“I Believe . . .”

Recently, I was sent (along with many others it seems) a book by an author whom I do not know that struck me as a perfect example of how not to write a book. The topic (I shall not mention it) concerns a highly questionable point of view he wants to convince others to accept. The subject is biblical and the attempt that he fails to make is to present his views of various Scriptural passages.

So far, OK. But let me tell you how he “reasons.” Throughout the book, he sets forth outlandish concepts based on historical events. His history is not bad, but his adaptation if this history to biblical passages is horrific! Yet throughout, what he does in order to support these strange ideas, is to assert the following two words:

I believe . . .

What sort of argument is that? To reiterate those words time and time again (until one becomes weary of them) hardly enhances his cause. Yet, he must think that using them over and over again will convince others of their truth.

Now I have nothing against the author (after a thorough scan, his book now resides in my trash can). I certainly don’t accept his views! But that isn’t why I’m writing. Over the years, I have noticed others who simply don’t seem to know how to reason to their conclusions in ways that are cogent and helpful to readers, trying to reinforce their thoughts by the use of those two words “I believe!” After reading them for the twentieth time in what is the early portion of the work, I can only find myself saying, “So what? So you believe it! Well, good for you—but why should that have any impact upon me?”

Now I write, not to say anything else about the author of this sad book, but to urge the many others who do write useful material to avoid trying to enhance their words with thee unhelpful two words! That’s all. Take it or leave it—I got it off my chest!

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