A call for Protestant Reformation–style spiritual renewal marred by ungainly hatemongering.

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My God is Better Than Your god

BATTLE CRY OF ARMAGEDDON

A Scripture-quoting jeremiad on the evils of organized religion.

Foster’s (A Land Called Pangaea, 2014) latest book has as its central premise the difference between faith (a personal interaction with the Christian God) and religion (which has “nothing to do with the Word of God and everything to do with the lies of Satan through men of theology”). In this “no holds barred search for the truth in God’s Word,” Foster specifically refers to a sequence of “Blood Religions” that exalt ancestor worship over faith in God (Judaism), worship a false god (Catholicism), or praise a false prophet (Islam). Liberally seeded with biblical quotations, his text contends that by following the state-sanctioned, power-enabling Blood Religions, humanity has been led astray, a process that has been hastened by scholars “who intellectualize religion through education.” Foster tells readers that God prepared the world to receive his son, Jesus Christ, and this reception can only be accomplished by studying the King James Bible (which, curiously, is itself a translation from Hebrew and Aramaic made by highly intellectual scholars). Unfortunately, this type of standard American revivalist rhetoric is accompanied by hatred and bigotry. Jews—often referred to as “the Jew”—are collectively blamed for the death of Jesus; California’s droughts are God’s punishment for the state’s liberalism; President Barack Obama is a Muslim; homosexual acts are sinful; etc. Even as he declares that Satan has conquered the world through the works of Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, Foster claims to mean no harm to anyone; it’s doubtful his Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, liberal, intellectual, gay, or secular humanist readers will agree.

A call for Protestant Reformation–style spiritual renewal marred by ungainly hatemongering.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-692-32640-4

Page Count: 258

Publisher: The Emerald Rainbow

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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