The Cursed Fig Tree by Alexis Georg Hoen, author of Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness

Christianity Blog Tour

   Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness

Title: Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness 
Author: Alexis Georg Hoen 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook 

 Born in the Ukraine, educated in Munich, and having practiced medicine in the United States, author Alexis Georg Hoen has been exposed to widely differing political systems and religious beliefs, and he has always maintained an interest as to the origin of these beliefs and their relation to the innermost nature of man. In Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness, he interprets the words and the sacrifice of Jesus as pointing the way toward a realization of our innermost nature—the will to live and love that exists within all. Sharing his experiences and ideas about Christ’s words and sacrifice, Hoen uses personal anecdotes and biblical examples to illustrate the nature of Christian belief. He provides a host of examples, including key illustrations from the Bible and relevant source material from other writers who address this topic. He shows us that through sacrifice we live in and for others. That is eternal life. Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness represents the core of Christian teaching without resorting to the supernatural and miraculous, yet doesn’t try to disprove it.  


THE CURSED FIG TREE
 

A puzzling story is related in the Gospel of Mark 11:12-14, continued in the verses 20-24, and in the Gospel of Matthew 21:18-22. Jesus is hungryand encounters a fig tree that has no fruit because, according to Mark, it is not time for it. He curses the tree and it withers. When the disciplesmarvel at the effect of Jesus's curse, he reminds them that prayer - in this case represented by his curse - can move mountainsthat mind can controlmatter. But the mind in this case is vindictive, not appropriate for a divine person. The Church, of course would have us believe that Jesus wassubject to human emotions and temptations, yet he never sinned, so that he should never have given way to a hateful urge.

The "New American Bible" and the "New Catholic Commentary on the
Holy Scripture" interpret the fig tree in the story as a symbol for Israel disappointing God by its lack of fruitfulness and there are indeed numerousbiblical examples for such symbolism. But there is, at least in Mark's account, the statement that the tree was not to be expected to bear fruit thattime of year, and even if Jesus hungers for Israel's producing fruit, an irreversible destruction of it in anger seems unreasonable and not consistentwith the forgiving nature of Jesus'God.

Bertrand Russell quotes that story as one keeping him from believing in Jesus as a divine figure although he apparently admires him as an individual. A Non-Christian might agree with Russell that Jesus is but a human being, subject to fits of anger who just happens to be in a bad mood.The story in both Gospels quoted is closely associated with Jesus angrily driving out the traders from the Temple, in Matthew that event immediatelyprecedes the cursing of the fig tree, in Mark the Temple episode is sandwiched  in between the cursing of the tree and the discovery that it hadwithered. Perhaps Jesus was irritable because he did not have enough to eat and because he was worried about the fate that expected him in thenear future.

If, on the other hand, we firmly believe in the divinity of Jesus, we might consider his action as impossible to understand as God's decrees are. The belief in predestination, still held by some, is an example of the apparent unreasonableness and inscrutability  of God's decrees. There is a biblical quote that, I believe, can be more appropriately pared with the Gospel story we are considering than those statements quoted  by the "New American Bible" and the "Catholic Commentary" It is taken from Ezekiel17:24 and it reads: "...1, the Lord, ...wither the green tree and make the withered tree bloom." Jesus may have acted inscrutably as God by"withering the green tree."

But, aside from any considerations of the human frailty or divinity of Jesus we may find an important symbolic meaning in that story. The tree is made to wither because it does not exceed reasonable expectations Does that lesson not apply to our lives? A soldier becomes a hero if he does something  beyond the call of duty. A worker is promoted when heperforms in excess of normal expectations. Whenever we accept the status  quo, we stagnate and wither. In the
1960 some people left their secure environment and risked their lives by opposing bigots and trying to obtain equal rights for blacks. They certainly could not be expected to do that. Some were killed, but they are forever remembered, whereas their inert contemporaries will be forgotten  one by one. Jesus himself did not continue a peaceful existence as a carpenter but freely agreed to become a "spotless victim."

He was therefore "brought to life in spirit" (!Peter 3:18). No innovator conforms to expectations of his or her society. We all need to try to break out ofour shells because that is dictated  by our innermost divine creative nature that is dried up by inertia and conformism. That is the meaning we canderive from the withering of the poor, correctly behaving, tree.

Alexis Georg Hoen attended medical school in Munich. He immigrated to the United States at age twenty-five, and he practiced medicine in Los Angeles for fifty years. In addition to the study of religion, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his three children and six grandchildren.


