Saturday, June 8, 2013

{Review} We Do Not Wrestle With Flesh and Blood by B.R. Smith

ASIN #: B005CD0Q4U
File Size: 249 KB
Page Count: 242
Copyright: July 11, 2011
Publisher: B. R. Smith Books; First Edition

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

This remarkable true story relates the conflicts of a young man seeking truth and freedom in central London in the early 2000s. Set against a fast-paced dialogue between wildly diverse cultures - American, English, and Russian - it tells how the subtle deceptions of evil can eventually destroy a life.

When Benjamin leaves small town Texas for college in London, he seeks only one kind of salvation: freedom from the crushing boredom of a safe life lived within the margins, and its predictable nine-to-five future. Daring to ask if there was more to existence than a report card and a resume, he sets out to join Alex, the son of a Russian oligarch, at a prestigious English business school.

The plan seems simple - Make powerful friends, and then make a ton of money. And from effortless power and money, freedom would follow. Somehow.

We Do Not Wrestle with Flesh and Blood is a witty but profound spiritual testimony about what goes wrong. Preyed upon by one of Alex's sycophantic friends, Benjamin's ambitions deteriorate into a haze of drugs and alcohol. The crisis brings him to a traumatic death experience, and a choice that will have eternal consequences.

Mandy's Review:

This review may end up being harsh. I say "may" end up because I'm not sure how I'm going to vocalize the way I feel about this book. Before I go into what I do not like or disagree with, let me start by saying that I do believe there are spiritual forces fighting for control. I believe that each person's soul is an object of interest for the two opposing spiritual forces. So, saying that, I believe that a person can have a life-and-death experience giving them clarity into how they should live their life. Now, let's get to the actual book ...

Ben lived in a small Texas town. When he was in high school, he had the urge to get out of town. His parents allowed him to go to school overseas. He winds up going back home before the school year is up and right before he gets kicked out of the school. While back in Texas, he convinces his parents to give him a second chance overseas. He winds up going to college overseas as well. While there, Ben meets Alex and, through Alex, Ivan. Both are Russians. Alex begins seeming a little aloof, so Ben starts hanging out with Ivan more. Ivan introduces Ben to drugs and Ben becomes addicted. His addictions have him concerned that he's failing college, but he doesn't stop doing drugs.

One fateful night, Ben dies ... or does he? He believes that he did. As a reader of his experience, it almost seems like it was a mind-trick and that he didn't really die. I feel as if he was made to feel like he died when he really didn't. Regardless, the experience has him crying out to God and Jesus to be saved. He then has a fortuitous event where he meets an African minister who talks to him about God and leads him into the sinner's prayer. The book ends shortly after and we're left to believe that Ben has had a major heart-change and is no longer drinking or doing drugs.

Ben is a very privileged individual. How many parents do you know that would allow their teenage child to go overseas to school? If the parents are willing to let them go, how many of them have the funds to actually facilitate the move ... not once, but twice?! Also, Ben has a Porsche!!! His parents ship his Porsche to him while he's oversees, but he's unsatisfied with it. Then he makes a comment later on in the book that his parent's financial situation has finally improved. Forgive me, but WHAT THE EFF?!!! Are you kidding me?! At the beginning of the book Ben makes it sound like he's from some podunk town full of small minds and lack of money. Apparently, it couldn't have been too bad if he was able to fly overseas several times AND have his very own Porsche. *smh*

Then, one of my major pet peeves took place time and time again in this book. Ben blamed others for his drinking, drug use, and just general overall lack of success in his life. Ben, I say this with all the love and sincerity I can muster ... Grow up. Nobody forced you to drink. Nobody forced you to have pre-marital sex. Nobody forced you to do drugs. You did those all on your own. You made the decisions to partake in those acts and you did those all out of fear. Fear of what others would think of you. Fear that you would be by yourself overseas with nobody to hang out with or talk to. What you went through was brought on by the decisions you made.

This story is a classic example of the type of people who make bad decisions then don't want to deal with the consequences of those decisions or turn around and blame others. Thankfully, God is not human and does not think as we do. He is merciful and gracious every day all day long. He even accepts those that are in the midst of problems of their own making and He will accept them as they are.

Lord, help me to be more like You.

*An ecopy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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