Self-Published Genius #126: Proof of God

Today we have a new addition to our series about Self-Published Geniuses. This is where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.

The title of this press release is Discover The Absolute Assurance That God is Real From a Refreshing Scientific Perspective. Like so many others in our collection, it was issued by Cision PRWeb, which says it’s “the leader in online news distribution and publicity.” Here are some excerpts from the press release, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Author Greg Van Arsdale motivates readers to strengthen their faith while better understanding the truth of God’s existence in Beyond Mere Belief ($17.99, paperback, 9781662838347; $8.99, e-book, 9781662838354).

We don’t know what all those digits are, but here’s a link to the book at Amazon: Beyond Mere Belief. They have a “Look inside” feature, and no customer reviews. The thing costs $7.36 in paperback. Okay, back to the press release, which says:

Van Arsdale’s book is not your typical work of Christian nonfiction. It is an insightful and stimulating work which blends two seemingly polar opposite fields together into one. Through deep Biblical and scientific research, he shares his discovered evidence that proves the existence of God. [Gasp!]

This is an amazing book! After that stunning information, the press release tells us:

This book aims to strengthen one’s faith by bringing readers beyond mere belief to a deeper, more mindful understanding of Scripture. [Ooooooooooooh! Beyond mere belief!] Van Arsdale does not use natural phenomena to explain God’s works. Instead, he uses science to understand the supernatural and prove that ethereal energy is real but not atomic in structure.

That, dear reader, might be the most fantastic paragraph your Curmudgeon has ever seen. The press release continues:

By applying this revelation to theology, Van Arsdale produces for the first time in history, solid evidence of the soul [Wow!], the spirit, physical descriptions of what sin and salvation are [Physical descriptions?] , the light of God, Heaven, and Hell, among a host of other current abstracts.

This book is fabulous! Let’s read on:

The author also introduces additional new insights, fresh ideas to resolve dozens of Biblical questions ranging from the darkness of the cross, creation, the end of time, the role of Israel, and more. By presenting the topic with a “question and answer” format, he up front addresses any skepticism among readers, thus allowing him to explain each subtopic with ease.

Incredible! Another excerpt:

Greg Van Arsdale has been a student of the Bible for over 50 years. [Wonderful!] He was a physics major in college where the seed of a new breed of science was planted from his Lord. [Huh?] Recruited as an instructor at the US Naval Nuclear Power School, he continued on his singular path of understanding in his spare time, listening and learning from God. Soon the new science blossomed to completion and its application to the Bible began, yielding incredible insights no one else had — this time in theology.

We are truly amazed. There’s a bit more to the press release, but by now you’re interested enough to read it all for yourself — several times! Oh, wait — we need to be certain that this incredible book belongs on our list. The press release addresses that issue right at the end:

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 15,000 titles published to date.

So there you are. Now go learn something for once in your hell-bound life. Buy the book — and tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya!

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

31 responses to “Self-Published Genius #126: Proof of God

  1. Those numbers are the 13th digit ISBN, International Standard Book Number. Plug it into the book search tool of your choice, and if they sell it, the book will pull up.

    And, yeah, WOW. That’s not normal.

  2. Another attempt to use science to ‘prove’ the supernatural. This guy makes use of the mysterious ‘dark energy’.

  3. Good thing C. S. Lewis didn’t copyright the “Mere”. There wouldn’t be any Christian books left if he did.

  4. chris schilling

    “He was a physics major in college where the seed of a new breed of science was planted from his Lord.”

    Kind of like a non-atomic, ethereal form of date rape? Eeeew.

  5. Ross Cameron

    Of course god exists. Who else but the ‘Creator of Everything’ could have produced Covid-19 and all its variants? Add those to all the other plagues and diseases that have beset mankind over the ages. What more proof do ignorant atheists want?

  6. Van Arsdale claims revelation direct from God. He is now transmitting that revelation to us. That is, Van Arsdale thinks he is a prophet. The rest is the tedious, tendentious reaction of someone who late in life finds himself awed and frightened by the looming terminus.

    I can well understand that. I am the same. He should be cut a certain amount of slack. But not to the extent that his crazy, but oh-so-familiar claims should be entertained. Humoured at most, but even that only when he is actually present. Pity is more appropriate. Old men – don’t I know it – often make fools of themselves in public. Here he is, spending his grandchildren’s legacy on doing it.

    For he has certainly not done what he claims. He hasn’t “used science to understand the supernatural”. He has not “discovered evidence that proves the existence of God”. He has not demonstrated the ethereal, whatever he imagines that to be. He can’t even quote scripture accurately, as I saw on a brief read of his introduction.

