Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Past Week via Twitter: 2012-04-29

“Empty Promises” review

Empty Promises coverEmpty Promises: The Truth About You,
Your Desires, and the Lies You’re Believing

By Pete Wilson
Thomas Nelson Publishers
10 April 2012

I feel like I always start these reviews with, “Well, I was interested and the book looked promising, but I was disappointed in the end and I just wanted something more.” Unfortunately, I fear that’s the case with Pete Wilson’s Empty Promises, too. And—pardon the play on words—this book just seemed like it was filled with empty promises.

For whom is this book actually written? From the title, it sounds like I should’ve been more convinced by the author’s argument/explanation (which is, simply put, that Jesus and the god of Abraham are the only way to true happiness) than I actually am now that I’ve finished it. Based on the content of the book, the title is misleading. It’s full of contradictions: Wilson states on one page that humans have no inborn desire for celebrity (and he writes it as though it’s obvious), and yet on the very next page he employs gender essentialism. (Wilson also oh-so-helpfully makes use of ageism and white guilt and infuriatingly misuses the word “jealous” throughout.) He writes that praying brings us closer to the god of Abraham, but beware because praying for prayer’s sake is actually a distraction!

Maybe I should’ve known that this book is for Christians because it was written by a Christian pastor and it deals with spiritual matters, but I was really hoping that it could speak to me, too. In that respect, I wasn’t disappointed, though the things I discovered about myself I doubt the author intended. The premise of Empty Promises is based on the idea that people inherently have an emptiness that only the god of Abraham can fill and that to (attempt to) fill it with anything else is not only foolish but also sinful. I discovered, then, that I don’t believe that people necessarily have an inner emptiness. (I believe it’s possible and certainly many people have feelings of deep emptiness, but I don’t think it’s inherent.)

In roughly the middle of the book, the author tries to debunk the idea that all love is conditional (ie: “If I do [X], God will love me”) and writes that the god of Abraham loves us no matter what, despite our sins and failures and that “adding to the gospel” is actually what makes us think that God’s love has limits/conditions. I discovered (it was quite the 3 AM epiphany, actually, no joke!) that all love is conditional, it’s just that the condition may surprise us. In this case, God’s condition is Jesus. “But God loves people who don’t believe in Jesus, too!” you say. Well, it’s possible (as anything is possible), but according to Christian scripture, Jesus is still the only way to God and everyone else is SOL/going to hell. Is that conditional, or not? You tell me.

“It’s just Jesus,” the author writes, and not “Jesus + _____________”. Is it really so obvious? No, I don’t think it is. Jews, for example, would say that Christianity “adds on” to Jewish scriptures. So, what “counts” as gospel, and what’s been added? Well, if you’re a Protestant, the Book of Mormon has been added. If you’re Jewish, the entire New Testament has been added! Not to mention that Wilson actually adds things himself later in the book: Jesus + patience, or Jesus + knowing [God’s] word, or Jesus + keeping [God’s] commandments, etc.

Empty Promises raised more questions than it gave answers, and I can’t decide if that was the author’s intention or not. At one point, Wilson asks, “What do you do when your religion isn’t big enough for God?” Now there’s a good question, and I didn’t even have to think of it myself!

DISCLAIMER: I received Empty Promises free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in return for a review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Past Week via Twitter: 2012-04-22

