about the siege of Bastogne and personal accounts of various people who were involved, so if you just want more of the history, overview/summary, this would probably be a good one to get.  I just wasn't thrilled personally.

I received a free review copy of this book from the Booklook blogger program in exchange for my review which did not have to be favorable.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Ten Commandments: Ethics For the Twenty-First Century - By Mark Rooker

The Ten Commandments: Ethics for the twenty-first century by Mark Rooker is a good and quite concise look at the meaning of each of the ten commandments, comparing them to the laws of other nations, looking at the repetition(or the significance of their non-repetition) in the New Testament, their application in the lives of Christians and their significance, or comparison to our modern culture.

Have you ever wondered about the statement some people make, that other nations had laws similar to the ten commandments before the ten commandments were given out to Moses and Israel? I really liked Rooker's point about how the how the Ten commandments express God's eternal will, and how "This is known by the conviction of the human conscience but more explicitly by the ancient pagan law codes discovered in the Near East. Many of these law codes contain statutes similar to the Ten commandments which indicate their recognition of basic intrinsic moral values. Indeed, the law sin the Decalogue are not entirely new to Israel. The Bible presupposes a moral code long before the theophany on Mount Sinai. This is indicated in earlier biblical events such as the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain(Gen 4)…." This is also supported by Romans 2:15.

The rather intricate looks at each individual commandment were quite insightful, here are a couple of comments to demonstrate this: In his section on the 2nd commandment he comments: "Idolatry has never been connected to ethical behavior……Wrong thoughts about God lead to wrong behavior." And looking at the 3rd, taking the Lord's name in vain he states that, "This commandment addresses any insincere reference to the Lord, as His name is the revelation of His person. This would include offering praise or singing to God out of routine without any thought to what one is singing or praying."

Also, I really appreciate Rooker's explanation of how the ten commandments function in the lives of Christians, "It could be said that the law illuminates sanctification. It provides a guide for the believer to what is pleasing in God's sight."He explains that they functioned in a similar manner in the old testament, "Works have never been the instrument of salvation; they are the evidence of salvation. Obedience to the laws should be placed in the domain of sanctification rather than justification wherein by adherence to these laws a social distinction was maintained between the Israelites and the rest of the world."

There were some statements that I didn't quite agree with, but overall I liked it. It is interesting, well written and is a good overview of the moral law of God.

Many thanks to B&H publishing group for sending me a free review copy of this book. (My review did not have to be favorable)

This book may be purchased at Amazon