Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Case Against ‘Jesus’

For nearly two thousand years, billions of people have believed in Jesus Christ of the New Testament as a historical figure who lived on this earth and performed miracles. But did Jesus really exist or is he an invented character, no more than a rewrite of the various mythical traditions predating the New Testament? This defying question has been raised before by more than one scholar in the past and now it comes with a shockingly greater force out of the pen of Burton H. Wolfe. In his fourth (revised) edition of The Case Against ‘Jesus’ (World Audience Inc, New York, 2007), Burton Wolfe launches a meticulous probe into the validity of Christian faith that stands on the belief that Jesus Christ existed as a living, breathing person; performed miracles; and was crucified. Digging up the most intriguing historical evidence against the very existence of Christ, Wolfe exposes organized religion as a hoax that serves to satiate the vested interests of more than one group of people.

According to Wolfe, there are many strong reasons for doubting the historicity of Jesus: the absence of any authentic historical evidence of Jesus extrinsic to the New Testament; the startling resemblance of pre-Christian traditions, especially of the Hebraic origins, to the Biblical accounts of the Christ; the contradictions in the Bible regarding the story of Jesus and his crucifixion; various frauds perpetrated by the Church and media to perpetuate the story of Jesus as an authentic fact; and the direct historical evidence proving Jesus as fiction rather than a historical fact. The author’s attention to detail and his vigorous criticism of irrational beliefs pose a serious problem to the world’s dominant religion as well as to organized religion as a whole.

The Case Against ‘Jesus’ is not only a hard blow to religion but also to different media that side with religion in furthering its deceptions. Wolfe is a relentless pursuer of truth who does not hesitate clawing at the fraudulent excesses of some of the most celebrated media channels and publications for their repeated misrepresentations of reality. He names the popular TV channels, newspapers, and magazines that have played with the ignorance and credulity of millions, singling out a few cases of their deception and presenting them as examples of their partiality. These revelations about the most trusted sources of information demand a revision of our very standards of credibility and truth.

Burton Wolfe writes his case against the historicity of Jesus with the knowledge of a scholar, the logic of a philosopher, and the fiery spirit of a nonconformist. At a few places in the book, his tome assumes a certain degree of anger, sounding harsh, but he counters this impression by arousing a good deal of laughter as he encourages making fun of lies disguised as truth. His book is a challenging read for all audiences concerned with truth, history, logic, and of course, with the Judeo-Christian religions.

ISBN: 978-1-934209-55-4


Burton H. Wolfe’s Page at Authors Den

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Bunko Babes

There are three Fs in this heart-warming debut novel from Leah Starr Baker that make the book rich with all the fullness of life: Friendship, Family, and Faith. This trinity lies at the core of a complete life of a woman as we are shown by thirty-seven years old Rebecca Thornton who tells the story of her encounter with a life-threatening illness and a heap of other problems within the circle of her close friends-the ‘Bunko Babes’. By mutual support, trust, and faith in divine intervention, Rebecca gets the most in her life and emerges as a woman better prepared for living the life to the lees.

The story of Rebecca Thornton is, in every sense, the story of a modern American woman who has a family to care for and who is burdened with the responsibility of keeping things in place while the surrounding circumstances push her to anxiety and lack of direction. All the Bunko Babes have their own problems and insecurities but they all share the most valuable resource of support-good friendship and mutual trust. These two things alone suffice to let a woman’s spirits stand up to their responsibilities. Adding to the meaning of one’s difficult experiences is the element of faith which, though may be lacking in good times, serves to balm the inner soars and makes healing complete when some physical and/or psychological trauma batters one’s integrity.

Like many other good works of women’s fiction, Leah Baker’s first novel takes a critical look at the nature of various problems that plague families and relationships, ranging from problems with growing kids to infidelities of husbands and issues related to aging. Many women usually have to bear the brunt of the aftermath of these problems and it takes a long time and good deal of effort to pull the boat of life out of the troubled waters. With trusting friends, honesty, and faith, these trials of life can be dealt with most effectively, gaining in the process instead of coming to a loss. Mrs. Baker’s novel instantiates the practice of writing purposeful fiction that has the potential of making a difference in the reader’s own life.

The Bunko Babes is a special treat for women-entertaining, inspiring, and educating- but it will also make a touching read for men who value family, friendship, and faith.

ISBN: 0978513754


Author Website

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Spaces Between Things

The latest collection of Linda Benninghoff’s poems is here under the title The Spaces Between Things (erbacce-press, Liverpool, 2008). Like her previous chapbook departures, this collection brings memories of childhood, friends, family, and experiences of natural elements (animals, trees, water, and weather) to life. The 34 poems in this short book deal with the experience of feeling the space between things and how it relates to our definition of life as a conscious individual. Language and compassion transcend the physical barriers while the unstoppable arrow of time marks the position of our individual existence as a being apart from all the rest. Benninghoff certainly writes more with her brains while making room for the beat of her heart in her unrhymed verse.

The Spaces Between Things is intimately involved with the theme of ‘change’. As we move through time, a sense of sameness remains as the essential core of our self but a lot of scenes change on the canvas of life. The two states are often reconciled by the silence of the memory of our past. But there are times when our mind considers things in a questioning mood. Thus Benninghoff asks why her father would not give her the same degree of support as he did when she was a child (Hyannisport). What has changed in the process of becoming an independent individual? Even things that we consider our ‘own’ may not be so when viewed in the context of this constant flux. In Butterflies, for example, we read:

‘I know I have never owned anything
not my hands, my thoughts
nor even the butterflies’

The Spaces Between Things comes without any prelude or formal introduction. Linda Benninghoff does not choose to interpose her presence between her poetic work and its audience. The effect is immediacy of getting to see the scenes she paints with her words. The world of her observation and imagination is peaceful, natural, and beautiful with birds, trees, family, friends, and more.

ISBN: 978-1-906588-12-0