Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss

To say that THE LITTLE RED BOOK OF WISDOM by Mark DeMoss was a disappointment would be an understatement. Usually if I get a book that I don't care for, I'll pass it on to someone who I think would enjoy it more than me. This book, on the other hand, I'm tempted to throw in the trash, and of the thousands of books I've read in this lifetime, it is only the second one I've felt that way about.

It's not because most of it is wrong, nor because there is some aspect of it I wish to censor. It's because the kind of logic and thinking in this book is typical of the logic and thinking that turns most non-Christians away from Christianity. He presents an unsettling blend of "this rule is true because it's in the Bible", "this rule is true because Christians say it is" and "this rule is true because that's how it worked for me". I think if the author would have stuck to one of these three points of view instead of bouncing back and forth between them, I could have accepted his advice much more readily. Instead, when he jumps around from perspective to perspective, one gets confused as to whose truth he is speaking about.

For example, the chapter called "Here's to not drinking at all" was particularly unsettling and I came away with the feeling that the message the author was pushing was, "I choose not to drink, so because it is bad for some, the only right way for everyone to live is no alcohol." Not only is this not Biblical, it simply is not true. Yes, there are some people who should not drink. But purporting that a universal "wisdom" is that no one should drink, especially when the Bible gives several distinct instances where it is not only allowable but advised, is pompous and arrogant.

I think the bottom line is the author tried to be too many things to too many people. If he would have just stuck to business advice or personal advice, I as a reader, would have been better prepared for it's contents. Or if he tried to justify his points either strictly from his life experience or from Biblical truth, he would have done much better. Instead, he comes off like just another know-it-all slave to Christian culture.

He says that he wrote this to pass along to his children and perhaps he should have just passed it along to them instead of having it published for the general population. I imagine this would be a heartwarming tome for his children to read. Being a Christian that disagrees with much that this man puts out as "foolproof truths", it makes me not want to read anything by him ever again.

I received this book free from booksneeze.com for this review.

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