Book Review: God, The World, And Me

God, The World, And Me:  A Look At Diverse Views Of Scripture From The Point Of View Of A Psychiatrist, by Clemmie Palmer II, MD

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Books Go Social.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

One thing this book cannot be accused of is being given the wrong title.  While there is much that I found fault with in this volume [1], I at least had a good idea of what I was getting into when I read early on that it was written by someone who went to seminary and given that it was written by someone who is proud to call themselves a psychiatrist.  If you expect a sound view of scripture here, you will be sorely disappointed.  If you expect a book that provides a lot of fashionable nonsense about scripture, entertainingly written and viewed from a contemporary and worldly point of view, you will have a good idea of what contents to expect here.  Whether or not that makes this book worth reading, much less worth recommending, I leave it to others to decide.  As for myself, it was a book that provided a great deal of insight into the plight of contemporary Christendom.  I did not expect or receive more than that.

This book of between 150 and 200 pages is divided into twelve chapters.  The author begins with a discussion about finding God (1) and then discusses the New Testament (2), sin and evil (3), and the author’s view on Revelation (4).  When the author mentioned Bart Ehrman as an authority on the New Testament, I was aware that this author was not going to provide a remotely serious or remotely biblical approach to scripture and my expectations quickly plummeted to a level that was possible for the author to reach.  The author then talks about relating to God (5), election (6), and another view of redemption (7).  The book has a few imaginary dialogues in it that add a bit of humor but provide little in the way of sound understanding.  As the book winds down the author talks about theological nearsightedness (8), evangelism through the perspective of C.S. Lewis’ humility (9), and the Lord’s Supper (10) before closing with an imaginary dialogue on homosexuality in the church (11) and a closing sermon on forgiveness (12).  By the time I was done with the book I was happy to be finished and had no particular desire to read anything written about the author about the Bible ever again.

If I did not enjoy this book, what insight did I gain from it?  This book helped confirm and impression I have long had that the seminaries in our country (and probably in many other parts of the West) are simply not very good at conveying the truths of the Bible, legitimate interpretations of scripture, and faithful depth of approach to those who wish to become clergy by and large.  With some exceptions (one of which I attended myself), seminaries and tertiary religious education in general has been dominated in recent decades by those who want to acquire institutional power within religious organizations without having a belief in the Bible as an authority in their lives or anyone else’s.  The results are both predictable and lamentable in the state of our clergy and their inability to resist social evils and in the failure of churches to arm the ordinary membership against them to do battle against wickedness in high places.  This book is demonstrative of the fact that seminaries do more to harm faith than to give it a firm biblical foundation, and that sort of failure is not one that any Christian should support or endorse.

[1] See, for example:

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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