A Book Review of Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom

Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom by Dr. Jamere A. Brown Spencer

Type: Christian, Nonfiction, Self-Help

Basic Idea: Manifest Destiny discusses many things that Dr. Spencer believes that the church and Christians are missing out on and why.


Reliability of Information: 3½/5 Accuracy with Some Misuse: Dr. Spencer clearly has a lot of knowledge of the Bible as well as a genuine heart to please God, a good combination for Christian self-help books. He has a deep knowledge of Bible languages, history, experience, and Bible. The information needed for extensive knowledge and application of the Bible can be seen throughout his writing. The only problem with the reliability is that some of the Bible verses are taken out of context. This is a common error that I believe every Christian will probably do if they write a book, as none of have it all together, but it is still good to know it when we see it. Some of it is minor, such as men being superior to angels (Hebrews 2:7), and a few are slightly more serious, such as the belief that a certain verse means that Satan caused darkness. Nothing in the book though is heretical or cultish in any way.

Application: 3/5 Some Good and Some Inaccurate: This book was a good sixty-forty split in good and bad application. Dr. Spencer uses very good principles in his book, such as a willingness to grow, heart over head knowledge, and having faith in God. Unfortunately, like all books, there are some errors in application, such as that the Bible and the words that God puts in your heart are at the same level. In some ways this is true, and the principle behind it is true, but the literal application could be easily used in an unbiblical way.

Readability: 4½/5 Amazing: With colorful analogies, true stories, and sympathetic life illustrations, this book is both interesting and easy to understand. His intentions are clear and simple, and he explains them with good analogies. A child could easily understand what he is trying to say.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I will say that Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom definitely has spiritual principles and truths that one can learn from it. It is meatier than the average Wal-Mart inspirational self-help book that is little more than a spoonful of frosting, though there are some feel good places in it. There is conviction to change, be a better Christian for God, and to have faith. Though I believe some of the application is wrong, I believe if a Christian goes to this book with much prayer, as well as uses their Bible and even maybe the knowledge of others, they can learn much from this book while still not believing the inaccuracies. I believe that the best people to read this are Christians that are secure in their faith and what they believe, but they are willing to learn more and add on to their faith. I wouldn’t recommend have a young Christian or someone who is still trying to ground certain things in the faith.

Moral Review

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: It is mentioned that a man said he would use magic to go into a girl’s bedroom at night, but it sounds like this did not happen. There is a brief mention of prostitutes. It mentioned the biblical account of failed demon removal and how the men were naked.

Violence: 2/5 Brief Mention: The author is beaten up at least twice and is threatened with harm and death multiple times, though it rarely comes to anything. He also talks about being careful to avoid a “beat down” from the neighborhood gangs. It is mentioned that American settlers pillaged the Native Americans. The author dreams about wrestling with a gorilla and kicks his wife in his sleep. A pitbull tries to attack a family, but stops. Ninjas are mentioned to work in “assassination and sabotage.” Nuclear weapons are briefly mentioned. The persecution of Christians is mentioned.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Some Disturbing Content: The author describes his encounter with a demon, partially describing the way it looked. The author mentions that many of his high school friends were murdered, in prison, or on drugs. It mentions that men have died in pursuit of their dreams, specifically Ferdinand Magellan. The biblical event of failed demon removal is mentioned, as well as that they were naked, bleeding, and screaming. The author dreams about a tsunami and a tornado. In a dream, a man points a gun at the author, but does not fire. People cry from fear and emotions. It mentions that the author bled when beaten up.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Religious Issues and Brief Mention The author strongly believes in and defends the gap theory, though it is never called so by name. It is said that darkness before creation could have been “millions of years” and that “no one really knows.” All forms of worship are looked at as equal. The author tells the myth of how the Native Americans believed America came about. There is mention of the zodiac, but it is explained in a Christian context, the pagan one being barely mentioned. Modern men are said to have heard God talking to them. A man is mentioned to believe in the post-tribulation. There is brief mention that women are pastors and that believing they may not teach is an error. There is mention of women being godmothers. There is negative mention of the pope and the Catholic religion, but there is also positive talk about the life of St. Benedict, who is regarded as a genuine Christian. There is mention of monks and monasteries. The author talks about good and bad meditation. The New Age is briefly mentioned. The Indian caste system and its branches are described. Pac-Man ghosts are mentioned.

