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© 2013 Monsterwax

Jack Chick Tract Club link

Welcome to the Books & Tapes Review Wing

 

This is the Book & Tape Review Wing. You may also peruse the Tract Reviews here.

If you would like YOUR review to be included here, e-mail it directly to our curator at monsterwax@aol.com BE ADVISED THAT YOU ARE SURRENDERING ALL COPYRIGHT to your review and that it becomes property of the museum. (In case we reprint it here or elsewhere.) Allow a few days for it to appear on this site. We reserve the right to refuse any essays, but we intend to publish as many as we can. Please avoid profanity in the true CHICK spirit, but anything else is fair game, pro or con. You will recieve credit (your name or email) along side your essay. (Let us know which you prefer.)

Enjoy your stay!


All reviews are Copyright ©2000 by Monsterwax

Solution to the Marriage Mess

"A SOLUTION TO THE MARRIAGE MESS" Review! This is an out of print comic book with art by Carter and text by Chick. By "comic book", I mean it's literally that: A book with 224 pages of black and white illustrations with word balloons telling a serial story. There's only one panel per page. It measures a little larger than 8 inches high and 5 inches wide. It allows the reader to really appreciate the detail to Carter's line art. (This is perhaps the only book that publicly acknowledges Carter as the other Chick artist.) The story is about a missionary who returns from Africa and stays with his sister's family for a month. During that time, he tries to convert all of them to hard-core "real" Christians. He's flawless and dedicated in every way, but they are phoney Christians and basically selfish. The father drinks and watches the babes, the mother is a fat slob, the brat smokes pot, the daughter sleeps around, etc. etc. Of course missionary Mark straightens them all out by the end of the tale. It's funny to see how many times he butts into even the most touchy of topics to dole out his Biblical wisdom, yet they never turn on him and yell "This is none of your #%*& business! You're just staying here for free so BUTT OUT!"

A classic example is when the father confronts his daughter about being pregnant. (Of course, Mark already knows.) The daughter doesn't know who the father is, only that it's "one of the boys from Church." Voices rise and tempers flair. It's the perfect time for Mark to stick his nose into their family business: "Excuse me for butting in, Frank. What would it be like if Christ wouldn't forgive us?" Two hours later, everyone is holding hands and hugging. Time for Mark to work his magic again... "I know this is a very delicate situation, but I'm only trying to help... Let's assume the baby is on the way... Are you going to keep it?" Frank says no way, but Mark declares abortion is murder. He then reads a little diary about what it's like to be a baby growing inside the tummy when your mother suddenly aborts you. This makes the daughter declare she is NOT going to have an abortion no matter what. (To bad Mark is leaving in a month. He won't be around to help raise the child. Oh well, back to Africa to help the foreigners!) In most homes, Mark's suit cases would be outside the door by now, but in THIS house, the family appreciates Mark's unsolicited Godly guidance.

A few chapters later, Mark notices Frank is watching a movie with a kissing scene. Oh-oh! This looks like a job for Super Christian! Mark bends a knee and prays "Lord... Put the right words in my mouth... This is such an explosive and delicate subject..." Then he confronts Frank about his love life. When Frank confesses he hasn't made love to Mark's sister in a month and a half, Mark admonishes Frank: "In the Bible that's a no, no, Frank! Outside of illness... The only reason for you not making love is because of prayer and fasting!" A few pages later, Frank is thanking Mark for setting him straight. So Mark asks Frank's permission to give his wife a similar pep talk. Of course, Frank is delighted to give it. Hey, isn't that what in-laws are for???

Another great moment is when Frank is reading the newspaper and complaining about "what that idiot in the White house did today." Mark says, "you mean the Lord's Anointed?" Frank says he isn't talking about King David, but the President. Mark responds, "Frank, King Saul was the Lord's Anointed. So was Hitler and so is the President or any other world leader." Now maybe it's just me, but I can't help but imagine how much kinder and gentler the rhetoric of World War 2 would have been if all our propaganda posters referred to Hitler that way. "Stop the Lord's Anointed DEAD in his tracks! Buy War Bonds!" I dunno... It just doesn't seem to have the same punch. Or what if Ken Starr (a devout Protestant) had referred to Clinton that way in the Starr Report? "Ms. Lewinsky states that she provided the Lord's Anointed oral sex in the Oval Office while the Lord's Anointed inserted a cigar in her (censored)" Well, if nothing else, it certainly would have changed the tone of the impeachment debate. And it gives new meaning to Al Gore's threat to "take God back from the Republican's in the 2000 election." Ee-gad! Where's a viable third party when you need one?

