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Rants To Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God

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Ogun Holder knew full well the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. His intellectual understanding of the tale led him to believe that running from God was futile. But because he had never run from God before, he thought he d try it anyway. Spoiler Alert: It didn't work. Holder's journey begins with a pious but questioning childhood filled with mandatory church attendance a Ogun Holder knew full well the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. His intellectual understanding of the tale led him to believe that running from God was futile. But because he had never run from God before, he thought he d try it anyway. Spoiler Alert: It didn't work. Holder's journey begins with a pious but questioning childhood filled with mandatory church attendance and boisterous congregants. His road leads to a teenage rebellion, and then to a collegiate crisis of faith. He seems to hit a dead end in his 30s as a responsible grown-up until he paves a new path to Divine self. It's a path he's still walking. Readers will relate to the honesty and humor in the mash-up of emotions, ideas and experiences Holder shares about parenting, spirituality, relationships and theology. When taken to heart, these rants might, in fact, lead you to your own revelations.


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Ogun Holder knew full well the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. His intellectual understanding of the tale led him to believe that running from God was futile. But because he had never run from God before, he thought he d try it anyway. Spoiler Alert: It didn't work. Holder's journey begins with a pious but questioning childhood filled with mandatory church attendance a Ogun Holder knew full well the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. His intellectual understanding of the tale led him to believe that running from God was futile. But because he had never run from God before, he thought he d try it anyway. Spoiler Alert: It didn't work. Holder's journey begins with a pious but questioning childhood filled with mandatory church attendance and boisterous congregants. His road leads to a teenage rebellion, and then to a collegiate crisis of faith. He seems to hit a dead end in his 30s as a responsible grown-up until he paves a new path to Divine self. It's a path he's still walking. Readers will relate to the honesty and humor in the mash-up of emotions, ideas and experiences Holder shares about parenting, spirituality, relationships and theology. When taken to heart, these rants might, in fact, lead you to your own revelations.

