BOOK REVIEW by Dr. Shoeb Amin
Title: What’s so great about Christianity?
Author: Dinesh D’Souza
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
I just finished reading this book recently; it is one of those books I’ll have to read a second time. It is so full of important facts and novel perspectives on many of the issues about religious and atheistic beliefs, it is hard to digest and remember it all after one reading – at least it was for me.
A word about the author: Dinesh D’Souza is an Indian American, a Conservative who worked as a policy adviser for Ronald Reagan, and is affiliated with American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution and is considered a Christian apologist. Most of us have heard some unsavory things about him including a charge for illegal political contributions to which he pleaded guilty. But don’t let the above introduction turn you off of this book.
A word about the title: Even though it is about defending Christianity, you could use some of the same arguments the author makes in the book to defend any religion. So again don’t let the title turn you off. of the book.
I’ve read a couple of books that deal with the same issues; this was much easy to read, based more on logic and science and less on esoteric concepts and metaphysics . This is evident in chapters like “Christianity and Reason: The Theological Roots of Science; From Logos to Cosmos: Christianity and the Invention of Invention; Paley (referring to William Paley who propounded the “watchmaker” argument) Was Right: Evolution and the Argument from Design. In this last chapter he actually describes evolution as more correct than the biblical account; and there are many other examples where he favors the scientific explanation over religious dogma, which I found refreshing, coming from somebody with his credentials.
I’ll just let some of the reviews listed in the book do the talking. Michael Shermer, publisher of “Skeptic” magazine writes: “But he is a first-rate scholar whom I feel absolutely compelled to read….. and although non-Christians and non-theists may disagree with some of his arguments, we ignore him at our peril. D’Souza takes the debate to a new level. Read it”. Dallas Willard, author of “the Divine Conspiracy” writes: “Pastors, teachers, believers, and the sincerely perplexed will find this book indispensable”. I might add atheists to that list too.
My opinion: Read it!
( Shared by Nasik Elahi)
There is a lot of suffering in this house,” the Indian photographer Sohrab Hura writes in a note printed at the beginning of his photo journal “Life Is Elsewhere.” In 1999, when Hura was seventeen years old, his mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and in the following years the house they shared was overtaken by her illness. In the book, which Hura self-published last month, he describes her screaming obscenities, obsessively changing the locks on the door, beating him with a stick, and at times disbelieving that he was her son. “Our initial years were spent hiding from the world,” he writes. “Hers out of paranoia and mine out of embarrassment and anger towards who she had become.”
From the anguish of this situation, Hura—who last year became the second Indian photographer ever to become a nominee member of Magnum Photos—created a loving and assiduously candid photographic portrait of his mother. Produced between 2005 and 2011, his images show her isolated and claustrophobic existence: a nightgown she was wearing when forcibly hospitalized dangles alone in the frame; wrinkles ripple darkly across the sheets of an empty bed. But the house is also a space of tentative safety and tranquility. In a photo from 2008, Elsa, his mother’s dog and primary companion, stares at the camera from the halo of a cone collar; behind her, on the bed, Hura’s mother sleeps peacefully.
Worth reading book review by Jake Lamar.
Whatever Pakistan’s faults, the war on terror only further rent its fragile social fabric. In “Osama bin Laden’s Death,” Hamid writes: “Crowds are justifiably celebrating bin Laden’s death in downtown Manhattan, where a decade ago al-Qaeda terrorists infamously massacred nearly three thousand people. But since the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, terrorists have killed many times that number of people in Pakistan. Tens of thousands have died in terror and counterterror violence, slain by bombs, bullets, cannons, and drones. America’s 9/11 has given way to Pakistan’s 24/7/365.”
One could say, with no snark intended, that back in the year 2000, twenty-nine-year-old Mohsin Hamid was the ultimate bourgeois bohemian. He had just published a well-received first novel. He lived on lovely Cornelia Street, in a corner of the West Village once inhabited by artists and writers but, by the dawn of the twenty-first century, affordable mainly to investment bankers and management consultants. As it happened, this debut novelist was also a management consultant. And in a deal of sugar-shock sweetness, his employer, McKinsey & Company—famous for overworking its bright young climbers—allowed this graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law three months off per year to write fiction. This guy, as Frank Sinatra might have crooned, had the world on a string, the string around his finger.
But even back then, before the twin towers came tumbling down, Hamid felt the sting of Islamophobia in New York City. In “International Relations,” one of the many superb pieces in his first collection of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations, Hamid describes how he was made to squirm every time he went to the Italian consulate in Manhattan to receive official clearance to visit his then-girlfriend in her European homeland. Hamid’s passport “runs suspiciously backward, the right-hand cover its front, and above the curved swords of its Urdu lettering . . . reads, ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan.’ Words to make a visa officer tremble.”
For Hamid, life in the Big Apple would turn sour fast. As he writes in another essay: “The 9/11 attacks placed great strain on the hyphen bridging that identity called Muslim-American. As a man not known for frequenting mosques, and not possessing a US passport, I should not have felt it. But I did, deeply. It seemed two halves of myself were suddenly at war.” He arranged to have McKinsey transfer him, indefinitely, to London. All was well there, at least for a while: “Like many Bush-era self-exiles from the United States, I found that London combined much of what first attracted me to New York with a freedom America seemed to have lost in the paranoid years after 9/11.” In London, Hamid met the love of his life: “She and I had been born on the same street in Lahore.” He quit McKinsey. He published his mesmerizing second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which became an internationally acclaimed best seller. Marching with a million other people in Hyde Park to protest the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Hamid thought: “I am one of them. I am a Londoner.”
Posted By F.Sheikh