As a pastor of a military church in Okinawa, Japan for ten years, I have a great love for and respect for the men and women who serve to protect my freedom and the welfare of those around the world. Among those I had the privilege to pastor, Marine officers were consistently the sharpest and best leaders and people I have encountered. Certainly, Jason Ladd would fall into this category as well.
This book is a combination of biography, apologetics, and Christian encouragement. Those unfamiliar with the life of a Marine fighter pilot, or those interested in having a look into that life, will find the journey through this book a fascinating one. Others will be encouraged to consider their own worldview as they process the thoughts and development of Jason’s questions and discoveries as he came to faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. Still others, who are themselves believers already, will be challenged to consider how their faith should intersect with their own life choices and behaviors.
However, this book was a bit of a struggle for me as I continued to ask the question, “who is this book for?” Given the three audiences I’ve mentioned, I often felt that the book lacked clarity and focus. As such, I’m not sure to whom I would whole-heartedly recommend this book. While I agree with Jason’s worldview conclusions, I felt like the various apologetic issues that were addressed were dealt with far too briefly. The result was a sense that the arguments were straw-man arguments. I would have liked to see fewer issues addressed with more wrestling with the questions at hand and better-developed conclusions. In addition, there were paragraphs and even chapters of the book that diverted into the category of moral lecturing (such as the dangers of drunkenness in the Marine Corps). Again, as I read, I wondered, “who is this book for?”
Nevertheless, I know that many will be blessed, challenged and encouraged by this book. My hope is that Jason Ladd will continue to hone his craft of writing. I believe he has an important message to communicate. I believe he has a unique platform and experiences that can and will reach people for the cause of Christ.