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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Adoration: Mary of Bethany - the untold story

I so wanted to say something positive about this book, so here it is: It has a red cover, and red is my favorite color. It also has large print, which is easy on my eyes, and is written in sense lines which means that it's really about fifty pages of very redundant material stretched into one hundred thirty-five. On the other hand, it took less than an hour to read, so not much of my life was wasted.

From the title, I was expecting something very different, perhaps a book about adoration as a spiritual quality or practice. What I got was a rambling, at times tangential, at other times conflated book with heavy but poorly conceived hints of total depravity. That analogies were sometimes mind bending, as in trying to show that work is bad and surrender is good - a concept that runs in direct contradiction to the experience of Paul, to name but one - the author compares Martha to Moses and Mary to Joshua, claiming that Moses didn't get to the Promised Land because he was concerned with working while Joshua did because, presumably because he was concerned with surrender to God. The problem of course is that Joshua's leading people into the promised land doesn't compare well with Mary sitting at Jesus' feet, it's just as much work as Moses leading people around the desert was.

Then, somewhere along the way, the author has decided that Mary of Bethany is the same Mary who anointed Jesus' feet. She displays her ignorance of biblical culture in claiming that it was only this Mary and Jesus who washed feet when in fact it was the duty of any host to wash their guests feet as part of hospitality. The author devotes the last third of her book into her fantasy of the two Marys being one.

In short, if you are given to fictional flights of fancy based on shoddy biblical understandings, this book is for you. If not, I'd avoid it like the plague.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

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