Wednesday, April 01, 2015

My New Book: Classic or Crapola?‏

My new book, How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: the Inside Story,  is drawing starkly contrasting reviews on Amazon so far.  ALL reviews to date have given it either five stars (the top rating) or just one (the lowest rating).   Furthermore, people who like the book seem to absolutely love it, comparing it to masterpieces like Mere Christianity and Orthodoxy.  Those who hate it, seem to loath it (and /or its author) with a passion. 
You will be shocked to learn that I prefer the first group.
The best way to decide who is right, is to read the book for yourself.  If you decide the critics are on-the-money, warn your neighbors and their dog away from it.  But if you find that How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test is anywhere near as good as most reviews have said so far (and not just on Amazon), then please help me get the word out!  This is very much a grass-roots campaign.
In this first post, I'll give the five positive reviews on Amazon, in chronological order.   (Another good review  was posted by Ratio Christi Vice President Tom Gilson, on the Thinking Christian blog, along with scholarly reviews, all warmly enthusiastic so far.)  In the second, I'll respond to those who say they loath the book.

Brad Cooper: "Even if you don't expect to agree with Dr. Marshall, it's hard for me to imagine how you could read Marshall's newest book and not enjoy it.  Right from the first page of the Introduction (yes, the Introduction!), I found myself being carried along as if by an incoming hurricane, swept along by David's wit and mastery of metaphor.  But unlike a hurricane, David did not leave behind a barren wasteland in his wake. Instead, fresh insights from the history of religions sprung up page after page, and an original and cogent argument had grown tall and strong as a redwood when the winds finally died down . . . "
"This is a rare book . . . It encompasses such diverse topics as philosophical arguments, Biblical prophecy, the ancient religions that are the backbone of the world's great civilizations, and the history of Christian missions from the time of the apostles to the present day--all told in a way that makes you feel like your reading a fast-paced novel from among Amazon's bestsellers.

"At one point, I was thinking to myself: "I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book this much." (And I read a lot.) Then I remembered that it was when I read Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Quite honestly, I think this book even surpasses that for me. I very very rarely read a book more than once. I will be reading this one again soon . . . "

C. Osiecki:  "At times I thought he might be jockeying for a position to argue the case for universalism, but I believe that Marshall is giving us a much deeper picture, that Christ is the fulfillment of the ideal present in many of the world religions. The universality of the desires of man to be connected with their creator and to find meaning and purpose in life, morality, and a relationship with their fellow humans is a description of a universal need, and that need is met perfectly by Christ . . .

"You cannot walk away from this book without it penetrating and disturbing your previous conceptions about world religions. That alone is enough reason to read anything, that it challenge and change you. I finished this book a week ago and it has been on my mind every day since, and I am eager to read it again to fully appreciate the full spectrum of Marshall's case for the validity and pervasiveness of Christianity, the value of Christ in your life, no matter what your parents taught you."

JC Taiwan:  "Having just finished the book and reflected on its content, I can honestly say that David's approach to tackling John Loftus' book was invigorating from a cultural and historical standpoint, and more importantly sharp as a rapier in its use of wit.

"My favourite part of the book was part two, in which Marshall, in each chapter, culturally orientates the reader by means of a point of view introduction to a character from a particular culture he wishes to focus on in terms of how the character came to Christ. This perfectly puts you in the frame of mind of each individual so that their conversion to Christianity seems all the more real, especially given their hesitation."

Keith O'Conner: "Very well written book.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting into Christian apologetics."
Nick Peters: "As I was going through Marshall's book, I tried to think of a book that I could compare it to.  Here we have a work dealing with the negative arguments of the day with a good touch of humor and stories and in simple layman terms that expresses the joy of who Jesus is.  Mere Christianity as a comparison came to my mind a few times and I can't help but wonder if a work like this if properly appreciated by the public could be a work like that of our own time . . .

"In the book, Marshall is responding to John Loftus and his Outsider Test For Faith (OTF) as he calls it. Now Loftus has been criticized numerous times by even his fellow skeptics on this one, but still he trudges on with it. Marshall has taken a different approach and said "Let's not go against the argument. In fact, let's improve and refine it and see just how it is that Jesus stands in response to it . . . "

"You will come away from (this book) with a greater wonder of exactly who Jesus is . . .

"It is very difficult to put down . . . "
Here, again, is the place to buy How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story.    (Though if you want to get multiple copies, please contact me directly about discounts.) 

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