    Is it merely ego, I wonder? Is that all that it is? The rejection by a consciousness of its own dissolution; simple denial that soon it will be gone, and the world will continue without it, without even noticing its loss? I think that’s most likely. But if denial brings comfort to Mr Van Arsdale, who am I to deny it to him?

    Still, I wish he hadn’t chosen to contribute to the bottom line of an outfit like Xulon. Of course, nobody would print this tosh on any other basis than being paid up-front, but at least Mr Van Arsdale could have used a printing service that was straightforward about its operations, and didn’t pretend to be a “publisher”.

  7. Theodore Lawry

    At least he isn’t telling millions to drink bleach!

  8. No, he isn’t. But nobody did that.

  9. Judging by this portion of their “statement of faith” on the Xulon web page, this outfit appears to be some sort of megalomaniacs and monarchists.

    “and that Jesus Christ will one day return to earth and reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords”

  10. Dave Luckett

    Cripes, richard, you don’t have to be a megalomaniac to want that. Standard Christian doctrine. Perhaps it’s a bit millenarian, but it’s not saying it’s going to happen, like, next week. As for monarchy, the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” bit is a straight lift from the official titles of the Achaemenid King of Persia, which descended to him from Babylon, long before. But again, it’s standard Christian fare, nothing out of the ordinary. See the Hallelujah Chorus, the lyrics to which are a quote from Revelations.

    No, Xulan are simply advertising that they’re really, really religious, so you can trust them with your book, and they’ll be honest. Don’t look at that Better Business Bureau site. They’re just a bunch of atheists. Listen to me… you can hear only the sound of my voice…

  11. Codified megalomaniacal monarchism doesn’t make it not megalomaniacal monarchism! 🙂

  12. Yeah they’re probably full of baloney anyway. I’m impressed they monitor their BBB page that closely though. Nice damage control team haha.

  13. How do people who are accustomed to
    republicanism accept all of the language of a hereditary monarchy in their religion? What does it mean to a nation which is proud of the rejection of kings to have language like “king of kings”? The Christmas Story should should be mostly meaningless to republican sensibility,.

  14. Dave Luckett

    Easily, TomS. Simply ascribe to that monarchy omniscience, infinite wisdom, perfect justice and omnibenevolence, and the thing is done.

  15. Maybe they are constitutional monarchists.

  16. @Dave Luckett
    Yes, it is done, but why reach for metaphors involving unfamiliar and uncomfortable monarchy? A “king of kings” invokes nothing for me. My friends and neighbors have no experience of living under a heredity monarch.

  17. TomS notes

    My friends and neighbors have no experience of living under a heredity monarch.

    Would they like to try? Here in the UK, in Andrew we’ve got a surplus prince we’d be delighted to unload, very cheap, if anyone is looking for a suitable candidate to be made up to an hereditary monarch…

  18. Dave Luckett

    Why reach for metaphors….? What metaphors? Surely you realise that when a religious person – well, of one of the Abrahamic religions, anyway – speaks of God as King, they are not using metaphor. As far as they are concerned, God is literally King of the Universe, perfect, omniscient, infinitely wise – and absolutely authoritative. They may be democrats as far as human institutions are concerned, but that makes no difference to the sovereignty of God and his rulership. “And the government shall be upon His shoulder,” says the scripture. It doesn’t mean that in some figurative sense. It means He will rule, period. Yes, they really do mean exactly that.

    Quite apart from religion, I have trouble believing that the idea of a hereditary monarchy invokes nothing for those who have never lived under one. The single most influential novel of the twentieth century is about the Return of the King, after all. Put your hand on your heart and tell me that the rehabilitation of Theoden, King of Rohan, or the crowning of Aragorn as the King Elessar, invokes nothing for Americans, and I’ll point to the book’s sales figures and laugh. What was “Game of Thrones” but the most successful TV epic ever? “The Crown” was as popular in the States as in Britain. Why do we get remakes or new angles on the legend of King Arthur every decade or so, if the institution of royalty means nothing?

    No. There’s a powerful pull in those stories. They invoke a sense of legitimacy, of rightness, of return to what is proper. And that’s despite the obvious fact that this sense of legitimacy is completely misconceived and entirely spurious. “Strange women lying about in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government”. Amen, brother. And yet the stories still endure, because they mean something to people – even convinced democrats – even today.

  19. Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker. The hero is discovered to be special by reason of inheritance.

