Thursday, January 23, 2014

No Cape Required by Kristen Parrish - Book Review

From the publisher: What do Katniss Everdeen, Spider-Man, and Huckleberry Finn have in common? They’re heroes—and you can be just like them.

As children, we dream of throwing on a cape and changing the world. Then we grow up, we learn to see the flaws in our movie stars and athletes, and we accept that true heroism is not possible in the real world. You continue to dream, though. Isn’t that why you still love watching heroes on the big screen? It’s more than just wish fulfillment. You resonate with Superman’s justice and Dorothy’s courage because you have those same qualities within yourself.

In these pages, Kristen Parrish looks at the qualities of fifty-two heroes, and then shows how you can acquire every one of those qualities. No gamma rays or radioactive spider bites are needed. You can unleash your inner hero through prayer and practical action.

Men and women, boys and girls alike, will find role models within these pages. While others watch and dream on the sidelines, you can step out in faith, learning from heroic examples and praying for God’s help to make you who you were meant to be.

The Holy Spirit enables us to do great things. Find out how. No cape required.

No Cape Required is a short devotional by Kristen Parrish.  It is divided up in to 52 separate chapters (of several pages), each focusing on a character trait.  The unique part of this particular devotional is how Parrish uses “heroes” from popular culture to illustrate each of those characteristics in action.  While the title leads the reader to believe it is all superheroes (No Cape Required), these are heroes of their particular story.  There are also a wide range of heroes discussed, from Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Hope in Others) to Captain Kirk and Spock from Star Trek (Friendship).  Not to fear, though, there are several superheroes who’s traits are admirable.  These would include Spider-Man (Responsibility), Superman (Justice), and Robin (Growth), among others.  There are even some non-traditional heroes (in my opinion): Melanie from Gone With The Wind (Kindness) and Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler, (Quiet Service).
Each chapter contains a Bible verse that refers to the characteristic for that chapter.  An anecdote, sometimes several, starring the character being focused on is then presented.  Parrish wraps the whole thing up with a summary about how each characteristic fits into our lives.  They are short, which should appeal to the time-conscious, and easy to read and understand.  However, they are appropriate and make it clear that these are characteristics presented in the Bible and should help us as we attempt to live in accordance to God’s will.
As a pop culture fan, I enjoyed No Cape Required.  Kristen Parrish has done a nice job of taking our society’s fascination with heroes and used that to present Biblical values in an easy to process format.  I recommend this to Christians who enjoy finding God, and morals, in their pop culture.
I received a preview copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Book in exchange for an honest review.

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