One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview -- Jason B. Ladd -- Submitted for consideration on August 4th, 2016
The author resides in: USA
REVIEWED on November 2nd, 2016
Our editor said:
The decision to review One of the Few was—in too-common parlance--a ‘no brainer’.
There is sometimes a book so compelling, so well-researched, so incisive you have no options but to review it. From the first glimpse, it was clear this was an exceptional achievement, not just in the substance of the book but in the accomplishments of its still-young author.
As I read, it struck me—a whimsical thought, but it occurred nevertheless—how Ladd sounded akin to my closest friend, also a marine fighter pilot. Having attended a speech given by my friend once, a distinguished audience member commented to me: ‘these men have brains the size of a small planet’.
I just smiled, then, but reading Ladd’s work, the statement comes alive. Indeed, how can one man achieve so much? When you read this, you will not be human unless it makes you shrink into a corner and re-examine your life goals; I found myself revisiting my poor choices, my tests at which I took a wrong turn.
There’d been a slight worry initially, too. Would I, as a non-religious reader, find this book turgid or outside my comfort zone? I say with conviction—whatever your religion or spirituality, Ladd’s comprehension of war through the worldview of Christianity only renders the book yet more impactful. We witness the questioning, the torment, and turmoil of the real-life scenarios and seat-of-the-pants decisions necessarily encountered, and their resolutions. If you weren’t Christian when you began it, you might find your world on its head by the end—in a positive way.
Indeed, it’s hard to argue against the book’s raft of impressive reviewers, several from academia, so consider your read a journey into learning, too.
Ladd is also a strong spiritual teacher in One of the Few, whether he knows it or not. I found myself writing in my notebook many times, the insightful, thought-provoking, inspirational lines I’d come back to later.
“There is no substitute for experience and experience requires repetition. Study tactics, fly by the book and repeat. Read, fly, repeat. Read the Bible, live by the Book, and repeat. Read, live, repeat. Failure to do either can give the enemy the upper hand.”
Parallels between Christian faith and interpretation of—and dealing with—life events are all too clear. At the outset, you take your guide from Ladd, but by the end, parallels begin to leap from the mind with no aid whatsoever; the book is a deep-thought enabler, a window to what’s right.
“War is the byproduct of a broken world. It’s impossible to prepare for battle if you are ignorant of the war.”
That is one of my favourite excerpts.
Does this explain the fighter pilot’s frequent ability to develop and hone that expansive mind of which I spoke earlier? Is the endless quest for learning and ‘knowing the war’ a reason for Ladd’s own insight?
My only sense of unease reading this book emanates from feeling hounded by the ghostly, cynical cry of readers who will invariably say if there were a beneficent God, there’d be no war at all.
It’s a common enough argument, but one lesson repeated in One of the Few, is the place of individual human choice. We are but one speck, one atom, one minuscule fragment, each in a world of potential stability or chaos. The fact we are tiny and human, and vulnerable, and weak-willed, at times floundering and impulsive, does not excuse our introspection and selfish decision-making; our singular decisions, deeds, actions have a mighty knock-on effect on the next speck, atom, molecule or fragment—such is the nature of our reality.
Human minds can wreak great good or great harm and evil; Ladd’s book conveys better than any I have seen, the vital requirement to be accountable and to grow and learn, using the skills and powers we hold to a beneficial end, backed by careful deep thought.
Yes, sometimes, the decisions of mankind and the vile deeds of man—always master of his choices, and never free from blame for wrongful outcomes—force the ‘beneficial end’ to be interwoven with violent acts of war and suffering. Ladd’s book explains it all, putting into strong, credible Christian context world events that often appear to have no why or how.
One of the Few demonstrates time and again how a world in disarray is no excuse for an individual to live anything less than a morally and spiritually wholesome life. We can only recommend you read the book, and decide, chaos, or resolution? If anyone can help you decide on your path, Ladd can. An unputdownable, thought-provoking, journey, with flawless presentation and perfect flow.
Visual appeal: 4/5
Storyline (Content): 5/5
Editing and proofreading: 5/5
Final Score : 19 / 20
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