I don’t watch TV but I came to learn about Phil Robertson when I was traveling to Anchorage/Alaska from Seattle during the labor’s day weekend (in 2014). When the plane landed in Anchorage airport, people were swarming around two bearded men. My friend and I were wondering: “Who are these people?”
When I asked who they were, I learned that these guys (Phil and Jase) where from the Robertson family and that they have their TV show “The Duck Dynasty” on A&E.
I did my research about Phil and I was happy to learn that he’s into spirituality and a moral way of life. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about Phil’s point of view of life and morality so I bought his book “unPHILtered: The Way I See It”.
What follows is a brief description of each chapter and occasionally my comments thereafter.
Phil, in his book, tackles most of the important and controversial issues facing America today including: abortion, gun control, government, politics and race.
Please keep an open mind and enjoy reading this review.
Part 1 – Personal Lifestyles
Chapter 1 talks about “Biblical correctness”. The essence of this chapter revolves about the idea that people are more concerned about political correctness rather that biblical correctness. Phil talks how the Bible teachings and Christian religious believes are slowly being eroded from the American Society and how atheists and other special-interest groups are opposed to the idea of having crosses, statues of Jesus and other religious symbols on public grounds.
Chapter 2, titled “Spiritual Dieting”, begins by observing how people nowadays are overly concerned by how many calories they burn, how much weight they want to lose or how they can live longer. Phil remarks that the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2014 is losing weight, spending less money, getting organized, quitting smoking among other things. He argues that if one approaches the Bible and read God’s words then his/her worldly concerns will be taken care of. If one follows God’s advise on living, one will get the spiritual well-being that will help in all other aspects of life. Essentially, he’s inviting the readers to focus on being “Spiritually Fit” and apply the spiritual teachings in one’s life and lead by example.
Chapter 3, titled “Money”, starts by advising one to “Focus on Your Eternal Inheritance, Not your Portfolio”.
Money is not everything, it can make your life better for sure, however always remember to be generous with what you have and help care for neighbors, the sick and the poor. He observes how people these days spend beyond their means because they’re trying to keep up with the Joneses.
When certain funeral homes are asked to provide clothing for the deceased, the undertakers purposely dress men in suits without pockets. Hey, there aren’t any pocket because you’re not taking anything with you!
And he concludes the chapter with this wonderful advise:
Save your money, buy only what you need, give generously, and, most important, prepare yourself for God’s inheritance
Chapter 4, titled “Social Media”, talks how people these days cannot get off their cell phones “my sons included”.
In a recent IDC study, it is revealed that 79 percent of smartphone users reach for their devices within fifteen minutes of waking up, a majority of them – 62 percent don’t even wait fifteen minutes.
I have an idea: why don’t you grab a Bible and read, or lie there in bed and pray or meditate for a few quiet moments?
Phil also speaks about how people are losing the old style of socializing and how many rely on digital communication. It is important to meet people face-to-face, because
…it is my observation that if people are mean, they get a lot meaner after they’re married
He cannot figure out why Americans are so preoccupied with what everyone else is up to. People are attracted to social media because of gossip. Most people want to know everything about everyone, regardless of how hurtful it might be. People should lead a quiet life and mind their own business.
Chapter 5, titled “Family” stresses the importance of raising one’s children in a Godly environment. God has to be at the top.
Love for God, our spouses, and our children is a prerequisite to teaching our kids to choose the right path in life, training them to follow the path, and correcting them when they stray off the path
Another important thing to teach our children, Phil adds, is the importance of hard work. This topic will be repeated more and more in other chapters in the book. Virtues of hard work and responsibility should be taught to our children.
Part 2 – Hot Topics
Chapter 6, titled “Politics”, starts by saying “Elect Godly Men” and continues to explain why:
I don’t consider myself a Republican or a Democrat, a left-winger or a right-winger, conservative or liberal. I consider myself a Christocrat because I advocate the principles of God’s Word and God’s government.
The problem is not just about the elected officials, it’s the ones who put them there:
Who we elect is a representation of the who we are as a country.
When Phil is asked how he would fix the government, he answers:
I would put people in Washington DC who fear God and love their neighbors. If we don’t change, we’re going to have more of the same forevermore until it finally collapses.
It is sad how arrogance, corruption, greed, depravity and degradation are now the centerpieces of the American dream. He concludes the chapter with a profound truth:
Bad men are more than capable of corrupting good laws, and good men will rule well in the absence of good laws.
Chapter 7, titled “Race”, revolves around the idea that one should “judge a man by his heart and not by the color of his skin”. Phil shares many personal stories from his own life to prove that he does not have a single racist bone in his body and to tell the readers that we are all the children of God and that we should love each other and that the focus should not be on diversity but on embracing unity.
In Chapter 8, titled “Entitlements”, Phil tries to convey how we should become self-reliant, stop being lazy, work hard and stop depending on the Government.
