Friday, 24 August 2007
Nuking the nutcases
Every so often a book comes along that brings a fresh breath of air to a stale subject. Eric Cline's From Eden to Exilepublished by National Geographic, is such a book.
Every lunatic and his mutt have an opinion about Noah's Ark (it's up there on a Turkish mountain still waiting to be found by John Warwick Montgomery), or the Ark of the Covenant (still humming with occult energies despite Indiana Jones). In the COG tradition there are numberless enthusiasts running around promoting mind-numbing versions of British-Israelism (the English are Ephraim), based on the tale of those hopelessly directionally-challenged Ten Tribes.
Time to shed some light, and Cline obliges. Sorting out the fact from the fiction, any Armstrong admirer past or present, or any other victim of fundagelicism, will find this an enlightening book. While Cline is a serious scholar, he knows how to write for the rest of us. He covers the location of Eden, the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Exodus, Joshua and Jericho, the Ark of the Covenant and, of particular interest to former WCG members, his final chapter covers those pesky tribes. These words from a review express it nicely:
"By Exile's end, Cline almost manages to state a definitive conclusion: The Ten Lost Tribes aren't lost at all, because most of them never left Palestine. But along the way, he's had his greatest successes deflating the wild claims of excitable documentary filmmakers like Simcha Jacobovici, evangelical nutcases like Ron Wyatt, and self-appointed pseudo-scholars like Tom Crotser." (source)
In fact, I haven't seen a single review by anyone with active brain cells that finds fault with From Eden to Exile. A great book to give as a gift to someone in the family who is attracted by the siren call of unrestrained biblicist speculation.