What’s wrong with Andrew Pyper’s novel “The Demonologist.”

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On a train from Toulouse to Barcelona this week I found myself without internet and searching my iPhone for something to read. I discovered Andrew Pyper's "The Demonologist" which I'd bought months before and quickly became enthralled. Like me, the main character (David) is an academic studying Paradise Lost, and reading Satan as the obvious hero of the story: a story about freedom, revolution, the right to self govern, and the tyrannical, irrational ruler he cannot escape. This ...

The Daily Show talks about Islam Heretics

Criticism of Islam can result in very nasty and very personal backlashes, as Sam Harris continues to notice, but I was a little surprised to watch John Stewart grill Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Daily show on the March 23, 2015 episode. John often meets with authors promoting their books, and mostly laughs, pitches them softball questions and tells people to go buy the book. With Ayaan, who was there to promote her book "Heretic," he ...

The link between Paradise Lost and YA post-apocalyptic fiction

I'm working on a paper for an Apocalypse conference in Romania the details are fuzzy, but I wanted to make some notes to come back to later. In short, the majority of contemporary post-apocalyptic YA novels are about Revolution. Unlike classic dystopian fiction like 1984 or even the more modern Never Let Me Go show a reality that can't be escaped from. Resistance is really futile, if not only because systems of bio-power have nullified any ...

How a beautiful book cover made me a “hater of Christ”

I wish Christian books came with warning labels. I had a strange experience recently. I downloaded a book and hated it so much that I had to get out of bed and write a scathing review, starting with the title "How did this trash get on my Kindle." Since I rarely write reviews, and even then feel bad giving less than 3 stars, what did this book do to piss me off? I've discovered that bad reviews are ...

Bart Ehman vs. Timothy Freke: Did Jesus Exist?

Thanks to New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman's new book "Did Jesus Exist", the debate over the historical Jesus has reached mainstream. Today CNN posted an article about called The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth Interestingly, the only "Mythicist" writers they quote from are Robert Price (author of the Price, author of “Deconstructing Jesus “Deconstructing Jesus" published in 2000) and Timothy Freke (co-author of "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?" published in 2001). According ...

Are fairies and aliens real? Using psychotropic plants to contact supernatural entities

Yesterday I read Graham Hancock's Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind  (2007). Basically, without coming to any conclusion or positing any credible theory, the purpose of the book is to point out some pretty astounding similarities between ancient pre-historic cave drawings, traditional accounts of fairy lore, modern scientific experiments with DMT, and alien abduction testimonies. Shamans from many world cultures have used combinations of plants to communicate with "higher-beings" of some kind who teach them things. ...

Migraines and God: A Brain Wider than the Sky Review

This summer I had the rare experience of sitting around and reading great books in a log cabin by log Tahoe (unlike Thoreau, I didn't build it with my hands). One of the books I enjoyed was "A Brain Wider than the Sky" by Andrew Levy. As a migraine sufferer myself, I was looking for confirmation (which I found) that many famous writers and artistic geniuses suffered from migraines, and that in fact the pain, ...

Can atheists be good without God? A review of Penn Jillette’s “God, no!”

"Penn Jillette is a twenty-first-century Lord of Misrule: big, boisterously anarchic, funny, Rabelaisian, impossible and unique. There isn't--couldn't be--better not be--anybody like him."  --RICHARD DAWKINS, bestselling author of The Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion So begins the hype over Penn Jillette's new book "God, no! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales." I just saw Penn on a TV interview and the kindle version of his book will be delivered ...