…there is a boatload of Americans who are abusing the system and collecting free money because they’re simply too lazy to work
Phil acknowledges the fact that there are people who need assistance however many of them are able-bodied but just still rely on assistance out of laziness and a sense of entitlement. Then he continues to share with the reader various stories from his own life were he was lucky to be able to help those around him and are in need.
In Chapter 9, titled “Government”, Phil starts by asking a rather amusing a rhetorical question:
Do you know what the United States government and lottery winners have in common?
Neither one of them got their money by working for it, both rejoice when the cash pours in, and then both squander it about as fast as they receive it.
He continues to give stories about how lottery winners who strike it big in Powerball or Mega Millions, winning millions instantly but end up squandering their money on luxurious things and going on vacation around the world. They get consumed by money. This example was to illustrate how the government is taking its money from us and how it has so many methods at its disposal to blow it through fiscal irresponsibility:
We’re a superpower with a third-world checkbook
Phil continues by asking:
When was the last time a politician was run out of office for misspending?
To sum it up, the readers can sense lots of frustration towards the current government and the people that run it. Phil advises that a flat tax would seem a much more equitable way of funding the government.
Phil dreams of an America like it once was during the days of the founding fathers.
Chapter 10 is about “Gun Control”. In short “Never give up your firearms”. Phil reminds us that America came into existence because of the Bible, guns and blood.
Phil quotes from the second amendment to the United States Constitution states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”
His point is that we should bare arms to protect ourselves, family and land from a corrupt government if we have to. If the guns were taken away we won’t be able to defend ourselves.
Phil continues to argue that a big majority of his clients are gun owners, since they hunt ducks and they order his duck calls and other Duck Commander products.
Guns are not the problem, it is the people’s moral degradation and the loss of values:
Trust me, the murder rate in this country would drop dramatically if we started to love God and love one another
Is the problem actually the weapons or the hears of men committing the crimes?
Phil quotes Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president:
No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms
If people cannot buy arms legally, then criminals will still own guns and what a joy it is for criminals to know that the people are unarmed and cannot defend themselves.
Another wise reflection from Phil that beautifully illustrate the problem with the gun control debate:
It’s amazing to me that it’s more difficult to kill a duck in this country than it is to rip an unborn child out of its mother’s womb
Part 3 – Faith
In this part, there is a notable increase of religious tone. Most of the topics in the coming chapters are about encouraging the reader to read the Bible.
I personally . The truth is to be found in all religion and most importantly truth is truth when it is alive and put into action among our fellow men.
In Chapter 11, titled “Intelligent Design or blind chance”, Phil argues about the evolution theory versus creationism.
In Chapter 12, titled “Good vs. Evil”, Phil states throughout his lifetime he learned that he’s coexisting with two kinds of people: good ones and evil ones. According to 1 John 5:19: the world is under control of the evil one.
People do bad things (like terrorism, murder, etc…) because they are under the control of the evil one and that the whole world is a prisoner of sin.
In Chapter 13, titled “Sin”, Phil urges the readers to repent and ask God for forgiveness. He starts to tell the reader about how he was approached by A&E TV executives in order to shoot a reality TV show about family values.
Phil proceeds to share his story with the readers when a journalist from the GQ magazine, in December 2013, interviewed him and his sons. When the interviewer asked Phil about whether he thinks if homosexuality is a sin, the interviewer did not like Phil’s response. Phil was simply answering and quoting the Bible.
Phil shares with the readers when he himself was under the control of the Evil One. He adds that his generation was what they called “the sexual revolution” or simply put “The sinful revolution”. The chapter concludes by asking the reader which sides are they:
The one that includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control, etc… OR the side that includes sexual immorality, idolatry, homosexuality, greed, slander and swindling?
In Chapter 14, titled “Death”, Phil sets the stage for the reader to look at their life and evaluate it. He asks whether we are ready for the recall. The reader is reminded that the day of the lord will come like a thief (2 Peter 3:10).
The main theme of this chapter is about the end of times, turning away from our sins and the return of Jesus and establishing eternal life.
Chapter 15, titled “Good news”, is the last chapter. Phil reminds us that there are two problems that we cannot solve by ourselves: our sins and our eventual physical death.
Do you have a better idea for your own life? Do you have a better idea for fixing this rotten culture and sea of depravity we now find ourselves swimming in? Repent and turn your life for Jesus.
And the last message of hope:
It is time for all of America to repent and turn back to the Lord, and we had better do it now before it’s too late for our beloved nation.
I personally enjoyed reading the book. I actually understood more of the stuff that Phil spoke about in various chapters when I was telling friends about his book. It feels like when you share knowledge and wisdom not only others will grow but your own wisdom will flourish as well.
If you plan to buy the book then keep in mind that most of what it has to offer is based on Biblical and Christian truth. If you are like me, a proponent of universal and non-sectarian truth then read this e/book with an open mind and don’t get stuck about its religious aspect.