January 6, 2014

Above My Reading Level

Since I've already recommended that you should read a book that I haven't even read yet, perhaps that gives me license to recommend that you not read another book that I also haven't read (or at least have barely read).

Confused? So am I by the book I've been trying to read. In fact, after reading only about 30 pages, I gave up, at least temporarily. It's a book with a serious topic, but I was actually quite amused while attempting to read it because of the style of writing.

It's called The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet and King of Your Family by G.C. Dilsaver. If you didn't already know that he had a PhD, you'd probably make that assumption about the author if you read the book. In fact, according to his bio on Amazon, he has several degrees:

"In addition to Dr. Dilsaver's doctorate in clinical psychology he also has a master in the theology and ethics of marriage and family and a degree in philosophy."

Suffice to say, he incorporates every bit of his expertise in each of his fields of study into every single sentence. Feast your eyes on this maximum verbosity:

"Used by the state as fulcrum against the unacceptable non-govermental authority of the family, it is a powerful and pernicious movement indeed."

"Such a patricarchy must be imbued with the witnessing militancy of the Church, and, like the Church herself- which lost its temporal power and now finds herself reduced to her essential and indefectible nature as a spiritual power- the seminal new Christian patriarchy finds itself without societal, cultural, or even, in many ways, natural structures to facilitate its establishment."

"Indeed, as the Church expanded into gentile society she found herself in a morally decaying milieu much like that of the twentieth-century West, where an atmosphere of paganism, a tendency toward hyper-egalitarianism, and an ascendency of feminism pervaded." (I think the last person I heard use the word milieu was Diane Chambers on Cheers.)

"Just as the truth of the matter is quite the opposite of the contention that Christ's restoration and elevation of marriage did away with patriarchy, so too is it a diametrical falsehood that the nascent Church was merely aping the culture of her times when she advanced the teaching of patriarchy."

Pretty much every sentence in this book its like that. I get what he's saying, I think, but he could've said it much more simply. Many sentences require a little extra time for digestion.

Another thing that humorously bugs me is any time that a footnote takes up more space on a page than the main text itself. Check out this one:

And that's not all. This footnote actually continues on the next page! If you need that much space for a footnote, perhaps the point should be incorporated into the main text itself. Don't make me jump around.

In reality, I'm not trying to bad mouth this book and tell you not to read it. (Note the "humor" tag attached to this post.) But I really did have to put the book down and move on to something else for a while. The author is obviously very knowledgeable, and if this topic interests you then perhaps you'd like it. If you have a PhD and/or are a professional theologian, that would probably help too.



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