Magic: 3/5 Brief Mention of Real Witchcraft: The author mentions that he knew people that claimed to be sorcerers or a druid, as well as that one could partially control the weather. There is one brief mention of a Muslim man. The witchcraft association with owls is mentioned. There are biblical references to “enchanters, magicians, and diviners.” The radio show Sid Roth, It’s Supernatural is mentioned and encouraged to be at least partially considered as reliable Christian miracles. “Magic” is used fro descriptive purposes.

Others: There are at least two references of worship dancing, and one to traditional dancing. The author once tells a story that involves him wearing a chain necklace. There is mention of drugs, drug death, and drug dealers. It mentions that a teacher drank alcohol at school. Wine is mentioned once. There are references to pop culture things such as The Incredible Hulk, Soul Train, and the Easter Bunny. “Ballet” is used for descriptive purposes.

Overall: 3½/5 Almost Teenager Appropriate: The encounter with a devil, real life magic, and some liberal religious content makes me recommend it mostly to adults. Some teenagers may be able to read it, but most I wouldn’t recommend it to.


Note to the Author: I would like to thank Dr. Spencer for lending me his book Manifest Destiny: The Path Towards Wisdom. Despite disagreements the two of us may have on certain things, it was still a pleasure to read his book, and I did learn many new things reading it. He is the first person to ever send me a book to review, and I thank him very much for it. – Sincerely, the author of Christian Entertainment Reviews Blog.


I’m Back After a Short Break!

I guess my break didn’t last quite as long as I thought… He. I really love doing this and writing reviews. I think I’ll be changing how much I blog (it’s just me, God, and my laptop). I think I’ll be focusing mainly on books, graphic novels, and manga, though occasionally apps, non-fiction books, and movies might show up. I thank you all for following me! It’s great to have you, and I hope to do this for a while still. Again, recommendations are welcome.


A Book Review of The Centurion’s Wife

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn (Thomas Locke) and Jannette Oke

Type: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Romance

Basic Plot: Leah is filled with a bitterness against all men, so when she is commanded to marry the Roman centurion Alban, she is filled with despair. Alban, though, is kind and intelligent, hoping to one day heal Leah. Both of them find themselves unexpectedly changed when they are ordered to investigate Jesus’ disappearance and his disciples’ ways.


Plot: 3/5 Average: The story was a bit cliché and predictable. A lot of the characters acted in a predictable manner. I will say that there was a plot twist at the very end that I did like, as well as believable character traits, there was just also a lot of the “mysterious Christian” feel to the Bible characters.

Writing Style and Setup: 3½/5 Above Average: The descriptions were beautiful and detailed. Whether it was people, actions, or places, the descriptions were vivid. My only complaint was the dialogue, as there was some dialogue that was just over done in formality or fake feeling. This was constant, but it did occur occasionally. The thing I best enjoyed about the book was, though, was probably the historical accuracy. Customs, government, and religion are all talked about in detail, mainly from a Jewish perspective.

The pace of the book was a little slow. It took 378 pages to get through a story that talks a lot about things most Christians would probably already know about, but some people might like the novelization of Bible characters.

Moral: 2½/5 A Good, but Not Clear Moral: The moral of the book isn’t spelled out or too distinct, but one can see it. Leah is in torments about the idea of marrying, as she has always witnessed abusive and unloving marriages in her family. Alban, her betrothed, is meanwhile working hard to become a great, well known person. Both of them learn to trust in Jesus, putting aside their fears and replacing it with Christ’s love and security. This is a good moral, though I don’t know if non-Christians who read this would be willing to be swayed by it.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I will say this is a tolerable book, being better than the average inspirational romance. (I will say that my expectations for inspirational romance, though, are quite low.) The descriptions are beautiful and the historical facts are thorough. The plot and dialogue are still both weak and watery, making it a bit of a trial to read. If someone wanted to read this, I would say that girls and women fourteen years old and older would like it best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Brief Mild Suggestive Content: A man and woman hold hands once. It is mentioned a few other times that the man wants to touch her, though never sexually. It is mention at least three times that characters do not make passes at a certain woman, though they are known for regularly doing so. Once it hints that “impertinent comments” have been made at least once before. It is mention that Jewish people believe that mixed gender bathing is wrong. Characters use single gender bathhouses for baths and massages, though it never talks about them being naked, once mentioning the men wearing towels. A man asks another if “he would be willing to sell” his niece; the first man refuses. It is once briefly mentioned that a woman’s mother committed adultery. A brothel is briefly used in a question once. “Sent to the bed of” is once used to refer to marriage. Girls are once mention to give men suggestive glances. It mentions that Herod married his brother’s wife. A man calls a woman “my dear” and refers to another Pilate’s wife as “lovely,” though whether he means it in an impure way or not is up debatable.

