Thursday, April 14, 2005

I've given up on Seeds of Deception. I was going to be diligent and at least skim through the rest of the book, but I just couldn't. Rob Waller, Mind and Media's Reviewer of the Week, was kinder than I was, but still said about the same things. It's just not very good! However, I've started on my next book, and it is excellent. Of course, it's hard not to be excellent when you're talking about C.S. Lewis, but I'm sure there are those who could manage it.

Wayne Martindale is a scholar who's spent years studying and teaching on Lewis, and has written a lucid, intelligent book called Beyond the Shadowlands, about Lewis's views of heaven and hell. This is something not talked about much, since no one can claim to have true knowledge of the subject, but as I read this book I'm realizing how important it is for Christians to know. There are so many people who have no concept of heaven and hell, picturing the former as eternity spent sitting on clouds and strumming harps, and the latter a fiery pit with pitch-forked demons. Frankly, neither image is particularly appealling or particularly distressing. We need to look forward to heaven with yearning and cringe from the thought of hell, and we need to be able to inform non-Christians about these things as well. Lewis had amazing insights about the after-life, often using mythology to illustrate his point, and Martindale does an excellent job of gathering the information into one place and elucidating on it. I know I need to hurry up and finish it so I can get on to the next book, but I want to savor every word and give myself time to think about the ideas. There've been precious few books on my nightstand lately that have given me food for thought, and this is a welcome change. Highly recommended.


Dave Rattigan said...

Your reaction is virtually identical to mine. I found Rob's review bizarrely generous, even short-sighted with the frankly prejudiced, bigoted and malicious nature of the claims made in the book (e.g. keep your kids away from gay family members, because they may be seduced). And I began writing a critical commentary every few chapters until I came to the point I realized the book was nothing more than hateful propaganda, and certainly not deserving of genuine interaction.

You may be interested in my recent review of Seeds of Deception.

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