Monday, October 26, 2009

'Kabul24'- by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson

is*First and foremost I would like to say that this is a more difficult review than usual, as it is on a work on non-fiction. However, I am going to be completely honest and will include the pros and cons of this book. This is not an attack on the authors or the people, but is simply a review on what I have read.*
  • Summary: Kabul24 is a true story, about some traumatic events that happened to certain members of the Shelter Now International, (a humane effort the help other countries,) how they were captured, how they held to their faith, among other things.
  • Writing Style and Presentation: This book would have to be one of the most interesting non-fiction works I have ever read. The story is heart-wrenching and gripping, drawing the reader in along with the captives, with the author. It was wonderfully descriptive, yet the facts were not glossed over with a flowery presentation. At times, I did feel that the author's went a bit over the top on describing the faith of the captives, making them appear to be almost...supernatural, saintly, even. However, it did teach me a great deal on prayer, trust, and faith.
  • Theological Pros and Cons: Faith and dependence upon the Lord are very strongly presented here. I often questioned myself "Would I have reacted this way?" or "Would I be able to go through all this suffering and still believe God's way is perfect?" It was an encouragement and yet a challenging conviction to me. Compassion for others, even our enemies, was another theme that spoke out to me. Not just spiritual compassion, but compassion enough to DO something to help those in need and suffering, which the Bible clearly teaches. However, another strong theme running through the book, intended or unintended, was a fascination and awe for the Muslim faith. It was almost pro-muslim, if you will. As a christian and a follower of Jesus Christ, not Mohammad, I cannot in good conscience condone it. It was stated repeatedly that the workers were there to help those in physical suffering, and not to witness, and while I do agree that we are to help our fellow man in physical pain, it is all vanity if they die and go to hell. We cannot neglect the spiritual body and only see to the needs of the physical. A message that is stated is how the Taliban and terrorist groups are the violent kind, yet other Muslims are peaceful and loving. However true this may have been to these SNI workers, it is not entirely true of all Muslims, and this is a false description, which may be confusing to many believers. "Peaceful" Muslims and "Fanatical" Muslims follow the same Koran which states destroying all those that do not believe in Mohammad. The situation itself speaks this, as the peaceful Muslim family did not stand up for the aid workers, but betrayed them because they were intimidated. All religions are not the same, yet this work was running along those lines.
  • Personal Examples: However strong some of my disagreements... I cannot deny that these SNI workers showed great faith and love in the face of persecution. That itself is a great example to us all, and so I can safely say that I would recommend this book to others for that reason. Please keep in mind this is not an attack upon a group of people, but an honest review of a non-fiction work.

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