My book Remember the Creator was reviewed on Amazon recently by someone who didn't like it. Fair enough, it's not for everyone. However, in my opinion the reviewer not only failed to understand the book, he has misrepresented it so I would like to offer a few words in response here.
To begin with, the reviewer appears to be reacting from something in his own past which has caused him to reject Christianity and the book gets caught up in that as it seems to have been read through the prism of his prejudices. He talks of a "powerful spiritual experience which led me away from the Bible narrative into a higher, more forgiving spiritual experience and deep intuitive connection with God". I can appreciate that but I sometimes think spiritual experiences do more harm than good because they can be like strong alcohol to one unaccustomed to it. The intoxication can make one focus too much on the bliss and unitive feelings to the detriment of a deeper spiritual understanding. Feelings can overwhelm sense so that theological and metaphysical verities that take form as dogmas and doctrines can appear superficial and rigid. However, the spiritual path is not about feelings, no matter how exalted they might seem. It is about understanding.
The reviewer calls me a fundamentalist Christian and says that I have "rejected truth outside of literal biblical scripture". I have no idea how he comes to that conclusion. I am more usually criticised for the opposite, too catholic (small c) in my beliefs, too heterodox. Again, I think he is reacting to what he used to think or a situation he grew up in not to what I am saying. I see where he might have got this idea if he wasn't paying attention for the book does compare the Christian revelation with Buddhism and advaita Vedanta and puts the former on a higher plane, essentially because it values creation and integrates spirit with matter rather than dismissing matter as basically unreal or, at least, irrelevant with no part to play in the greater scheme of things. But in no way does it dismiss other religions, of which I suspect I know rather more than he thinks I do. It simply sees them as incomplete in the light of Christ.
The reviewer writes from the perspective of someone who was brought up in a rigid Christian background but has broken out of that and discovered other spiritual and mystical approaches which combine a modernistic humanism with the sense that Man is divine. In many ways this is an advance because it begins to replace unquestioned acceptance of external authority with personal insight. A problem with this approach, though, is that it sees the light of God reflected at second hand in Man but does not properly acknowledge the source of that light. Spiritual humanism is very common today but it is actually a form of spiritual materialism in that it values immanence over transcendence, prioritising the created over the Creator. The title of the book contains a simple remedy for that error.
My reviewer doesn't like the idea of hell or judgment, thinking these are signs of an authoritarian God who demands obedience, and that this kind of God is implied in my book. There are certainly some Biblically based writings that do give this impression but I cannot for the life of me see how Remember the Creator does. God is real and God is truth and to deny God is to deny truth. That's about as far as the book goes. As for judgment, all sane people must judge unless you believe that any kind of belief or behaviour is as good as any other kind. Criticising judgment is judging. God does not punish like a petty and vindictive tyrant but actions and even thoughts have their own consequences. A darkened mind creates darkness for itself. So some kind of hell probably does exist but it is built by us. Naturally, there is always forgiveness but for that to be operative there must be repentance. This is something frequently ignored by the liberal approach to spirituality and religion, but to do so makes a mockery of truth.
The difference between me and my reviewer is that I see Christ as central to the spiritual quest, despite other valid approaches, and he does not. I believe he is reacting to Christ as seen through the earthly mind of mortal man, as he is presented in some forms of outer religion. But there is an inner Christ too who is perceived intuitively and who exists in heaven as the universal teacher of angels and men, of all souls whatever their earthly background or cultural upbringing.
My reviewer was basically rejecting Christianity in favour of Eastern religion forgetting, like many Westerners who follow that route, that they are not comparing like with like. For they reject the public or more conventional form of their familiar religion without being properly cognisant of its deeper, more mystical side. And then they do the reverse with the new belief system. They ignore the public religious side and take up the mystical elements.
I would like to say to the reviewer that I have the greatest respect for Eastern religions which I have known and studied for many years. They come from God or however you want to define spiritual reality. I don't think everyone has to be a Christian to know God and many non-Christians are closer to him than many Christians. But I do maintain that Christ is the light that lightens all spiritual understanding whether he is revealed or hidden. This is a great truth, the recognition of which doesn't make you a fundamentalist but the most universal of universalists. In esotericism, Christ is called the Great Initiator and everyone has to pass through his door on the inner planes before reaching the true heavenly world.
I commend my reviewer for moving away from a form of religion which he felt was no longer suitable to express his growing awareness of the deeper aspects of life. I actually did a similar thing myself many years ago. The search for God is the most important thing for any human being to be engaged in, and not enough people take this anywhere near seriously enough. My reviewer obviously does and I wish him Godspeed on his journey. I do think, though, that time may bring him to the realisation that Christ is not just an ancient Jewish prophet but the true light that dwells in the heart of all human beings, whatever their culture or beliefs.