But despite its "Leave it to Beaver" run amok premise, this book is a delight to read and probably helpful for new Christian couples. (But I wouldn't stake my guidance practice on it.) Several readers have noted that both the husband and wife look ten years younger by the end of the story. (Amazing what some good old fashioned Biblical sex can achieve.) If you run across this somewhat obscure Chick book, my suggestion is to nab it. Grade A for Advice. Return to Books & Tapes Index.


Kent Hovind's "THE AGE OF THE EARTH" Video Review! Hovind is Chick's latest "golden boy", promoting a creationist view that the world is just 6,000 years old as the story of Genesis suggests. (Chick sells Kent's videos and let him re-write the anti-evolution arguments in the most recent version of Big Daddy.) But unlike most Bible thumpers, Hovind was a science teacher and argues against the Big Bang and Evolutionist theories of creation by pointing out their scientific contradictions. He is a lively and amusing speaker, with a likable disposition and a certain amount of charisma. Many of his points seem like common sense. If the moon is moving away from Earth a couple of inches every year, and the Earth is really 4 billion years old, then originally the moon would have been so close that the tides would drowned every mammal twice a day. If Earth's rotation is slowing, then if you speed it up at the same rate by 4 billion years, it would have spun too fast. He has a long list of similar examples. As he puts it, "If you don't hear both sides of an issue, you're not being educated, you're being indoctrinated." He then points out that public schools promote highly hypothetical explanations of Earth's creation without mentioning any of the holes in these theories-- contradictions that he then goes on to itemize. He also criticizes the way that these theories are presented as proven fact in standard school texts (of which he as an extensive collection). He emphasizes that he doesn't disagree with Micro-Evolution, because science has observed and proven that small changes take place over time within species. What he challenges is the belief that evolution has produced major changes (Macro-evolution), or that life could "evolve" out of an animate Earth. He articulates an alternative theory where the world is 6,000 years old, instead of 4 billion years that the Scientists claim. His basis is the Bible, but he gives possible scientific explanations how it could have happened. (A large canopy of water in the upper atmosphere is theorized to have aloud longer life spans by shielding harmful rays and increasing oxygen pressure. The canopy collapsed during Noah's flood, causing climate changes that resulted in dinosaurs dying and mammals living much shorter lives.) Although he fails to provide any strong evidence for these counter theories (except Biblical references), he does do a good job showing how conventional science also lacks conclusive evidence when it comes to explaining creation. This realization becomes especially obvious when (in another video) he meets with and debates a college Anthropology class at the University of West Florida. Though packed with critics and several well versed Anthropology experts, Kent succeeds in undermining their theories as much as they do his. It's an impressive task to watch a single Christian accomplish within a den of lions.

One mistake Kent makes is the classic "either/or" argument that Big Bangers & company also make. Both groups seem to think that by proving the other side's theory is wrong, that it somehow proves their side is right. The truth is that both sides can be wrong. Uncertainty maybe frustrating, but it's the most certain thing life offers (along with death and taxes).

This tape certainly gives those who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis some improved rebuttals to the secular humanists. What it shows best, however, is how little anyone really knows for certain about our distant origins. That in itself is a worthy lesson in humility, and a not-to-subtle jab at the arrogance and politicizing of the education institutions who pretend to have all the answers. Grade B for Back to Basics. Return to Books & Tapes Index.


