Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review: One of the Few

One of the Few. Jason B. Ladd. 2015. 297 pages. [Source: Review copy]

What's your worldview? Have you given it much thought? Is your worldview perhaps pieced together, here and there? How much importance do you place on it? You may be thinking, well, I don't even have a worldview. But the truth is, every single person has a way of viewing the world, of making sense of the world around them, of piecing together the way they fit into the world, of what it all means, or if life means anything at all. Whether you've given it just a little time or a LOT of your time, Jason B. Ladd's One of The Few could prove quite a beneficial read.

I think it could also prove a timely read as well. Perhaps your own worldview has been challenged, tested, or brought closer to the surface as the events of this past summer have unfolded. It is hard to watch the news and not react--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Perhaps recent events have you asking questions, or, perhaps you're too angry or frustrated to form your questions into words and order them logically.

One of the Few is several books in one. It is, in part, a record of one man's journey from careless agnostic (agnostic by default, careless in that he didn't spend any time whatsoever thinking out these kinds of things) to Christian believer. It is, in part, an actual biography of a Marine. It is also a passionate pleading to readers. A passionate plea to parents to be involved in their children's spiritual lives, to teach and to train their children in the Christian faith. A plea to NOT be passive and dismissive when it comes to their child forming a world view. You do not want the sole influencers of your child's worldview to be the school system, the news, social media, movies, television shows, music, etc. Also, it is a passionate plea for believers to lead pure, holy lives. He tackles two issues in this one: sexual purity--the dangers of pornography--and alcohol usage--the dangers of drunkenness. He has one more plea for readers: WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, THERE IS A SPIRITUAL WAR GOING ON, AND YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR IT.

My favorite chapter is "Never Surrender." In this chapter, he discusses the Code of Conduct for the military, and, how it is relevant to spiritual warfare as well.
III. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
For the soldier, the preface is "if I am captured." For the Christian, it could read, "when I am captured," for we become prisoners when we sin…. When we are captured by sin, we must continue to resist, lest our stumble become a headlong plunge into spiritual relapse. The soldier must use all means available, but the Christian must use the only man capable: Jesus Christ. In order to escape, we must repent. In order to aid others to escape, we must fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the Gospel with everyone. We must not accept parole. Wartime captors say, "Favors and freedom I will give thee if you swear allegiance to our state, our cause, our Great Leader." (p. 250)
Other quotes:
"It is your responsibility to teach your children what is true. Would you let your child decide for themselves whether or not it is true that failing to look both ways before crossing the street can get you killed? The undeniable nature of that truth and the gravity of the consequences ensure you teach it to your children. You would never risk their safety by failing to give them that instruction." (35)
"Every Christian will have to ask a similar question: "How truly do I believe this?" The path is narrow and the journey is difficult. Your patience will be rubbed raw and your boots will be bloodied by spiritual warfare. Your feet will ache from walking up hills of conflict. Your brain will throb from worldly derision and doubt. You will wonder if you have what it takes to stay on the path and finish the hump. You will be tempted to quit." (46)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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