Reading through this otherworldly, while at the same time, cautious embrace of science, the book reminded me of a conversation I once had with a fundamentalist Christian.
A fervent proselytizer, the Christian in question presented me with archeological evidence that validated the Bible. But I asked him doesn’t physical proof negate the main component required to be a Christian: faith. I countered that physical evidence also proved evolution happened.
Frustrated, he said evolutionary evidence was the work of Satan designed to weaken faith. By now the conversation, on his end, grew heated, especially when I asked him, if physical evidence “proving” scripture was also the work of Satan to weaken faith.
He gave me a look that said I was one of Satan’s minions and rocketed off.
The same conundrum occurs in WHAT IS MAN, a book for Christians looking for a strategy that keeps them sane and happy in the oft-times bruising and unkind modern world. The authors, brothers, accept that science and faith go hand in hand. But it doesn’t seem that their hearts are really into it. The bulk of the book deals with using the spirit rather than relying on one’s ego with its delusions of godhood to find a foundation for surviving life. For them, using, or to be more precise, allowing, one’s “spirit” to answer life’s eternal questions, especially the one in the title of the book, gives the reader a connection to Jesus.
Perhaps the most original part of the book is the authors’ assertion that Jesus will not come back physically and angrily on a fiery steed, but will release his “spirit” into those who remain faithful. And it must be said that this is more consistent with those who state that faith, rather than physical science, is paramount for worshipping God; one gets the sense of those who whip out the latest archaeological magazine reporting unearthed pieces of Noah’s Ark that their faith is ailing and needs a scientific boost.
The problem with WHAT IS MAN, however, is that readers, even the most cursory ones, have encountered this message before—in the Gospels. The message of Jesus throughout the oft-times contradictory New Testament books can be encapsulated into the modern phrase, “Love is all you need.” And whoever authored the Gospels are much more convincing writers than Mo and Ro.
~Ron Capshaw for IndieReader