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Archive for the ‘Eric Blehm’ Category

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Eric Blehm.  The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan  New York, NY: Harper, January 19th, 2010.  400 pp.

Rating: 5 out of 5

This is the story of a US Special Forces team called ODA 574 and their mission in sourthern Afghanistan in the early days of the US invasion after September 11th.  The author interviewed the survivors of the team, other military servicemembers who interacted with the team and also poured over official government documents.  Most amazing of all is the fact that the author got to interview Hamid Karzai himself, the president of Afghanistan whom at that time was little known.  This is the story of the tip of the spear of the US military bringing the war to the very home of the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan.

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I’ve listened to some audiobooks in 2015 and most of them I listened to while I’m on the road from one place to another with ministry.  Sometimes I listen to historical non-fictions as a break from hearing sermons, seminary lectures, podcasts, etc.  I’ve arranged the following lists of audiobooks from what I least enjoyed to the ones I’ve most enjoyed.

Leadership Wisdom of Jesus by Charles Manz

Leadership Wisdom of Jesus by Charles Manz

1 Star out of 5

This book was written by a business professor and consultant who strive to write on leadership wisdom that Jesus gave and the author specifically states that he did not want to write this book with any overt religious push of religion or theology.  Honestly, the more I grow in theology the more I find books that endeavor such an attempt ends up shortchanging the readers and eventually does not do justice to the person of Jesus.  This book is a case in point.  Don’t get me wrong, I think one can find principles that Jesus taught on that has implication for wise leadership.  The problem is that often when people try to be “neutral” and not push a certain theological conviction…they still import a certain theological presuppositions that is foreign to the teaching of Jesus or the greater whole of Scripture.  For instance, in a chapter titled “Cleanse Your Insides,” the author Charles Manz talk about the importance for his readers to clean themselves on the inside but there is no mention of how Jesus wants us to be cleanse from the inside out.  There is no Gospel that is central to Jesus’ life, ministry and teaching…and instead it’s a therapeutic moral theism of works righteousness that is inconsistent with Jesus’ teaching such as in Luke about justification by faith.  Justification by faith is the foundation before there can be a believers’ sanctification.  In another chapter titled “Stop Worrying,” Manz also gave an advice to his readers about allocating one’s worrying to a specific time during the day for about say thirty minutes.  This Manz believes helps us from worrying less.  However, it is ironic that he advocates this in a chapter titled “Stop Worrying.”  Moreover, this is not consistent with the teaching of Jesus about how to deal with anxiety in Matthew 6 that he “fortune cookied” verses out of context.  A full reading of Matthew 6 reveals that Jesus’ help for a listener who is struggling with worry is to understand the character of God.  This is of course explicitly theological and Manz’ inability to go there seriously does a disservice to his readers.  Furthermore, the Bible prohibits worrying and anxiety; thus it is a sin.  For Manz to advocate sinning for thirty minutes a day in order to sin less is not a biblical or godly principle for godliness, let alone adequate to stop worrying.  Its instances like these that I believe I cannot recommend this book since it does more damage than any good from the author’s common grace insight into the leadership example and teachings by Jesus.  Readers best profit reading other more sound men of God teaching on Jesus’ leadership.

Purchase: Amazon

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