Read the entire book with my pin hole glasses on! Interesting exposition of Dr Bates's theories on the causes and cures of vision problems. Some of th...moreRead the entire book with my pin hole glasses on! Interesting exposition of Dr Bates's theories on the causes and cures of vision problems. Some of the techniques were familiar from vision improvement courses I've tried - with some success. I'm now motivated to go back to them in the hope of ditching my glasses! (less)
Had every good intention of liking this book as it was recommended (gifted, in fact) by a friend whose intellect I respect. Sadly and disappointingly,...moreHad every good intention of liking this book as it was recommended (gifted, in fact) by a friend whose intellect I respect. Sadly and disappointingly, it lost me from the Introduction. It started admirably by recognising the polarisation between the camps of theists and sceptics but before long it started making pronouncements about sceptics which don't reflect the views of at least this particular member of that group (along with many others I know).
Keller insists that non belief in God is a belief unto itself. "All doubts, however sceptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs." No, doubts can be based on sheer lack of evidence! In fact, the author does not make the distinction between thinking and believing. Most of his arguments are of the order of "since this and this doesn't explain a certain situation, God must be the explanation." Some of us are comfortable or at least accepting of the fact that we don't know everything about life and the universe and such, and still don't feel that that gap in our knowledge needs to be filled by any old story.
"So, if we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth." I think that the power of religion to provide hope and consolation to those who look for it there, is not in doubt. What's in doubt is the *truth* behind the story that is told to console ourselves or draw strength from.
Dogma is often employed by the author as an argument when all else is exhausted: the weak or naive arguments, as well as attempts at refuting Marx's views as if Marx is the best representative of the non-theist camp.
I felt I owed it to my friend to read through the entire book but once I got to Chp 9, The Knowledge of God, where Keller, after his long discussion on morality and human rights, condescendingly proclaims: "If you insist on a secular view of the world and yet you continue to pronounce some things right and some things wrong, then I hope you see the deep disharmony between the world your intellect has devised and the real wold (and God) that your heart knows exist" I knew it was time to throw in the towel. The presumptuousness and arrogance of that statement destroyed any willingness on my part to give the author the benefit of the doubt till the end of the book.
Skimming through Chp 10, The Problem Of Sin, and reading some more bits of dogma ("Sin is the despairing refusal to find your deepest identity in your relationship and service to God.") convinced me that as a (now confirmed) sinner, it was time to cut my losses and spend my time on other books. (less)
Powerful, inspirational and humbling. Perfect proof of the research it refers to about people being more willing to help if they hear stories of indiv...morePowerful, inspirational and humbling. Perfect proof of the research it refers to about people being more willing to help if they hear stories of individuals rather than of larger groups.
The stories can be quite brutal at times but so many cases are mentioned of women who have overcome overwhelming odds that you're left with a hopeful feeling. I also felt a slight embarrassment at taking for granted the freedom and opportunities I enjoy as a Western woman.
I dare anyone to read it and not have the urge to spring into action - be it signing up for Kiva or making a donation or ....
Should be required reading for any teenager who wonders aimlessly in a mall complaining they're bored!(less)
Inspirational and hopeful. Addressed to cancer sufferers, this book is a must-read for everyone - not only in the interest of cancer prevention but al...moreInspirational and hopeful. Addressed to cancer sufferers, this book is a must-read for everyone - not only in the interest of cancer prevention but also as a means of pursuing overall health and ultimately a balanced, fulfilling life. The author is a doctor who, faced with the dreaded C diagnosis himself, delved into the medical research and discovered how many strategies that involve nutrition, exercise and the mind-body connection and have been dismissed, or at least resisted, by the medical establishment have nevertheless been proven successful in tipping the scales on the side of health.
The book is very well annotated with references that run to several pages (can't tell exactly how many as I read the e-book version). The writing is not the best (it's a translation from French) but that doesn't take away from the power of the material which is essentially a blueprint as to how we should be living our lives. (less)