Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review -- "Overcoming Gossips" by David Kamara

Pastor David Kamara wants to encourage Christians who are the target of malicious gossip to be overcomers. In his self-published book, Overcoming Gossips, Kamara argues that gossip is prevalent, hurtful, and satanically motivated but is absolutely surmountable by followers of Jesus Christ.[1]

As a book, Overcoming Gossips has several strengths. First, it is filled with scripture quotes and biblical references. Second, it includes short true stories of people who have been harmed by gossip and also helped by remembering their identity in Christ. Third, Kamara’s basic argument is sound. Those who understand who they are in Christ can gain confidence to survive the suffering of malicious gossip.

Overcoming Gossips also has significant weaknesses. English does not appear to be Pastor Kamara’s first language, so his writing is very difficult to follow. And while abounding with scripture, multiple translations are put to use, especially the Amplified and Living Bibles, apparently chosen at each point based upon how much they prove the author’s point.

The most concerning feature of Overcoming Gossips is how it veers, at times, into a triumphalistic tone. Pastor Kamara appears to be a Pentecostal Christian with an emphasis on personal success.
Beloved, the glory of the Lord is already upon you and that is why you are being gossiped [sic]. People don’t spend time talking about a loser. They only talk about winner and you are one of them. . . . By destiny, you are a shining star and the only one that can stop you from shining is you (yourself) [sic]. Not some demons or gossips. . . . Praise God! You will shine in Jesus’ name![2]
Overcoming Gossips is full of truth but tends toward an over-realized eschatology. “It doesn’t matter what you are going through, as long as you team up with God in prayer you will never be defeated. Never mind the group against you, just always know that as long as God is with you, you are a permanent overcomer. So rise up and take your position.”[3]

Kamara’s book could be substantially improved by balancing these confident statements with scriptures that teach that believers in this age will continue to suffer and are called to faithful perseverance while they wait for Jesus’ kingdom to come in its fullness.

[1]David Kamara, Overcoming Gossips (Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2007).
[2]Ibid., 71-72.
[3]Ibid., 82.


Note: We are rounding up a long blog series working through my doctoral research into the problem of gossip.

My contribution to the literature, Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue will soon be available:


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