Saturday, October 28, 2017

Heaven of Heavens

I always think that every religion has its own afterlife.And their own hells and heavens differ from the Christian versions. Buddhist hell for instance differs from Viking hell from Christian hell, etc. So, if we assume that everyone gets to their own religion's version of hell, we will have Hindus finally freeing themselves from the dreaded karmic wheel and entering into blessed nothingness or if they believe in transmigration and have lived horrible lives becoming cockroaches in their nest lives. The Islamic heaven, much like for instance the mormon heaven is pretty patriarchal and made for men and marriage but there is that bonus of being a god and creating your own world. And most of the moslems i know would challenge you on the idea that God loves. For them to call God Father is an insult and to say He loves is to depict him as weak. So we have to not be imperialistic in our spiritual inclusiveness because we are going to insult folks we think we are including.

So....the typical christian heaven is for beings who want a God who loves, a God who so believes in free will that he allows you to leave him and to go to hell if you wish, and the heaven is sexless, a city, and consists of being like God because we can see Him as He is.Let us not be imperialistic and put people into our kind of heaven who don't want to be there. Perhaps the Christian heaven isn't the best of heavens, but it's the one i like. Others may want their own heavens.

I believe what Peter said that God shows no favorites and anyone who truly trusts him in any nation will be saved. I also believe that Jesus is -- as Mohammed calls him-- "the great mercy." It is possible that Mercy (Jesus unknown to some folks in another religion) is saving people whom we may not consider Christian. But the Christian in me believes that any kind of "work" or human self-righteousness cannot be allowed to taint heaven. Thus self-righteous people of any religions, Christianity included, will not enter heaven. There is no "self" there.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review: The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing

Review: The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing
by Damion Searls

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804136548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804136549
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches

  • This is a book that people will either love or hate. But seriously, how does one write a bio about a vanguard in psychology. Do you write more about the person or about his effect on modern psychology? Do you write about the person's life? Do you write about the effects of the new psychological method at the time of its beginning or its effect on modern culture? This is the balance the writer has to walk. If you like being taken on a lovely walk where you stop and look at various points of the journey, this book is for you. But if you have a rigid idea of what a biography should be like or what psychology was like before or after Rorschach, then you might find the book problematical. This biography tries to get a lot in and it really does. I didn't mind it. I grew to like Rorscach, and to perhaps understand how to see or how to think about seeing or how to imaginatively discern and see.

    This book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

    Review: Jesus Always -- 365 Devotions for kids

    Review: Jesus Always -- 365 Devotions for kids

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718096886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718096885
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 

  • On the one hand, I applaud this book for tackling some pretty heavy topics for a kid's devotional. It's a good stepping stone between the toddler-kiddie kind of devotional and adult devotionals. I'll even say that in many ways this is on a par with a lot of adult devotionals.

    But I have a few issues with this book. First I'm not a fan of the "first person" format. The book is written in devotionals where God speaks directly to the reader. So instead of "Jesus is" we have "I am." Or "Go to Jesus" we have "Come to me." This is a problem because I really think it would be best if this was read to kids by their parents. Children reading this book will have to understand that these messages were written by one particular person pretending to be speaking as God. That is a lot to deal with. They will have to understand that this person may or may not be totally correct in everything, and that this person is not really God. Cognitively, the minds of young children aren't really formed to have that ability to do the mental gymnastics this book requires.

    The second problem is connected to the first: Because the book is written in first person, some of the exhortations -- which would be couched in gentler terms-- just comes off as God nagging the reader.  Or worse: the exhortations sound like a bullying God. The tone is all wrong. Sure, there are sections where the "message from God" is all about love.

    Thirdly, the theology feels a bit like church speak. So if the child you give this book to goes to church, they will be already down with the jargon. It's not a problem with the vocabulary. Yes, sometimes the vocabulary is at times a bit tough for younger kids but kids can learn concepts such as radiant and infinite and their parents can explain some concepts. But wow, a lot of the doctrines and theologies come so fast and furious that more explanations are needed. 

    I received this book free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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