If you are happy in your belief that the Bible was dictated by God or otherwise inspired in such a way that it is "inerrant," you will not want to reaIf you are happy in your belief that the Bible was dictated by God or otherwise inspired in such a way that it is "inerrant," you will not want to read this book -- as it is a direct challenge to that belief.
Ehrman points out the many, many contradictions within the New Testament (his speciality as a Bible scholar) and gives a good overview of the historical-critical approach to Bible studies, as contrasted with the devotional and other approaches. Most church-based Bible studies are devotional in approach, even though virtually all mainstream Christian seminaries teach the historical-critical approach during the Bible studies that all new ministers go through.
What I learned from this book is that the Bible is very important in history, culture, religion -- but the only way you can view the Bible as inerrant is to twist around logic and common sense to such a degree that they mean nothing. As an popular introduction to Biblical studies as the formally-educated seminary students receive them, this book is excellent. ...more
An excellent update to her earlier works about the Gnostic Gospels and other early-Christian beliefs and documents, Beyond Belief is well worth readinAn excellent update to her earlier works about the Gnostic Gospels and other early-Christian beliefs and documents, Beyond Belief is well worth reading for anyone who wants a good understanding of how Christianity came to be the way it is. Highly recommended. ...more
Imagine a time several thousand years hence when God recreates the world from the ashes of the mess we leave behind; imagine that in this new earth, eImagine a time several thousand years hence when God recreates the world from the ashes of the mess we leave behind; imagine that in this new earth, evil and good are obvious. Now, imagine that a man from our time goes to sleep and dreams he is in that time - and the dreams are so real that he can not tell if he is dreaming he is here and really there, or dreaming he is there and really here. This is religious fiction with time travel (of a sort) and big bad monsters and world-threatening plagues deliberately created by evil villains and a young man who is also God.
This series started off being a trilogy (Black, White, Red) with a beginning, middle and end. Then Green came out, which answered some of the questions left hanging from the trilogy -- but it turned a straight forward story into a circle, looping back into itself. If you read the trilogy - avoid reading GREEN until you can find it in the omnibus edition, as that one has both an alternate ending for Green (which is much better than the ending in the stand-alone version) and the ending published in the stand-alone version (for the completists). Barnes & Noble had the omnibus edition on their clearance tables (at both Memphis-area B&N stores) within the last week of December 2010 at a big discount. The Memphis Public Library only has the 3-in-1 collection and the individual books, not the omnibus 4-in-1 edition. ...more
As usual, Mr. Davis does not disappoint. This is the adult (no sex, just grown up characters) 1st book in the Tales of Starlight series, a sorta-sequeAs usual, Mr. Davis does not disappoint. This is the adult (no sex, just grown up characters) 1st book in the Tales of Starlight series, a sorta-sequel to The Starlighter, which is the young-adult 1st book in the same story-line. If you have read The Starlighter, you will be able to jump right into this one and it takes right off. If you have not, it may take a few pages to get into it -- but it is well worth those few pages. IN any case, an excellent fantasy novel with interesting characters & DRAGONS and space travel (sort of) and Nobility (in the best sense) and Evil (in a non-gory way). If you are looking for a book to recommend to someone from your church who is willing to try a fantasy novel, this is an excellent choice. I say this because, despite all the usual exciting fantasy elements, there is no profanity, no blatant sex, no dwelling on how fine someone looks -- none of those things that make, for instance, paranormal romance, so offensive to so many church folk. It is an excellent story, tightly woven, well worth reading regardless of how you feel about those things and being able to produce all that and still keep it clean is one of the reasons that Mr. Davis was given the Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame award last year by the Darrell Awards Jury. (See http://darrellawards.org or visit the Darrell Awards page on facebook for info on the Coger Hall of Fame or the Darrell Awards.)
If you want to read an odd twisted alternate history that is actually believable, try this one. It is by the same author who made a splash with PrideIf you want to read an odd twisted alternate history that is actually believable, try this one. It is by the same author who made a splash with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which my wife, who loves P&P did not like. Being a fan of books about the Civil War, especially Lincoln, I really enjoyed this one. Well worth reading, if you like Lincoln or that era. ...more