Customer Review

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to misunderstand this book, September 29, 2001
This review is from: The Battle for God (Paperback)
I wasn't going to review this book until I read the opening series of reviews by offended "believers" who pan a book they do not understand with ad hominem arguments and by crediting the author with absurdly distorted "liberal" (as in Clinton-esque liberal, even though Armstrong is British) notions.
"The Battle for God" is a study of fundamentalism in 3 major world religions, as it developed over centuries. One of the author's theories is that "fundamentalism" is a reaction to changes in the world which seem to threaten old belief systems with annihilation -- scientific & technological progress, secularization of political life, capitalism, among many others. It's interesting that "fundamentalists," whatever they call themselves, take offense at this loose categorization, and then proceed to rail against the very ideologies Armstrong touched upon in her definition.
Then again, Armstrong contends that fundamentalism is half-baked and dangerous theology, misreading the traditional basis it presumes to be reclaiming, while departing from the basic tenets of humility, humanity and compassion that all 3 religions were founded upon. The "believers" only add support to her claim by responding with obtuse, illiterate and/or ad hominem attacks on the author.
The modernity of Fundamentalism emerges as a paradox which confuses both fundamentalists and "liberals" alike. It's an impressive insight Armstrong provides when she demonstrates how, for example, discomfort with the theories & discoveries of science leads to the adoption of pseudo-scientific procedures for a new discipline, "creation science." Who needs faith when you have a science to prove your beliefs are correct?
I found the book informative and theoretically persuasive, and it's timely reading for people like myself who wonder about the mindset of Arab terrorists. Certainly it would be foolish to accept this book as the "gospel truth" without doing further research to corroborate Armstrong's findings; one imagines that she would be the first to agree.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2014 2:33:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2014 5:58:41 AM PDT
Bruce Bain says:
Thank you for the review Howard Sauertieg. How are you?

.

.

================================================

. "The "believers" only add support to her claim by responding with obtuse, illiterate and/or ad hominem attacks on the author."----sentence 2 of paragraph 3,
from the review of Howard Sauertieg
for "The Battle for God" on September 29, 2001, on Amazon.com

==============================================

.

.

(1) First, you have no objective evidences showing the reading public that any
Ad Hominem Attack has been employed against Karen Armstrong.

(2) Second, you have no objective evidence which indicates to the reading public that any OBTUSE arguments have been employed as some sort of "attack" upon the author.

(3) Third, you have no objective evidence the reading public that any ILLITERATE arguments have been employed as some sort of "attack" upon the author.


The discredited JESUS SEMINAR, to which Karen Armstrong belongs,
employs a preconceived concept of what their "Jesus" ought to be, and then excises all that does not conform to their skeptical model. Robert W. Funk began leading the "Westar Institute"/ JESUS SEMINAR in 1985.
Though seemingly an academic and scholarly "think tank" the JESUS SEMINAR
was in fact, an agenda-driven effort to undermine orthodox Christianity.
The JESUS SEMINAR has misled many people.

The methodology of the "scholars" in the JESUS SEMINAR is not merely arbitrary and confusing.
The faulted methodology used by JESUS SEMINAR "scholars" is their
repudiation of the concept of the miraculous.
The "scholars" of the JESUS SEMINAR deny as History, anything that is of a Miraculous character.

The JESUS SEMINAR "scholars" deny as History anything that can be understood as
Supernatural. The premise of the JESUS SEMINAR "scholars" is, by their own admission;
that "the authors of the ancient gospels freely plundered the work of their predecessors".
Among the Jesus Seminar's assertions was that many of the miracles attributed to Jesus never occurred, at least in a literal sense. The Jesus Seminar concluded in 1995 that Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead. The scholars also agreed that there probably was no tomb and that Jesus' body probably was disposed of by his executioners, not his followers.

David F. Strauss pioneered the atheistic methodology,
according to the JESUS SEMINAR founder Robert Funk.
They are also referred to as members of the "Westar Institute" or "Westar Fellows".

Other notable members of the JESUS SEMINAR include:

Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan,
Stephen L. Harris, Robert M. Price, Elaine Pagels, and Burton Mack.

For a solidly compelling rebuttal to the conclusions reached by the JESUS SEMINAR
one may the analysis of their questionable and uncommon methodology in books such as:

.

.

#################################

"Jesus Under Fire" by Michael Wilkins and J.P. Moreland, available in paperback on Amazon.com.

Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus
.

and also,

.

Why the Jesus Seminar can't find Jesus, and Grandma Marshall Could: A Populist Defense of the Gospels by David Marshall

Why the Jesus Seminar can't find Jesus, and Grandma Marshall Could: A Populist Defense of the Gospels

.

.

and also

.
.

"Can We Trust the Gospels?:
Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" Paperback
by Mark D. Roberts

.

###########################################

.

.

Another excellent book for those interested in a modern analysis of the New Atheism is also by David Marshall as follows:

.

.

#####################################

The Truth Behind the New Atheism: Responding to the Emerging Challenges to God and Christianity Paperback

The Truth Behind the New Atheism: Responding to the Emerging Challenges to God and Christianity

#####################################

.

.

Moreover, J. P. Moreland, along with co-author William Lane Craig are representative of the
mainstream of contemporary Christian Apologetics. They have authored other authoritative works such as the following for serious readers:

.

.

###########################################

"Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview" Hardcover
by J. P. Moreland (Author), William Lane Craig (Author)

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

###############################################
.

So do not try to pass off on the reading public, the idea that JESUS SEMINAR "scholars" are credible sources of data on the subject of Christian History or the Scriptures.
The as yet unmproven theology of the JESUS SEMINAR is that the Jesus of the Gospels is at best a fiction, and at worst a fraud. Only advocates of Atheism believe such things.
.

.

Like other New Age Authors, Karen Armstrong relies upon a continual use of
The Fallacy of the Sweeping Generalization. Karen Armstrong fails to distinguish between
Science and the New Age Beliefs she espouses. Her habit of continually confusing the boundaries of basic knowledge disciplines should not go unnoticed, because she is not scholarly in her published works.

THE JESUS SEMINAR benefits substantially from the published works of "Third Tier" authors like Armstrong.

.
.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2014 1:55:01 PM PDT
Lynn says:
Kind of over kill rebuttal to a descent review. Will research "Jesus Seminar"
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