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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Navy SEAL, sealed by God, April 23, 2012
This review is from: SEAL of God (Paperback)
I have never doubted that Navy SEAL training was hard, but reading Chad Williams's blow-by-blow account of his life as a SEAL convinces me that those guys are tough! SEAL of God follows Williams' journey from rebellious kid to dedicated recruit to exemplary SEAL, and, ultimately, to a follower of Jesus and enthusiastic evangelist.

Williams was a good candidate for not making it as a SEAL. He was more concerned with partying than sticking with anything, especially anything as difficult as SEAL training. Under the guidance of former SEAL Scott Helvenston, Williams prepared physically and mentally. He never thought of quitting. Even though only 13 of his class of 173 became SEALs, Williams made it, thinking of his training as a prison from which he could only escape by graduating as a SEAL.

Part of his motivation was to avenge Helvenston's death. Helvenston was one of the Blackwater contractors who was ambushed in Iraq, dragged through the streets, mutilated, and hung from a bridge. Seeing those images on TV gave Williams the fuel to drive his commitment. However, after graduating from SEAL training, Williams gave his life to Christ. His driving passion now was not revenge but following Jesus. He began to have doubts about whether the SEAL lifestyle was for him.

The bulk of the book, about two thirds, deals with Williams's life before and during SEAL training. I haven't read much about the SEALs, but Williams's detailed descriptions of the grueling, intense training gives a great picture of what someone has to go through to be a SEAL. The most disturbing portion was Williams's account of the persecution he endured as a result of his being a Christian. Many of his fellow SEALs were indifferent to his newfound faith, but others actively harassed him for his choice not to get drunk or go to strip clubs with them. The hazing he endured as a result led him to seek assignment to another team, and led to broken relationships with his fellow SEALs.

I was greatly encouraged by Williams's faith and conversion story, but was discouraged that he struggled so much during his service. I know the military is full of strong believers, but it seemed like Williams was surrounded by apathetic, nominal Christians, people who didn't care about faith, and, tragically, some who openly ridiculed him for his faith.

Seal of God will strike a chord with military readers, and Christians will be challenged by the passion with which he shares the gospel. Bonus for Fort Worth readers: Williams' co-author is David Thomas, formerly a columnist for the Star-Telegram!

Thanks to Tyndale Press for the complementary review copy!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 3, 2012 6:38:30 AM PDT
Sarahbella says:
Sounds like he was surrounded by unbelievers, not "nominal christians". And from the stories I have heard about the military men and women from true believers who serve our country, our military isn't full of Christians. But it is rather a reflection of the paganism we face among our fellow countrymen. Sadly America needs to repent from its godless "morality" and turn to Christ. However, from what I have read in the reviews, this book sounds like an excellent read.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 10:49:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 21, 2012 11:18:35 AM PDT
Challen Yee says:
I did read "Seal of God" and instead of writing a review, I am choosing to just add a comment. I was attracted to this title because I was interested to read about a Christian's perspective on what it was like to be in an elite military unit in today's US armed forces.
I appreciate Chad Williams' candor in sharing his story. I would give it a high rating. While it is only one account of a Christian's experience in the military, it is one with powerful images and events that will be not be forgotten.

I see Chad as a young man with enormous potential because he is instilled with God's spirit and has shown himself capable of achieving difficult goals.

So my "comment" goes out to, not necessarily to Chad, but to any man in similar life circumstances: Consider getting a college degree in anything you are called to, this will act as a stepping stone in case you are some day called to go back into the service as an officer... or just simply called to a station/profession that requires a post graduate degree.
In addition, consider sticking it out in the reserves if that can fit into your life plan.

The military life is not for everyone, but especially with the credentials of being a Navy SEAL, that certainly grabs most people's attention and respect like nothing else, including people in the military.
One of the most important characteristics of a leader is their ability to mentor and you can see throughout Chad's story, the need is strong both in and out of the military.

Let me know when Chad's future memoir comes out.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 5:59:17 PM PST
I, coming from the military community, too can attest to the hardships of being a strong believer and the struggles during my service. It is just like you said, like Williams I, was surrounded by many non believers and people who proclaimed to be Christians, who were obviously not, just Christian by association. And yes they were, apathetic, nominal Christians, people who didn't care about faith, and, tragically, some who openly ridiculed true Bible believing Christians for their faith. The unfortunate truth is that there are not many strong Christians in the military. Just like the rest of the world, we as true Christians are an anomaly,and praise God for His Grace to save the few.

Posted on Dec 31, 2014 5:05:46 PM PST
Mark S says:
Chad heard you on Apologetics 315 podcast. What a great story you have. I'd highly encourage you to seek out the fullness of Christ and his message and teachings in the Catholic Church.
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