Rich scriptural commentary with real-life relevance that offers hope, direction, and encouragement.

THE OTHER SIDE

A debut book analyzes two well-known biblical stories to address the issue of survival during life’s most difficult trials.

In the first part of this volume, Ramey takes readers on a verse-by-verse exploration of Matthew 14:22-36, the account of Jesus’ disciples facing a violent storm. They witness Jesus walking on water, calming the sea, and eventually reaching the other side. The second part moves into the Old Testament with the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. Ramey has written this work using the foundation of his own excruciating tempests in life, most notably his sister’s battle with cancer. His insights about these scriptural passages are focused on enduring hardships. Some of his premises include: God lets individuals experience tribulation so they can discover his faithful character and learn to trust him; “miracles happen on both sides of the storm”; and God is always “working, moving, orchestrating things, and preparing you for what is yet to come.” The author also advises readers: “God is healing, deliverance from depression, restoration in relationships, heart mending. God is good, and He is reaching out to you. Cling to Him.” The quality of Ramey’s writing is superb—rich with meaning, easily comprehensible, and highly engaging. He is able to extract profound meaning from every verse, employing the details available. He also takes the creative liberty to annotate the ancient setting from his own perspective, which truly brings the Scriptures to life; there is an organized and balanced harmony between scriptural commentary and present-day application that is ambiguous enough to pertain to a wide variety of situations but structured enough so as not to lose readers. The book is also interspersed with novel and memorable one-liners like “God, I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow” and “God loves an underdog story and a good comeback. We can never place a period where God has placed a comma.”

Rich scriptural commentary with real-life relevance that offers hope, direction, and encouragement.

Pub Date: March 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-7974-5

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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An erudite and artful, though frustratingly restrained, look at Old Testament stories.

THE BOOK OF GENESIS ILLUSTRATED

The Book of Genesis as imagined by a veteran voice of underground comics.

R. Crumb’s pass at the opening chapters of the Bible isn’t nearly the act of heresy the comic artist’s reputation might suggest. In fact, the creator of Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural is fastidiously respectful. Crumb took pains to preserve every word of Genesis—drawing from numerous source texts, but mainly Robert Alter’s translation, The Five Books of Moses (2004)—and he clearly did his homework on the clothing, shelter and landscapes that surrounded Noah, Abraham and Isaac. This dedication to faithful representation makes the book, as Crumb writes in his introduction, a “straight illustration job, with no intention to ridicule or make visual jokes.” But his efforts are in their own way irreverent, and Crumb feels no particular need to deify even the most divine characters. God Himself is not much taller than Adam and Eve, and instead of omnisciently imparting orders and judgment He stands beside them in Eden, speaking to them directly. Jacob wrestles not with an angel, as is so often depicted in paintings, but with a man who looks not much different from himself. The women are uniformly Crumbian, voluptuous Earth goddesses who are both sexualized and strong-willed. (The endnotes offer a close study of the kinds of power women wielded in Genesis.) The downside of fitting all the text in is that many pages are packed tight with small panels, and too rarely—as with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—does Crumb expand his lens and treat signature events dramatically. Even the Flood is fairly restrained, though the exodus of the animals from the Ark is beautifully detailed. The author’s respect for Genesis is admirable, but it may leave readers wishing he had taken a few more chances with his interpretation, as when he draws the serpent in the Garden of Eden as a provocative half-man/half-lizard. On the whole, though, the book is largely a tribute to Crumb’s immense talents as a draftsman and stubborn adherence to the script.

An erudite and artful, though frustratingly restrained, look at Old Testament stories.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-393-06102-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2009

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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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