Book Review: "Can God Defeat Terrorism?" by Scott Solana
“Can God Defeat Terrorism?” is a new book by Scott Solana. It was published on 9/11/2017. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this book?
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Bookcrash in return for a review.
The Strengths of This Book
The book is short and to the point. It is a little over a hundred pages.
Mr. Salana’s book pulls mostly from the Book of Job as well as the story of Nahum to make its point. He deftly pulls from history and established Christian theology to justify his stance.
The book is well researched, whether quoting crime stats or archeology.
The author takes the long view, bringing up the fact that terrorism has existed as a tactic in war for millennia. Chopping off of heads and committing other atrocities to scare others into submission so these things don’t happen to them isn’t new in the Middle East, before or after Islam’s introduction.
The Weaknesses of This Book
The author fails to give constructive advice to readers other than pray and trust God, though there are so many Biblically acceptable options for Christians. He says to pray for missionaries, but he ignores the possibility of funding and otherwise supporting missionaries to the Islamic world. He ignores the possibility of evangelizing to Muslims already in the developed world. He ignores need to protect and aid Christians in the Islamic world, whether in Egypt or Syria. Or even something as simple as sending Bibles along with food to Christian refugees.
He says to trust in the Word but ignores the obligation to tell the truth to power and each other. Honestly discussing the link between the ideology driving most terrorism in the world, Islam, would go a long way. Instead, he refers simply to terrorism of all kinds as evil. The “just pray and trust god” risks Christians falling into the holy martyr complex that traps many battered women; that if she just sits there and loves and prays hard enough, he’ll miraculously change and stop beating her in the process. The author completely ignores the obligation to stand up and defend the innocent and the need to challenge the belief system that justifies and incentivizes terrorism of all kinds.
In short, by saying just sit back and trust God after praying everyone, it prevents the hard discussions necessary to determine ways to protect ourselves from terrorism and challenge Muslims to reform their faith so that it actually becomes peaceful. I also leave open the possibility of supporting moderate Muslims trying to reform their faith like Maajid Nawaz or Shireen Qudosi Furthermore, we should be supporting people trying to bring liberal secular values to the Islamic world like Ayan Hirsi Ali and other ex-Muslims would do wonders. In this regard, I disagree with Ann Coulter’s call to just convert them all to Christianity.
The initial stories to engage the reader work well, though he repeats himself at times to try to make the point.
By focusing on Nineveh and the Middle East, the author ignores the fact that Islamic terrorism is worldwide. This isn’t the author’s fault. You rarely hear about terrorist attacks in the Philippines or Pakistan in the West because we focus on ourselves.
This book is Biblically and historically accurate. It is weak on offering solutions beyond “pray and trust God”, and in that regard, it falls short of offering real ways people can work to improve the world and defeat terrorism.
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Tamara Wilhite