  20. Exactly so, TomS. Paul Atreides is the rightful ruler of Arrakis. The Princess Diaries is about legitimate inheritance. And there’s more. It goes on and on.

    That’s why, when I wrote a fantasy series about the overthrow of a usurper, it wasn’t by some “rightful King”. The tyrant was succeeded by a ruling Council in which commoners would have an increasing voice. I wanted to subvert a major fantasy trope. But even though I wanted to subvert it. I could not deny its power.

  21. But real monarchs are not omniscient, etc. George III of England, Charles II of Spain. What do they represent, so that it makes sense to talk of God as king?

  22. Monarchs represent what has been. They are what was. That is alone and of itself a powerful component in what is thought of as “legitimacy”. But where did I say that monarchy, customary as it may be, is actually to be accepted as a system of government? I believe I said exactly the opposite.

    And where does it say that religious ideas like the kingship of God must make sense? Many of them don’t. Do you think that they are less powerful, or have less sway over the minds of their followers, simply because they are irrational, or refer to things that are not real?

    Jesus was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. How is that notion even coherent? What does it say about the mercy, or the justice, or the basic morality of God that such a thing is said to be required? How does that make sense?

    It doesn’t. But the power of the idea is plainly manifest. It’s no good saying that it shouldn’t have that power. I don’t think it should, but it doesn’t matter what I think. The power of the idea is still real.

    See, I’m not defending the idea of kings, or God as king. I’m simply pointing out that those ideas exist. That is, the ideas are real, even if what they refer to is not. And here’s the thing: since their existence is real, they can’t be ignored. They must be engaged, Their fatal failings must be addressed.

    But to do that, we have to deploy narrative with as great a power as theirs. If we find ourselves protesting, like the anarcho-collectivist peasant in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony….” we may be right, but we’ll be boring.

  23. For those who care, for whatever it might mean, the Duke of York is no longer “His Royal Highness” and he no
    longsr has his military associations.

  24. Dave Luckett:
    “No, he isn’t. But nobody did that.”
    While you are probably referring to Donald Trump, there *are* people who recommend drinking bleach. Check out MMS.

    Also:
    ‘“And the government shall be upon His shoulder,” says the scripture. It doesn’t mean that in some figurative sense.’
    You mean the government is going to *literally* be on his shoulder?

  25. Yep absolute monarchs are like cake. Everyone loves them but they know it’s bad. Except for your favorite cake, and then everyone elects Donald trump.

  26. To put it another way, people don’t have a problem with kings, they have a problem with other people’s kings. You see this a fair bit in American politics as well – the way people talk about presidents, you’d think that the only barrier to them fixing/ruining everything is their willpower rather than pushing against centuries of slowly accumulated bureaucracy.

  27. Theodore Lawry

    @Dave Luckett. You’re right, Donald Trump didn’t say drink bleach, he advocated injecting it. Do you really think your “nobody did that” claim was an accurate representation of the facts?

  28. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

    The already born child, already born in the 8th century BC since this is Isaiah 9, pretty much has every name ever, other than the name Jesus/Yeshua. What were the Christians smoking when they decided this was a prophesy of Jesus’ birth?

  29. @richard
    See the Wikipedia article “Christian interpretations of Virgil’s Eclogue 4”

  30. KeithB: Yes, I see I was not literal. “The government shall be upon his shoulder” is not literal. It is a metaphor meaning, “He shall rule”, that is, “He shall be an absolute monarch”. But that is what the passage means. richard is perfectly correct to observe that there is no reasonable way that this meaning can be applied to the life or ministry of Jesus, but if you think that this is a problem for Christians, think again. In this case, they insist on metaphor two or three removes from the meaning of the words. But when the prophet said them, I have no doubt that he was speaking of the return of the King and the reunification of the Kingdom of David under a viceroy of God. Which did not happen, of course.

    Theodore Lawry: Trump did not recommend nor advocate either drinking or injecting bleach. In a fit of bumptious arrogance typical of the man he thought he could direct medical resources to investigating the use of it. Of course, this was idiotic, but did not approach the sublime folly of recommending its ingestion or injection. I should have been aware that there would be some supreme loons who would do that. There is no act so grotesquely crazy that some people will not recommend it. But Trump didn’t recommend or advocate drinking or injecting bleach, or disinfectant. There’s quite enough – more than enough – to deplore about his reactions to the pandemic without that.

  31. @TomS Wow I wonder why that went out of fashion. Maybe so much paganism in there eventually brought everyone to their senses. That’s probably the only thing what kept it from being adopted into biblical canon. 🙂

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