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Martyrs' Torch Paperback – Illustrated, January 1, 2000
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The Amazon Book Review
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"1999 will not be remembered for the parties or the politicians but rather for Pastor Porter's challenge to America's youth to take up the Torch. There are books that change your life, and then there are books that give you life. The Martyrs' Torch is the latter. If your family reads one book (other than the Bible) together in the year 2,000, make sure it is The Martyrs' Torch. If you are a leader in your community and you fear that a tragedy like the one in Columbine could happen in your school you must read The Martyrs' Torch. A powerful message of hope, purpose, and promise for the new millennium. Pastor Porter challenges all of us - whether we are policymakers or homemakers, fathers or friends, mothers or ministers, leaders or laypersons to take up the Torch and live for God.
No politician, platform, or policy will change your life the way that reading The Martyrs' Torch will. The tragedy of Columbine continues to ache in the hearts of thousands of Americans. Bruce Porter's words of encouragement and guidance convert tragedy into triumph and pain into purpose. Pastor Porter brings to life the true message of Columbine that wherever there is affliction and destruction, God's glory, love, and hope stand ready to empower each of us to meet the challenge and take up the Torch. For America's leaders, the lessons of Columbine are not found in the death and destruction but in the life and the hope. Pastor Porter's impassioned call for each of us to take up the Torch is the only law in which our country can rely upon to secure our safety and ensure our prosperity. As each shot of the gunman rang out across the country, our nation's leaders reacted swiftly to the sound of violence with a multitude of policies and promises. However, only Pastor Porter has been able to sift through the wreckage and recover that which the gunman could not destroy: the spirit, the hope, and the purpose of each of a few faithful students. Will we, the leaders, take up their Torch?" -- Jewell Patek; State Representative, Missouri House of Representatives
"At Rachel Scott's funeral, Bruce Porter delivered a powerful and appropriate message to all of America. The essence of that message is carried out in this book. Bruce challenges us to take up the torch the Columbine victims carried and to dedicate our lives to Kingdom purposes." -- James Robinson; President, LIFE Outreach International - Fort Worth, Texas
"The Martyrs' Torch...timely, gripping, compelling. This is a must read for every student, parent, educator and pastor." -- Josh D. McDowell, Author/ Speaker
On a fateful spring day at Columbine High, others lifted up their torch and joined the crimson path of the martyrs' way. We cannot forget their sacrifice. This story graphically demonstrates why the Church will continue to bear a brilliant torch of God's love to all nations until the day of Christ's glorious return.
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I must confess that the Columbine shootings did bring out a lot of my angry judgement toward High School where things in which people can be sued (nevermind killed) over "in the real world" are allowed and even concidered virtous or character building. What happened at Columbine is a tragedy, no doubt and yes it is true that it's is far more a tragedy if we do not "wake up" to the fact that it is the hearts of people ultimately leads to such violent acts.
Having said all that I must say that I found the book weighted against the killers in the respect that they too were "victims". That is in no way, shape or form to defend what they did. Rather, as another more critical reviewer pointed out "they were doing it because they had been ostracized, isolated, ignored, and actively snubbed and ridiculed:even if you doubt that they were harassed and made fun of constantly as many people do at this point, alienation and loneliness breed hate just as poisonous and potentially dangerous as hate resulting from actual ridicule--perhaps even more so." I see what I call (and have utter contempt for) "High School culture" as being more the culprit in this tragedy. Once hatred gets this bad one just wants to exterminate anybody in his/her path, I have been there and felt the anger. No, I never fantasized, let alone planned out any such retaliation, mine was a more like turing into a giant person and stomping all over the school! The first thing I saw when I turned on the tv on the night following this tragic event I saw a girl crying saying something like "they said they were getting everybody back for what they did to them last year...". While that is not verbatum it is basically saying the same thing: retaliation. Others contend that while they hated Christians, that may be the case but then again they may have been so consumed by hate that they found reasons to hate others. I have had somewhat similiar experiences on different levels, such as everyone complaining about boybands and corporate music and saying that the Beatles are the only band that will ever live on forever. There have been times I have felt such contempt toward this senitment that I have said that I never wanted to listen to music again including any of my favoite. Soon I thought how I would no longer to enjoy other things or people than how I would no longer want to be sociable. I can understand how something can escalate into what happened at Columbine.
Yes, there will always be those people who will want to be destructive but we must not discount bullying and other hallmarks of school as "virtous" or "character building" because while going around and shooting and blowing up people is heinous, not dealing with - and even OK-ing the socially bad things that go on in school are - in my opinion just as heinous.