Archive for the ‘Eric Metaxas’ Category

As 2016 comes soon to a close here are reviews of 4 audio books that I listened to during the last three months of 2016.  If you are interested here is last year’s .

Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World

Jay Sekulow. Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World.   Brentwood, Tennessee: Howard Books, September 20th 2016. 320 pp.

4 out of 5

This book is written by Jay Sekulow who is probably best known to most people as the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.  This is the second work by Sekulow that I enjoyed.  In this present title the author tackles the issue radical Islam and also the strange relationship between Iran, Russian and Sunni radical Islamic groups.  For the audio book Jay Sekulow read the book himself and the upbeat manner and pace of how he speaks on his radio show is also how Sekulow read the book which is a plus since I’ve always thought his voice makes whatever he was talking about as serious, urgent and interesting.

The book is comprised of eleven chapters in which the bulk of the book focuses on the history of Iran and explanation to Western readers about Islam.  I found the discussion about the Sunni and Shite divide to be have been pretty spot on.  I think the West often think of radical Islam as affiliated with extremists of the Sunni variety (think Al Qaeda and ISIS) but there’s a whole Shiite form that most in the West don’t think of in the form of Iranian backed Shiite terrorists groups (think Hezbollah, Shiites militia in Iraq backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, etc).  I did learn some new things reading this book concerning the history of Iran though and I was surprised to learn of how long it was that Iran was once Westernized.  Of course we know the Iranian revolution with their own Shiite brand of Radical Islam changed all from 1979 onwards.  Towards the end of the book the author cited various evidences of the strange relationship between Iran and other unlikely jihadists and terrorists groups.  Sekulow talked about instances in which Iran helped Al Qaeda and Iran’s support for Hamas even though Hamas is predominately Sunni.  The most interesting wild card is the Russian alliance with Iran in backing Assad’s regime in Syria.

Overall this is an interesting work.  I give it a four out of 5.

Purchase: Amazon


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Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

 (Available at Amazon)

A very thorough biography of this famous German pastor, theologian and conspirator to assassinate Adolph Hitler.  The author Eric Metaxas must have spent years researching for this book, especially with how thick the book is (coming at 600 pages).  I appreciated the work going into Bonhoeffer’s background of his mother and father’s upbringing which shaped the way they parented him and forged the kind of man Dietrich Bonhoeffer would later become.  His father was scientifically inclined and would contribute to Dietrich’s analytical side while his mother’s strong Christian faith and background that include pastors and theologians in her lineage would keep Dietrich attune to his spiritual heritage of Christianity.  The author did a good job of giving us a portrait of the man while also exploring his thoughts—a feat that I appreciate.  The book’s angle on Bonhoeffer the theologian and the “spy” against the Nazi regime gives the reader a very helpful window into Bonhoeffer’s theological mind in justifying his involvement with the resistance in plotting the assassination of Hitler.  One also get the sense that as the book progresses one also discover how Bonhoeffer also grew as a person, a theologian and also a Christian.  The book did a good job situating the historical development of the Nazi rise to power and also the political landscape that shaped Bonhoeffer’s later life in Germany.  In fact, I thought the author did such a good job that when I read other works on Christians during Nazi Germany I was able to use what I learn in this book to help illuminate and give a more thorough picture of what’s going on in the other two books.  Bonhoeffer was indeed among the most interesting theologian of the twentieth century and his experience with so many countries while also being a leader of the Confessional church inside Nazi Germany put him at a whole different level beyond mere academic contribution.  A must read.

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