Battle cover

"THE BATTLE" Review! A small (4 1/8 x 5") book reprinting seven of Chick's tracts plus a twelve page story called, "The Books That Changed A City." (The "books" are, of course, Chick tracts.) The seven tracts are reprinted two pages per book page. The tracts featured are This Was Your Life, The Passover Plot, One Way!, Creator or Liar?, The Fool!, Frame-up and The Assignment. The twelve page narrative includes a couple of Fred Carter's pictures not found elsewhere . (One has a crook busting into a house and threatening the family inside with a gun. The other has a long haired hippy leaning against a motorcycle and reading The Poor Revolutionist). The story is strong PR about how great tracts are, written by Bob Owen for Bob Garcia (no relation to Jerry, who probably modeled as the freak leaning against the road hog). The cover to this book sports a great color image of demons and angles fighting around a mortal smelling a rose, oblivious to the invisible struggle surrounding him. This book is mostly reprinted material, but is surprisingly rare. Grade: B Return to Comics, Books & Tapes Index.


The Last Call

"THE LAST CALL" Guest Review by Ray Ruenes! This book has been around as early as 1963 (but most recently reprinted in standard paperback format since 1978) and is thus among one of the older publications that Chick is still making available. It's full of text and cartoons, and has enough of the latter to fill 3-5 tracts. (Though none of the cartoons are reprints from tracts. Most are just a few images in length.) The text is lifted from an old preacher whom Jack obviously was influenced by, Charles G. Finney, whose material I just read prior to starting Chick's tribute. Finney's sermons are, to say the least, very hard hitting, not unlike Chick's tracts. It is strange to see Finney emphasize that churches drive home the message that the Christian fear sin more than the ultimate result of sin (eternal hell), because it seems like Jack is always using hell rather than the reason for it to frighten readers into accepting Jesus as both their Savior and their Lord.

In any case, get the book. The "false Jack Chick portrait" which is provided in The Imp (taken from the Battle Cry newsletter) is located in this book. (And yes, that bald guy is definitely NOT Jack Chick.) The recent paperback version of this book is around $3.50, which should be the same price as The Next Step, though this isn't quite as cartoon-heavy as that book. Still, it has many Chick cartoons scattered throughout it in a non-tract and non-sequential format that brilliantly illustrate the concepts presented in Finney's accompanying text. This book was originally sold as a giant tract (8 1/4 x 5 1/2") with over 64 pages before being converted into conventional paper back format.

The first four images in the book feature a classic Chick-view of the future. Image one shows a little old lady going door to door asking how many Bibles each family owns. Image two shows the cops confiscating the Bibles. Image three has the cops rounding up all the Christians. Image four shows the Christians up against the wall before a firing squad within a concentration camp. It's worth the cost of the purchase alone! Grade B+ for Busted! Return to Comics, Books, & Tapes Index.


"LETS TAKE A STAND" Tape Review! If you ever wanted to hear Jack Chick's voice, this tape is for you. Not only do you get to hear him speak, you get to hear him rail against Rome. He sets the tone in his very first line: "Greetings. My name is Jack Chick. And in many places across the country, my name is Mudd!" Chick takes no prisoners during the rest of this tape. It was recorded during the height of his feud over Alberto, and Chick Publications was losing distributors left and right. But you can tell the negative press and organized public pressure had only energized Jack more and he wasn't going to give up without a fight. The tape sounds like it was recorded on a standard tape player, with the sound of Chick pressing the "on" and "off" button still left in the recording. In fact, it sounds like he's not even reading script, or at very least, ad-libbing when the spirit moves him. He goes off in tangents and gets really excited about various subjects (usually Jesuits). And you can tell he's frustrated by the lack of response he's getting about sounding the Alarm of the impending Catholic threat. "Rome is coming in like a steam roller from all directions, and these pastors have NO IDEA what's coming! They're off in never-never land DREAMING that it's going to pass by and that everything is going to be happy again, Chick's going to get off his little soap box. I'm NOT beloved! This is a WAR to the Death!" Chick is clearly NOT one of those milk toast Christians you see at Church who gently shakes your hand by holding it with both of theirs. No, this is the FIGHTING Jack who lunges at you with the Flaming Sword of Jesus!

