Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book "The Two Agreements" by S.L.Brannon

About the Book: If you are satisfied with your religious life as it is, you do not need to read this book, which challenges the largest global religious population to re-think its “saint and sinner” doctrine and embrace inclusion of all humanity regardless of race, gender, religion, past “sins,” or other barriers. It will compel you to examine the contents of the religious box into which you’ve been trying to fit all the pieces of your life, and question the leaders who have long enjoyed being on a pedestal and worshipped by followers. If you’ve been led to this book, you have probably realized that you have accepted religion’s programmed answers as truth without ever inquiring of the Spirit to find validity of such ideas. Perhaps accepting your forefathers’ beliefs as your own caused you to feel that your true self was a captive within your physical body as you tried to do good and become more like God. Would you like to stop this internal battle and move toward peace? Are you ready for a life-changing journey with the Holy Spirit that will convert your view of God, yourself, and your religion? The Holy Spirit (NOT the church) is the one Jesus identified as our Healer, Counselor, Comforter, and Teacher of all things. Why not use this connection to live your spiritual life in the happiest and most fulfilling way? Many Christians are confused when they compare Jesus’ once-for-all redemption message with the Church-dictated rules that are supposed to bring right standing with an angry, judging, and blood-thirsty God. Without allegiance to any man, institution, religion, or ideology, The Two Agreements is the retelling of the greatest story ever told. This reinterpretation of the gospel, coupled with the Emergent Conversation and quantum science, is causing those who love Jesus, the Bible, and the Christian faith-community to rethink their position. It shines a light on the perfect relationship you now hold with the Divine and teaches you how to live free and secure in your spiritual life in an eternal connection to our Life Source. As you gain awareness of your true salvation, you will experience a peace that is beyond understanding.
 
About the Author: Retired from the military and living the life of a mystic, author S. L. Brannon (Steve) enjoys sharing the reinterpretation of the Bible with anyone who crosses his path. He was first licensed as a minister in 1970 by the United Pentecostal Church; four years later by the American Ministerial Association. He received his ordination in the Esoteric Interfaith Church in 2005. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1979, he went on to obtain his Master’s Degree in Education. Later, he completed two years of coursework in the Doctorate of Philosophy Counseling Psychology program at Oklahoma State University and completed the coursework for the Doctor of Education program at Vanderbilt University. He holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the University of Esoterica, exclusively for use in the corrections system and with ex-offenders. Currently, Steve is an interfaith spiritual minister who offers counseling, teaching, and inspirational materials to offenders. He also assists ex-offenders in securing admission into local support groups, mental health services, and temporary employment. His not-for-profit (501 (c) 3) organization allows him to minister through two inspirational support groups for individuals suffering depression and other mood disorders, and their friends and family.
 
My review: This is an intriguing book, well written by the author, but with wild ideas that might shake your faith. I believe that this is exactly the intention of the author. He claims he was giving a reinterpretation of the Gospel that was revealed to him. As a student of the Scriptures (I have a bachelor degree in Theology), I always learnt that the interpretation of the Scriptures is a difficult subject because of the many metaphors used in the text of the Bible. In many points the author is trying to take what it is written in the literal way, and that might not necessarily be the right way. Don't take me wrong, but I am hard to be convinced of new ideas just because they are well described, if there is no biblical support. Remember how many people read the "DaVinci Code" and thought that everything in that book was true, just because the author was providing references supporting his views. They just forgot that the references provided were apocrypha.
When studying the Scriptures we learn both on Exegesis and Hermeneutics that we can never ever ever ever take a verse out of its context, for not incurring the risk of having even the Holocaust justified by some sentence in the middle of the Scripture text. And that is exactly how the author base his conclusions. He explicitly says that "When His words are separated from the context of the narrative they are even more powerful to read and contemplate. Devoid of narrative context, the sayings come straight at us like so many bullets, piercing all our armor and destroying all our carefully thought-out prior convictions"... This is what I would call swimming on dangerous waters. He also goes beyond, saying that "the Gospel (ironically called the "Good News" story even though it represents damnation)"...I believe he skip the part of the Scriptures where it is said that although we are sinners by nature, if we believe in Jesus we can have hope of eternal life on His presence. And one last remark (I could give dozens more), he says that "God and creation are one and the same"... In my humble understanding, we were created in God's image, but thinking that we are God is exactly what caused Lucifer, the angel of light, to go to hell...
I am not here to judge the author and tell that what he is saying is true or lie. Who am I to do that? I think this was an excellent book that triggered on me the desire to study more and try to understand better the Scriptures.
This book was written by S.L.Brannon and it was published in October of 2011. The author was kind enough to send me this book for reviewing and I was not requested to provided a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

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