BOOK REVIEW: You’re Stronger Than You Think, by Dr. Les Parrott

When the first page of a book promotes the author’s website and another $5.95 (after coupon code), one must be wary.  You’re Stronger Than You Think: The Power to do What You Feel You Cant, by Dr. Les Parrott, does make such an offer, and leans heavily toward ‘think-and-grow-powerful’ mentality of the mega-churched.  In fairness, his practical suggestions are good, but the overall impression is vague empty promises based on human effort.  Linking Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz with the Apostle Paul, Parrott summarizes his self-help strength source: “It’s found in your mind, your heart and your soul.  To use it-to summon your strength- all you have to do is say you need it and then listen for the still, small voice.”  No humility here.

I disliked the frequent ‘plugging’ of the author’s website offers, and the questions at the end of each chapter were silly.  He generally talks around a subject, quotes others, and ties in cute stories.  Pure feel-good fluff, with a touch of Scripture on top.  The darker grey pages at the end of sections hold good specific ideas (for instance, to clear your head, practice a mind-dump: write down every little thing that is on your mind, even the silly thoughts, for more clarity.), and evaluation quizzes (also silly).  I did like chapter 6: “Be Bold: there’s strength in taking risks”, but you could borrow the book from the library for those 20 pages.

In short, don’t bother (unless mega-church mantras are your style).  Read Think and Grow Rich, by Hill for the real thing.  I’m sure it will have the same effect: dust, not wealth.

My advance copy of this book was my only compensation for this frank review, for Tyndale Publishers.  My thoughts are my own, and haven’t made me rich yet.  Everything I have is grace from my Giver.

Resources:

pdf first chapter 

Dr. Les Parrott

  bio

other works

website

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BOOK REVIEW: Up, Down, or Sideways by Mark Sanborn

If you are looking for a gift-book on the subject of success despite circumstances, summarizing a number of better resources, then Up, Down or Sideways was written by Mark Sanborn just for you.  If you actually want to delve deep into the subject, or need a specific method to follow, please see the list of resources at the end of this review, or your local library.  Needless to say, I was disappointed by this book’s promising title, given the economy and my own drama.  Everyone could use a little pick-me-up these days, but Mark would rather assimilate the concepts from a host of talented authors than come up with his own ideas.  From the section titles, “See”, “Think,” and “Do” you can gather the depth to which Sanborn digs.  About a quarter inch.

Save your cash and your time, buy a classic 7Habits of Highly Effective People, or the highly enjoyable and insightful Little Red Book of Wisdom, which I recently reviewed.

As always, this review thanks Tyndale House Publishers, for the advance copy in return for my opinions expressed here.

Book Review: Earthen Vessels: Why our Bodies Matter to our Faith, by Matthew Lee Anderson

 

 

The notion of actually considering my physical frame in light of Scripture was a new one to me.  Despite, or perhaps because of an evangelical understanding that my mortal body harbors sin, I suppose I spend very little time thinking about it.  To such as I am, Matthew Anderson writes Earthen Vessels, a theological exposition of the relevance of our physical spheres to our spirit, and thus our faith.  He argues that we cannot disregard it – in light of the Creator’s genius (which could occupy yet another tome), and His obvious plan for just such a frame to aid us in our spiritual walk.  Touching on tough issues such as homosexuality, lust, tattoos, abuses, and the place of spiritual disciplines towards the body, Anderson delves deep into a very personal relationship with our Savior.  But this is not a book for self-help, but rather reflection, for ponderings, for an awakening of subjects not thought on.  I expect to re-read it, and keep it as a reference point – some of his points are startling, some expected, but none are mundane.  This would make a good gift to deeper theologians, to anyone in ministry, or to spark a great discussion.

Matthew Lee Anderson also blogs on the site MereOrthodoxy.com, and is found on Twitter and Facebook, where he invites comments.

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers, who provided this copy in exchange for my review.   You may join also! click here.