“God’s Grand Game: Divine Sovereignty and The Cosmic Playground.” – A Review

Author: Steven Colborne

Preamble

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review I would like to thank Steven Colborne from Perfect Chaos for the opportunity to review his book. Though he and I have different perspectives on the nature of God, our philosophical interests are parallel. My background is in anthropology whose parent discipline is philosophy. Therefore I am no stranger to God and his prevalence throughout human culture.

I need to state firmly my own views on the matter. I believe the God that Colborne knows, is one that billions of humans have known, albeit by different names and experience. However, I do not believe God to be a singular being. This is where Colborne and I diverge.

Do not fret however, this will not affect either my ability to see from his perspective or the anthesis.

*I will refer to God through Male pronouns throughout as so intended in Colborne’s book*

 

The Review

For work such as this, there is no need for worries of spoilers, as rather it is less a narrative and more philosophical. However, I implore you to read the work in-depth as my musings on the subject may be contrary to the views of others. Even that of Colborne himself. However, as he says in his work, this is how God wanted it. Some knowing of his existence, and those of us waiting in the wing for divine interaction.

So Colborne introduces himself first and his story was not an easy one to read. In his contemporary life, he has discovered a type of stasis, however, with illnesses inherent to him, he proclaims this may be taken away at any time. Such is the will of God.

It is also important to me that you do not mistake Steven for a man of blind faith, who have never known anything else. From reading his blog alone you would know this, and in his introduction, he explains his deep interest with all things spiritual since his teens.

In Part 1 we are introduced to the nature of God. Which can be summoned up by His omnipresence. He states his case quite clearly through the lens of scientific endeavours:

“Even scientists, who are very successful in describing how things happen, generally agree that they cannot say why things happen.”

The argument here for Colborne is linked with the philosophical paradigm of determinism. God is all there is, we are a part of God, however, he exists outside of us. Therefore he is all-powerful and knows how our lives will play out.

In Part 2 we are guided through the human experience, in which Colborne is certain is curated by God. Why he is certain of this is simple. We are used to experiencing things in a certain way, through a certain set of laws.

When something outside of these perceptions happened, rather than chalking them down to anomalies or mistakes, Colborne assures the reader that this is through the desire of God. It is because God is a higher being, that we cannot experience everything he does. In certain cases, he allows us a small window into his nature. Colborne asks that rather than dismiss these anomalous experiences we should accept them as God’s outer life.

Scientist have grappled for centuries with the concept of ‘thought’. Where does ‘thought’ come from? How does it arise? Now with modern science researchers have pinpointed the moment the brain sends the signals to, for example, move an arm. They have not, however, pinpointed the decision or the why.

Colborne makes it quite simple, this is God’s will. He is managing our every movement.

“If we consider the nature of God, particularly His attribute of omnipresence, it makes sense that He is controlling our conscious experiences because His being permeates every atom in existence and every cell of our bodies.”

For someone who has studied anthropology and humankind so closely, I cannot help but agree with Colborne to an extent. Although humans have spread ourselves across the planet, we have things that are so unique to us as a species that it appears wherever we are. The concept of God is universal and in favour of Colborne’s argument, this may be God’s own way of showing himself to us.

In our modern world, the war between science and religion has gotten us nowhere. I have often been an advocate for the inter-disciplinary cooperation of scientists and theologians. For many centuries now, scientists have been doing the work philosophers in ancient Greece once had the pleasure of.

Now more than ever we need to listen to, and read about experiences had by human beings such as Steven Colborne. In my opinion, his belief in God is not a dirty secret or an unfortunate quirk. There are many people I love who both believe in God and many who do not. With all the varieties in between.

Steven Colborne
Steven Colborne

There is no denying that Colborne has done his homework, and he entertains the philosophies of those who would be considered his opposite. In Part 4 he discusses the American Philosopher Sam Harris, who is a prominent figure surrounding materialism and free will. Harris believes that all we are is physical, and this matter is calling the shots. Whereas of course, Colborne argues this is nonsensical. How can inanimate matter create the diverse realms of thought that humans enjoy?

 

“How something that is purely material could create awareness of the kind that human beings experience is an area of ceaseless confusion for neuroscientists.”

There is also the espousal of the major world religions, (not discounting the thousands of others he would not have had time to mention). Colborne is not dismissing your version of God. His simple truth is this. God is omnipresent and God is our creator (at birth and each and every moment of our lives).

Colborne wants what I think is lacking in the Christian faiths (among others) of the day. A modern church were a scientific debate is not only welcomed but part of the general practice of religion. A church of God which has thrown off the shackles of the cruelness of human doctrines, and allow only love to flow. An inter-faith dialogue, a safe place for everyone, in which to look at God from all unique perspectives and experiences of the human condition.

There is room for everyone in the debate so I would ask for the comments to be respectful, and I implore you to read this book. There is more benefit here than you realise.

