Muscle and a Shovel: A Review

The full review of Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shanks is now available in a PDF file. Anyone may print and distribute this as they desire.

The text is also available on Kindle.


6 Responses to “Muscle and a Shovel: A Review”

  1.   David Ramsey Says:

    P. 21: Into line 4 insert the missing word “can”

    P. 40: From “that there baptism” eliminate “there”

    P. 51: Resolve the widowed heading at the bottom of the page. Move the header to p. 52.

  2.   Steven Jones Says:

    Mr. Hicks,
    I read the book in the most simple way, the way I believe it was meant to be read,straight forward just as the Gospel reads.I found no fault with any of it. Actually, it was quite refreshing .It seems to me there are more and more preachers,teachers, editors, publishers , and very well marketed personalities that continue to enjoy bashing and dismissing many traditions and unfortunately truth along with it in order to heighten themselves as one of the initiated.Recklessly,in many cases in my view.Those traditions and truths are wonderful to me and thousands of the folks.They love to do it from the pulpit I believe to show only how studied they only think they are.What I don’t understand is why all of those who think the Church is so horribly wrong simply would just leave, instead of attempting and in many cases succeeding in being the self appointed iconoclast . There are many community churches who stand for any and all things and they would certainly appreciate their Theology/ Philosophy.
    If you have gotten this far,I would like to offer a somewhat shocking event concerning my dear Mothers effort to buy 200 copies of ” Muscle and a Shovel” for church members at her local congregation . She travelled to Abilene to purchase the books figuring ‘where would be better’!Arriving at”Leaf Publishing ” Abilene Christian’s publishing’s arm (as you well know) my Mother ask to buy the 200 copies the man helping her said to her ” We do not have that book and I would caution you not to buy it because it teaches false doctrine” Incredible! (That’s one way to censor it)I hooted, then I just simply got pissed off. As members of “the Church” ( I know that pisses you off) Graduates of ACU , family member on Board of Directors,decades of being taught by wonderfully committed servants of Christ Jesus , now it seems, through your efforts and many more , leaves me the feeling that what was taught was not the complete truth.It does seem to me only the arcane can ascend to such lofty knowledge.C’mon brother, you know what the truth is even though its not popular. When writing another book, pay attention to that burning sensation in the back of your throat. It is telling you something.God have Mercy on both of us.

    Steven Jones
    Amarillo, Texas

    •   johnmarkhicks Says:

      Brother Jones,

      Yes, may God have mercy, brother.

      I kindly reviewed the book and stated my disagreement with some of its points (including its historical errors). I stated what I believe is the truth, and I invite you to engage the discussion on its merits.


      John Mark

  3.   David W Fletcher Says:

    You seem rather argumentative, brother, in your review of “Muscle and a Shovel,” like your old self, the “old John Mark.” Maybe rigid, pattern hermeneutics for Christian faith and practice bring out the “best” in you! And, I thought you were a centrist . . .

  4.   Andy Spell Says:

    Thank you for your time in writing this review. I have passed it on to many and am thankful to have it to share with others.

  5.   irving everson Says:

    Sirs, None of us have a corner on the market of “all truth.” There are some parts of Brother Shanks book in which I may disagree to some degree. Yet, it is a tool. Can I say, all of God’s earthly vessels have cracks, chips, and holes in them. We are just thankful to belong to our Lord who looks at our hearts more than our inadequacies.

    As a boy growing up on the dairy farm my mom canned a lot of garden foods. So much, that the average family would not understand why she canned so much. It took a lot of work and food to feed the pack. Sometimes we would open up a quart jar and find some mold that formed on the top. We did not throw the whole quart of food away. Instead, we took a spoon and dipped out the mold. Then we dumped the rest of the food into the pan. For the glory of God; I suggest you use the best tools you can find and do the same thing. It is about the glory of God not our perfection. Brother Shank, may many many more be saved through your work and may God be exalted through your work. God Bless.

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