Violence: 2/5 Brief, Mild Violence: Violence is used in descriptions. A man fights some men in battle twice. The first has little actually described fighting, but the second is more graphic, including the beheading of a man. Soldiers use landslides in battle. A man taps and pokes a woman with a cane, as well as whips empty air, but does not beat her with it. There is mention of violent robberies once. Men pound tables at least twice. It is once mentioned that “lambs” were “were being brought for the slaughter.”

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Brief Mention: “By Jupiter” is used once. It is implied twice that a character used foul language.

Disturbing, Intense, and Emotional Content: 2/5 Some Disturbing and Emotional Content: Death is used in descriptions. A woman is spared from a beating; she later says that women are sometimes beaten by their sadistic master “until their ribs show.” A woman is mentioned to have dreamed of being beaten by a cane and screaming. It is mentioned that a woman accidentally spills boiling water on herself, and is unable to walk for several days. There are mentions of the different Roman punishments, including beatings, crucifixion, flaying, flogging, and scourging. Sometimes characters are threatened with or worry about these things, though they never come to pass, and it mentions that Jesus went through some of these. Characters sometimes worry about being killed, or such worry is mentioned, as well as that others want to kill them. It is mentioned that John the Baptist’s head was served on a platter and that Herod has soldiers murder infants. A woman has headaches and nightmares, though they are not described. A woman has a nightmare about a beast-like groom lunging for her. A woman faints from sickness and is unconscious and nearly dies for several days, though little detail of this is given. It is mentioned that a boy was once also sick and near death. It mentions that a woman once broke her hip. It is mentioned that only one man was wounded after a battle. It mentions animal’s fear and cries when they are being brought as a sacrifice. Characters cry a few times from emotional circumstances. Characters are mentioned to have screamed from nightmares or in them. Certain characters constantly worry about revolution, and others are hired to investigate if their will be one. It is mentioned that characters in the past died, one because her husband abandoned her for another woman. A blade is pressed against man’s neck, though not to kill him. It is mentioned once that floods “carried away whole villages.” Twice, characters are mentioned to want or have wanted death, though once suicide is only contemplatead briefly. Characters are mentioned to have “calluses,” “scars,” deformities from broken bones, and injuries after crucifixion. A man once fakes a limp. A man once mentions hating “the sight of blood.”

Religious Issues: 1½/5 Brief Mention: False gods such as Diana, Mercury, and Epona, as well as occasionally what they stand for, are mentioned by name, and there are references occasionally to “the gods” in general. It is mentioned that they are given offerings and that they have temples and alcoves devoted to them. It is also mentioned that people from Gaul sometimes fervently worship “wood sprites and fairies” as well as nature. Once a character makes “the sign against the evil eye.” It is mentioned that a woman was once demon possessed, but that she was healed by Jesus. It is asked if Jesus was a wraith after he arose from the dead. “Demon,” “ghost,” “haunted,” “haunts,” “idol to be worshiped,” and “worships” are used for descriptive purposes. Incense is used, but almost always for non-religious purposes; otherwise it is used correctly for the worship of God. Certain characters refuse to accept Jesus as Savior, and it is mentioned he was accused as a blasphemer.

Magic: 0/5 None

Other: Characters drink and are served ale and wine. A character asks if a man was drunk, but he wasn’t. There are mentions of taverns, and at least twice a man enters one, though not for any worldly reason. It is mentioned that a man divorced his wife, and divorce is mentioned at other times. Men have shoulder length hair at least twice. Gambling is mentioned at least twice. Dancing is mentioned, sometimes for worldly purposes and at other times for Jewish celebrations, though never described sensually or otherwise.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: I would say the book is overall clean. The worst thing was probably the scene of violence when a man was defending himself and some mentions of false gods, but other than that I would say it has nothing that anyone would probably object to morally.