Dr. Sleeth moves through scripture pointing out the near constant connection between important moments and trees, bushes, seeds, etc. all the while extolling the planting of trees as a spiritual gift to the planet and our neighbors.
Given my theological journey, if anyone is open to a book about the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Paul, I am. But in the end, I think there are better books out there to tackle this important subject.
Instead of the virtues of classical republicanism, the romance of nationalism, the ructions of democracy, many modern liberals give us a vision of an Open Society that is informed by the dreams of Communism itself, a withering away of nationality, religions, social distinctions, and even the family that occurs underneath the tutelage of liberal democratic capitalism rather than a Communist party. That is why, so often, the legal suppressions aimed at Christianity are aimed at things like the principled refusal to profit from one’s labor. None of these cases involve the systematic and conspiratorial deprivation of goods, as Jim Crow did. What offends the modern liberal is something else. The mere assertion of a higher good beyond the Open Society, and beyond ourselves, something higher than profit, is itself counted as an injury, as treasonous. — Michael Brendan Dougherty
Goldberg does not deny the tensions involved in this conservative project within a liberal democratic capitalist system but rather accepts it as the challenge we face. The question is whether we are up to it.
Commodification has led most people to view God as a device to be used rather than an all-powerful Creator to be revered. This also explains our abundant and careless words about him. Is it any surprise that a divine butler would fail to provoke reverent silence? What need is there to rein in one’s tongue if God is merely a cosmic therapist? The god of Consumer Christianity does not inspire awe and wonder because he is nothing more than a commodity to be used for our personal satisfaction and self-achievement.
This is the kind of book where you want to lose yourself in the story and are compelled to read it whenever you have free time. But instead I had to force myself to finish it after I had invested time in starting. If you like big, messy, sprawling stories about a secret history with lots of violence and sex then this may be for you. Just didn’t work for me.
I am somewhat torn as to my reaction. I really enjoyed it for about 75% but then it felt like it was dragging a bit.
But no sooner had I begun to feel that, it cranked up the tension and I stayed up late to finish it. I guess I am more on the positive (some nearly gushing) reviews spectrum than I am on the negative. But, perhaps because I am not all that knowledgeable about science fiction or speculative fiction, I can’t quite see the profound and literary masterpiece some have found.