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ZION'S PROMISE

THE PROPHETS SPEAK TODAY

A polemic that will appeal only to fundamentalist Christian readers who also see biblical prophecy in current events.

An evangelic interpretation of the end times with an emphasis on the role of Israel.

From this book’s opening chapter, “My Kook Book,” it’s clear that pastor, missionary, and Christian school teacher Wilson anticipates a negative response to his interpretation of biblical prophecy. The book begins with an engaging description of how a mainline Christian baby boomer converted to evangelical, fundamentalist Christianity, like millions of other Americans who’d make up the so-called “Moral Majority.” Like many other contemporary evangelicals, he interprets biblical prophecy through a distinctly contemporary lens. According to him, the “end of time” is rapidly approaching, if not already here. Much of the book’s first half views recent world history as a fulfillment of biblical predictions, beginning with the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948. Today, “war clouds are gathering,” the author says, by which he means that the Battle of Armageddon approaches, and that a “new axis of evil” of the Islamic world, North Korea, and Russia are plotting against Israel. Opaque biblical prophecies take on specific meanings in his interpretation; for example, Revelation’s “Bear” is Russia, its Seven Churches are specific Christian denominations (Roman Catholicism, for instance, is seen as the “unworthy” church of Thyatira), and Joel’s “columns of smoke” are nuclear weapons. Jewish people have a central place in the author’s vision; “Zion’s Promise,” or God’s pledge to Abraham to bless the world through his descendants, will ultimately be fulfilled as Jews turn from what Wilson calls their “foolish blindness” and convert en masse to Christianity. This interpretation will be offensive to many Jews, and Arabs are described in even harsher terms. The book ignores the hundreds of thousands of Arab Christians alive today and suggests that, as the descendants of Ishmael, Arabs are “still jealous” of the favored son of Abraham and still live up to the biblical description of Ishmael as “a wild ass of a man.” In addition to containing such problematic ethnic interpretations, the book also ignores centuries of Christian scholarship and alternative interpretations of Revelation.

A polemic that will appeal only to fundamentalist Christian readers who also see biblical prophecy in current events.

Pub Date: March 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5447-4828-3

Page Count: 372

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2020

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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