Conclusions & Further readings

For my own piece of mind I would like to point out that while Colborne believes that God creates all human art, I feel that our crazy, beautiful, individual minds produce these things. Also my disposition is to always push back against determinism, however, God may have made me that way.

For those of you who are intensely religious, I mean neither disrespect or dismissal. If there is kindness in your intent, there is room for you in this debate. In reading Colborne’s book I experienced nothing but due considerations for all faiths.

Finally, I deeply respect Steven Colborne, for all he’s achieved even through pain and adversity. Although we don’t always agree, I cannot dispute that his arguments are not only well thought out, but well researched.

As I mentioned in the preamble my anthropology background implores me to mention Sir James Fraser’s, “The Golden Bough.

Available from Amazon.

Also reading Steven Colborne’s other books wouldn’t go amiss seeing as they will give you more to the story that is his spiritual path.

Also available from Amazon.

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Book Review: Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

Preamble

Jennifer L. Place is a native of the Hudson Valley in New York. Her most recent book ‘Building 51‘, is based on a real abandoned asylum, in which the titled ‘Building 51″ is part of.

Building 51 - Jennifer L. Place
Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

Having grown up in an area with this forgotten hospital Jennifer confesses she’s had an interest in it since childhood. It loomed in the background, and although she’d written 3 other successful books, the time came to invest in her curiosity.

She organised a tour of the sprawling campus and this shows throughout the book. Her knowledge of the grounds enhances the atmosphere of the novel. This is further boosted by accurate historical information displayed throughout. Evidence from the hospitals 140 years of life and beyond provides us with the chilling truth. Nothing that despicable ever dies.

Building 51 - Jennifer Place
Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about the author herself, please feel free to head over to her website which can be found here.

 

 

 

 

The Review

As a lover of the horror genre, my initial approach to any novel within its scope is tentative. Unlike softer genres such as comedy or romance, when horror is bad, it’s awful. Therefore I was delighted to find that this story, while formulated in a classic Building 51 - Jennifer L. Placetrope, has new ideas and scares to offer. The opening shot sets group dynamics of 7 friends. They’re young, carefree, and mischievous, perfectly positioned for pain. Place jumps right into the guts of the matter as they plan to explore the abandoned hospital.

While you may make some predictions, you will not fully guess the ending. We are treated to complex character arcs, without an over indulgencing in flashbacks.  You can tell the author’s imagination is well-developed and her days pondering over the dilapidated hospital is apparent.

*Ahead there be spoilers!!!*

The ‘love’ triangle’ which plagues 3 of the characters adds to the story agreeably. I have often found this tool to be cumbersome, however, without it, the characters may have behaved differently. Place directs her characters and ultimately people break off into groups. Which you should never do in a horror story, don’t they know they’re in a book?! Although Place dips into classic horror analogies there are times the characters poke fun at this and do not make the decisions we would expect them to make.

Another theme I really loved was the classic blood ‘wakes’ the beast. It shows Place really thought about ‘the why’ when she wrote this book. The 7(also a classic horror number) friends are not just attacked because they dare to wander the grounds of the hospital. It’s is an incident where blood is spilled which causes the hospital to rouse from its slumber, and welcome its new guests.

The grandmother’s introduction was seamless and the throwback to her at the end was inspired. I think this is a sensational read and you won’t want to put the book down. So make sure you’re sitting comfortably with your beverage of choice before you embark.

Anything Else?

Yes, you can find Jennifer L. Place on all the usual platforms, and I’ve linked much of her media below. She has other books if horror is not your fancy, as you can see, so go buy one of those. You won’t be disappointed, and once again, thanks for reading Moonlings!

Building 51 - Jennifer Place
Building 51 – Jennifer Place

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 

Indie Reviews: Lee Hall

Preamble

Being a writer can be arduous. You have to power through imposter syndrome. Next, you have the fun exercise of convincing your family and friends that you really are a writer. Finally, after all of that, when you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, you need to take on the world.

It is my opinion, that you shouldn’t need to get the word out alone, and authors should support each other. Someone who embodies this wholeheartedly is indie author Lee Hall. If you didn’t know already Lee Hall, who works a day job, while writing awesome books on the side, also manages to read and review fellow indie authors. How he finds all the time for all of this astounds me.

On his website Lee’s Hall of Information, he has a section dedicated to indie reviews which can be found here. So what could be better than to give some of that love back by reviewing both of his books I have read. I also have a third book, so watch this space.

*warning, spoilers lay ahead!*

The Teleporter

We’ve all read the superhero books, and with the war between Marvel and D.C, it’s hard to imagine a place for a new superhero. In the midst of all that Lee Hall manages to slip in Kurt Wiseman. He’s not a regular hero, he’s not even an anti-hero, he’s just a guy.

