Sometimes publicists will send a pdf copy of a book when they send publicity material for inclusion in our book baskets, and at the moment I have a number of them in a holding folder. If a reviewer picks up the book for review then I delete the pdf copy in that holding folder. With a little more time on my hands these days, I decided to take a look at "Perilous Times" by Jim D. Costello. In my opinion, it seems to be a strange method of communication for a book attempting to turn Christian people's hearts back to a less worldly form of Christianity and of course the irony of a Pastor offering a book for sale when in the book he speaks out against the commercialization in the churches, did not go unnoticed.
The author's stated purpose is to reveal what God has shown him about the coming judgment. He decries not just society but more importantly, Christianity, calling it 'lukewarm,' and blames it on the fact that prayer is no longer allowed in school and that the 10 commandments are torn down and that churches have gone commercial; focused on making money with no call to take up the cross of Christ. He calls churches "entertainment centers." He says that in 2012 he was 67 and God called him to write the book. He states that the judgment of God upon America started when Israel was restored in 1948 and says that the judgment is increasing. He points out that Christians are required to have a 'faith walk' which requires constant prayer and points out that prayer is all but gone from churches today.
Some of his complaints include that while the church has the form of godliness, it yet denies the power of God; that people in churches are wearing masks -- hypocrites really; that Christians no longer trust God; that they no longer love their neighbors; that everywhere there is knowledge but no wisdom and that Christians are looking for answers in the myriad of books for sale in churches, but not looking for them in the one place they are to be found -- the Bible. There is little in the way of author narrative in this book and it appears to me to be aimed specifically at Christians who would understand the meaning of a multitude of statements that are provided without Scriptural references. Here is an example from the book:
A.) Full disclosure before God & man
You will have favor before God and man.
B.) The Wisdom of God... Focus on Jesus Christ
C.) To identify with Christ ... not demonization and churches.
D.) A Stronger focus on discipleship.
E.) Not enticing words of man's wisdom.. but in demonstration of
The power of God. F.) all about the Cross.
The book is written as more of a collection of something akin to 'bumper stickers.' The author cuts in from time to time to address the reader directly but otherwise the book is full of 'truth statements' that people are to grasp hold of. This may have appeal to some people and not to others.
The general theme is that the church has been led astray by a deceiving angel of light; that people have got religion but not the spirit of God; that they have church services (entertainment) but not the character of Christ and that while they have social (church) cohesion, they lack the power of the spirit. For me it is a strange book, but if God instructed the man to publish it, who am I denigrate it?
Jim D. Costello served in the Vietnam War where he received 25 commendations and was decorated with several medals, including the Bronze Star. After war and a civilian career, he founded a church in Little Rock, Arkansas and served as a pastor for 15 years. "Perilous Times" is Costello's first published novel.
"Perilous Times: Blow the Trumpet in Zion"
By Jim D. Costello
ISBN: 978- 1-49083-040-7