Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks: The Power of Words

Although I've reviewed some Christian fiction by author Linda Weaver Clarke on this blog, and would like to read and review The Shack, I don't review many religious books here. However, I decided to review Warren Baldwin's book, published in 2009, Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs, because it highlights the great importance of the power of words. As a writer, I am acutely aware of the power of words--to influence, to inspire, to guide, to clarify, to cause emotion, to persuade, to heal, to create--and more. Biblical proverbs are concise and meaningful, so each and every word is especially important. Additionally, in Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, there are several biblical proverbs presented which specifically address the power of words:

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
~Proverbs 12:25


A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

~Proverbs 15:1


The tongue of the wise brings healing.

~Proverbs 12:18


and, quite boldly:


The tongue has the power of life and death.

~Proverbs 18:21

For more than two thousand years, The Book of Proverbs, which is part of the Hebrew Bible, has provided guidance for people. Warren Baldwin, who is a minister, brings the wisdom and meaning of the proverbs into the present day and discusses marriage, sexual temptation, parenting, work, money, friendship, anger, jealousy, the power of words, and much more in his book. Each chapter presents a proverb followed by a short essay in which the author uses examples from his own observations and life to illustrate the significance of the proverb. In a style that's not "too preachy" (pardon the pun) but is down-to-earth, friendly, and easy to comprehend, the author provides entertaining anecdotes, and practical teachings--like that in The Book of Proverbs itself. I'm sure I will refer to Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks often, because it's brimming with valuable advice and timeless wisdom.

This book got me thinking about several things. Mostly, I wanted a bit of background about The Book of Proverbs, quickly obtained from a Google search. Who wrote The Proverbs, anyway? The authorship of The Proverbs has long been a matter of dispute, but this collection of pithy, wise sayings is generally credited to Israel's King Solomon (his name appears in Proverbs 1:1), though many biblical scholars believe several authors contributed to this collection. The Book of Proverbs is classified as wisdom literature, a genre which includes Job and Ecclesiastes, other wisdom books. I also discovered something else quite interesting during my online search: in Proverbs, the word "wisdom" is pictured as a woman, who was with God at the time of creation (8:22-31), and who invites us to "live according to good sense and sound judgment" (8:1-9:6). Amen to that!

Special thanks to Warren Baldwin for sending me an autographed copy of his book, which I won on Family Fountain, one of his blogs.

15 comments:

  1. Susan,
    Thank you for the review! Very nicely done.

    I like how you do research on a subject beyond the book you are reviewing. The authorship of Proverbs and the situation in which it was collected in final form are two things I did not cover in this book. Realizing how helpful that would I have been, I am working on volume 2 and will include some discussion of those issues. I am also working on some "Woman Wisdom" material.

    I reflect on one or more of the Proverbs almost daily. There is such deep insight and wisdom to be mined there.

    Also, thank you for linking to amazon.com. If any of your readers are interested in getting the book, I offer it for $5 less on my website than what amazon is offering it for. My site is: http://www.warrentbaldwin.com/

    Or, if anyone links to my Family Fountain blog they can click on the picture of the book and it will take them there.

    Thanks again, Susan!

    Warren

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  2. Warren, thanks again for the book and for stopping by.

    More comments welcomed.

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  3. Hello Susan. What a wonderful read! This book sounds like a gem, one that can help us in our everyday life. Many times when we feel that life isn't what we expected and we're down in the dumps, a book like this could uplift a person. Thanks for sharing this with me.

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  4. Linda, thanks for visiting! As a writer, you know that "the pen is mightier than the sword." As always, I appreciate your comment. :)

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  5. Looks interesting and I love the cover! Cute Lion LOL!

    xoxo~ Renee

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  6. I love Proverbs. And Psalms. And I think I have a title of a book you'd like: "The Professor and the Madman: A tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary." I checked it out from the libary yesterday and am finding it delightful. Very well written. And so many words to think about and digest!

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  7. Renee, thank you for your comment!

    Christie, I will Google the book you mention--it does sound like a book I'd enjoy. Thanks for becoming a follower!

    More comments welcomed.

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  8. There are some really true Proverbs Suko! A very nice and inspirational book!
    Great Review!

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  9. I agree with what you said about biblical proverbs. They really are concise and yet packed with meaning. Those proverbs you quoted are excellent advice for people today. Would you believe that here in the Philippines, the country that prides itself in being high in manners and hospitality, it's not unusual at all to hear about people getting shot on the road just out of petty little quarrels in traffic. This what we need right now, people watching their words and not letting others' words put them into rage.

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  10. Well-said, Mark David. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here.

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  11. You had a new post up and then removed it?! I just came by and can't find it now :(

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  12. Veens, I posted it by mistake, before my "words" were ready--I need to work on it more. Please stay tuned!

    More comments welcomed as always.

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  13. Nice review, it sounds like an inspiring read.
    I like the proverbs you quoted.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  14. Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I think this would make a really interesting read. Thanks for the insightful review and good work on digging around to find out more about Proverbs!

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  15. Naida, and Zibilee thank you both for your kind words.

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