The Teleporter - Lee Hall
The Teleporter – Lee Hall

He certainly doesn’t scream superhero. He’s a lazy drunk who doesn’t have much going for him. He gets transformed into the Teleporter by falling into a vat of goo at work. This provides him with the handy ability to teleport short distances, once he has been there before.

While he starts out by taunting bouncers who have mistreated a patron, he soon realises that there are more duties involved than simply causing a scene outside of a bar. He finds that his drinking diminishes his power and he nearly gets one of his friends hurt.

We are also offered a strong female character who doesn’t need Wiseman to get her story, she is a journalist extraordinaire. The noir superhero trope is heartily made fun of and we come away feeling refreshed in a world where superheroes are more than often imperious. Wiseman just comes out and says it, sometimes being a superhero sucks.

Here is my review on Amazon:

The Teleporter - Lee Hall
The Teleporter – Lee Hall

Darke Blood

As a fan of vampires and their lore, I always welcome a new story surrounding them. In this intriguing new perspective, you can see Hall’s influences shining through. The classics such as Stoker and the modern such as Whedon (yes you guessed it, BTVS). The story immediately begins with intrigue, and you are hooked by the main character Blake Malone. He is the classic new kind in town, except Malone not only a stranger to everyone in Darke Heath, but to himself as well. He can’t remember anything before he arrived.

Darke Blood - Lee Hall
Darke Blood – Lee Hall

Throughout the book, we are fed a back story from (in my opinion) the true protagonist, Caitlyn. We discover early on that she is a vampire, and although she is happily kicking ‘amp (vampire) ass in Darke Heath, she wasn’t always this pure soul. When we find out how she came to be a vampire along with her sordid past, and we feel very uncomfortable about it.

As the tale unfolds we are introduced to more of the mystery and intrigue. The book is ‘un-put-down-able’ as the reviewers say, and the ending is more than enough to wait for.

Here is my review on Amazon:

Lee Hall - Darke Blood
Lee Hall – Darke Blood

In Conclusion

Could y’all please head over to Lee Hall’s blog and follow him? He’s so close to 200 followers and he really deserves it. He does more for reviewing fellow indie authors than anyone I know. Also he has a new book coming out soon and you won’t want to miss that. He has more than enough books to choose from, and I’m already on my way to reading them all (like Pokémon). All his links are below.

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To quote my favourite musician Zac Brown 'ain't nothin like the real thing' 4 books published before turning 30 is pretty good going, 2 of which came out this year! Now comes the real work, promoting and convincing readers to read them. You've probably noticed I went hard on the promoting side of things recently and that's gonna slow down for a while. It's up to you guys now to spread the word whilst I take on my next project which I'm dramatically staring at in this totally non staged photo. Just what that project is you'll have to wait and see but it's not a book. Let's just say it's more of an adaptation… and remember folks don't ever accept fruit from strangers… #spoliers #cemeteryhouseselfie #bookselfie #bookrelease #paperback #rockandroll #zacbrown #zacbrownband #inspiration #indieauthorsofinstagram #bookinstagram #amwriting #horror #ceneteryhouse #writerslife

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Website:

https://leehallwriter.com/

https://leehallwriter.com/indie-book-reviews/

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071LDYX1L?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1550696734&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true&sr=8-3

Instagram:

@this_is_lee_hall

Twitter:

@lhallwriter

Goodreads Challenge 2019!

Hello friends, I am back. My recovery took much longer than I expected but I am grateful for my family because, without them, I would have starved. This includes Le’Boo who was called my husband by one of the nurses and it made him happy! Who’d thought?

Preamble:

Anyways I’m a huge book worm, and I really enjoyed using Goodreads in 2018 to challenge myself. Plus joining groups like Emma Watson’s “Our shared shelf,” or “Books Stephen King has recommended,” makes you feel like you’re part of a community and gives you book ideas you might never have thought of yourself.

Review of 2018:

I think I was over ambitious last year with my target of 80 books, however. Although I managed 77 of those 80 it stressed me out near the end. I also exclude academic books so I probably read closer to 100 books last year. I didn’t want to include them in the books I read ‘for pleasure.’ I say it like that because all reading is pleasurable for me.

Criteria:

So this year I will be pledging 70 books and I have some criteria which ones I choose. I do not want to choose them willy nilly:

  1. I want a 50 / 50 split down the middle of female and male authors. I did pretty good last year but I’m not sure I made the 50 / 50 mark.
  2. Read more fiction. As a fiction writer, I need to read more fiction in order to learn and improve my own writing.
  3. Read more indie writers, and if you are an indie writer whose struggling to get Amazon reviews, give me a shout in the comments or email me on thinkingmoonblog@gmail.com, I’d be happy to read your book!

Join me in the Goodreads challenges, and tell me about your pledges.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/44595266-j-c

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Also Tuesday fun is here:

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/tuesday-fun/

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