FOUNDER'S PRAISE by Joanne Greenberg


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A long expository examination of the pitfalls of some Pentecostal religions where human hungers take the place of God. The unwitting Founder of the Apostles was Edgar, a solemn locked-in Colorado farmer, battered in his boyhood by a grim Fundamentalist mother, deadened by WW I and the drought of the Thirties--until the Presence made itself felt and the beauty of all things came to him. Even the dust was a glory. After Edgar's early accidental death, others--to perpetuate the spiritual joy he brought them--instituted the ""Praises,"" dance meetings during which they awaited visions from the Holy Spirit. This is mainly the story of Edgar's namesake and great-nephew, happy, decent, and considered ""special"" by the community. Now as the Praises multiply and begin to assume establishment trappings, Edgar uses what he considers his spiritual powers to manipulate others. Only two complain about the Apostles: his sister who declares, ""It's all high noon at Praise. . . no shadows, no difficult questions""; and old Charlie the Founder's friend who believes the Apostles to be ""tyrants of love and joy the way other people are. . . with sin and death."" At the close tragedy brings Edgar to reality and a deeper spiritual understanding. A lecture of solid content, but with straw-filled characters and leaden dialogue, and as wearying as any three-hour sermon.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1976
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston