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Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey
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  1. Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey - Bob Seidensticker - Google книги
  2. ISBN 13: 9781468011333
  3. Recent Comments
  4. John Donne

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You won't find a better book on Christian apologetics and the rebuttals Highly recommended. Soon Paul finds himself torn between two powerful mentors: the charismatic pastor who rescued him from the street and an eccentric atheist who gradually undercuts Christianity's intellectual foundation. As he grapples with the shock to love and faith, Paul's past haunts him. He struggles to retain his faith, the redemptive lifesaver that keeps him afloat in a sea of guilt. But the belief that once saved him now threatens to destroy the man he is becoming. Paul discovers that redemption comes in many forms.

A miracle of life. A fall from grace. A friend resurrected. A secret discovered. And maybe, a new path taken. He realizes that religion is too important to let someone else decide it for him. The choice in the end is his-will it be one he can live with? Take the journey and see where it leads you. Get A Copy.


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    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cross Examined , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Jul 01, Jude rated it really liked it Shelves: fav-books , religion. I mostly enjoyed this book for its discussion of apologetics and logical refutation of the god theory. The actual story was rather far fetched and predictable, but pleasant. I liked the way the author used the most common rationalizations of theists and the contradictions of bible.

    Apr 28, Carol Kuniholm rated it liked it. The narrative of Cross Examined offers conventions of plot: a half-hearted love story, uncertain identity, mounting tension between rival mentors, a young man facing traumatic past and uncertain future. Yet the plot, and the characters themselves, are little more than a framework for the interplay of ideas. Between two formal debates that frame the action, young protagonist Paul shuttles between pastor and recluse, rebutting arguments from one, gathering ammunition from the other, an almost featu The narrative of Cross Examined offers conventions of plot: a half-hearted love story, uncertain identity, mounting tension between rival mentors, a young man facing traumatic past and uncertain future.

    Between two formal debates that frame the action, young protagonist Paul shuttles between pastor and recluse, rebutting arguments from one, gathering ammunition from the other, an almost featureless pawn in the battle of belief. The story suffers, but the ideas suffer as well.

    Arguments both for and against belief are flattened, misrepresented, treated as little more than markers in a competitive game that resembles poker more than chess: "I'll meet your ontological arguments and raise you one Pascal's wager.

    Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey - Bob Seidensticker - Google книги

    Those who represent Christian belief a bombastic, dishonest minister, a paternalistic priest, a flat, authoritarian father appear slightly dim-witted, while atheist Jim is the voice of reason. Jim tells Paul: "faith is immune to facts. Not long after she was sworn in, she joined with Republicans to vote for a short-term spending bill that most of her Democratic colleagues opposed.

    She said that she wanted to insure uninterrupted funding for the military. But, later in , as the Presidential primaries drew near, she called for additional Democratic debates, a position that seemed to put her at odds with the Hillary Clinton campaign and, not coincidentally, with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the D. A few months later, Gabbard resigned her D. When Clinton won the nomination, it posed a problem for Gabbard, until someone came along to solve it: Donald Trump, whose victory insured that Sanders supporters would pay no substantial price for having abandoned Clinton.

    Her claim is not entirely believable, but it spares her from having to answer the question of whether she would have accepted such an offer. Gabbard says that she and Trump talked mainly about foreign policy; as a candidate, he had suggested, however inconsistently, that he would curb military interventions. Gabbard recalls that she found the meeting encouraging. Given the overwhelmingly Democratic makeup of her district, this approach cannot be explained by electoral calculation, and it has complicated her relationship with some of the grassroots activists who might otherwise be inclined to support her.

    When Gabbard appeared in Syria, last January, many wondered whether she was carrying a message to Assad from Trump. The videos conveyed the impression that these outsiders had brought chaos to Syria, and that the only path to peace was to put down the insurgency.

    ISBN 13: 9781468011333

    Upon her return, Gabbard gave an interview in which she intimated that she and Assad—who is known to viciously punish dissent—had negotiated an agreement to bring democracy to Syria. And yet, instead of distancing herself from this episode, she has embraced it.


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    • Howard Dean, the former D. Gabbard should not be in Congress. The current version of the bill has fourteen co-sponsors, eight Republicans and six Democrats, but it has not received a vote. The United States has been prosecuting a war on terror for more than sixteen years; Gabbard is one of vanishingly few Democratic politicians who are eager to talk about it.

      She was born in American Samoa and moved to Hawaii in , when she was two. Her first political passion was environmentalism, an interest derived from her first recreational passion, which was the ocean. On the morning after Memorial Day, she and Williams woke up before dawn and drove to an unmarked beach so that they could take paddleboards out to an island they like. As the sun rose, they ate mangoes and lychees on the sand. In , when Tulsi Gabbard was only twenty-one, she ran, as a Democrat, for the Hawaii State House of Representatives, alongside another first-time candidate: her father, who sought and won a seat on the nonpartisan Honolulu City Council.

      She is eager, now, to explain that she and her father had entirely separate political lives.

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      In her first political incarnation, Gabbard balanced liberal environmentalism with a pronounced conservative streak. Six years later, Tulsi Gabbard led a protest against a bill that would have legalized civil unions for same-sex couples. That same year, in the Hawaii State House, she delivered a long, fierce speech against a proposed resolution meant to target anti-gay bullying in public schools.

      As Gabbard was settling into her political career, in , she did something surprising: she joined the National Guard, and, when her brigade was shipped to Iraq, she volunteered to go, even though her name was not on the mandatory-deployment roster. She served as a medical-operations specialist on a base in the Sunni Triangle, and also as a military police officer, before attending officer-candidate school in Alabama, where she excelled; a second deployment took her to Kuwait. She often cites her time in the Middle East when asked to explain her political reinvention.

      By the time she ran for Congress, in , Gabbard was presenting herself as a more or less orthodox progressive, pro-choice and pro-same-sex-marriage. This realization was well timed, because it enabled her to win a Democratic primary in a state that was increasingly blue.

      Mike Gabbard, who is now a state senator, defected from the Republican Party and became a Democrat in At a meeting in , she apologized to L. But Gabbard has seemed unusually conflicted about sexual orientation, an issue on which young Democrats are typically united and enthusiastic; she has been inclined to tolerate same-sex marriage but not to celebrate it. The new version of Gabbard is better suited to the era of Bernie Sanders, whose Our Revolution group endorsed her. Gabbard is also a symbol of demographic change: she is from Hawaii, where nonwhites make up about three-quarters of the population, and she is the product of an interracial marriage—her father is Samoan, and her mother is white.

      Gabbard is, prominently, a religious minority, the first representative to swear the oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita, a central Hindu text. She releases yearly holiday videos celebrating Diwali, the grand Hindu festival of lights, and has cultivated a close relationship with Indian-Americans. In , she travelled to India, where she met with the controversial Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has become a political ally, and she is now a co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus.

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      With her brown skin, black hair, and Hindu name, Gabbard is sometimes mistaken for an Indian-American. She is named for the holy-basil plant, also known as tulasi , a sweet-smelling herb that appears in the Bhagavad Gita as an offering to the Lord. Gabbard has grown more comfortable talking about her faith, which she barely mentioned earlier in her political career.

      But she has resisted telling the story of her spiritual journey. This summer, when I asked her about the teacher who led her to Hinduism, Gabbard grew evasive. In , an elderly Indian man known as A. For reasons that resist secular explanation, Bhaktivedanta drew a crowd, and the crowd grew into something new: the Hare Krishna movement, which introduced Westerners to the five-hundred-year-old Hindu tradition known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

      The Hare Krishna devotee became, for a time, a familiar figure, and sometimes a figure of fun: a young white man with a shaved head and an orange-sherbet robe, chanting ceaselessly and carrying an armload of books to sell. By the early seventies, his message had reached Hawaii, where Chris Butler was a young yoga teacher and surfer. Butler, the son of a prominent doctor and antiwar activist who had come from the mainland, was something of a prodigy: a self-styled guru who began attracting followers soon after he dropped out of college.

      Even so, Butler was awed by Bhaktivedanta, who had a knack for making ancient Indian texts sound like sensible instruction manuals. In , Bhaktivedanta came to Hawaii, and Butler, who was twenty-three, met him, and made a trade: he turned all of his disciples over to Bhaktivedanta, and in exchange gained a new name, Siddhaswarupananda, which marked him as an initiated disciple and a prominent figure in the growing Hare Krishna movement. It was not always an easy relationship. As the Hare Krishna movement fractured, Butler created his own group, now known as the Science of Identity Foundation, and amassed a tight-knit, low-profile network of followers, hundreds or perhaps thousands of them, stretching west from Hawaii into Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

      Krishna and the Bhagavad Gita are mentioned only in passing. He recorded a series of television specials, in which he resembled a hip young college professor on a couch, surrounded by inquisitive students. When the Gabbards moved to Hawaii, in , they joined the circle of disciples around Butler. Tulsi Gabbard says that she began learning the spiritual principles of Vaishnava Hinduism as a kid, and that she grew up largely among fellow-disciples, some of whom would gather on the beach for kirtan , the practice of singing or chanting sacred songs.

      Gabbard pursued a spiritual education: as a girl, she spent two years in the Philippines, at informal schools run by followers of Butler. Gabbard recalls her childhood as lively and freewheeling: she excelled at martial arts and developed a passion for gardening; she was a serious reader, encouraged by her parents. Defectors tell stories of children discouraged by Butler from attending secular schools; of followers forbidden to speak publicly about the group; of returning travellers quarantined for days, lest they transmit a contagious disease to Butler; of devotees lying prostrate whenever he entered the room, or adding bits of his nail clippings to their food, or eating spoonfuls of sand that he had walked upon.

      Some former members portray themselves as survivors of an abusive cult. Butler denies these reports, and Gabbard says that she finds them hard to credit. A number of those people have businesses. Her company, which produces yoga videos, has helped fund the Science of Identity Foundation. Unlike Bhaktivedanta, whose every utterance seems to have been recorded for posterity, Butler has carefully controlled his public appearances, and has essentially stopped talking to the media in recent decades. But he agreed to talk with me, by telephone, about his teachings and his star pupil.

      Butler will be seventy next year, but he still speaks with the boyish, wondrous voice of a mind-blown surfer, enriched by a trace of the clipped, singsong accent that, in Hawaii, provides a form of local cred. Butler, too, finds the term constricting. He was referring, in the eternal-spirit present tense, to Bhaktivedanta. In the late seventies, a rather opaque group called Independents for Godly Government appeared in Hawaii and fielded more than a dozen candidates for local races.

      One candidate told the newspaper that discretion was part of his political strategy. Both Reed and Butler denied it.