Wednesday, April 13, 2011

[The Final Summit] book review

The Final Summit

By Andy Andrews

The Final Summit is the second story about David Ponder that Andrews has written. The first, The Traveler’s Gift begins the tale.

Mixing fiction, allegory and inspiration (though categorizing the book as “self-help”) Andrews attempts to tell an epic tale that will alter the way a reader thinks about life.

David Ponder is a self-made man who used the principles of success (given to him in the first book) to create a fortune. How he learned those principles is the key. He was selected to travel through time and meet some of the most influential people in history.

In The Final Summit David is again selected to be a part of something beyond the human’s realm of possibility. The archangel Gabriel summons him to a meeting where all the time-travelers from history will be gathered to answer a question.

What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?

Using true stories from history, the time-travelers work to come up with the two word answer.

They offer some good ones, peppered with heroic tales. Restore hope. Seek wisdom. Show courage. Exhibit self-discipline. Build character.

Yet none are correct and their time is running out.

The answer, which eventually comes (yes, beware, I am adding a spoiler!) is simple, so simple they had missed it. Just do something. (slightly reminisce of Nike?)

This book started slow. And by that I mean, s-l-o-w. I probably wouldn’t have ever made it back to it if I wasn’t required to write this review.

Once I got into it, there was much to enjoy. The historical and scientific facts are fascinating. The story-line is interesting.

However, the claims that Andrews is similar to C.S. Lewis are very, very false. There is one glaring difference between the two. C. S. Lewis wrote to acknowledge and establish what God does. This book is written to imply that we are the ones that change the world.

It actually made me want to cry.

Yes, if we “do something” then perhaps we can create a “successful civilization” in our tiny human comprehension. But God has so much more. So very much more.

I agree with the fact that we need more action. More people need to get off their butts and do something.

But there is purpose and reason behind that. And it has very little to do with “successful civilization”. It has everything to do with showing people who God is.

If I had been given this book to read by some random publishing house, I would have thought, “Hm… interesting. There’s even a little bit of faith element in there.” But I wasn’t. It’s classified as “Christian” and it is not really. It is simply the “good” view. If we’re “good” and acknowledge that there is a God up there and do something to help humanity; that is then the very greatest achievement.

It makes me cry because that is just a little itty tiny bit of what God has. Yes. We should do something. Yes, we should help humanity. But that’s only a small part.

If I was asked the same question David Ponder was, my answer would be, humble yourself. If this world would humble itself, individually and collectively, then I believe we would be amazed at the greatness of the civilization that would come out of it. With God at the very center.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson as part of the BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

1 comment:

Dulcinea said...

Good review! I think perhaps we were among the minority who weren't fawning over the book? Thanks for your heartfelt honesty :)