Author: Dennis Gaunt
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: October 15th, 2014
Paperback: 256 pages
FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Mindy and Sheila
These bad guys are smart. You can be smarter. This entertaining book shows how knowing the enemy can help you be a righteous warrior in your own life. Any discussion of bad guys has to begin with “in the beginning.” From Genesis to Revelation, you’ll get the dirt on the dastardly deeds perpetrated by Bible characters ranging from the truly villainous to the temporarily wayward. Weaving together gospel truth and humor, Dennis Gaunt shows that you can’t have a great story without a great bad guy—and that by studying and knowing the mistakes that biblical bad guys made, we can avoid falling into similar perilous traps. This entertaining and inspiring book also wraps up each chapter with thoughtful questions that invite readers to ponder and apply in their own lives the spiritual lessons from these fascinating stories.
Dennis is the man. Not only does he make the Bible interesting, he makes it understandable. I found myself looking forward to each chapter to see what bad guy (or guys) was next. I enjoyed the care and detail of each chapter. The personal stories mixed with council from church leaders, past and present, along with insightful scriptures, were what made this book even better. I took notes throughout and took pictures of the pages so I am able to look back and appreciate what I read. Dennis added his awesome humor and lots of familiar quotes for chapter headings. I think this helped make it for relatable for his readers. As I was reading, I could hear Dennis saying the funny lines. A personal fav was "tree house of wickedness".
As with Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon, Dennis adds a lessons learned and not learned at the end of each chapter, to summarize and ask questions to the reader. It added his own personal touch and humor to each chapter and a great review of what was discussed. Honestly, the Bible, to me, is intimating and confusing at times. I was able to understand and appreciate the Bible even more and was reminded of stories I hadn't heard in awhile. As with his first book, this one also teaches us to be ever mindful of the ultimate bad guy, the one who wants us all to fail, Satan.
I probably had about 20+ quotes that I would love to share, but the very last paragraph, ended with the author's testimony.
"I add my own testimony that God has big plans for you and your life. When we choose to stand on the Lord's side, we will discover "they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). May each of us choose now to be one of the Lord's good guys, to make whatever changes are needed, and to be true and valiant to Him every day of our lives." (page 235)
5 out of 5 stars. Another solid book from Dennis.
The book jumps right in starting with the beginning of the Bible and the original bad guy, Satan and those he tempted, Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus Christ. I like what Dennis had to say about why he started with him, "It's essential that we learn to spot his tricks and traps early so we can avoid them."
One of the things that I love about the way Dennis writes, is the humor he infuses throughout such serious subjects. He knows how to keep the old Bible stories refreshing and relevant to today's people, so teens and adults can relate to them. There is also plenty of quoted scriptures which I so appreciate him including. I was able to highlight many things as I read each chapter. I kept thinking of how I will be using each chapter as a Family Home Evening lesson with my family. Thanks for that Dennis! I have 16 lessons ready to go! ;)
I was so excited to see in Bad Guys of the Bible that Dennis had included one of my favorite things from his first book. At the end of each chapter you'll find...
-Lessons NOT Learned and-Lessons TO Learn.
Let me give you an example from one of my favorite chapters, Chapter 7: More Whiners in the Wilderness=Lessons from the Exodus.
**Lessons NOT Learned:
- Random Israelite #1: "Hey, is it just me, or is this wilderness kind of rough?"
- Random Israelite #2: "Now that you mention it, it is sort of unpleasant out here!"
- Random Israelite #3: "Guys? I have sand in my shoe."
- Random Israelite #1: "Oh that's it! Where's Moses? I want to go back to Egypt!"
**Lessons TO Learn:
- Why does life feel like a harsh wilderness sometimes?Why do we have so many trials to deal with? How can we resist the temptation to murmur and complain when times are hard?
- What made the difference between people like Moses, Joshua, or Caleb and those who wanted to go back every time something was wrong? What can you do to change and control your own attitude when you feel like giving up?
- Make a list of the different ways you can gather spiritual manna every single day. For each item on the list, ask yourself: How can I avoid becoming ungrateful for this? What can I do so that I don't become bored with the things Heavenly Father has asked me to do every day?
See what I mean? Your Family Home Evening lesson is right there! I don't think Dennis wrote this book for that purpose, but it is a perfect teaching tool. You can also see what a great wit this author has in his writing and in real life. The author also concludes the book with this thought..."The study of the bad guys of the Bible is the study of ourselves. By looking at the the things they did wrong, we can learn to do things right. We can outsmart Satan and all of his followers by being smarter than the bad guys. We did it once before, and we can do it again.No one is doomed to fail in this life; no one is destined to be miserable. Every person in this world has the opportunity to choose to follow Christ and be happy."
About the Author
Dennis Gaunt has been an avid student of the scriptures for as long as he can remember. He studied history and English at the University of Utah. He taught seminary and institute in CES for a number of years, and currently serves as the Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward. He and his wife, Natalie, live in Sandy, Utah.