Category Archives: Book and Media Reviews

Book Review: Never Surrender

LtGen Jerry Boykin
Faith Words, 2008.
Topic: Military/Christian Experience

Never Surrender is the memoir of Lt Gen (Ret) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a name familiar to many even outside of military circles. It documents his military career and much of his personal life, in his “journey to the crossroads of faith and freedom.”

In a career that spanned more than three decades, General Boykin was predominantly a member of Special Operations units, including being one of the initial cadre (and ultimately a commander) of the Army’s elite Delta Force. He was involved in virtually every combat action since the early 1980s, from the aborted rescue attempt of the Americans held hostage in Iran to the hunting of war criminals in the Balkans.

According to the book, Read more

Book Review: Quiet Strength

Tony Dungy
Tyndale, 2007.
Topic: Christian Living

Quiet Strength is an excellent book on Christian living and Christian priorities. Though Dungy is a football coach, an understanding (or even appreciation) of football is not required to see how the husband and father handled the conflicting priorities in his life.

Though seemingly an unusual choice for a military Christian resource, Dungy’s descriptions of the demands of his profession are sometimes eerily similar to those of a military service member. Arguably, not all of his decisions were the best, but the example he sets is admirable. He has what Read more

Book Review: Return with Honor

Captain Scott O’Grady is best known as the F-16 pilot shot down during Operation Deny Flight over the former Yugoslavia in 1995.  He survived for five and a half days — during which no one even knew he was alive — before being rescued.  Upon his return home he was declared a hero, a title he eschewed and passed on to the Marines who lifted him to safety.

The book details the mission from his arrival at work until the missile took his jet out from under him; it then describes the days he spent on the ground hoping for a rescue.  Interspersed are back stories of his life and his family back in the US as they learned of his shootdown.  The retelling of the organization of the rescue effort and its subsequent execution — which was completed about 5 hours after the initial radio contact — is well done.

Regrettably, O’Grady became a victim of Read more

Book Review: For God and Country

Cross Training Publishing, 2000.
Topic: Autobiography / Christian Living

Fisher DeBerry was the US Air Force Academy’s head football coach for 23 years.  He turned the USAFA football team into a national powerhouse, and he riled some people for his outspoken Christianity while working with young military cadets.

DeBerry’s book is part autobiography, part witness.  It describes his upbringing and career as head coach, and also his philosophy as a Christian in public life.  He describes his life as “the Three F’s: Faith, Family, and Football”–in that order.  He describes many of the conscious choices he made to encourage faith and family priorities in those he worked with and coached.  He speaks of the value of children, parenting, and the importance of school teachers–something few people may know DeBerry did before coaching college football.

His chapter on “Faith” is a wonderful read in which he says “we have our missions fields right here,” and encourages Christians to “spread the word daily by how we live and conduct ourselves:”

You don’t have to beat your chest and proclaim “I’m a Christian” to everyone you meet. But you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Being a Christian has everything to do with how you approach life and the way you treat people.

Your Christianity isn’t just about what you say, it is shown by the consistency of how you live your life.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t produced with the highest quality editing, and those who have no interest in the US Air Force Academy or its football program may find some of the book uninteresting.

This book was written before the lawsuit and controversies over religion at the Air Force Academy, which cited and frequently criticized DeBerry’s outspoken Christianity as football coach.

Recommended.  It has wonderful pearls of wisdom and guidance, though some of its subjects are slightly niche.  It does have some Christian living advice that would be pertinent to the military Christian.  It’s a quick read and worth it, though those bored by football or USAFA may have to skim some parts.

This book is available from Amazon.


Book Review: Choosing Against War

John D. Roth
Good Books, Intercourse, PA, 2002.
Topic: Christianity and War

A pacifist exposition written after the New York terrorist attacks, it is a modern and relatively detailed book explaining the pacifist argument.

Not Recommended. If you happen to be interested in Christian pacifism, it’s a worthwhile read.

This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.


Book Review: Now That You’re in the Military Service

David Grosse
Beacon Hill, Kansas City, 1978.
Topic: Christian living

This “book” was apparently originally a pamphlet intended for young Christians entering the military. It was written by a Nazarene Air Force chaplain. The age (published in 1978) and abbreviated length of this book (62 pages) prevent it from being terribly useful, though it introduces some important topics. It is more “stuff to think about” than concrete behavioral advice.

Not recommended, primarily because the information contained therein can now be obtained in more modern detailed sources.

This book is available from Amazon.


Book Review: Crash and Burn

Jack Edward Wright
Winepress Publishing, 2003.
Topic: Autobiographical

Mr. Wright’s book is advertised as a book about a pilot who has an accident that brings him to God. While it’s an interesting look at the Air Force of 20 years ago and dramatically conveys the details of Wright’s tragic accident, it says little of his life afterwards, and it says even less of substance about the potential spiritual impact on his life.

The book is interesting in its portrayal of Mrs. Wright’s response to many of the pilot activities. Of note, Winepress is a reputable self-publishing company.

Not recommended.

This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.


Book Review: How Christians Made Peace with War

John Driver
Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2007.
Topic: Christianity and War

Written by a Mennonite (generally considered a pacifist denomination), this book gives an interesting historical account of the relationship between Christianity and war.

Not recommended. If you happen to be interested in the church history of war and military service, it is a worthwhile read.

This book is available from Amazon.


1 2 3 4 5 6