Official Review: Damaged Goods by Maurice L Martin Jr

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Damaged Goods by Maurice L Martin Jr

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Damaged Goods" by Maurice L Martin Jr.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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“When false witnesses, including national leaders and Christian leaders, more concerned with ideology than with the truth, betray the trust of unsuspecting people, it is a basic violation of something essential for life together.”

Drawing from the teachings of Jesus documented in the Sermon on the Mount, Maurice Martin explains how Christian ethics have been damaged by American evangelicals, including himself. As a pastor, professor of ethics, and former Chief Operating Officer for the Christian international relief and advocacy organization, Food for the Hungry, Martin shares his findings in his compelling study, Damaged Goods: American Evangelical Ethics. Martin conveys his desire to go beyond identifying the damage and provide a path to repair it.

The 250-page book is well written and professionally edited. Martin's writing tone is informative without coming across as preachy. He differentiates between ethics, morals, and evangelicals and very clearly expounds on the concept that just as "...evangelicals are not alike in all particulars, Christain ethics aren't either." At first glance, it may be easy to dismiss some of the questions he poses as mere semantics, such as "American Christian or Christian American?" However, Martin carefully presents questions and thoughts that are supported by scriptures and contrasts them with the current political and evangelical climate in a manner that will appeal to readers who are willing to delve a bit deeper. On a personal note, I am a conservative Christian, and while I respect the office of the president, I cannot support the current administration. Martin articulates this dilemma better than I have seen it previously expressed: "...many others are wondering how Christians, evangelicals in particular, could be supportive of so much that seems so antithetical to a traditional understanding of historic Christian belief and practice."

There is a lot to like about this thought-provoking read. Martin sensitively challenges the acceptance of long-held beliefs by examining them through both the heartbreaking and inspirational experiences of himself and others. In one example, he refers to Corrie Ten Boom's autobiographical book, The Hiding Place. Martin contrasts the passionate beliefs of Corrie and her sister, Betsie, to illustrate the differences between Christian duty-based ethics and Christian character-based ethics: "Corrie was willing to lie to protect the people whom they were hiding, Betsie was not. The two sisters loved each other and were deeply committed to their faith, but they took different principled positions with regard to this incredibly difficult dilemma." I also appreciate that Martin does not shy away from hot-button issues, including ethics related to abortion, gun laws, and birth control: "It is a powerful absolutism that demands that we must have protected access to guns, but we cannot have protected access to birth control." In his final appendix, "Myths About the Poor," Martin debunks common misconceptions with facts, scriptures, and government statistics.

I am unable to name anything I dislike or suggest any improvements to this enlightening book. Therefore, I am pleased to rate Damaged Goods 4 out of 4 stars. In addition to being a pastor and ethics professor, Martin's experiences as a United States Air Force rescue helicopter pilot and his service in leadership for Food for the Hungry will appeal to a wide range of readers that extends beyond Christians and American evangelicals. The book contains an instance of borderline profanity.

******
Damaged Goods
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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Cecilia_L wrote:
16 Mar 2020, 12:36
Martin carefully presents questions and thoughts that are supported by scriptures and contrasts them with the current political and evangelical climate in a manner that will appeal to readers who are willing to delve a bit deeper.
That statement sold me. This book is going on my list. Thanks for your thoughtful review.

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Post by SomaKenya »

The whole review is well written and the additional information on the writer at the end adds credibility and I Will surely add it to my "to read shelf" Thanks Cecilia

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Post by Elvis Ondijo »

Great review,am convinced to look for it some day

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Post by Cecilia_L »

MsH2k wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 00:29
Cecilia_L wrote:
16 Mar 2020, 12:36
Martin carefully presents questions and thoughts that are supported by scriptures and contrasts them with the current political and evangelical climate in a manner that will appeal to readers who are willing to delve a bit deeper.
That statement sold me. This book is going on my list. Thanks for your thoughtful review.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

SomaKenya wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 04:22
The whole review is well written and the additional information on the writer at the end adds credibility and I Will surely add it to my "to read shelf" Thanks Cecilia
Thanks for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Elvis Ondijo wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 05:03
Great review,am convinced to look for it some day
Thank you, Elvis.

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Post by khaulah »

A much needed book for current times where ideology is given more importance than truth. Thank you for your thoughtful review!

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Post by kdstrack »

It would be interesting to read about how the author identifies the damage done by the church. It took courage and insight to admit to being the cause of spiritual harm to others. Your review has intrigued me. I like the author's honesty and would like to know about his proposed path to repairing the damage. Great review, Cecilia! This is one I want to read.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

khaulah wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 15:25
A much needed book for current times where ideology is given more importance than truth. Thank you for your thoughtful review!
Thanks for your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

kdstrack wrote:
17 Mar 2020, 16:21
It would be interesting to read about how the author identifies the damage done by the church. It took courage and insight to admit to being the cause of spiritual harm to others. Your review has intrigued me. I like the author's honesty and would like to know about his proposed path to repairing the damage. Great review, Cecilia! This is one I want to read.
Thank you. This one really challenged my thinking, and it is one I will likely reread. I hope you enjoy it.

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Post by Joshua Jose »

American christian or christian American?....I'd love to read the reasoning behind this interesting question. The book seems great!

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L »

Joshua Jose wrote:
18 Mar 2020, 10:02
American christian or christian American?....I'd love to read the reasoning behind this interesting question. The book seems great!
Thanks for your comment, Joshua.

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Post by Faithmwangi »

I like the objectivity of the author. He not only points fingers but also admits he is equally part of the problem.
"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

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Post by Cecilia_L »

Faithmwangi wrote:
19 Mar 2020, 01:02
I like the objectivity of the author. He not only points fingers but also admits he is equally part of the problem.
Exactly. Thanks for sharing.

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