A strange and ultimately partisan reading of Christianity’s fate.

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ONE HOLY NATION

A MYSTERY OF HISTORY—THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL

A firebrand interpretation of biblical Scripture envisions a unified faith.

Slobodzien (Hidden Bible Taboos Forbidden by Organized Christianity, 2012, etc.) opens his new book, a kind of follow-up to his preceding work, by urging readers to consider “the possibility that it may have been God’s plan from the beginning of time to unite all of his people into One Faith, One Hope, One Family—One Holy Nation!” But he begins his elaboration of this ambitious religious claim in the worst way possible: by misconstruing science, creating a false dichotomy between it and Christianity. His description of the Big Bang—“this speck of LIGHT (existing outside of space and time) appeared from nowhere, and for no reason, only to explode (start expanding) all of a sudden”—and his contention that “the ‘missing link’ (between the cave man and modern humans) is still missing” are some of the familiar fundamentalist misunderstandings he shares. Also in that category are his reference to creationism as a “theory” and preposterous claims like this one regarding the Nepililim mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: “Scientists today confirm the biblical record of these non-human species existing before God created Homo Sapiens (Adam and Eve) and after.” This opening section will likely repel   readers who are non-fundamentalist Christians, resulting in their hesitation to plow through the rest of the book to discover the author’s insights. This is a shame, because once he gets down to the business of exegesis, analyzing the nature of Jesus and the true meaning of the prophesied Kingdom of God, he provides consistently compelling reading about “God’s ultimate plan to gather together all families through the shed blood of Jesus into his One Universal Holy Nation of ALL believers.” Some of these readings are rather odd. He characterizes Jesus as a “Cosmic King” foretold by Old Testament prophets. And the Book of Revelation does not identify the “Roman Catholic Institution” as the anti-Christ. But Slobodzien’s Christian readers should find his assessments intriguing nonetheless.

A strange and ultimately partisan reading of Christianity’s fate.

Pub Date: April 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5413-9497-1

Page Count: 152

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

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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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