Part apologetics, part crazy conspiracy theories, and part academia, One Holy Nation: A History of Mystery: The Lost Tribes of Israel by James Slobodzien is a intellectual read with some unusual and thought provoking ideas based in both conspiracy theories and apologetics. The reader should have a Bible handy to read some of the references and will probably need to be ready to do some research into the topics discussed. There is a broad range of topics discussed all the way from Genesis to Revelation as well as several apothecary books only included in the Catholic Bible. There is some discussion of other faiths but overall the perspective under review deals with Christianity, specifically looking at organized religion and how the church looks versus what the author’s research suggests it might look like.
I have studied apologetics at church as well as on my own and am wrapping up reading an apologetics version of the Bible with many of the topics the author discussed being written about in articles throughout the Bible as well as footnotes geared towards that area. While I can’t profess to be an expert nor having even read all the typical apologetics suggested reading lists, I would guess I have a pretty decent understanding of some of the arguments made in this work. I will say I haven’t heard some of the theories the author suggested although I have studied some related materials. The part about there being a time gap between Genesis 1;1 and 1:2 is new to me and quite frankly blew my mind. The material is presented in a very academic way as the author is a clinical psychologist, but yet is written for the general public’s understanding so it is easy to understand. Parts of the book rely on Biblical scriptures and some of it is based on secular sources and cross research that may only have brief mentions in the Bible. Although I’ve heard some material about Lillith and am familiar with the Pagan traditions many Christians engage in such as Christmas trees and Easter egg hunts, some of it can boarder on sounding insane and, to the author’s credit of mentioning it, conspiracy theorist crazy such as the Catholic Church being the Antichrist. Again, to the author’s credit, his research is referenced and does make up a good chunk of literature if one looks into it. While I personally can’t bring myself to buy into some of the ideas mentioned in this book, I will give the author credit where credit is due; he did his research and can back up the views he either holds or explains in the book.
Of course that said, I can’t bring myself to buy into some of the things mentioned, although I think I would have to split it down to about 50/50. The purpose of the book is basically to argue against organized religious organizations, i.e. any church that is not loosely organized with the preference being on meeting in homes with no staff members. I can’t agree with this based on my own reading through Acts, the Gospels, and other Bible sources, but I can’t give the book a bad review based on my own opinions when the author has done his due diligence on research. The most I can do is say that I looked up many of the Biblical sources provided and I do think several verses are used out of context. The author of this book, however, is not the first to use them out of context, in my opinion and other commentators’ opinions. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself as to what you believe.
This certainly was an interesting read and worth the time to look at some of the ideas the author introduced. As a person who enjoys theology and apologetics, I really found some of the topics insightful and all the topics worth looking into to solidify my own beliefs as there are a difference of opinion out there. My own organized religious church puts more focus on unity and we don’t fight over differences of opinion about things that are not matters of salvation so it’s an environment ripe for questioning and sharing unique ideas, something I think the author would appreciate. Anyone that has a love for philosophy, theology, and apologetics will find this to be a worthwhile read.