Friday, September 16, 2016

What's your World view? thoughts on 'One of the Few'

     Many times I request a particular book to read  and  review. Other times someone reaches out to me. When that happens I generally say 'no', but in this case I made an exception, partially because the author, Jason B. Ladd has a military background and I was interested in reading how that played into the development of his Christian worldview. And don't kid yourself, everyone has a worldview, they just may not realize that that's what guides them as they make choices: good or bad.

     So I read One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview (Boone Shepherd, 2017), and I'm glad that I said yes to this request. 
We served in different branches of the Military, but we're still comrades in arms. And many of the experiences that Jason writes about brought back memories, some good, some not so pleasant, and some downright bad.

     But like Jason, serving my country gave me the opportunity to make choices, some good and others not so much so, but all of them got me to the place where I was able to come to terms with the fact that I needed a savior, and that Savior is Jesus.  And that's where worldview comes in. Your worldview, in the simplest  terms is the personal belief system that guides every decision you make: how you spend your money, how you treat people, what kind of movies you watch, your attitudes towards sex (pre-marital, extra-marital, etc), sanctity of life, and above what you believe about God.

     When I served in the Air Force, there were times when it was hard to make wise choices.  As Ladd describes there are times when you're away from home, away from  your duty station, and  who is going to know if you drink too much and decide to have a little fun? And sometimes because of the bravado, macho image of certain career fields, it was hard to find people that would admit to having a similar worldview. Oh they are definitely there, just sometimes hard to find.  Of course if you live according to the worldview you think you have, those people with similar interests are much easier to find.

     One of the Few is broken into 3 parts. Part I is a picture of the life of a military 'brat' and as Ladd puts it, "chronicles my journey as a spiritual seeker."  Where do morals come from? How do you relate to the world around you?  Who or What is God? What happens after I die? And along the way to finding the answers to those questions is a lot of time spent seeking answers, looking at different religions, and sometimes realizing that you've been getting it wrong for a long time.  

      In Part II Jason writes about worldview, how important it is to have one that lets you filter out the lies of the world. His worldview led him to make some wise choices about sexual sin, the sanctity of marriage and the dangers of pornography.

     But he goes one step further. Part III provides the reader with a way to combat spiritual warfare. Military members get pretty good at understanding the concepts of war and peace.  Jason takes the lessons that he learned as a Marine Fighter Pilot and transfers them into the spiritual realm. As he puts it, "every believer had doubts". We learn how to engage the enemy, and our enemy is evil.

     I'm usually not a big fan of autobiographies because they tend to be full of braggadocio, Jason has done a great job of humbly recounting his faith journey, giving credit to those who have helped him along the path as he set out to find himself, and ending up finding God.

     I think that people with Military experience are more likely to identify with this book than 'civilians', but there are life lessons that all of us can certainly learn.  Are you looking for answers to life's big questions?  One of the Few just may be a good place for you to start your research.

     In the interest of disclosure, I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review.


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