Nov 20, 2010

Mulengro: Charles De Lint (Review)

Mulengro Charles De Lint (Review)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mulengro is seeking vengeance and purification of the Gypsies (Romany) who have gone astray in modern culture;  will the Gypsies be able to stand up to this dark force?

I enjoyed the thought that everything is possible, and our eyes can't perceive everything rationally. The book's flow is one that is not easily put down.
This book examines clearly what is real and what is more real... Jeff can't believe his eyes. Modern  science excuses this as him having a concussion. But the gypsies see another world... and their eyes have not been so conditioned as the non gypsies.
"A Question of seeing Gaji only saw what they wanted to see." p.191

De Lint’s master stroke in Mulengro is, 360 degree POV, and shifting perspectives.  He shows character motivation for all of his characters, none of the characters are flat-cut out props.
The tension builds with the shifting of viewpoints, growing deeper and deeper into the climax of the story.  But then  when the tension rises to its highest point, De Lint inserts an amusing comment from the talking cat Boboko.

One even knows the motivation of Mulengro the evil one, and can't but help thinking, “hmmm maybe he is right to do what he is doing. Haven’t the gypsies gone astray in modern life, shouldn’t he want to purify the gypsies from gypsies who have gone astray."  
 Mulengro symbols the righteous soldier of God, who cleanses cities of the ills of man.  He is what man without Christ have to look forward to. Thank you LORD for having mercy on us sinners.
Mulengro is addictive fiction, exploring the interplay between the life of the gypsy and the life of the modern man.

 What does it mean to purify a race to make a stronger group?  How does a community get pulled away from its clear roots?  What rips the goodness out a community?
God's mercy reigns. God without mercy is shown clearly in the man in black, Mulengro.  God's righteousness would put us all to death for betraying God's commands.   We all deserve death by the firing squad; for we are all traitors to God's kingdom. But God loves us so much that he sent his only son to die for us and take the pain for us.  I am thankful for God's loving grace in my life.  Thank you LORD.
#95 on the Modern Library Readers Top Novel List


Nov 19, 2010

Stranger in a Strange Land Review of...

Stranger in a Strange Land: Review of....

Stranger in a Strange LandStranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating4 of 5 stars

Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land he interweaves human relations, large ideas and (theology),.  The title to this story was inspired by the book of Exodus in the Old Testament.  

The story a Stranger in a Strange Land takes place in a New America, that is one world ordered hegemony.  The world has made missions to mars and has set up a space colony there.  The space colony had been deserted on the planes of Mars.  The man from mars is found after many years of exposure to an alien race. The climax resolves whether Michael Valentine Smith will be excepted by the people of Earth.  At times this book gets bogged down in Heinlein's philosophy, so it can be a difficult read.

What I liked about the book is its deep analysis of Faith. Heinlein first looks at the cult of the Fosterites. A cult where everyone is happy, and everyone thinks as a one happy unit.  (I would like to go deeper into describing the Fosterites, but I am afraid that this would lead you down a rabbit hole and would maybe bore you deeply.) 

Then he looks at how Michael Valentine Smith twists the Abrahamic religions to make a cult that combines elements of Confucius, Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and Judaism.  
The religion is based on the wisdom of the old ones . The perfect wisdom of the elders is not to be disputed at all.   The cult members become entwined by a sharing of water together.  They see each other as all Gods. Thou art god and so are my Guinea pigs and Lovebird.  

The religion replaces God and put man in God’s place, this allows man to worship created things.Because man is now God like, the divine things are the things that connect man in deeper communication.  Sex is seen as sharing deeper with many people.  The communal orgasm is sacred, a great religious experience.  Cannibalism is the holiest way to die for it is taking the spirit of the other deeply into the body of the collective .

When God’s proper place, to be above all, is replaced all is left in Chaos.  A chaos I imagine to be like the ending of the Demolished Man by Alfred Bester.  This chaos is a place of no form.
 "The snake eating its owntail, makes a circle, alpha and omega, a process, a spin." (Krysia Jopek pg 4)*

Nov 18, 2010

Thursday Bible Study 6 Am Panera Bread (Genesis 20)

*  Abraham walked from land to land doing at first what God had told Abraham to do.                                 But was Abraham perfect in his obedience?  Nope! This is shown in Genesis 20 where the basic story line is: (The Beginning) Abraham a stranger in a strange land, walks into the kingdom of the Philistines and the household of Abimelech.  
 (The Middle) Abraham begins to doubt and creates a schema apart from God that will have him tell Sarah, pretend that you are my sister, and that way they won't kill me for having such a beaudacious wife."  Abilimich* takes Sarah into his household.  

(The End) God intercedes in a dream and tells Abimilich that Sarah is actually Abraham's husband.   God also tells Abimilich that peace will only come if he asks Abraham to petition God in prayer, on his behalf.   HE also tells Abimilich that Sarah is to be returned to Abraham immediately.  The household is restored and the Good Old Philistine Times continue. 

Strange story and what is God actually telling his people here?  The first thing that was clear to me is that Abraham is a priest, and a prophet.  The second thing that is clear to me is that Abraham even though a holy man, the father of the faithful, is not perfect in his walk with God.  However, an imperfect priest should not be "condemed as a hypocrite who fall into sin, if they do not continue in it."  (Matthew Henry)**  As long as the priest is moved to repentance he can petition God on the behalf of others. 
Abraham sin was walking in doubt of God, and taking manners into his own hands.***     God had promised in Genesis 15:15  "As for yourself, you shall live go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age."   Yet, Abraham doubted.   Yet, Abraham created a schema, here's the story we will play, and this is our roles.  Yet, Abraham put his family in danger because he did not pray for God to tell him how to remain calm as a stranger in a troubled land.
Man has a need for spiritual restoration.  This need leave us requiring a greater perfected pastor, rabbi, priest,  who can truly petition God on the naturally sinful man's behalf.   This perfect redeemer is Jesus Christ. Thanks be to the LORD's mighty plan to restore his kingdom into a state of shalom.  
*(The name means-the (divine) king is my father).
**Henry, Matthew Commentary on the Whole Bible (Nashville Tennessee: Thomas Nelson inc,  1997).
***(I am sure there are other sins to mention, but for this discussion lets keep it simple.).
Does the goal justify the means?
What is Abraham's idea of God?
Why do we feel it necessary to self justify when we don't see the answers before us, especially in matters of faith?

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