Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bad Book Blurbs...

I recently accumulated some rewards points on my American Express card. As my reward, I chose a $50.00 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. Upon receiving my reward I ran down to my local store. The first thing I bought was an expensive cup of coffee (the only time I buy the lattes or mochas is when they are free or when someone else is buying). Next, I moved over to the Barnes & Noble classics section where I picked out a cheap copy of Homer's Odyssey. This was just one part of my effort to overcome my deficient high school education. Upon reaching the "Christian" section, and after puking up my coffee because of some of the disgusting literature therein, I located Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics. I'm looking forward to exploring Bonhoeffer when things settle down here in a couple of months. Lastly, I bought a paperback copy of Augustine's The City of God, which I've been devouring voraciously over the last few days (I must confess: I very rapidly skimmed most of books III and IV).

One thing about the Augustine book has had me chuckling for the last 3 days. It is a publication of Barnes & Noble (part of the "Library of Essential Reading"). Some woman named Kim Paffenroth wrote the introduction. What I can't find anywhere is who in the world wrote the blurb for the back of the book. It is one of the most ridiculous, anachronistic, comical blurbs that you could possibly think of for the book. Let me give it to you here:

"The City of God addresses the thorny but perennially relevant issue of how Christian are to live in this world while preparing for the next. Saint Augustine presents us with a model of two cities: the City of Man, based on human self-love; and the City of God, based on grace, humility and [my note: drumroll please!] religious toleration. He claims that those who make judgments on other people's faith distance themselves from the City of God."


I just can't believe that whoever wrote that blurb actually read the book. I mean, Augustine is all over the place saying that the gods of Rome are none other than wicked demons. The blurb just couldn't be a worse representation of the book.

Anyways, have you seen any bad blurbs? Any all-time worst?


Benjamin Camp said...

dude, i just but the iliad, odyssey, and aenid to make up for my high school education too!

Anonymous said...

Classic 'bait and switch'. Some universalist is going to pick that up thinking it's pro-relativism and be seduced by the reality of who God is.

Brought to Christ through lies and deceit - brilliant!

Matt Wilcoxen said...

Nice Archshrk,

I'm sure that is not what the blurb writer had in mind, but my goodness, knowing how crazy some Christian get with church marketing, I wouldn't put it past them!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the blurb should have been on the cover of Augustine's City of God. This has nothing to do with the Confessions.

Matt Wilcoxen said...


Perhaps you read the post wrong; it was on "City of God."