The author of this blog does not advocate hate or unprovoked violence against any group. The purpose of this blog is to provide the very best information regarding philosophy, mindset training, and technique for the Christian Martialist in their broader Biblical, theological and cultural contexts. Nothing posted here should be construed as promoting or excusing hostile speech or acts toward anyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Defiance: Book Review

Have you ever thought about how you would go about building a community from the ground up? I first thought about it when I was 11 or 12 after reading Robert Heinlein's science fiction novel, Tunnel in the Sky.

Years later, I read Louis L'Amour's Bendigo Shafter, which deals with the same theme in a Western motif. Yet later, I read Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement (in modern English), which chronicles the Pilgrims' forging of a Christian community in a strange and sometimes harsh new land.

More recently, I have read a non-fiction book that relates the account of a group of Jews that built a community deep in the Belorussian forest as they hid from the Nazis. In the book Defiance, Nechama Tec follows  the wartime accomplishments of Tuvia Bielski and his brothers as they evaded capture, resisted tyranny and built a functioning community.

Actually, the first half of the book recounts the personal histories of the Bielskis and the events that led up to their dramatic exploits. A major theme of the early chapters centers on how so many lived in heart-rending denial of the impending persecution.

The second half of the book details the activities and problems involved in establishing a community in the midst of an ongoing crisis. Since the community also existed as part of the resistance movement, the author reveals certain aspects of the community culture that reflect this.

Because of my personal focus on Christian Martialism, the warrior-culture emphasis of the community caught my attention. Happily, the author includes enough detail to be helpful to those looking for direction in various facets of forging such a group.

For example, you will read about unit organization on pp. 116-117, procuring weapons on pp. 142-143, and how they posted sentries on p. 149. Moreover, the paramilitary cultural influence, provided the backdrop to the dynamic tension between the three basic functions of the community: survival, resistance and rescue of fellow-Jews.

Because of my interest in social and economic classes, I found it fascinating that in the forest, the class structure became inverted. The skills of warriors and artisans put them at the top of the social structure, while formerly wealthy busisnessmen languished at the bottom (p. 189).

In addition to their accomplishments, Tec paints a picture of the shortcomings of Tuvia and his brotheres. However, just as you will see admirable traits in King David while at the same time condemning his moral lapses, you can look past the Bielskis' infidelities to find much in their lives to inspire and instruct.

As we teeter on the cusp of worldwide crisis, now is a time to think seriously about what to do in the days ahead. If you think in terms of the mission Christ gave His people; if you think in terms of the congregational community's role in fulfilling that mission; if you think in terms of a Biblical warrior culture, then you will want to read this book.

It won't give you all the answers, but it will provide a framework on which to hang your thoughts . . . and your plans.

1 comment:

  1. Good review, this book has been on my list for a while. Must be a good one.