Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Review: Jungle Warfare by Christopher A. Cunningham

In Jungle Warfare, Christopher Cunningham mentions that his grandfather fought in the Pacific during World War II. Upon his passing in 1988, Cunningham received his grandfather's old army issue of "The Basic Field Manual on Jungle Warfare" dated December 15, 1941. He uses that issue as a springboard for a series of 22 devotionals which he refers to as a basic field manuals for Christians in sales.

As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I know how precious family memorabilia from that era can be. I certainly understand Cunningham's desire to share gleanings from his father's field manual with the world in some fashion, especially by from it drawing parallels to the Christian's spiritual battle to be righteous in his business dealings. The resulting devotionals weren't exactly the book for me, but I do think that someone of another temperament and in another business setting might enjoy it much more than I did.

Here's my subjective view of the pros and cons of Jungle Warfare:


1) While the Bible makes it clear that the Christian is engaged in a spiritual battle, I am not a fan of overly stretching analogies from books about physical warfare to our spiritual war. I'm also not a fan of applying principles of combat to business. 2 Corinthians 10:4 reminds us that we fight with spiritual weapons, not physical ones. In fact, Jesus teaches us to live by a different code than the world and its armies live by: we are to love our enemies; to turn the other cheek; to go the extra mile; to seek God's kingdom first; etc. In terms of physical warfare, there is evidence early Christians did not participate in war, and one could make a very good case that Christians should not take up arms today. Therefore, a field guide of jungle warfare might not make our best source of advice for drawing up our daily strategy.
2) Some of the analogies drawn from the book seem forced to fit the theme and format of the book. There is a warning about jungle ants taken from his grandfather's books. The following material in the devotional contains some good advice and a scripture, but I'm not sure that the section has a logical connection.

1) Mr. Cunningham does avoid some of the pitfalls that associate either business or a Christian's spiritual battle with physical combat. He does include a lot of material reminding us that our spiritual goals are most important. So, even while I am not personally a fan of this particular format, I think he does a good job keeping it balanced.
2) I think this book would be particularly motivating to a man who is the main breadwinner of the family, or to a single mother who is carrying the main load. Mr. Cunningham offers helpful scriptures and thoughts for staying motivated, even when it might be easy to become discouraged.

I received this book through the Book Sneeze program. My opinions are my own.


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