Thursday, September 8, 2011
Book Review: The Latter Rain
I was recently asked to review an exciting new book called, "The Latter Rain," written by James M. Conis. When I was approached about doing a review of this book, I was thrilled. I appreciate symbolism in books, and will confess I'm an armchair scripturist. (It's a word. I looked it up. It means: One who is strongly attached . . . to the scriptures. Click on this link to see more: scripturist.) I've often longed to comprehend the writings of Isaiah--so to have access to a great reference tool like this is wonderful.
As I've read through "The Latter Rain," I've been so impressed by the interpretations made by James Conis. In an easy-to-read format, he breaks down scriptures from Isaiah and other books of scripture (Like Daniel, Ezekiel, etc.) and points to a pattern that truly does help the reader understand important concepts. He uses the imagery of rain throughout the book, pointing to the numerous scripture references that indicate the gospel of Jesus Christ is like a refreshing rain. He shows that whenever gospel truths are shunned, a famine of epic proportions takes place, and the scriptural imagery of drought is emphasized.
Drawing on scriptural metaphors, Conis makes quite a case in support of LDS doctrine. He never refers to the LDS Church, but everything points that direction. For anyone who is LDS, they will recognize the interpretations that indicate a need for a restoration of the full gospel of Jesus Christ. For others, it will be a unique way of learning why there is such a need for "Latter Rain," or a flooding into today's parched world of important gospel truths.
This book has been a huge influence on how I look at the scriptures. Several years ago, I formed the habit of reading the scriptures before retiring for the night. Two nights ago I stumbled upon a scripture reference regarding other worlds. When I looked at the cross references, a scripture from Job was mentioned. I eagerly turned to it, and it gave me a reference to Isaiah regarding this same doctrine. I read that entire chapter of Isaiah, and found another scripture that alludes to other worlds. Scripture passages that might not have popped out at me in a clear manner, were making sense. From Conis' book, I have learned to delve deeper into the symbolism Isaiah, and other books of scripture contain.
I would have to say that this book, "The Latter Rain," is possibly one of the most important books that I've ever reviewed. As I've been putting this blog post together, an analogy has come to mind with regard to this handy reference tool: it's like a light being flipped on in a darkened room. This is a book for anyone who is serious about studying the scriptures and recognizing important insights. In the author's own words, taken from page 304:
"The purpose of this book has been to establish truth using the symbols and types derived from an analysis of the Book of Isaiah. We used Isaiah's writings to elucidate truth and derive knowledge from the other books of the Holy Bible."
Some of you may be wondering what makes James M. Conis such an expert. On the page that shares about the author it reveals:
Mr. Conis' interest in the scriptures began when he took a course on the New Testament at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The main lecturer for the course was an orthodox Jewish professor, while the recitation sections for the class were taught by lecturers from Christian faiths. The resulting dynamic of this course created deep philosophical questions concerning the doctrines and truths found in the Bible and those espoused by modern-day religion. This led to a life-long quest on the part of Mr. Conis to understand the true meaning intended by the ancient prophets.
I would have to say that Mr. Conis has indeed done his homework with regard to the writings of Isaiah. The symbols he interprets ring true. The best part--throughout the book, he encourages the reader to pray about the truths learned, to discover on an individual basis whether this doctrine is valid.
You can purchase this book by using this link: BUY THIS BOOK And here is a fun link to the author's website regarding this book: BUY THIS BOOK USING THIS LINK. If you read his blog and use the online coupon code TOUR when you check out, using the links available on that blog, you will receive 20 % off the original price.