But he can also be sentimental, like when he waxes eloquent over fellow comrades in arms, especially fallen women warriors like Anita Bryant. "God Bless Anita Bryant. She stood in the front lines, she was in a battle. Where was the support from the great Christian leaders? Very little. She had to be taken down by the system. And they craftily worked, set her up, wore her down and destroyed her. And destroyed her family. At least they destroyed her Christian testimony. It was a great victory for the forces of darkness. My heart goes out to Anita Bryant." And well it would, because Chick had faced the same foes years earlier after printing The Gay Blade. Chick reveals, "When that book was published, then I saw the queers and the homosexuals and the sodomites come out of the closets with all kind of threats that they were going to bomb Chick Publications, they're going to get even! And the hate that spewed over the telephone to my secretaries and the girls working in the office, it was completely obscene." Chick is obviously very protective of the weaker sex, especially when it comes to fending off the unnatural heirs of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Chick also talks about all the support he used to receive from the Christian community before he took on controversial subjects. He lampoons how they flattered him and offered to take him to lunch constantly. "But then I took a turn. I started calling sin, 'sin'!" and it all hit the fan. Jack's imitation of Christians telling him how much they loved his books (before he got controversial) is truly humorous. You can hear the sarcasm dripping from his voice with every syllable. Sometimes it seems he's more angry at the Christians than the Catholics and Queers. (Who least support their own in times of Crisis.) At one point, Jacks says he admires the Jesuits because of their devotion to a cause, since they are willing to literally die for the Pope. He repeats the old adage that anyone could change the world with 300 people who were truly committed to a cause. In contrast, he tells of a pastor calling his preacher friends and asking them if they knew who the Whore of Revelation 17 was. They responded, "Oh, we know who THAT is, that's the Roman Catholic Church!" The pastor then asked if they would preach against it. They responded, "Are you KIDDING!? Man, that's INSANE! No WAY! I wouldn't touch THAT ONE with a 20 foot pole!!!" So I guess Chick is still looking for the other 299 soldier/soul mates...

But Jack comes across as very likable in this tape. His enthusiasm is contagious, and you might find yourself cheering him on even though you're not sure you agree with him. Chick Publications no longer sell this (or any) tape of Jack. But you might get lucky and find a used copy somewhere (like say, the basement of the Vatican). You will certainly find it well worth your listen. Grade A for 'Atta boy Jack! Return to Comics, Books & Tapes Index.


(GARY METZ vs. ALBERTO on) KBRT RADIO INTERVIEW: In 1984, Gary Metz was a guest on the Southern California radio show "Talk From The Heart". The host was Rich Bueller. Gary came across as a very calm, believable journalist with no axes to grind. He itemized a list of falsehoods he claimed to have proof of that Alberto lied about. After about ten minutes of this type of information, it sounded obvious that Alberto was a chronic liar and/or nut case. Metz claimed to have all sorts of documented proof of these lies and distortions. And Metz seemed to have absolutely no motive to smear Alberto or Chick Publications. (He doesn't mention he was refused a job by Chick.) He came across as just a journalist doing his job. But then an surprising thing happened: Alberto called in unexpectedly to the show! And by golly, he ALSO sounded believable and sincere. VERY sincere. The three talked together and, for the most part, were extremely civil. Alberto seemed genuinely grateful to have an opportunity to defend himself, especially in the presence of his chief accuser. He claimed the vast majority of news programs and newspapers would never call and check his side of the story or view his documents, yet they would provide plenty of time for his detractors. More importantly, they would never investigate the mere possibility that his claims about the mischief of the Vatican were true, which should be a major news story if any of it turned out to be true (like Alberto's claims that gay priests were molesting church boys, an allegation that no one took seriously until long after Alberto was dead.)

Because Alberto is Spanish and speaks somewhat broken English, a few exchanges were confusing. But Alberto sounded like he was trying to be as direct as he could. He didn't back peddle on any of his claims. He often said emphatically, "that is correct sir". But he also made it clear that "he" is not the issue, but that the deceiving Catholic Church was the real issue and that Metz never investigates the Vatican at all. Metz avoided that point and responded with a series of accusations. Alberto said he first wanted Metz to answer just three simple questions: 1. How come Metz cannot provide any of the documents showing convictions for the crimes Metz accuses Alberto of in the USA or foreign lands? 2. How come Metz cannot prove Alberto's leave of absence document from the Vatican is false? 3. How come Metz never even mentions Alberto's special I.D. (which stated Alberto was a priest) granted by the security secret police that requires a birth certificate and 9 major documents from other legal authorities in Spain? Metz claims he never says Alberto had any convictions (but didn't offer to provide the warrants for Alberto's arreast that he claimed to possess earlier). Alberto asks about the "convictions of illegitimate children" Metz claimed to have. (It seems what Alberto really meant to say was "proof", not "convictions".) Metz says he had a death certificate of Alberto's first son from the County of El Paso, Texas in 1965. Alberto says "you should PROVE that and make it public". Metz says "Sure, no problem". (But we have yet to see it and the Austin Bureau of Vital Statistics denies the certificate exists.) Metz ignored Alberto's other two questions and instead, moves on to more accusations. But most of Metz's evidence is from Catholic institutions, and Alberto counters that they are lying because the Vatican has instructed them to do so.

