The only “revelation” I received from Mr. Holder’s “rant” is that New Age Humanism is alive and well, and still masquerades as some form of Christianity.
A little more than halfway through this book I basically lost any interest in finishing it. (Upon completing this review, I decided to finish the book. My updated remarks can be found at the end.) I found the book boring when the author wasn’t outright contradicting himself (those parts made me laugh in a sadly entertaining sort of way). The utter departure from anything even resembling Orthodox Christianity was disturbing, especially considering this book is couched in what looks to be some sort of Christian faith. For a young believer or someone not grounded in the basic truths regarding Christ and the nature of man, this book could be the slippery slope people warn you about.
Probably what proved most bothersome was the way the author would use the Bible when it suited his argument or fit his experience. However, at the very outset, he called the veracity of the Scripture into question:
… the fact that none of the authors of the Gospels were alive during the time of Jesus; that some of those same authors put words into Jesus’ mouth, that some of Paul’s letters weren’t written by Paul; that much was lost in translation and misunderstood outside the context of a first-century occupied nation; that politics played a large part of the construction of the Bible. Page 7
While I would tend to agree with the last two statements, the first is utter nonsense (both John and Matthew were disciples of Jesus, walking with Him throughout His ministry) and as to the business about putting words in Jesus’ mouth, well, I’m not ready to go there either. Meanwhile, Mr. Holder conveniently used the O.T. story of Jonah to explain his own decision to run from God’s calling. Oh, wait, Holder doesn’t believe in a personal God, that’s right, it’s the principle of the thing:
Years ago, when my understanding of God shifted from the loving-yet-vengeful-so-better-fear-Him-puppet-master-in-the-sky to the underlying essence of all there is, the term God’s Will lost meaning for me. I no longer thought of God as a person, but as Principle. Page 26
But check out the contradiction on the very next page:
My reimagining of “God’s Will” was an attempt to safely and slowly invite a personal relationship with God back into my life.
Um, how does one have a personal relationship with a principle, not a person? Oh, I remember, now, you are God:
[Ministers] should have only one task: empowering those before us to seek and connect with their own inner wisdom. In the depth of their own consciousness, they will find the God they are seeking, and they don’t need a belief system other than in themselves. Page 56
Yes, folks, I give you pure, unadulterated new age wisdom. I mean, if I wanted this, I could have picked up any Depak Chopra or Shirley Mclean book to get it, and would likely have found something a bit more interesting besides. What a tired old song this one has become. Not only did the belief system come up weak, the arguments for why this might be true were mysteriously absent. That Holder was on a “rant” in writing the book is clear; that there is ever any “revelation” is not.
Using Jesus’ reinterpretation of the commandments – love God, love your neighbor – at the same time butchering it to boot – didn’t go very far to convince me that Jesus was saying I needed to love myself first or that:
… loving God and loving our neighbor [are] one and the same. Page 38
Talk about putting words into Jesus’ mouth! Later, asserting that a principle does not feel or have a will, I wondered fleetingly what he does with the wealth of Scripture that speaks of God’s anger or grief and even joy? Then I remembered, for Holder Scripture is a convenient tool that he can twist around so it says whatever strikes his fancy or matches some personal experience. I wonder why he would associate anything he was saying with Christianity, and frankly wish he would not.
If I were a Christian bookstore manager, Holder’s book would be on the shelf marked “Heresies to Study and Learn From”. Well, I would do that if I thought the book was even worth reading. Besides being saddened by the lack of anything even resembling Christianity, I was, quite frankly, bored. It’s not that I’m not interested in people’s life stories. I love a good story. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one.
Holder pushed the whole you are God argument without any real foundation to his claims to have found enlightenment (even from inside himself). I might have been more interested in the book if he had given me some clue as to what in the world Jen told him to convince him that he is divine. The way his “conversion” to Unity and the divine self is glossed over, you’d think he didn’t want anyone else to get it.
Sadly, I will not be finishing this book. As I flipped through the remaining pages tonight I found a bit about vampires, which may be of interest to some of my readers. 😉 But unless you really feel the need to hear someone tell you that you are God and so is everybody else, I would steer clear of Mr. Holder’s rantings.
In the following chapter from where I had stopped reading, Holder managed to spend a couple of paragraphs explaining the tenets of his Unity faith. Apparently he has faith that there is a force that is God, although the place of Jesus and even the Spirit (which he mentioned) is unclear. It left me with the impression that Jesus was no more God than I am. Holder’s assertions that man is ‘perfect at the core’ flies in the face of nearly all of Scripture and historical experience. According to both the Psalmist and Paul, “enlightenment” only reveals the sin nature we are at war against, not our inner perfection.
Then there was some stuff about vampires, as I mentioned earlier, and finally a bit of utter nonsense about computer technology merging with man in order to produce AI and basically, immortality. This last bit is where he really lost me, so when I read the outro I could relate wholeheartedly:
So … about all that time it took you to read this book? I’m sorry to say that you’re not getting that back. Page 167
Believe me, so am I!
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