This Actually Happened – March 31, 2012

Big Disappointment

I’m sure anyone who lived on this planet anywhere other than seven miles under the ocean, heard about Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. I had an idea for my own novel and I didn’t want to be influenced by Brown’s book, so I put off reading his tome until after my work was completed. Once I finished my manuscript, I had many projects and never got around to reading Brown’s book. Luckily for me, I finally bought my own copy; a special edition. Not only do I have the novel, but one may call me a thief once I reveal the purchase price. I only paid one dollar and fifty cents. “Come again?” Yes, you read that correctly; I bought the book for a buck-fifty. “Where, you may ask?” At the best place to buy books; a true treasure hunter’s dream; a thrift store. Los Angeles has many thrift stores and I have been cleaning up. I purchased several bestsellers for less than two dollars. Apparently, I’m not the only one who knows this fact. The other day, I had some time to kill and I walked into a thrift store and met a lady who was also perusing the book section. We had a pleasant conversation and shared some trade secrets. In an effort to thank the wonderful people who continue to read my blog, I decided to let the cat out of the bag. (I don’t like the last phrase. Why the hell wouldn’t someone let the cat out of a bag unless the person comes from the Michael Vick pet owners association!) A few days ago, I was grocery shopping and it just so happened that there was a thrift store in the same strip mall as the supermarket. I walked in and found what I thought was another steal. Boy was I wrong! I have been a big fan of Stephen King movies, but sadly, I never read any of his novels. I did read his book on writing called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. The book provided some great tips and contained a lot of Mr. King’s life experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his work and I made it a personal goal to read one of his novels as soon as humanly possible. On Thursday, I had some free-time and I decided to read Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game. I can’t describe the excitement I felt before reading my first King novel. Boy was I disappointed; the book was filled with way too much descriptive writing and I slept my way through it. I haven’t been that bored since the time I volunteered to count how many grains of rice come in a twenty-five pound bag of jasmine rice. (17863 to be exact. You can count it if you like!) I read some of the reviews on line and found that other readers shared my experience so I plan on reading another King book soon in order to rid my mind of the last novel. I think I’m going with 1408, since I already purchased the book. If I find it to be a bore, I will not be reading anymore Stephen King novels! BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

A Must Not Buy

(Great bed-time story for insomniacs; it will put you right out!)

Do yourselves a favor and go grab some books at a thrift store. Just be careful when purchasing steamy romance novels. You never know what the previous owner was doing with their other hand while going over the intimate details! Sorry for planting that visual in your head. ENJOY!


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Great Interviews, BUT…

This entry is my review of Lee Strobel’s book, The Case For Christ. Strobel was a self-proclaimed atheist who used his journalism background to discover Jesus. He is now a Christian and a fervent believer.

The book starts with a compelling story which immediately gains the sympathy of the reader. The tale is of a man who was convicted for a murder because the evidence pointed to his guilt. Strobel worked for a newspaper in Chicago and he discovered new evidence which helped to prove the man’s innocence. The point of the story is to show that Strobel originally believed the evidence proved “god” didn’t exist because he only skimmed the information, but in the end, he discovered a new truth; Strobel now believes in Jesus.

I had one major problem with Strobel’s book; he wanted to approach the question as if it were an actual case. His plan was to interview various experts in order to seek out the truth. That is a huge mistake because bringing the question of the existence of “god” into a courtroom removes the believer’s major defense; faith. Faith will never hold up in a court of law.

The first “expert’s” argument is weak. He was asked to prove that the apostles wrote the gospels. His argument is, the eyewitness is John Doe and he believes that what John Doe said about Jesus is true. Concerning the gospel of John, he actually says, “The name of the author isn’t in doubt—it’s certainly John…the question is whether it was John the apostle or a different John.” (Well, if I wasn’t convinced before, how could I argue with that statement?) I believe this evidence has a name; it is called hearsay. We all know that hearsay would not hold up in a court of law.

The overall premise of the book is to prove that Jesus existed and that the gospels, which “were written by his apostles,” are real. This would mean that the reader must agree, and I do not agree with the statement. The bible is not real; I think it is a book of myths and fairytales. There are many failed attempts to prove the existence of Jesus, but I think it would be pointless to go through each one. At the end of the day, a true atheist will not be swayed by these “facts,” and a believer would support each one as they support the ridiculous bible claims.

That being said, I enjoyed reading the stories and listening to the discussions, but for me this was for entertainment purposes only. Reading the “evidence” was like listening to my nephew and one of his cousins attempting to figure out how I was able to make his card reappear inside the freezer, in a sealed bag of frozen lima beans. They may believe it was magic, but I know the truth.

There is no way of proving Jesus existed, and no way of proving the existing of “god;” religion is based on faith and faith alone. Using the words in the bible to prove the myths are actually real is unbelievably asinine. Three thousand years from now, one could honestly take my series with Joan and use Strobel’s methods to prove that she actually appeared in my room, and that I was in fact, the next in a line of messiahs. (Please leave the scientific methods to the people who don’t believe in magic!)

I honestly don’t think there was such a person named Jesus Christ, but even if he indeed existed, he was not the man depicted in the bible. If we find a myth about an Olympian god who destroyed the city of Pompeii, historians can find proof that the city was destroyed, but it doesn’t prove that the myth is actually true. Jerusalem exists and I’m sure all of the fictitious bible stories are based on actual places, but the tales are not real.

I recommend the book to all people, regardless of anyone’s beliefs. The interviews are wonderful and filled with great information. For non-Christians, the book will serve as a view into how the followers of Christ think, and for Christians, the book will help to reaffirm your faith.

Strobel attempted to do the impossible and he failed; you can’t prove the existence of an entity which does not exist. I honestly hoped to find a challenging manuscript, but this was not it, although entertaining, the arguments fell short. I am still an atheist.

I look forward to reading the other suggested texts!