Dudley’s Dud (of a book)

Jonathan Dudley

Have you seen this new theology book yet? Talk about being the exact opposite of what a theology book should be . . . . just read this excerpt from the Amazon product description of Jonathan Dudley’s new theology book: Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics,

“Arguing against absolutism on abortion and opposition to embryonic stem cell research, Dudley shows that most Christian theologians throughout history, including Augustine, Aquinas, and even American evangelicals up until the 1980s, have believed that life does not begin at conception. He argues that evangelical opposition to gay marriage has more to do with allegiance to socially conservative cultural values than allegiance to the Bible. He demonstrates that traditional Christian valuations of science, as well as scientific evidence itself, should lead evangelicals to accept evolution and reject both creationism and intelligent design. And he surveys how evangelicals are changing their minds about environmentalism, and how this development supports a new way of thinking about the Bible.”

Contrast that description with the Amazon product description of my theology book: The World Perceived: A Theological and Phenomenological Approach to Thinking, Perceiving, and Living In-The-World,

“By exploring the epistemological bases of both science and theology as a forms of knowledge along with the assumptions implicit within both worldviews, The World Perceived invites the reader upon an intellectual journey into the world of phenomenal reality. The author makes a strong case for the validity of the biblical description of the world and reality by demonstrating how the modern scientific description of the world and reality are in no way superior to the biblical description.”

I haven’t yet read Mr. Dudley’s book, and I doubt that I will, but I wouldn’t mind debating these issues with him on campus sometime (in fact, I would love that), but I imagine that HE is the one who is misusing (“breaking”) words. There are certain things one expects from ALL books of theology, including Mr. Dudley’s and my own. Things like remaining faithful to the ancient teachings of the Church by making them relevant to our lives today. The goal of the theologian is to provide the community of faith–the people of God–with the scriptural teachings that are necessary for them to be able to live their lives in ways that would be pleasing to God.

I don’t believe God is pleased with abortion, which is the intentional destruction of a healthy, living, growing human being, so I can’t imagine how Mr. Dudley’s book is of any good to anyone. He’s actually about as off-track as a theologian can get (Go Yale!). As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Dudley’s new book is a dud.


Here’s the links to the various free ebook editions of my books, which are on Scribd:

Wake up from your nightmare . . . and other sociopolitical essays (2011 – US Politics/Social Issues)

Broken Government: A Call to Action and Other Essays (2010 – US Politics/Social Issues)

The World Perceived: A Theological and Phenomenological Approach to Thinking, Perceiving, and Living In-The-World (2009 – Philosophy/Theology)

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
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13 Responses to Dudley’s Dud (of a book)

  1. Jason Person says:

    Maybe you should actually read the book before condemning it, there are a lot of beliefs popular among lay Christians that are rejected by Christian theologians and i took the description more as pointing that out than anything.

    • I probably will read the book, and I don’t doubt that lay people believe things theologians don’t . . . sometimes that’s for the best and sometimes it’s not.

    • I don’t know . . . to me, the publisher’s blurb is pretty self-incriminating. He probably takes the same position as Singer does . . . . that babies aren’t “people” or “persons”. Personally. I think that is the other side’s best argument. However, I fail to see how that argument has anything whatsoever to do with the humanity of the baby and the baby’s human rights. But I may read the book and give the book itself, and not the blurb, a review.

  2. Tom Roberts says:

    You should post another review of this book after reading it. I think it’s coming out on Tuesday. I would be interested to hear what you think about it…. It looks very interesting but perhaps dangerous too like you said

  3. Tom Roberts says:

    I got it on my kindle yesterday and its actually pretty interesting. I don’t agree with it all, but he has a lot of good points. I’d really be interested in your perspective on it.

    • I was thinking about getting the Kindle edition too. I don’t have one but I can get Kindle for pc app. I am interested in what he has to say and what his perspective is . . . to know what words he’s using and the meanings he’s giving to those words.

  4. Tom Roberts says:

    I’m halfway through. Here are my thoughts so far. First, he doesn’t support abortion, he just doesn’t think Christians have good reason to think it’s murder. But he says it can still be morally wrong even if it’s not murder. I actually found his argument about abortion very convincing and was surprised, even shocked, by the history he relays about Christian thought on the matter.

    Then he talks about gay marriage. He clearly supports gay marriage, but his arguments are very unique on this front, I’ll give him that (basically he uses evangelical thought on evolution to critique evangelical thought on homosexuality).

    • Interesting. I am aware of the argument that abortion is (somehow) less-than the “murder” of a human being. That was also the legal position, in the US, until Roe v. Wade.

      I would actually be ok with going back to what we had before: abortion is criminal but not murder. Unfortunately it’s become too late for that now.

      Many states have, what I believe to be valid, laws that count the killing (say by gunshot or stabbing) the unborn baby in her mother’s womb, and, if the mother is killed too, it’s considered a double homicide, or murder.

      As for gay marriage, we just don’t find that, as being okay, in the Bible, do we? That must be a crazy section to read, what with the evolution and all. Personally, as an American, I support state civil unions or marriages for LGBT folks. My church (Catholic) never will, which is their right, and my religious belief is that they shouldn’t.

      I downloaded to Kindle for pc, now I need to get the book.

  5. Tom Roberts says:

    You should take this post down and put up one that is an actual review of the book.

  6. Bill Peterson says:

    Just out of curiosity, did you even attend college? I don’t see any educational credentials in your “about me” section and I noticed that all your books are self-published.

  7. Good question. I never did go to college. In fact, I dropped out of High School at 17 to join the US Army (I was young, dumb, and full of…you know what! lol). I got my GED in the Army. I attended a few college level courses for Church (catechist training, basic theology/philosphy) which was all stuff I already knew, except they tried to indoctrinate me into liberal theology (passe!). I attended a class at Wilson Collge here in Chambersburg, PA last year (English 380 – Cultural and Literary Interpretation, which I loved and, working with my professor as my editor, I produced, what I think of as, my best writing ever, and on an important subject too: language. Here’s a link to the papers I wrote for class. I like the one on The Awakening the best, as far as “what was I supposed to learn to do in class”. The paper of Bahktin was difficult, and a reading of the paper will reveal as much, but the paper on Semoitics, Representation, and Dorian Grey is crazy! I went overboard on that, 13 pages! lol

  8. Bill Peterson says:

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Sounds like an exciting life. So are you gonna review this book or what?

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