At one point, Alberto's education is brought up. He claims to have four PhDs. Metz claims it's false. Alberto says the Catholic Church often dispenses these degrees to nuns and priests without the proper studies being required. (Sometimes they only require a seminar.) He says, however, that he did most the studies to obtain his degrees. Metz says those degrees don't exist and he can only find evidence of Alberto's high school education. Again, Alberto explains the Catholic Educational institutions are denying his records under direction of the Vatican. "You can ask the Devil about Christ, and I am sure the Devil will not give you a true report on Christ, our Lord and Savior." Interestingly enough, Alberto seems to believe that Metz was fooled in his investigation, as opposed to being a Jesuit or other agent of the Vatican on a deliberate mission to destroy Alberto. He never attacks Metz personally.

Then another opponent is brought into the debate. Brian Onken, a research consultant for the Christian Research Institute (founded by Walter Martin) also challenges Alberto. Alberto seems unfazed at having two against one and seems more interested in trying to remember who Brian is. Brian explains some prior conversations he had with Alberto, when Alberto recalls him and makes the connection. He seems happy to speak with Brian again, but Brian talks fast and the two don't communicate very clearly. One of Alberto's claims, that deceased cult leader Jim Jones was a Jesuit, is challenged. Alberto sticks by the claim. Alberto also offers to make full sized copies of his documents and provide them to Chick Publications to give anyone who doubts them.

There were no big bomb shells dropped or smoking guns revealed. The language barrier could easily account for any of Alberto's unclear answers. He doesn't seem evasive or resort to "I don't recall" duck and dodge tactics. He thanks the interviewer for giving him the chance to speak on the program once it is completed. His boldness in calling the show is certainly noteworthy, as is the fact that he then provided recorded copies of the show in his catalog. Alberto seems to think this debate exonerates him. But it actually seemed more like the famous Nixon/Kennedy TV debate. Everyone who watched it came away with a different opinion as to who won and why. Nixon's 5 o'clock shadow was said to have alienated him from otherwise neutral viewers. In this case, it's Alberto's problem with the language that would naturally bias many listeners toward his American critics. But if you listen strictly to the content, it appeared much more like a draw. (A frustrating yet fascinating draw.)

On a personal note, listening to Alberto's voice and his apparent sincerity gave me the CREEPS because it sounded to me like he was an honest person trying desperately to expose an elaborate cover up. I'm beginning to see why Chick would listen to him, even though his claims are so fantastic. I don't consider myself easily convinced. I could tell O.J. and Clinton were both lying by the manner of their delivery. But Alberto sounds like he is telling the truth as he sees it. So he's either (1.) a better liar than two of the most famous fibbers, or (2.) he's completely delusional and actually believes his own fantasies, or (3.) he's telling the truth. His claims are so dramatic and far reaching, it can't possibly all be true-- can it? But what if only half of it is true? This is the danger of Chick's tracts: They can make you start to question everything... Grade: B+ for Brain Stimulation. Return to Comics, Books & Tapes Index.


