Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jenn's Review: The Gnostic Mystery

Summary: An ancient mystery in todays Middle East... Jack Staunton, an American businessman, makes a pilgrimage to war-torn Israel in hopes of rekindling his Christian faith. While traveling with his friend Punjeeh, an ER doctor from Jerusalem, Jack acquires an ancient scroll written by the Gnostics, a mystical group of early Christians, and his spiritual quest takes an unexpected turn. The scroll makes the startling claims that the Gnostics were the original followers of Jesus, and that they retained secret knowledge of Jesus that was not included in the Bible. With the help of the ingenious Chloe Eisenberg, a professor of Philosophy and Religion, Jack and Punjeeh navigate the dangerous terrain of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in an attempt to decipher the puzzle of the scroll and bring the Gnostics revelations about Jesus to light. Threaded with the searing realities of today's Middle East, The Gnostic Mystery is packed with historical facts about the Christian religion. The thrilling mystery makes a compelling case that the origins of Christianity are far different than we believed... until now.

Review: I had a hard time deciding what to label this book, as there really isn't a lot of mystery. This book is a history lesson thinly dressed with a story. If you have never delved into the history of Christianity, this book is for you. This is a quick read of a very condensed history and it's incredibly interesting. If, you are well versed in the origins of the religion, I must tell you there is nothing new here. I do appreciate his views on conflict(s) caused by religion; here he makes several valid points, reminding me of one of my favorite quotes:

"At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas."~ Aldous Huxley

However, while I appreciate Mr. Davila's attempt to convey the information in a highly accessible manner, I was disappointed that he couldn't bring more excitement and mystery to the fictional story that surrounds it. Perhaps he didn't want to detract from the history lesson, in which case, maybe he should stick to non-fiction.

Final Take 3.0/5


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