Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review - One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd



Jason B. Ladd
One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview
Boone Shepherd; October 27, 2015
Paperback: 318 pp, $16.99 or AUD 22.94

Jason Ladd’s non-fiction work is his first offering and sits virtually on his Amazon alongside The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between by Gregory Koukl, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi and You Are Special by Max Lucado, a heavyweight in the Christian Living genre.
 
I have chosen to contrast the book with Ann Voskamp’s New York best seller for 60 weeks One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  Both authors are quiverful parents of a growing family, Ann a farmer’s wife with then six children, Jason husband and father to seven children; both have experienced a death of a child in their immediate families, and are living away from urban life. 

Academic journal writer Allan Fisher attributes the start of Christian non-fiction book publishing to evangelist Dwight L. Moody.  Fisher via Christianity Today says Moody “was the catalyst for two of America's largest religious book publishers”.  “While preaching in mid-western and western states, he became aware that Christian books were stocked by few book stores and were prohibitively expensive.

Drawing on his earlier business experience, Moody conceived of a series of pocket-sized paperback books that would be priced right: 10¢! The volumes would be reprints of established books or new books by established authors, books that were readable and non-denominational.”   

Despite the expected violence from a book about an Iraq War veteran and mom and butter cake expectations from a west of Ontario stay at home mom, the reverse is true, of Ann at least.  It was this perception of Christian life as unmanly that discouraged Jason from joining his wife’s faith.

“Is God for Girlie Men? It was within this milieu that as a young man, I assigned femininity to the Church. If there were strong men with powerful voices calling their flocks to wield the sword of the spirit, I didn’t know about them. I had never heard of Billy Graham, Chuck Swindoll, or John MacArthur. I was unfamiliar with church history, tradition, the role of men in the church, the increasing feminization prior to the 19th century, or the more recent “muscular Christianity” movement. I did not attend church regularly until I had children of my own.”

It was the insightful information that I enjoyed about Jason’s book.  I have been to many bible studies and fluent in Christianese, but found fresh scriptures that were useful to me and fresh ways to approach topical debates.  Considering Jason has first-hand knowledge of hot spots in the world, I value his opinion.