Book Review by Debbie Hymer:
Let me start off by saying this book is not an easy read. Let me explain.
I am not a highly educated person but, I have a fair amount of education, some college and plenty of life experience. I can read a book with words not in my vocabulary and provocative thoughts however, it is a slow and cumbersome experience. Not a reading experience I typically enjoy. This book does have that type of content to be fair. The reasoning behind my explanation in the first sentence of this review has more to do with its convicting and deep, thought provoking content. The writer has written this book in such a way that it encourages the reader to look into self, the beliefs, the upbringing, and motives. It’s an eye opening, spiritual awakening type of book.
To be perfectly honest, I had to put this book down after only reading a few pages. It took me quite a while to pick this book up again. I had to have a changed mindset to even begin reading it. I personally could not read this book in one sitting. In fact, I could only read a few pages at a time and then had to let it digest for a few days before I could pick it up again.
With all of that said, I did enjoy the book. I learned quite a bit about God, myself and the world. The prime learning achievement is dissecting what I learned about what the Bible says. Not about the authenticity of the Bible, but what man has exploited. It’s no surprise that humans have misused what scripture says. Especially in the non-Christian world, but in the Christian world as well. The name of the book says it all, “Dangerous Virtues”. The book is actually about the Deadly sins and how our world has turned them into virtues. There’s quite a bit of controversial matter in this book and must be read with an open mind to Gods teaching and truth. It puts the ‘worlds argument’ of making sin a virtue into perspective. It helps the Christian see Gods truth and to be able to find a truthful and loving answer backed up by scripture. It reveals what the ‘world’ calls ‘inconsistencies’ not to be inconsistent at all.
John Koessler clearly states that being a Christian is not a magic pill. He also clarifies that it’s not gloom and doom. I will admit it is a hard reality to swallow that all of us are not immune to pride, greed, lust, gluttony, and so on. This is all very depressing when you fail to grasp the truth of the Hope of God.
In the midst of all of the sin and junk going on in this world today, it points out that God is in control. God gave everybody a way out, His Son Jesus. Everybody has the same opportunity to accept Christ as Savior. Because of this fact, not one person is better than another. If I had to come up with just one thing from this book, it would be that ALL of us are in this together and we ALL have a choice to make. Jesus or No Jesus. That choice makes the difference between eternal life or death. That choice makes the difference to spend eternity with God or without God.
To point out some highlights from this book I wanted to mention a few things.
In the first few pages we are told, as if we can’t already tell by listening to the news, that most sins have been turned upside down.
A great verse John pointed out is, Psalm 51:4 “Again you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” Our generation does not see life and what we do with this point of view. John Koessler points out that Jesus tells us that no one is good but God. None of us want to hear this. And we hear over and over again that a loving God would not allow all this hurt and pain in this world.
We are reminded that when Adam and Eve sinned, it affected the whole world, not just humans. Genesis 3:17-18 “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat of plants of the field.”
When we focus our hope on God, our mindset and desire change. Our happiness is fulfilled.
Dangerous Virtues covers humility to an extent that covers Christians and non-Christians, past and present. Humility is clarified not as a humility that hates self, but how true humility is to our relationship to God and others. Humility is knowing that we all have the same choice to accept God’s gift of Grace.
I love the quote from the author, John, “Those who are in Christ do not need to compete with one another to win God’s approval or gain Christs affection.”
One last thing I wanted to mention is something that really stuck out to me. Phil 2:3-4 “In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”
My inner thoughts are stretched, stimulated, intrigued by the fact we humans are specks, insignificant specs in this universe, in the world. Yet, God knows each one of us by name. He knows how many hairs are on our heads. He gave us His Son and is patience in Love waiting for us to accept His gift of Grace in a world of turmoil.
Easy read? NO Good read? YES
Not a read for enjoyment, but a read for growth. I almost gave this 4 stars, less one star for the difficulty of readability. Then I thought, no, it’s a thought-provoking book that everyone needs to read. It speaks the hard truth and is very convicting. We need that! Five stars it is.
(I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my review.)
Dangerous Virtues Review
Book Review by Debbie Hymer: