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Book Review: Seeds of Turmoil

September 9, 2010

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Meh … I didn’t love it.

I’m very interested in the shape of things in the Middle East, as developments continue to fulfill – or at least point to – prophecy about Jesus’ return, and I love reading history, but Seeds of Turmoil did not hold my attention.

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t very interesting.

The first four or five chapters seemed to all say the same thing. Wright was trying to present an outline up front, and then build on it, but I felt like I kept reading the same scripture and the same stories over and over again. As the story started to progress that stopped, but the first bit of the book was made really tiresome by it. It felt like those first several chapters could have been one or two really good chapters and saved everyone some trouble.

A significant portion of it almost seems to make a case for Islam in the Middle East. I know it wasn’t the author’s intention, but I don’t think I’d give this book to a secular person trying to understand the history of the conflict in the Middle East. Naturally, anyone who knows the story feels bad for Hagar and Ishmael – and later for Esau – but the author seemed to throw up his hands and say, “I don’t know why God is so unfair sometimes, but we just have to go with it.”

There is some good, basic teaching on the biblical roots of all the chaos in the Middle East, but I’m not sure who the intended audience really is – someone who is firm enough in their Christian faith to not side with what appears to be the mistreated fathers of Islam, but still somehow pretty ignorant of the biblical history behind the conflict.

A few interesting points, paraphrases and lessons along the way kept the book alive enough, but there doesn’t seem to be much groundbreaking research or insight into the issue.

If you’re a Christian who knows how the children of Abraham, and later Isaac, became the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, there probably won’t be a whole lot in this book that you don’t already know. If you’re not a Christian, and you’re looking for some faith-based insight into this seemingly irresolvable conflict, there are probably other sources that give a better explanation of both sides.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 1:54 pm

    I’m in the book sneeze program too and I’m trudging through this one right now. If you are really interested in this area and want a good book on the subject, I highly recommend this one:

    The author takes the reader through the life of Abraham. Any way, I have to write a review of this book, and I feel it will be very similar to your review, mostly because I was thinking yesterday afternoon as I was willing myself to read this book, that I had already read it. But no, it was just the same Biblical passages and same story told with a slightly different slant as the one told 20 pages before and 20 pages before that.

    I’m glad to hear it gets better — even just slightly.

    • Lex permalink
      September 14, 2010 11:38 am

      I definitely am interested, thanks for the recommendation.

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who didn’t think Seeds was brilliant. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just missing something, but maybe not this time. :)

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