The Past Week via Twitter: 2012-04-15

  • @feliciaday do you think he's a "Sherlock" fan, too? #
  • @anakochenTV @feliciaday EXACTLY what I was thinking. #
  • RT @TWLOHA: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." —Henry Ford #
  • @sammiguidera What? Noo…. What happened? #
  • @sammiguidera oh hahahaha I thought you were talking about an actual mysterious girlfriend lol haha #
  • Really struggling with conflicting desires right now. Let [me] just ask: when would you compromise your principles? #
  • I wouldn't have believed it; my faith in humanity is restored for tonight. http://t.co/dFTcMA5p "It Gets Better at BYU" brb crying #
  • @TheYaoiReview lol you would. #
  • Makes me wonder what effed up thing people in 100 yrs will think WE did RT @TweetsofOld: Corsets for the feet is the latest foot fad. OK1894 #
  • Aaaaaaaand faith in humanity lost once again. T_T RT @hawkenking: @HirokoTabuchi yes but was the Titanic real? http://t.co/yfG62InQ #
  • RT @yesteeyear: Today in 1912, The Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first & only voyage. #History #
  • Haha true. RT @AdviceToWriters: I wouldn’t want to live with a novelist. Writers are highly voyeuristic and indiscreet. PHILIP ROTH #writing #
  • @maymaym THAT! Exactly that! I knew I wasn't wrong about having a hard time "making friends" #
  • @AdviceToWriters I'm terrible at that. I keep other appointments, though so why can't I keep my appointments with myself?! #
  • O.M.F.G. RT @sammiguidera: RT @VoiceOfOBrien: EVERYONE HAS DREAMS "9-year-old's DIY cardboard arcade gets flash mobbed" http://t.co/gysGWK0T #
  • Whoa. #
  • I just had an epiphany. #
  • Whoa. Just… whoa. #
  • Es regnet! #
  • Alas indeed. RT @TheIHS: “Alas, how many have been persecuted for the wrong of having been right?” Jean-Baptiste Say #
  • Yeah, no kidding. RT @AdviceToWriters: I’m not happy when I’m writing, but I’m more unhappy when I’m not. FANNIE HURST #writing #
  • Oh yes you can, & people do all the time. RT @AdviceToWriters: You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say. TRUMAN CAPOTE #writing #
  • Wooo! RT @AdviceToWriters: Next Time Someone Says the Internet Killed Reading Books, Show Them This Chart: http://t.co/kKTIij0p #literature #
  • DO WANT. RT @randomhouse: Literary wedding invitations for the bookworms and the academics in love http://t.co/iomyisJ5 #
  • Haha truth. RT @CatFoodBreath: cat haiku: Am I in your way? / Were you trying to work here?/ That's not my problem. #
  • RT @maymaym: #Relationships w/o #abuse have 3 prerequisites: 1. transparency 2. freedom from partners' influence 3. equal investment. #
  • @Zekor I retweet a bunch of things at once since my loose policy is to only check twitter once a day (or less)… Obviously. #
  • @Dredgly June is bad, but the rest of the summer is okay after July 4th. when are you thinking of coming out here? #
  • @Dredgly also!! I got your preeeeeeesent ^_^ #
  • Yeeeeah, strange how often people seem to forget that, isn't it? RT @APippinger: … Pagan soldiers died for your rights too. Just saying. #
  • Good on them ^_^;;; RT @TweetsofOld: Several of the gay bachelors of Marlin have recently made purchases of folding beds, I am told. TX1898 #
  • @Dredgly wow Iceland? Coooool. #
  • @Dredgly hahaha yeah, I don't have a passport either lol. #
  • RT @BoweKnows "I ran into… what's hi–your friend–with the wheelbarrow. Remember, with the hat? He had all those fish" -If my mom tweeted #
  • RT @AdviceToWriters: Writers get paid for what other people get scolded for: daydreaming. We’re supposed to wander. RICHARD WALTER #writing #
  • @debaoki I'm going to Joshua Tree next week and I'm not going to lie, here: I'm dreading the Coachella crowds over the weekend. #
  • Excited! RT @yaoicon: #YAOICON 2012: A NEW LEGEND BEGINS! Registration and hotel information is now available at http://t.co/WjfkJzV6 #
  • RT @mandyvandeven: "Caring for myself is not self indulgence. It is self preservation that is an act of political warfare." ~ Audre Lorde #
  • RT @bnapier: TODAY ONLY, my novel The Hollows, is FREE for Kindle. RTs appreciated. http://t.co/DY3wVXrz #
  • haha you said it. RT @audreydodgen: @TweetsofOld Now it's just because they're too cheap to install their own. #
  • DO WANT. yep yep yeeeeppers RT @mageweavedesign: LOL, forgot the link! http://t.co/oTMQqNLA #

