‘I Stand Rebuked’ (2016)

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I post this every now and then to illustrate the kind of trouble you can get into if you try to review books honestly.

I Stand Rebuked

I couldn’t read the whole series: just couldn’t take it. I bailed out when Gilgamesh’s mother, a pagan goddess, called him “Gilgy.” This story lasted 5,000 years for that?

It’s just a fact of life that not everybody can write both fiction and non-fiction. You can be good at one and awful at the other.

And it’s also a fact of life that awful fiction sometimes sells like mad. It takes more lifetimes than I’ll get, to come to terms with that.

‘Chronicles of the Nephilim’

You may remember the problems I had last year, reviewing books by “Abner Doubleday.” Well, these are the books–Chronicles of the Nephilim, by Brian Godawa–and here’s my review, as published in Chalcedon’s magazine.

https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/a-review-of-chronicles-of-the-nephilim-by-brian-godawa

Given how much I wound up disliking these books, I’d say my review was rather charitable.

And now it’s off to the eye doctor!

So Who is ‘Abner Doubleday’?

My employers, The Chalcedon Foundation (http://www.chalcedon.edu ) have first dibs on my formal review of these books, but I think the time has come for me to give “Abner Doubleday” his real name. I hope they don’t mind.

“Abner” is Brian Godawa, a professional Hollywood screenwriter, and his books are The Chronicles of the Nephilim. I have read the first three in the series: Noah Primeval, Enoch Primordial, and Gilgamesh Immortal. You can find them all on amazon.com and read about them there.

I admire Godawa’s non-fiction writing, I respect the scholarship which he has put into all his work, and I salute him for his efforts to bring the Bible to a wider audience. But I have serious reservations about the way he has gone about it, which I have expressed here on several occasions.

It may be that God will use these books in ways I never imagined; and if He does, I can only give thanks and rejoice.

Now it’s your turn to read about these books, or read them, and judge for yourselves.

Much Ado About Movies

As part of an assignment for my employer, The Chalcedon Foundation ( http://www.chalcedon.edu/ ), I have to read and review a bunch of books about movies. I’ve just finished the first of the lot, Hollywood Worldviews by Brian Godawa, a professional screenwriter who used to write movie reviews for our website. It’s a book about “how to watch movies with your eyes open”–that is, with understanding and discernment.

Every movie tells a story, and every one of those stories is shaped and informed by a particular worldview. Among the most common worldviews shaping modern movies are existentialism, postmodernism, fate, neopaganism, and a few others–including a very few in which the worldview is explicitly Christian.

Funny, isn’t it? The human race plodded along for thousands of years without a single movie until the 20th century came along. Now we have thousands and thousands of movies, and I can’t even make a guess as to how many I’ve watched.

They say it’s only entertainment, but watching movies is also a form of self-education, and God only knows how many hundreds and hundreds of hours we spend doing it. Movies get poured into our minds, and what’s in our minds comes out as our culture.

Well, that explains a lot about the current state of our culture, doesn’t it?

Most modern, mainstream movies subtly teach lessons that, when expressed in bald and simple terms, are ridiculous. There is no reality, there’s only what each of us thinks is reality. Whatever you sincerely believe is right, is right. “Love” is the only thing that counts. And so on. Maybe that’s why I don’t watch many modern, mainstream movies. I can’t stand the banality.

It really is interesting, to watch a movie alertly enough to see what it’s actually saying to us. Most of what most movies have to say is twaddle.

But, boy, if you’re not aware of that, you wind up teaching yourself a lot of stuff that simply isn’t true.