Can God Defeat Terrorism?, by Scott Solana
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookCrash. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
The obvious answer to the book’s titular question is yes. What is more interesting about this book is that not only does the author affirm the question as yes, but he answers the questions by setting God’s past behavior of working against terrorism in sharp relief and asks us whether we would be willing to obey God if He commanded us to preach a message of grace and judgment to the terrorists of the world today. I found this book to be quite intriguing, not least because the subject of terrorism comes up from time to time in my own writing  and because the author took a strongly biblical approach to the subject that I thought to be very worthwhile. Obviously, if you are a reader who takes the Bible seriously and wants to see what it has to say about terrorism, this is the sort of book that will contain at least a few surprises, as it is not commonly known that the Bible did deal with terrorist states before, most notably the nation of Assyria, which coincidentally happened to be in the location of a great deal of contemporary terrorism in Iraq and Syria today.
In a short book of about 130 pages or so, the author manages to make an extensive use of Jonah and considerable use of the more obscure book of Nahum in order to shine a light about two contrasting ways that God dealt with the problem of Assyria’s terror in the ancient world. The commentary on Jonah, which takes up most of the book, shows the author dealing insightfully as well as sympathetically towards the people around Jonah, demonstrating how Jonah was all for the grace shown to Israel during its expansion but how Jonah was not willing for grace to be extended to Assyria. What separates this from an ordinary Bible commentary is the way that the author takes the contents of Jonah and not only provides historical insight into their 8th century original context but also points to their relevance in our contemporary context and urges the reader to think about what one would do if we received a similar task ourselves. Would we be any more faithful and trusting in God? The last third or so of the book is where the author approaches the judgment of total destruction on the city of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire that God warned through the prophet Nahum and points out that if God wanted to defeat contemporary terrorism in this way that He could do so. Each chapter of this book ends with questions that serve as faith gauges to test the reader’s ability to relate these books to contemporary troubles.
If I had to make one recommendation for this book it would be to make the commentary nature of the book more plain. A reader might assume that the author would take a current events or prophetic speculation approach with the book only to find that its approach is based firmly in a dual approach to prophecy that depends a great deal on historical insight. Likewise, the concept of a faith gauge suggests that this book is only the first in a series and that this concept would be a useful one to discuss the way that we apply other scriptures. Perhaps the author will make this a trend with later books, as I was unable to find that he had written any other works other than this one. This is an excellent first book, though, and certainly one that contains a great deal of encouragement and insight about the ability of God to defeat terrorism through either the conversion of terrorists or the destruction of their regimes and themselves or through whatever other means He wishes. The question that remains for us is whether we have the faith to believe that He is in control of events, even if they are not always according to our own preferences or wishes.
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