48 review for Rants To Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    The only "revelation" I received from Mr. Holder's "rant" is that New Age Humanism is alive and well, and still masquerades as some form of Christianity. A little more than halfway through this book I basically lost any interest in finishing it. (Upon completing this review, I decided to finish the book. My updated remarks can be found at the end.) I found the book boring when the author wasn't outright contradicting himself (those parts made me laugh in a sadly entertaining sort of way). The utt The only "revelation" I received from Mr. Holder's "rant" is that New Age Humanism is alive and well, and still masquerades as some form of Christianity. A little more than halfway through this book I basically lost any interest in finishing it. (Upon completing this review, I decided to finish the book. My updated remarks can be found at the end.) I found the book boring when the author wasn't outright contradicting himself (those parts made me laugh in a sadly entertaining sort of way). The utter departure from anything even resembling Orthodox Christianity was disturbing, especially considering this book is couched in what looks to be some sort of Christian faith. For a young believer or someone not grounded in the basic truths regarding Christ and the nature of man, this book could be the slippery slope people warn you about. Probably what proved most bothersome was the way the author would use the Bible when it suited his argument or fit his experience. However, at the very outset, he called the veracity of the Scripture into question: ... the fact that none of the authors of the Gospels were alive during the time of Jesus; that some of those same authors put words into Jesus' mouth, that some of Paul's letters weren't written by Paul; that much was lost in translation and misunderstood outside the context of a first-century occupied nation; that politics played a large part of the construction of the Bible. Page 7 While I would tend to agree with the last two statements, the first is utter nonsense (both John and Matthew were disciples of Jesus, walking with Him throughout His ministry) and as to the business about putting words in Jesus' mouth, well, I'm not ready to go there either. Meanwhile, Mr. Holder conveniently used the O.T. story of Jonah to explain his own decision to run from God's calling. Oh, wait, Holder doesn't believe in a personal God, that's right, it's the principle of the thing: Years ago, when my understanding of God shifted from the loving-yet-vengeful-so-better-fear-Him-puppet-master-in-the-sky to the underlying essence of all there is, the term God's Will lost meaning for me. I no longer thought of God as a person, but as Principle. Page 26 But check out the contradiction on the very next page: My reimagining of "God's Will" was an attempt to safely and slowly invite a personal relationship with God back into my life. Um, how does one have a personal relationship with a principle, not a person? Oh, I remember, now, you are God: [Ministers] should have only one task: empowering those before us to seek and connect with their own inner wisdom. In the depth of their own consciousness, they will find the God they are seeking, and they don't need a belief system other than in themselves. Page 56 Yes, folks, I give you pure, unadulterated new age wisdom. I mean, if I wanted this, I could have picked up any Depak Chopra or Shirley Mclean book to get it, and would likely have found something a bit more interesting besides. What a tired old song this one has become. Not only did the belief system come up weak, the arguments for why this might be true were mysteriously absent. That Holder was on a "rant" in writing the book is clear; that there is ever any "revelation" is not. Using Jesus' reinterpretation of the commandments - love God, love your neighbor - at the same time butchering it to boot - didn't go very far to convince me that Jesus was saying I needed to love myself first or that: ... loving God and loving our neighbor [are] one and the same. Page 38 Talk about putting words into Jesus' mouth! Later, asserting that a principle does not feel or have a will, I wondered fleetingly what he does with the wealth of Scripture that speaks of God's anger or grief and even joy? Then I remembered, for Holder Scripture is a convenient tool that he can twist around so it says whatever strikes his fancy or matches some personal experience. I wonder why he would associate anything he was saying with Christianity, and frankly wish he would not. If I were a Christian bookstore manager, Holder's book would be on the shelf marked "Heresies to Study and Learn From". Well, I would do that if I thought the book was even worth reading. Besides being saddened by the lack of anything even resembling Christianity, I was, quite frankly, bored. It's not that I'm not interested in people's life stories. I love a good story. Unfortunately, this wasn't one. Holder pushed the whole you are God argument without any real foundation to his claims to have found enlightenment (even from inside himself). I might have been more interested in the book if he had given me some clue as to what in the world Jen told him to convince him that he is divine. The way his "conversion" to Unity and the divine self is glossed over, you'd think he didn't want anyone else to get it. Sadly, I will not be finishing this book. As I flipped through the remaining pages tonight I found a bit about vampires, which may be of interest to some of my readers. ;) But unless you really feel the need to hear someone tell you that you are God and so is everybody else, I would steer clear of Mr. Holder's rantings. Additional Remarks: In the following chapter from where I had stopped reading, Holder managed to spend a couple of paragraphs explaining the tenets of his Unity faith. Apparently he has faith that there is a force that is God, although the place of Jesus and even the Spirit (which he mentioned) is unclear. It left me with the impression that Jesus was no more God than I am. Holder's assertions that man is 'perfect at the core' flies in the face of nearly all of Scripture and historical experience. According to both the Psalmist and Paul, "enlightenment" only reveals the sin nature we are at war against, not our inner perfection. Then there was some stuff about vampires, as I mentioned earlier, and finally a bit of utter nonsense about computer technology merging with man in order to produce AI and basically, immortality. This last bit is where he really lost me, so when I read the outro I could relate wholeheartedly: So ... about all that time it took you to read this book? I'm sorry to say that you're not getting that back. Page 167 Believe me, so am I! ~~~ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255. If you would be interested in getting free books to review on your blog, check out Speakeasy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Try this one! Ogun Holder is a Unity Minister who grew up in a more centrist-style church on the small Caribbean island of Barbados. My only personal experience with Unity Christianity was receiving their excellent devotional booklet, "Daily Word" for several years; a step removed from that, a few years ago an acquaintance told me most Sundays she attended both the mainline PCUSA church because it told her "what," and the Unity Church, because it told her "how." Chapter 8, "I Survived Lent and Al Try this one! Ogun Holder is a Unity Minister who grew up in a more centrist-style church on the small Caribbean island of Barbados. My only personal experience with Unity Christianity was receiving their excellent devotional booklet, "Daily Word" for several years; a step removed from that, a few years ago an acquaintance told me most Sundays she attended both the mainline PCUSA church because it told her "what," and the Unity Church, because it told her "how." Chapter 8, "I Survived Lent and All I Got Was This Lousy Enlightenment" begins with, "If I'm grateful to Unity for anything, it's the metaphysical spin (I mean 'interpretation') that it applies to traditional Christian theology." [page 67] I'm reviewing a particular book, not giving an overview of a religion; if you're interested in knowing more about Unity, their website can tell you far better than I can. I'd like to have author Ogun Holder in my small group―if I'm ever part of a small group again. Why? The risk-taking, imaginative ways he does life, in the process becoming transformed personally, spiritually and in self-awareness. In many ways, he is telling us "how!" So far as I'm aware, all branches of Christianity teach and trust the Holy Spirit-led process of sanctification (theosis, holiness, divinization, deification) in each individual life. We take the name of Jesus Christ upon ourselves (more accurately, Spirit bestows that Name), promise to follow the fully human, fully divine Lord of Chalcedon, trusting we'll gradually become like him: fully human and fully divine. But a lot of us in churches with more "standard" theology that often tends to emphasize sin, brokenness, and depravity more than God's grace-filled redemption through Jesus Christ, could use at least a daily dose of Unity's emphasis on the divine side of Jesus Christ's and humanity's dual nature. Visually, Rants to Revelations was very difficult to read because it's set in spindly sans-serif type. Some books include production notes―this one didn't, but for sure this is a typeface to avoid! I opted for a hard copy of this book because of David Hayward's cover illustration, and was excited to discover 18 more drawings by naked pastor, one to open each chapter! Rants to Revelations is part daily logbook, part observations of others, and also includes memories. But it's not quite the memoir Holder sort of threatened to write. Maybe that'll happen later? This is a good choice to pass along to someone who's feeling negative or fearful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Thompson