The Next Step

"THE NEXT STEP" Tract/book Review! Is it a tract or is it a book? You decide! From the outside it looks like a 64 page soft cover book. Inside, the cartoons and text are laid out like tracts (3 rows per page). In fact, chapter 2 and 3 are basically reprints of the earlier tracts (so we'll deal with the other six chapters here). The first one is The Birth of the Bible. It the only chapter with artwork by Fred Carter and focuses on how the early churches determined real scripture from Satan's forgeries. The early editions of The Next Step tell this story in twelve tract sized panels, but the recent edition reduces that number to eleven. It does so by increasing the SIZE of two of the panels by 50%, making this is the only story in the book that can't be easily photocopied at 110% to create your own bootleg tract. Half of the artwork is redrawn as well. The earlier editions tell about Eusebius (Emperor Constantine's chief religious advisor) and how he separated real scripture from false. Current editions leave out the name of Eusebius and one of his four categories, "the 'disputed books:' James, II Peter, Jude, II & III John which, though included in his own bibles, were doubted by some." Why such details are omitted in the new edition is uncertain. Perhaps it was too confusing. It's more likely that after speaking with Alberto, Chick's views on Constintine soured. (Alberto thought Constantine still worshiped Apollo, died unsaved, and emblazoned ankhs instead of crosses on his roughnecks' shields. He doesn't even like the cross, as in another Alberto comic he shows its pagan/Egyptian origins.) The only other major change was the omission of the word "heretics" from category four. You can bet this was done after Chick had his tiff with Rome, to avoid using the same word that Pope used to condemn good protestants during the Inquisition.

Chapters 2 and 3 are reprints of Don't Read That Book and The Secret of Prayer. (You can read their reviews in the tract section.)

Chapter 4 is entitled Love. Although it is only 9 tract pages long (16 panels) it's one of the funniest in the book. Some of the humor is intentional, and some not. It starts out with a fat balding slob putting the moves on Billy's drunk mom in the family room. Billy's friend asks if that's his dad. "No- That's some creep she picked up at the bar!" As the unshaven cigar chomping loser pulls mom in for a kiss, she cackles "Haw haw- stop in Harry!" The bum replies, "My name is Ernie!" Billy splits with his long haired friend because "She makes me sick!" With such loose motherly morals, who can blame poor Billy? Unfortunately, he's a chip off the old block, spending his spare time mugging people.The two delinquents smash a Christian over the head with a chain and steal his wallet. They're excited to find $28 but the bleeding man begs them to come back... Does he need his medical alert card? Or someone to call an ambulance? Heck no, he wants to give them more money that they overlooked in his other pocket. Billy asks, "Are you crazy?" (Please note: Crazy people never realize they are crazy because they're too crazy to realize what crazy means.) The good Christian insists he's NOT crazy, "but I love you kids with Christ's love!" (So maybe he's crazy for Christ.) Lucky for him, it's contagious because the two hoods immediately sit down and want to convert.

Billy runs home and busts inside declaring he's been saved. Evil Ernie doesn't appreciate the unannounced interruption and punches Billy out. Sleazy mom yells, "Stop it Harry!" --and gets the running gag response, "My name is Ernie!" (We only see her hand, probably because she's naked by now.) The cops arrive and ask Billy if he wants to press charges. In true Chick style, Billy decides to play the martyr and take the abuse without griping. "I don't hate him. All he needs is Jesus in his life." Remember, Chick Christians rarely tattle. They take their muggings, child abuse and wife abuse with a stiff upper lip... Even though that lip is usually split and bleeding. Billy has a bloody mouth, nose and black eye, but he quickly heals and sets out to convert mom. Scrubbing the floor for her seems to do the trick. In one panel, she forgets to think using a thought cloud, and instead thinks aloud using a standard word balloon, "I can't stand it. The is kid is driving me nuts-- He really does love me!" (Shhh mom! He's right next to you. He can read your balloon!) Two panels later, she's on her knees with Billy. Praise the Lord.