Book Feature: Reflections of a Negro Revolutionary by Boss Jackson - Win a $25 Gift Card


Inside the Book:


Title: Reflections of a Negro Revolutionary 
Author: Boss Jackson 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Pages: 64 
Genre: Biography
  Format: Ebook

The turbulent years of the sixties and early seventies, a time of the flowering of a people and a nation, we thought we knew what it meant to black in America, but everything we knew was changing. From the civil rights movement Led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The watts Riot, the so called Black Revolution, the rise of the Black Student Unions on college campuses, to the anti War and women's Lib movements, America was Changing and we were forced to change with it. The reality is that change is most certain of all the forces of nature however from my point of view not all change is good. The turmoil we experience in our modern society is a direct result of many of the changes that took place back in the sixties and seventies most important from where I stand is the loss of identity suffered by millions of Americans of African descent in the transition from Negro to Black.

ORDER INFORMATION
Reflections of a Negro Revolutionary is available for order at
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Meet the Author:

Boss Jackson is a graduate of fuller seminary MA Theology he is currently serving as pastor of the Bel-Vue Presbyterian Church USA in Los Angeles, California a position he has held for over 31years. He is an accomplished vocalist song writer and poet he has produced one play ‘from the cotton fields to the tabernacle', one Album ‘Truth Will Rise' with Dr Isaiah Jones Jr, and has published several award winning poems. he has one son, L.R, currently residing in New York, pursuing a career on Broadway as actor singer and director. Boss Jackson currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Giveaway

Boss is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 14 and ends on March 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Book Feature: Games of Mind by Dennis Quiles - Win a $25 Gift Card!

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    Games of Mind



Title: Games of Mind 
Author: Dennis Quiles 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Suspense 
Format: Ebook

When former naval intelligence officer Jack Steele opens a letter from his aunt, he makes an immediate decision to head to Nome, Alaska. Although he hasn’t seen Marie in twenty years, he’s concerned when she tells him her husband, Uncle Jimmy, is in trouble. From the moment Jack picks up that envelope, he knows he’s about to enter a situation better left alone. But loyalty to family is stronger than a gut feeling. Jack, a private investigator with Connor, Steele & Harrison Private Investigation Agency lands in Nome and discovers that Lindberg Research Corporation has been using the people of that city as guinea pigs to perfect mind-control research. He has stumbled onto a massive conspiracy that has held hostage the noble people of Nome. The plot threatens America’s way of life, the life of the vice president of the United States, and Jack’s own survival. Alone and without his usual resources and special equipment, Jack is overmatched and is nearly killed before he can even scratch the surface of what’s really taking place in Nome. Jack must elude an ex-Special Forces Green Beret—a man who has sworn over his dead son to kill Jack—and work around local law enforcement and other mysterious forces in order to save the people of Nome and the vice president of the United States.

ORDER INFORMATION
Games of Mind is available for order at
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Dennis is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 14 and ends on March 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Book Blast! SufferStone by Stella Atrium - Win a $25 Gift Card



Inside the Book:


Title: SufferStone 
Author: Stella Atrium 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera 
Format: Ebook

On Dolvia the women of the savannah serve under the burka, but Kyle Le was denied that covering by tribal leaders. Only her gift of second sight and the mortgage on her father’s land protects her and her three sisters. Kyle Le meets Brian Miller, a Softcheeks who teaches her about offworld politics and accumulating wealth while she teaches him the words of power from Mekucoo. Working alongside the warrior Cyrus, they labor against the mining enterprise that robs the savannah of it mineral wealth and leaves the tribes with only the scarred and suffering land. … an intriguing tale. The struggle to overcome oppression, to preserve a way of life, to maintain compassion in a cold and hateful conflict, is always interesting and involving … Atrium has a flair for creating and maintaining an atmosphere of mysticism and mystery … she stays true to the situation, never slipping out of the frame she has set. -- Lisa DuMond, online reviewer of science fiction  

ORDER INFORMATION
SufferStone is available for order at
amazon
 

Meet the Author:

  I was a great science fiction reader as a young person, but I began to wonder why the protagonist in a sci-fi or fantasy story was always a man, even when the writer was female. Where were the stories that presented a woman as the problem solver? I was encouraged to write a story that was unique and built on my own struggles. I thought a sci-fi story with a girl as the protagonist might be fun. A real heroine cannot call on armies to follow her, or pay assassins for special work. She may have children already, so adventure is out of the question, and family must be secure before she can enter the public square where she has no voice. So how does a story shape if the young hero must solve problems that girls experience in ways that females address problems? I could find no books that started with this premise, so I had to write some. And that was my first reason to write. Website at http://www.stellaatrium.com Writer blog at http://www.speakingincommunity.blogspot.com

Giveaway

Stella is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 14 and ends on March 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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