Unimpressed with James Rollins

Posted: August 4, 2012 in Books

I’ve been reading “Map of Bones: A Sigma Force Novel” by James Rollins. While I enjoy a good conspiracy theory novel as much as the next guy, it positively chaps my hide when fiction authors make truth claims at the start of their novels. It’s sort of like someone saying, “Trust me”; it makes me automatically mistrust them (an impression which usually turns out to be correct).

At the start of this book Rollins makes certain claims regarding the accuracy and factualness of artwork described, historical trail, etc. The man can’t even get names of Biblical books correct, much less the content of Jewish and Christian scripture (and why didn’t his editor catch this). While Rollins never explicitly claimed his description of Biblical content was factual he did state, “The historical trail revealed within these pages is accurate.” Yet in describing this “historical trail” he misquotes, twists and outright fabricates portions of Jewish and Christian scripture. His understanding of early Christian history is also seriously flawed. Half a day in any decent public library will reveal this.

I’ll confess that I’m probably so annoyed because of the author’s mistreatment and misrepresentation of Jewish and Christian history. A large part of that reason, though, is because of the way in which I became a follower of Christ. While I was raised in the Christian Church, I rebelled. No one, not even my closest family, knows the extent of my rebellion against God and that’s just as well. God knows, I know and He has forgiven me. The germane point here is that I committed myself to Christ only after exploring and satisfying myself as to the accuracy of Jewish and Christian scripture and researching early Christian history. Having come at it as a skeptic, searching for a reason to doubt, it positively pisses me off to see someone muddying the waters of history either by malice or ignorance. Christian scripture presented honestly is itself enough of a stumbling block. It admits this. Jesus said his teachings were hard and not everyone would be able to accept them.

I don’t have a problem with the story itself. It’s actually an interesting read. My issue is with Rollins’ truth claims. The Indiana Jones movies completely butcher Jewish, Christian and Hindu history and religion, but they’re still fun to watch. Missing from these films is any claim the factualness of the history presented. Mr. Rollins ought to stick with entertainment and leave off misinformation.

Well there’re my two cents.

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