    Rev Ogun Holder's book Rants to Revelations is an excellent balance of thought-provoking spiritual and philosophical ideas, and yet comedic light-heartedness as well. I found myself laughing out loud during some chapters, and near tears in other chapters. The book is an enjoyable yet enriching and fulfilling read to pick up at any time. It is also well-organized and only took me about a week to read. David Hayward's illustrations and comics add to the book as well. Rev Ogun shares personal insig Rev Ogun Holder's book Rants to Revelations is an excellent balance of thought-provoking spiritual and philosophical ideas, and yet comedic light-heartedness as well. I found myself laughing out loud during some chapters, and near tears in other chapters. The book is an enjoyable yet enriching and fulfilling read to pick up at any time. It is also well-organized and only took me about a week to read. David Hayward's illustrations and comics add to the book as well. Rev Ogun shares personal insight and stories from his life which add an element of closeness with the author. If you are looking for a book with purpose that will push you just a bit on your spiritual journey, yet not overwhelm you, this is the book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I read this in 1 day.. I could not put it down. I loved how it was personalized and you could relate to the different stories through out the book. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    A very worthwhile read! Here's my review: http://lovinggodwithallyourmind.com/2... A very worthwhile read! Here's my review: http://lovinggodwithallyourmind.com/2...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    I won this through Good Reads. The book looks very interesting to me as I like to reflect on where my life is going. I will try to write a review as soon as I can.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    Easy style, humorous, more religion-pushing than I expected. Full review to come

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  9. 4 out of 5

    Unity Books

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tee Griffen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Ransom

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andii

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie Boudreau

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kcjones

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

  19. 5 out of 5

    John R. Wilson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tori

  21. 4 out of 5

    Toni Lapp

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ogun

  23. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Joy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shayna L.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chad Sims

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  31. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  32. 4 out of 5

    Chas Gilbert

  33. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  34. 5 out of 5

    Faye

  35. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  36. 4 out of 5

    Margie Mcmahon

  37. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  39. 5 out of 5

    William

  40. 4 out of 5

    John Snyder

  41. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Townsend

  42. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Allen

  43. 4 out of 5

    Christine Groce

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Salazar

  45. 4 out of 5

    Erik Little

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kim McHughes

  47. 5 out of 5

    Troy

  48. 4 out of 5

    Mikki Ibarra

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