Chapter 5 is called The Enemy, and explains Satan's sinister plan for humanity. It's 22 tract pages long (37 panels) and would have fit perfect in a real tract. But it was never issued as one as far as anyone can tell. More's the pity, because it provides lots of insight into Chick's Biblical views. Satan is one bad dude. But he started out as "the most beautiful creature ever made... His beauty was so great that he had built-in pipes for music." Then pride made him rebel and he was exiled along with 1/3rd the other angels for his trouble. They were "given a new location; the atmospheric heaven is now Satan's domain." (And you thought he was in hell? Silly you.) Satan uses a variety of tricks to attack the weak and disobedient Christian: "Loving the world... taking one's eyes off the Lord... pride." Chick states that Satan does not attack a Christian without permission. (Is this supposed to make us feel better?) The story of Job is recounted where God lets Satan devastate devout Job's life just to see if he'll crack. It brings back memories of the dark comedy "Trading Places", where two rich guys decide to trade Dan Aykroyd's luxurious life with Eddie Murphy, a down and out street hustler. The motive for ruining Aykroyd's life is to settle a $1 wager. Why would an omniscient God need to test people like that if he already knows the outcome? Chick says "If he is walking in the Lord, it is always for God's Glory and the Christian's own good." Well, that settles that.

Chick also says "Satan's greatest achievement is that no one believes he exists. A great number of theological graduates do not believe in a personal devil." He then goes on to list 34 satanic religions and gimmicks, including ESP, Ouija Boards, Christian Science, T.M., and of course, the Roman Catholic System. He warns of another sneaky trap: "Satan has liberal pastors scattered throughout the protestant churches... These are the 20th century sadducees." He gives a check list of 7 litmus test beliefs that liberal pastors pervert or deny. #7 is "Everlasting punishment in the lake of fire for the unsaved... If the pastor denies any of the above, then get out and find a Bible preaching church." Chick paraphrases a few prophecies and asserts "Demon possession is more prevalent today than during the time of Jesus." He winds up on a hopeful note, however, showing Satan praising God while kneeling in the flames of hell. It may be another 1,000 years before this happens, but the important thing is that God gets the last laugh.

Chapter 6 is Pitfalls. It's the shortest chapter in the book (only six tract pages or 9 panels long). It shows a boss eavesdropping on his employee, admiring what a fine Christian the man is. He considers becoming saved himself. But then, a horrible thing happens. The Christian reaches down and places a box of paper clips in his pocket. "Why that @!!!** thief! I'll get that phoney on the next layoff! Christian my foot! It'll be a frosty Friday in H--- before I ever become one!" Chick then warns readers that, "Some Christian workers have been laid aside because they failed to have a partner accompany them on a visit to a person of the opposite sex." (Yep, that'll do it all right.) He points out that King David was 50 years old when he saw Bathsheba. Kinda kinky...

Chapter 7 (Called Out) is the most bland chapter in the book. It's only 11 pages/panels long and the artwork is pretty basic. It depicts a clean cut guy getting pulled from a group of protesters onto a pedestal by a Christian. He's told what he has to do to stay on the pedestal. The only funny parts are various protest signs in the audience: "boycott garlic" and "kids lib" in particular. A real dud.

Chapter 8 is the last and longest chapter (34 tract pages in length). It's called Warn Them and it's a how-2 guide for converting the heathen. The first five panels are the best: A Christian stands before a washed out bridge in a storm. A car approaches and he considers warning them. But then he concludes "I don't want to be branded as a doom merchant. The bad news might upset him. Besides that, he may not want to be my friend because of my fanatical views." The car races off the bridge into the darkness screaming, "YAAAAAAH!". The rest of the tract is less dramatic. Basic Bible outlining tips are provided, along with ideas on how to prepare for your ambush session with thy neighbor. Just such a session is demonstrated. A Christian approaches his "target" as the unsuspecting neighbor rakes leaves. In a rare endorsement of deception, Chick urges Christians NOT to say what's really on their mind: "Never hit them cold with a question like 'have you been saved?' Talk about the weather or their job for a few minutes." Then Chick suggest that you pop the question... "If you were to die tonight, are you sure you would go to heaven? Any reply less than 100% certainty is a sign you must present the Roman Road." Needless to say, the neighbor takes the bait and devours the message. No leaves get raked but another soul is saved. One panel gives some helpful hints, including "Go neatly dressed- you represent the King of Kings," and "Watch your breath- use breath mints." The last third of the story is a shameless pitch for that greatest of all witnessing tools, Chick Tracts!

Your Chick tract collection is really not complete without having this book. It's only $3.50, so money is no object. Though the quality of the stories within it varies, they go a long way in explaining exactly where Chick is coming from. Grade B+ Back to Main Page.

10/31/08



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