A simplification of the Bible that needs a thorough edit.

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BIBLE JESUS USED

Falade makes the heterodox argument that the Bible as most Christians know it requires a severe redaction.

The author maintains that the only reliable verses of the Bible are quotations from Jesus Christ and verses pertaining to his life and teachings. Here he presents his own re-created scriptural text, preceded by lengthy introductory materials. Falade basically discounts the majority of the Old Testament, maintaining the veracity of only those few verses that either portend the coming of Christ or are directly connected to the teachings of Jesus. Likewise, large portions of the New Testament are discounted. Though he has admiration for those who passed Scriptures down through the centuries, he believes scholars and church leaders unnecessarily added to an otherwise perfect collection of “Canonicity,” as he puts it, which he refers to as “the Bible Jesus used.” He goes on to claim that he is “perfecting” the Bible in his efforts: “Perfecting means ridding the texts of attributes that are not consistent with the divine nature of the Christ.” Falade cites hundreds of verses and statements that he considers inconsistencies. (For instance, in Matthew and Luke, Jesus says he came to bring not peace, but a sword; yet in John, Jesus says “In me you have peace.”) This revised version includes a variety of quotes from and references to the Old Testament and to the sayings and actions of Jesus. The final product, according to the author, is shorter than the original four Gospels, and only 2 percent of it is based on the Old Testament. Falade’s verbiage is highly cluttered and hard to follow, and a thorough edit of his introductory pages would make his subsequent material much easier to understand. Though other modern scholars have attempted to identify “the historical Jesus” or a core of authentic Bible verses (e.g., The Jesus Seminar), Falade’s own methodology for saving certain portions of Scripture and discarding others is simply unclear, opening him up to criticism by academics and lay readers alike. Nevertheless, the author has labored through an extremely close reading of the Scriptures and displays a high level of knowledge regarding the intricacies of Jesus’ teachings and the Bible as a whole.

A simplification of the Bible that needs a thorough edit.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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