This book was informative and was the standard for many years. However, the new book, "Van Gogh, The Life" is far better, far more comprehensive and was written by much better authors. Van Gogh, The Life is not yet available on audio, but it's worth the wait.
This book is well written in that it is informative and insightful of the painter's life. However, beware that Picasso himself led the life of an over indulged child who never grew up. He was perhaps the first pop-star. I had a hard time getting through it, sort of like reading about Justin Beiber in that in retrospect of his life his actions become predictable and pathetic and his mission is not about art but only about himself. He embodied so much of what is wrong in society and much of art today. I've seen good paintings by him in person and wanted to look fairly at what he brought to the table: Seems like a net loss to me.
This is a disjointed story. There's a fair amount of history in here, enough different interests for a few different books. Very little on Klimt and what went into the painting from an artistic standpoint. As an artist myself, I found this book lacking. We all know the painting is brilliant, but we want to know what it was like to be Klimt and paint it. I recommend, "Van Gogh, The Life" by Steven Naifeh and Gregory Smith. That is an outstanding book on an equally great artist.
It's not all history. O'Reilly makes several of his interpretations on the meaning written in the Bible in this book. One in particular that I didn't like was on Jesus's conversation in John 3. I think it's an entertaining, well written book, just with some of Bill's interpretations of meaning within the Bible. I'd still recommend listing to it if you're interested in Jesus.
I don't read a lot of fiction but this story kept me engaged, not on the edge of my seat but engaged.
A came to know about Edgar Cayce through another book that is not available in audio format, "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" by Dr. Herbert Puryear, which is the most profound book on Christianity I have ever read. Much of Dr. Puryear's teaching is based upon the readings of Edgar Cayce, but unlike this book Puryear makes them very specific to the Bible and backs his assertions with the specific words of Jesus in the Bible, so I wanted to hear what he learned from Edgar Cayce more directly. I dislike saying it because it is still a very meaningful book, but "There Is a River" falls short of the importance of his spiritual teachings, and even of his medical readings. I believe Cayce was a legitimate prophet and that his teachings could change the world. How could thousands of people healed and given correct and specific medical and personal readings maintain a fraud? Not that it matters to me because his teaching is profound, but I think the evidence in favor of his legitimacy is overwhelmingly on his side—much more so than, say, Joseph Smith (who started the Mormon church) and look how large the Mormon church is today.
There is much about Edgar Cayce's life in this book that I think is important because it shows that he was extraordinary in his gifts but also incredibly ordinary in every other way—poor, humble, perpetually lost like the rest of us. He always maintained a deep love for and belief in Jesus and, paradoxically, the orthodox Christian church. Though the author did a good job in letting us know Cayce, I get the feeling that knowing him in person was to love him deeply.
Where the book falls short is in the relatively brief treatment it gives the most important part: his understanding of reincarnation and the teachings of Jesus. It's discussed primarily at the end of the book and in a different context entirely than the book. I would love to have listened to a much more in depth discussion of this section.
In spite of the shortcomings, listen to this book. Then read Dr. Puryear's book. Together they will change your life.
This book is extremely hard to follow. It is not really chronological and is too much information with too many players to present it in the manner in which the author does. Perhaps it would be better read than listened to . . . I'm not sure. I would not recommend this book. The parts in which I found tidbits of interest were just that, tidbits. The overall theme is that the history of Christianity is a history of power struggle and politics. While I am certain that is true it could be far more interestingly written.
I listened to this book in an attempt to prove wrong a "heretical" gospel I recently read. Bless Mr. Schaeffer in his sincerity for he and others are sincere, but the heretical gospel I read makes all the orthodox teachings seem wholly incomplete and profoundly misinterpreted. "True Spirituality" had great reviews by Christians. However, this book only made the orthodox interpretation of Christ's teachings and of the Bible seem pale and shallow. I've also listened to "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis and others by the greatest teachers of the orthodox or mainstream interpretation of Christianity. I have gone to a Bible focussed church for the past year and a half. I have read or listened to dozens and dozens of books on Christianity by the liberal side and the conservative side. I have looked for the best teachers. As Jesus said, Matthew 7;7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
After reading "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" by Dr. Herbert Puryear their teachings seem profoundly wrong. "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" uses the Bible itself to show what Jesus taught, not what the Romans who crucified him wanted you to believe. It answers the largest questions that for 1500 years have been left unanswered by mainstream Christianity. First, why would God forsake the literally billions of people who have lived and died and are living who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel? Second, why would a loving God allow so much discrepancy in the way we are born; that is, why are some born of extreme illness or poverty and in countries where Christianity isn't even allowed or taught while others are born into extreme privilege, comfort and health? Certainly, so that the ill can glorify God is not answer enough for the honest person, especially those who do not sit in the seat of privilege. What Christian would be okay with this interpretation? It's not what God and Jesus taught, and the Bible teaches otherwise too.
Jesus is a great shepherd. He would never allow only a few to enter God's kingdom and still consider himself a "good shepherd". We are all the prodigal son, all of us; God wants us all back and that is his Biblical plan. If you really want to understand the "good news", the gospel, for "all" and for yourself read "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" by Dr. Puryear. You will see the light Biblically pointed out from the words of Jesus. God's plan, and our salvation are far more beautiful and loving than you have been led to believe.
You should also read "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" by Dr. Herbert Puryear, the single best book on Christianity and reincarnation I have ever read. Much of his understanding of the Bible first came from the Akashic Records.
While what Mr. Renard says is not totally irrelevant, it is a shallow and disrespectful theft of the very beautiful teachings of Jesus, of which I might add, Gary unfortunately seems to miss-understand. Like Mr. Renard I personally don't agree with the way the main stream Christian church interprets the Bible, which is one of the reasons I listened to this book.
Mr. Renard needs to read "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation" by Dr. Herbert Puryear in order to gain a biblical understanding of Jesus's teachings and the meaning within the Bible. It's the single best book on Christianity I have ever read. And, unlike this book it humbly expands the beauty and depth of Christianity, and it does it through the writings of Jesus within the bible.
I can't help but feel Mr. Renard's books are all about Mr. Renard getting over his own anger. I tried also to listen to his advanced teachings and couldn't get through them. His anger shows through in his snarky manner. I wish him well.
I forgive him, but his book is not worthy of your time. I can't get through it, and I think it's the same circling logic no matter at what point in the book you listen. Indeed, Mr. Renard's ego is so clever it's got him convinced he's onto something. Mr. Renard needs to read the book, "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation, A Better News Gospel" by Dr. Herbert Puryear so that he can gain a better understanding of Jesus's and the Bible's teachings. Like Mr. Renard, I don't believe in the orthodox version of Christianity or their interpretation of the Bible, which is one reason why I wanted to listen to this book, but this book has very little worth pondering.
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