Archive for January 16th, 2015

American Sniper

The audio book was quite engaging and packs somewhat of an interactive punch as it is being narrated audibly by a person with a Texan accent.  Although the audio is no substitute for the book, I find it as a huge help if you are pressed for time.  The quality is good too.  You could listen to it while you are driving, lying down in bed, or whenever you can.  I felt that the audio was impressive in that it swept me into Chris Kyle’s  world.  In his autobiography, there is constant back and forth narration through the len’s of Chris and his wife Taya.  The constant back and forth narration from Chris and Taya reveals the tension and the connection between his military and family life.  The load is heavy: teammates, country, and family, teammates, country and family.  When he is at war, he thinks about his family and when he is at home, he thinks about his teammates.  There is a constant battle that wages heavily before Chris. He ranks it out clearly in the early stages of his book: 1) God, 2) Family/Country, 3)… ?  That’s right, God is first, but family and country are like neck to neck.  From a Christian perspective, the order would be: God, family, then military.  It appears that the birth of his children and time was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  It kind of woke him up.  With the addition of children and with most of his time being gone away from the family, he felt he was being farther and farther away from being an effective husband and father.  In the midst of war, Chris, did not disconnect his journey from his family life.  They were important to him.  He loved his wife and his children.  So important, that he decided to stop enlisting.

War.  What about war?  It is Hell according to Chris the legendary Navy Seal.   He witnessed it and he experienced it.  He is considered the deadliest sniper in U.S. history; the sniper that has the most confirmed kills in U.S. history.  But that is not what Chris wants to be known for in war.  There are some things that he regrets: that he was not able to save more lives.  In terms of the the lives that he took away–there was no feeling of guilt or guilty conscience.  According to him, the lives he took were murderers and savages.  His conscience was clear.  His conscience, screams out the existence of God.  The law of God is written on man’s heart (Rom. 2:15).  Because of that, he is able to discern who is the enemy before he pulls the trigger.  Chris claims the Christian faith and He believes God has gifted him to be an instrument of punishment towards evil doers.  His position comes with a big responsibility.  In terms of whether Chris is a true believer–I am not sure.  I hope that he was genuinely born-again.   In terms of constructive criticism, I really wish that the profession of Christ’s name would in turn highlight the beauty of the Gospel.  I did not really see that being flushed out in the book.  Moreover, the myriad of unwholesome speech is prevalent in this book and does not honor or magnify the Gospel.

I would recommend this book to those who desire to learn about the tension between sacrifice, family, county, war, and the Quite Professionals: Navy Seals.  I learned that a man can only be beaten in two ways for these silent warriors: quitting or dying.  For Chris, quitting is not an option.   He would rather die in honor against the fight towards evil.  It is clearly woven together like a fabric in this book.

As a Christian, I am priviledged and honored by the freedom that we have in this country.  And it is because of men like Chris and others who have sacrificed their lives for us.  I am saddened that Chris was murdered and that he was taken away from his wife and children.  May God be with them.   After reading this book, I reminded that we must pray more for those in uniform.  As the physical battle wages on against evil, there is a greater war: spiritual battle in the hearts of humans.  The heart is deceitfully wicked.  It is the heart that brings about evil and terrorism.  Depravity: it manifests in many forms and it resides in every heart that is not regenerated.  It does not discriminate.  Pray that the Gospel will free more and more people from sin. No guns or bombs can do that.  Only God’s power can.

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