Official Review: The Divinely Sinful Saints

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Renu G
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Official Review: The Divinely Sinful Saints

Post by Renu G » 08 May 2019, 05:35

[Following is an official review of "The Divinely Sinful Saints" by Con Trong Bui.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Divinely Sinful Saints is an interesting title that captured my attention. It is authored by Con Trong Bui and consists of 399 pages with seven chapters. The book is full of scripture quotations.

The author begins by asking whether faith requires believing in falsity, referring especially to the stories in the Old Testament, and describes how the scriptures have different levels of spirituality and may be understood at literal, symbolic, and spiritual levels. He is against literal interpretation. In this book, Con Trong Bui focuses on the level just above the literal level. He writes to help those who are dissatisfied and feel deceived by preachers. However, spiritual masters like Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha are able to tune into these all levels simultaneously thus making their teachings suitable for all types of people.

The writer explains the concept of “body” in various contexts. According to him, “The physical body of a human being evolved from the animal kingdom and is rightly called the animal coat of skin.” He states that the physical body of Jesus (which he received from Mary) is the temple for the “body of Christ.” He sees the human body as “the physical church or temple” to differentiate it from “the spiritual church or temple” which consists of members of Christ’s body. Hence, it is important to look for the intention of the scriptural authors in writing the texts. If this is not discerned, it will seem as if the Bible is illogical and has many contradictions. The book also offers a detailed understanding of the resurrection of the body.

As a theologian, what I liked most is how Con Trong Bui describes the difference between esoteric and exoteric teachings because his insight is unique. Another theme I found interesting is that darkness signifies the unknown and is not necessarily connected with evil. His interpretation of the terms “male” and female” in the book of Genesis sounds intriguing. Nevertheless, I think the author has an insufficient background of philosophy, and his understanding of “soul” is not biblical. The meaning of terms like “third heaven” will become very clear if he refers to the philosophy of science and cosmology of the times when these books were written. He refers to the King James Version of the Bible and sometimes mentions passages from a Catholic Bible without specifying the version. Good research demands reference to texts in their original languages which he has either not done or not mentioned in this book. He should have quoted from the English translations recommended by biblical scholars in the ecumenical realm.

There are original interpretations of stories in the book of Genesis by several biblical scholars and theologians. The author of The Divinely Sinful Saints also has some original insights. His ideas are interesting and would need several weeks for reflection. They may suit people who wish to grow in their spiritual/mystical lives. The average reader may not grasp them easily. He explains simple things in very complicated terms with unnecessary repetition and examples. The writer discusses them in detail several times in the chapters and then summarizes the chapters in another 80 pages! The entire book would have been pleasant to read if it had been written in 150 pages. The font makes it increasingly difficult to read and reflect.

For all the reasons stated above, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is well edited, but I found a few grammatical errors and theologically inappropriate terms. I recommend it for those who have a biblical or theological background and wish to grow spiritually. Some of the content may be controversial and needs to be read with discernment.

The Divinely Sinful Saints
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Post by EvaDar » 09 May 2019, 23:55

I'm intrigued by this book. I enjoy the concept of body as physical temple. The symbolic interpretation of scripture appeals to me and is how I experience religious texts. I also resonate with darkness as the unknown. As Jung believed, the shadow is just material in our subconscious that is yet unrealized by consciousness. It isn't bad or good - just unknown. I enjoyed reading your review and may get around to taking a look at this book.
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Post by DogoMulla » 10 May 2019, 04:04

Spiritual content is usually quite sensitive and needs to be approached with caution. I hope Con Trong Bui knows what he is talking about. Thanks for the insightful review.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 10 May 2019, 05:34

This is very interesting that you mention the author being against literal interpretation. I do think many people are so rigid in their beliefs because they try to apply word for word meaning to their lives. In my opinion faith should be used as a guide, not the be-all end-all.
Great review!

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Post by Rachel Lea » 10 May 2019, 07:21

While Con Trong Bui apparently has a lot of interesting ideas, I don't think that this book would be my cup of tea. But your review was excellently written. Thank you!
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Post by Prisallen » 10 May 2019, 08:22

This sounds like an interesting book, but may be a little difficult for me to understand thoroughly. Thank you for a great review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 May 2019, 10:53

I'm not sure about this one. It almost seems like the author is combining Biblical teachings with philosophy. I could be wrong about that, and I might delve into this one further to find out. Thanks for the information.
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Post by Fazzier » 10 May 2019, 15:36

I do read spiritual books with simple concepts to grasp. The author’s interpretations seem farfetched. Third heaven though! Thank you for this insightful review.

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Post by Quickstudy » 10 May 2019, 23:47

I love books that challenge my current relm of possibilities. This book does just that, the Bible says no one can begin to imagine what heaven looks like. I believe that applies to everything associated with God. So, when these types of books present far fetched ideas I listen because they may be right, or at least close to being right.

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Post by Uinto » 16 May 2019, 08:57

I wonder what occasioned the book title which seems curious. The book though seems interesting because of the divergent views the author shares. Thanks for the interesting review.

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