The CROSS Worked

The CROSS Worked ISBN: 9781984959255 a religious e-book Zack Maldonado.

The author has sub-titled this book: Why You Can Have Confidence on the Day of Judgement and proceeds in an Introduction to tell the reader “If you’re tired of a god who only wants you to do more or be better, then this book is for you. If you’re confused about the mixed messages you’ve been hearing, then this book is for you. And if you’re burned out because you were told you have to do more for God, then this book is for you.” He then explains that, like many others, “I wasn’t being set free by what I was hearing either. This is why I had to reexamine everything I believed. Once I got back to Scripture, I realized that the gospel is really good news and that God really is good.” What then follows is a scholarly critical analysis of the reasons for this conclusion with three basic reasons: Reason 1; You’re Totally Forgiven, followed by 9 individual supporting chapters; Reason 2: You’re Just Like Jesus, with 7 particularly relevant chapters; Reason 3 Your God Is Good, with 6 more positive chapters supported by reassuring passages from scripture. The presentation ends with 4 pages of exact references to the scriptures quoted, a tremendously helpful 14 page Study Guide and a gracious list of acknowledgements.

Discussion/Conclusion: As almost everyone knows and admits, much confusion exists in attempting to gather the main messages from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible – books contributed to by many groups and individuals over a large expanse of time and offering countless interpretations. In this reviewer’s opinion Maldonado has offered the best critical approach printed to date supporting his discussion with specific spiritual references. Admittedly, most readers will find much of his presentation to be uncomfortably repetitious as is so prevalent with pastors/lecturers, so judicious editing would be most helpful to present this treatise. However, in large part this feature should be overlooked if one is interested in the nicely postulated, credible answers he presents to so many of the controversial opinions extant among religious leaders as well as their parishioners.

3*       5* Content; -2* for reasons described.

 

The MATRIARC MATRIX

The MATRIARC MATRIX ISBN: 9780999335000, Tale of Bird Books, an e-book by Maxime Trencavel.

The author has set forth a long progression of activity extending from nine thousand years BC to the present and future. During these eons of time, numerous males have been left with perplexing and literally somewhat exhausting dreams they cannot fathom and often not recall. Simultaneously within this matrix, a strong matriarchy evolves. The protagonist here is a Kurdish woman educated in Europe as well as her home country. She has been raped and disfigured by torture and upon escaping, dispenses justice of similar proportions. She is employed by a physically and mentally powerful CEO industrialist whose activities can be ruthless. And these activities pervasively invade every level of activity throughout the world. This man is one of the ‘dream sufferers’ who gathers her, plus an extremely beautiful Chinese woman, an (ex-?) Jesuit Priest who also is an ex-French soldier of unusual physical capabilities, and an incredibly naïve San Franciscan free-lance copy editor whose social development particularly exudes this quality. He also is a dream sufferer as well as obligatory heir for ancestral obligations to his much-loved grandfather as well as having a doting mother. His recruitment is because the CEO believes that within his repressed memory (ȧ la Carl Jung) lies the answer to the severe dream affliction. The three are inserted as an archeological team to obtain an object reputed to have the answer to the debilitating dreams. The point of insertion is an ancient temple (Gobekli Tepe) that is presently in the center of a war among Turkey, the new Anatolian Kurdish State and the Arabic Confederation (AC) armed forces, with later intervention by China, Russia and the United States. The Temple supposedly is in an agreed upon off-limits demilitarized zone. Heavy fighting occurs, extends to the Temple, a ‘controlled cataclysmic event’ occurs before the actual climax of the tale, and the protagonist proceeds to offer and expand on, the oft-repeated, almost platitude like statements that prejudice, stereotypes, and intolerance all cease when you stop and show others how to be tolerant and “…as people, we are more similar than different. That our beliefs are more similar than different. And that to achieve the peace we all seek, we need tolerance. And the willingness to know and accept each other for who we are.”

Discussion: In the author’s words, she has attempted to set forth an epic and certainly has the material. Unfortunately, at least for this reviewer, the attempt seems to have been a little overzealous. She has attempted to cover this sizeable mass of material in one volume and in so doing has provided a somewhat confusing intermingling of material. It is indeed true that she has presented some extremely fascinating vignettes; some interesting people and has included especially insights to possible thought patterns of a Turkish/Kurd/Muslim woman; expanded discussion of the merits of spiritual vs. physical love; expounded on the idea that “our pre-Neolithic ancestors became more susceptible to notions of mysticism, spiritual concepts, the belief in supreme beings”; the always present thought that ‘aliens’ were/are somehow involved; and even brought to mind the teachings of the Suisse psychiatrist Carl Jung and bits of history such as the extremes of the Crusades, the Knights Templar and of the Cather branch of Christianity who were slaughtered with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Pope. However, the description of the huge and vicious Reindeer people who came from the north and attacked the less warlike hunter-gathers to gain women as sex slaves and men to build their pyramids, brings more to mind the Vikings, Goths or possible other savages rather than what is assumed to be the pyramid builders of the ages. To my knowledge, other than a highly questionable claim of pyramids in Bosnia, acceptance of these structures anywhere close to their purported position in the Middle East is difficult to accept, thus creating difficulty with respect to the story’s location, seemingly the Black Sea and Turkey. Another interesting aside is that one of the main themes of the story rests upon the long postulated relationship between a man dominated society and it’s repetitively vicious struggles. And there is no doubt that there is tremendous positive support for this contention However, depicting most of the prominent male characters as quite ineffectual, and as in the case of the San Franciscan, even ridiculously childlike, appears attuned to bolstering a strongly held personal opinion rather than to provide further discussion. But then, as the author quite nicely interspersed within the body of the work by quoting the San Franciscan copywriter: “…a reviewer reacts early to a notion, a phrase, a style and shuts down, having decided what the piece is about.” And “People are like novels. If we would be patient … we might see the layers unfold and a different story would appear.” Both of these statements regrettably are so true and the exact reason it is so abhorrent for me to see a reviewer state that he/she could not finish a book.

Conclusion: For reasons stated, the author has set forth considerable fine material on some most interesting subjects that causes this reviewer, after reading the entire close to 600 pages, to believe a thorough editing would provide a much more enjoyable read.

3* 4* fascinating subject matter; 2* editing required to maximize potential.