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7.14.2013

"The Big Lie, Exposed!", by Thomas L. Copping (book review)

 
I'm admittedly not a fan or, or subscriber to, the "Pre-tribulational rapture" theory -- that theory which states the Church will be mysteriously whisked away as the rest of the world looks on in wonder at what happened.  It is a theory so widely accepted today that a book series, "Left Behind", was based on it.  It is a theory so widely accepted today that merely suggesting beliefs otherwise causes other believers to raise a skeptical eyebrow, wondering if I'm truly a Christian.

So, naturally I thought this book by Thomas Copping would be interesting to read.  I've read many books from others' points of view on eschatology because I'm not afraid to have my own views challenged, so I had high expectations for this one.  After all, the cover looked super cool, right?

DISJOINTED RAMBLINGS:  I'm not really sure where to begin: the spelling errors?  the sentence fragments?  the incoherent ramblings and rants?   OK, I recognize that's not enough, so I'll give you some examples.

THE INTRODUCTION:  The introduction was gawd-awful long.  An intro is designed to whet the reader's appetite for what is about to be more deeply explained throughout the remainder of the book.  It should be rather short, unless otherwise necessary.  It wasn't necessary here.  It's as if he wanted to write his entire thesis in the intro rather than in the following chapters.  This intro was one rambling rant after another.  I couldn't catch Copping's main point, except that he doesn't believe in a pre-trib rapture.  His intro bounced from one idea to another without any connected thoughts tying them together.

SPELLING ERRORS and BAD WORD-USAGE: The introduction alone was so chock full of spelling errors that I honestly wondered if Westbow Press even sent this one to the editing table.  If they did, then my opinion of Westbow has dropped right off the table.  I kid you not, the author wrote the following phrase in a sentence: "I seen the prejudice that..."  When I first read it, I thought, "Nahhhh, must be a simple mistake."  But then I saw that word again not much later: "...that pastor seen them in a restaurant..."  Really?  "Seen the prejudice?"  "Seen them?"  This is poor writing, and even worse editing!

SUBDIVISIONS -- OR LACK THEREOF: I mentioned above that the introduction was comprised of incoherent thoughts strung together.  Well, the chapters following were very much the same.  I had an extremely difficult time following Copping's train of thought.  I had no clue where he was going with what he presented, but it would have been helpful if he would have included some chapter subdivisions.  Divisions alone would have proven to me that he had taken the time to organize his thoughts, and it would have been easier for me to follow along and tolerate the rants.  Sadly, he accomplished neither of the two.

FOOTNOTES: It's very difficult to read a technical piece without footnotes.  For example, when citing Strong's concordance for Hebrew and Greek translations, it's extremely distracting to give the definitions within the sentence while set off by parentheses.  Instead, use footnotes.  If I want to check the definition out, I will.  Or make a word translation one of the subdivisions of the chapter.  But when the "footnotes" are contained within the body of the narrative, my eyes get lost for where to go next. 

Here is one of Copping's sentences that will explain further what I mean: "The word for endure here is hupomeno, which means to stay under (behind), (i.e., remain, figurative to undergo, i.e., bear [trials]) have fortitude).  Let us note that the word..."  When definition after definition is provided in the same paragraph, all those parentheses are like a maze and I'm the mouse looking for the proverbial piece of chocolate.  Rather than find it, however, I simply beat my head against the wall and skip ahead to a different paragraph...or page.

SO, DID I FINISH IT?  I take great pride in the fact that when I receive books for review I read them from front to back, beginning to end.  This is true of the good ones, as well as the not so good ones.  Well, I cannot tell a lie: I did not -- COULD NOT -- finish this one.  I couldn't continue beyond chapter 3, to be frank.  I gave it the ol' college try, but I simply got fed up with all the mistakes, confusion, lack of clarity, etc.  I gave up.  Hey, there's a first time for everything.  Sorry Westbow Press, but you did it to yourself on this one.

RATING: Do I really need to tell you what my opinion is?  1/2 star out of 5.  I'd like to see Copping rework this with some serious editing and maybe try it again.  But for now, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.


DISCLAIMER: I received this e-book free of charge from Westbow Press (together with Booksneeze) in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine.  I was not threatened, coerced, or promised anything that would lead to a positive review of it.

6 comments:

  1. So...you're basically saying that you didn't like it? :)

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    1. That made me laugh, Jeffrey :)

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  2. Thanks for the warning! The very problems that you've described, with examples, would have driven me to drink. I would bother trying this one. By the way, I'm a "pan-millennialist."

    I will make a recommendation of a book that you might enjoy. I bought it in Kindle format, and it's the first book I've read since I got my first Kindle two and a half years ago that I have to get in print, as well. It is titled Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel, by J. Warner Wallace. I'm going to write a review, perhaps later this week, but I can tell you that I was positively fascinated by it!

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    1. Vicki, that's funny. Yeah, good thing I shave my head bald. Otherwise, I would have pulled it all out :-)

      As a member of law enforcement, that book sounds very interesting. I think I'll have to check it out. Thank you!!!

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  3. I was thinking about reading it but now I think I will pass! Thanks!

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    1. Suzie, without knowing you, I can STILL say you are wise! :-)

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