The Past Week via Twitter: 2012-04-08

  • April Fool's Day is the only day I'm absolutely guaranteed NOT to have a sense of humor. And no, I'm not kidding about that. #
  • So if you think that I just "haven't heard the right joke" or "have never had a funny prank played" on me, then just save your breath & time #
  • Because I will just loathe you if you try to pull something on me today. Seriously; no joke. #AprilFoolsDaySUCKS #
  • Hahaha what. RT @Jesus_M_Christ: Just got my Mega Millions tickets. Totally moving out of my dad's house if I win. #
  • @TWLOHA you don't need to be accepted by others to be beautiful, but you do to survive. I'm just sayin'. #
  • Truth. RT @AdviceToWriters: Writing is a suspension of life in order to re-create life. JOHN McPHEE #writing #
  • In my experience, this also works with apple pie. RT @jetset_: Was mad. Had pecan pie. No longer mad. #
  • Yes please! PLEEEEEEASE? RT @TheYaoiReview: RT: @AdultSwim Want it back? Let us know. #BringBackToonami [DOOOOO EEEEEEEET!!!!!!] #
  • @TheYaoiReview hahaha I retweeted it before I realized there a threat involved lol. #
  • Hahaha whaaaat. RT @ProSexTips: When I have a shit day, I imagine a T-Rex trying to shuffle cards and everything is fine again. #
  • So, yes; I do lie in bed late(-ish) at night and catch up on my twitter feed. And, y'know, retweet things. Obviously. #
  • I want a giant poster of this. Seriously. RT @Nate_TheMan_: Shout to whomever made this! http://t.co/2GjmKY9S #
  • @Dredgly I'm not going to lie on this one: I have all the Britney Spears perfumes. >_> Don't judge me lol. #
  • @Zekor you're not seriously telling me you're offended FOR an extinct-for-millions-of-years animal, are you? #
  • RT @PhillyD: Im thankful for twitter trends like "We Support Chris Brown" because it puts all the people we should euthenize into one group. #
  • @Dredgly haha yeah. well, I think so, at least. I like Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy best but I have the others, too. #
  • RT @lifehacker: Girl scout cookie season is almost over, but you can actually get your Thin Mint fix all year round: http://t.co/Bo7dcIPe #
  • OH my jeeesus… RT @ollymoss: I play draw something like a moron http://t.co/SsdZGxpQ #
  • Hahaha whaaaaat. RT @mandyvandeven: How is it that Ryan Gosling has become a superhero? http://t.co/iWRk6d5X #
  • @maymaym is there a place I can read that article (or whatever it is) not on facebook? I don't have an fb account. #
  • @estherium I'm INTJ. My little sister is ENFP. Go figure. ^_^ #
  • @sarahtv3 ooh ooh I took a bartending certification class while I was still living in NYC! *high five* #
  • Tonight is not a good night. #
  • @mandyvandeven yeah…. I don't know any guy who would do that. #
  • @xxxchurch I don't believe in any god who would respect me more and "give" me more for letting HIM make the decisions. >_> #
  • Lolwut @TweetsofOld: A small rat terrier, his two right legs injured, ran past the depot on his two left legs, making very good time. NY1883 #
  • @TweetsofOld pics or it didn't happen. Lol just kidding ^_^ #
  • @postsecret sometimes words are the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction a person (or country) can wield. #
  • @jetset_ is it bad that I'm jaded enough that I might not (probably wouldn't) take that as a compliment? #
  • @donnatalarico ooh ooh I like it too! #
  • Aw. The moon went down before I could get a good prayer in. I suppose Lady Artemis doesn't mind if my heart's in the right place, right? #
  • @TweetsofOld holy shit yeah. #
  • Dear everyone: when you fuck up, apologizing is fine, but please refrain from pretending to shoot or hang yourself; really not appropriate. #

The Past Week via Twitter: 2012-04-01

  • @estherium Finding Nemo, obvs. ^_^ #
  • http://t.co/e1kS57QZ reason 336149 I don't have a Facebook… and also hate Montana. I'm just sayin'. #
  • okay: I don't like children AND I *really* don't like their parents. I mean, kids are kids, but adults have no excuse. Seriously. #
  • Good people don't either. RT @AdviceToWriters: Good books don't give up all their secrets at once. STEPHEN KING #writing #
  • You said it. Ugh. RT @PoetryDivas: @AdviceToWriters Bad books either give them up straight away or never #
  • Sweet. RT @maymaym: This is beautiful. #agitprop #activism RT @sickjew: Expect us. RT @justinwedes Check it: http://t.co/AAZYJpQ9 #OWS #
  • "Cats, like an entire bag of cats" lol RT @FCKH8: LOL! Check Out This Picture: "What Gay Marriage REALLY Is" PIC: http://t.co/qKE0B4MX #
  • @Dredgly maybe they meant "stuffed beef"? but if so, then the picture is wrong, so >_> #
  • @mandyvandeven the way that reads is: writing, language, & pinterest… and I thought, "well, two outta three isn't bad, I guess" >_> #
  • @mandyvandeven haha… that IS the question, isn't it? #
  • My computer is giving me signs it's about to give up the ghost. Now if I can juuust get my act together before it actually does… #
  • You're not kidding >_> RT @annelisebaer: WEDDING SEASON BEGINS 0_o #
  • @Zekor do your German homework flashcards. #
  • @Zekor yeah, no. #