Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review of "Fearless"

Let me get all the disclosure stuff out of the way first. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. I also received a free copy from the family, signed by Larry, Janice, Kelly and Shawn Brown, along with the author. I know Larry and Janice personally. Larry and I have ministered in Garland County Detention Center together for several years. The church I pastor sits on what is now called Adam Brown Road, right down the road from Lake Hamilton school where Adam graduated. That may make me a biased reviewer, but without all of those connections, I would still give this book a five star review.

I've been obsessed with Navy SEALs and the spec ops community since I was in high school. I read about SEALs before it was cool to read about SEALs. I've read many books concerning these top of the line spec ops men from their involvement in the Vietnam War to their current actions against international terrorists. In light of that, "Fearless" is one amazing read. It captures all the grueling demands of the SEALs, all of their patriotism and heart, and most of all their outstanding sacrifices. More than mere adrenaline junkies, these men are true warriors, true patriots, true husbands, true fathers and true Americans. In the case of Adam Brown, he was also a true follower of Christ.

Let me throw one more disclosure out there. This book is inundated with the Christian faith. Be warned. If seeing the name of Jesus offends you, this book will probably offend you. However, it could not have been written without the numerous mentions of Jesus and the Christian faith because they were so integral to Adam's life. I love what author Eric Blehm says at the conclusion of the book: "And though I hadn't opened a Bible in more than twenty-five years, his [Adam's] faith encouraged me to question my own questioning about religion." You see a bio of Adam Brown excluding mention of the Lord Jesus Christ would not be a bio of Adam Brown at all.

"Fearless" is the biography of Navy SEAL Special Operator Adam Brown who gave his life in service to his country on March 17, 2010 on a harrowing mission in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. He was a member of SEAL Team Six, the elite of the elite in the spec ops community. The book focuses on the journey of Adam Brown, which is an amazing, mesmerizing, exciting journey.

In the book we see Adam grow up a child who seems to be missing the "fear gene" and growing into a man that struggles with a dark addiction to crack cocaine. His addiction nearly ruined him, but three things saved him. First and foremost his faith in Jesus Christ saved him. Second, his lovely bride Kelly helped to save him. And finally, his enlistment in the US Navy and advancement to SEAL Team Six saved him.

Author Eric Blehm does a fine job narrating the civilian and military aspects of the book. If I could add anything to it, I would put a small dictionary in the back to explain things like MH-47 or AC-130 gunship and other military terms. Having read numerous pieces of military fiction and non-fiction I had no problem with it.

In Adam Brown, we find a man who could be a faithful follower of Christ, a compassionate husband and father, and a fierce fighter of international terrorism and be successful at all three. The story in this book will make you laugh, make you cringe, make you cheer and make you cry. It is a difficult read to put down when you start it. It is an encouragement to know that men like Adam are serving our country. He would never have labeled himself a hero, but all those around him considered him that.

I noticed that at Family Christian they have a warning about some of the language used in this book. After all, we are dealing with some full throttle soldiers and they can use colorful language occasionally. Do not let that dissuade you from reading this book. The language is extremely tame and I'd give it a PG or PG-13 rating at worst.

Readers may approach this book to learn more about the SEALs and specifically SEAL Team Six. They will not walk away disappointed. However, they will also walk away with much more. They will walk away with the story of how a man overcame his personal demons. They will walk away with the story of how a man can be a true husband and father. They will walk away with a picture of loyalty, commitment, determination and faith. They will walk away seeing what a true Christian should look like. As expressed by Adam in a letter he wrote for his children should something happen to him on the battlefield: "I'm not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this Earth because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me...No matter what, my spirit is given to the Lord and I will finally be victorious."

I offer my highest recommendation for "Fearless" as a pastor, as a husband, as a father, as an American. This book is powerful, and brings a message of hope that we desperately need in our nation today.

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