In this slim book, author Mr. Smitty asserts to his young ward, Sammy, that something intrinsic has been lost and must be recovered. The concerned elder uses biblical commentary, hoping to empower Sammy to course-correct the world for the future.
A somewhat puzzling introduction claims that the book’s content is simultaneously discovered in the future, accessible in the past, and studied in the present. “The paradox is perplexing, but such is our times,” it notes. Following this, the author offers a lengthy recitation of religious-related facts, commencing with the 1636 founding of Harvard College, created “to prepare ministers for churches,” and culminating in the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. Mr. Smitty theorizes that biblical authority “as a source of timeless truth” was chipped away during that period.
At this point, Mr. Smitty’s narrative becomes more straightforward: He quotes a verse from Genesis, then outlines his opinion on that passage, closing each essay with an encouraging note to Sammy.
One example is Genesis 5:3-32, an account of the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Mr. Smitty quotes the passage, then addresses the fact that some generations aren’t listed in the account. But the point, he writes, is “not to track everybody.” He then advises Sammy that, whatever the interpretation, it’s important to “Walk with God as much as possible. Put your faith and trust in Him. Is there better advice in life?”
The author blends fact and opinion seamlessly while dispensing his outlook. Although seemingly targeting adult readers, Mr. Smitty speaks as if advising a youth. Therefore, he tries to write at that reading level, and is largely successful.
Reading this book evokes a scene of a mentor sitting with his ward, dispensing nuggets of wisdom. The kindly Mr. Smitty persona allows the author to lean heavily into a back-to-basics religious outlook.
Overall, the book is an amiable read, and will serve as confirmation of conventional biblical views. Readers looking for a counterpoint, however, should look elsewhere.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.