Book Review: Christianty, Karma And Reincarnation

Christianity, Karma And Reincarnation – A New Message Begins, by Michael J. Andrisiano, Sr.

Perhaps the most ominous and frightening part of this book is the ending, which promises that this book is only the first book of several. How this book managed to be published when vastly better books [1] are self-published efforts is an immense travesty. This book was a painful one to read for a variety of reasons, and before discussing the contents of the book itself, it is worth examining why this book was so painful to read. For one, the book has terrible copy-editing, including numerous misspellings of words like “angel” as well a large number of sentence fragments. The prose of this book would fail an English course at a moderately rigorous middle school. I personally know writers in their teens and preteens [2] whose style is far more fluent than this author’s prose, which at best can be described as earthy and at worst can drift into incoherence. From a scholarly perspective, the large number of quotations in this book that are without citation or attribution is alarming, especially given the fact that the author’s prose does not encourage confidence in his authority as a thinker.

The contents of this book betray a deep level of incoherence. Roughly the first half of the book is taken up by a memoir that demonstrates the importance of life experience, given that the memoir is the sordid tale of a deeply dysfunctional family with generational patterns of abuse and neglect, alcoholism and petty crime and bullying. It is hard not to have pity and sympathy for the author given what is revealed openly in those pages. In fact, I felt embarrassed for the author in his candor over admitting his seizures and visions that seemed to suggest the possibility of demon possession (which he later relates to the similar experiences of Mohammed). The second half of the book contains undigested and largely unattributed commentary about reincarnation and karmic debt that blends Catholic doctrine (like Purgatory as the resting place of souls between rebirths as well as his general focus on salvation through works), classic gnosticism (such as the saving aspect of esoteric knowledge), Islam, and New Age spirituality. The author attempts both to selectively pick out supporting verses from the Bible and the Koran along with criticism of other verses based on his own particular idiosyncratic biblical hermeneutic.

As the second book about reincarnation [3] that I have read and reviewed recently, it is noteworthy that this book represents a much different side of reincarnation and its supposed appeal to Christians. While the first book I read was clearly focused on using interest in reincarnation as a way to profit off of people becoming unaccredited frauds in past-life regression, this book minimizes the process of past-life regression and focuses relentlessly (if incoherently) on the issue of karmic debt and shows a great deal of personal importance, where one can see that the author’s interest in reincarnation was a way of avoiding the clear family history that he had to struggle with, choosing to displace that on a supposed past life rather than examine generational patterns, which can be a painful matter.

Among the more notable issues that a reader will have with this book (and to the author’s credit, he at least brings up the argument himself) is that the author’s dogmatic view of karmic debt would seem to contradict the biblical focus on grace. The author tries to resolve this dilemma through a false dilemma pitting cheap grace against his own rigorous view of karmic debt (with support from Catholic doctrines about penance) without recognizing that while Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is enough to pay all of our debts, even “karmic debts,” that repentance involves more than mere profession of faith but a changed heart that shows fruits of redemption. It is not the fruits that save us, nor could we hope to repay the debts that God has forgiven, but if we repent and believe, that belief will be demonstrated in our actions. One of the more scary aspects of this book is trying to predict the nature of the demon influence on this book. In its dislike of judgment, in its belief that the creation of humanity was a mistake by fallen angels, and in its connection between epilepsy, visions, and supposed spiritual insight, it would appear as if demonic influence is very clearly at work here. What is less clear is what audience will appreciate this book, or be able to slog through its nearly 300 pages of sometimes unreadable text.

[1] Some of these vastly better books include:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/book-review-is-sunday-school-destroying-our-kids/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/book-review-thy-rod-and-thy-staff-they-comfort-me/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/book-review-gods-time-capsule/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/book-review-the-adventures-of-hayden-and-nikki-the-meeting/

http://estacadaeagle.com/EstacadaTheHiddenLandOfArt.html

[3] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/book-review-christians-remember-your-past-lives-learn-how/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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21 Responses to Book Review: Christianty, Karma And Reincarnation

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