“Romans 13 and Covid 19” – my review (1)
I am writing this half way though reading “Romans 13 and Covid 19 – Knowledge, Warnings and Encouragement for the Local Church and World” and since a. I am dying to blog, b. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers (my excuse lol) and c. I am impetuous when it comes to getting stuff off my chest, I am giving my here and now personal perspective review, but before I do …
My biggest criticism of the book is it preaches to the converted (which I will elaborate later) but as one of my recent blogs is titled “Romans 13, 1 Peter 2 and Covid-19” I was more than curious as to what this author had to say. When it comes to Covid-19, the “Jab” and how Christians / the church ought to respond, I am toward the extreme (anti) end of how we respond to the official narrative, that is sanctioned by the (unholy trinity) of government, media and elite / “experts”, spectrum.
I wrote my blog around the time this book had come out and, given what I could make out regarding its contents, I put it near the top of my “must read” list of books. It happened, earlier in the week, I got to meet with some old friends, a retired GP and his wife, who I put in the deplorable, remnant, prayer warrior, encourager, critical thinker category of Christian (and there really needs to be more of them). Knowing my interest, I was gifted with a copy of this book, even though I found he did not agree with everything in the book. The next three hours we profitably spent chewing the cud. Corona related matters were some of many subjects for discussion. While we agreed on much, we did not agree on everything but, more importantly, it was a rare opportunity for us to have a fruitful discussion and encourage one another to live as Christ’s unprofitable servants in this age of Corona.
So back to the book – all 472 pages – all serious stuff with many strongly argued points made but also pleasantly natural and readable. I have just completed up to page 230 (i.e. am halfway) through the first part: “The Current Problem and Context” and I look forward to reading the next two parts: “Authority, Tyranny and the Wider Problems” and “The Solution”. While I have some idea of what is in store for me, this review can be seen as my initial response. The general impression reading it is wow! For those yet to read the book (or even if you have), I point you to the accompanying website, where you can access a Zoom presentation by the author about the book and an accompanying PDF slide presentation outlining some of the content and the rationale behind the book. I would have liked it if an electronic version of the book were available, and especially, given the many Internet references in the book, having these in online clickable form might have led me referring to them.
The reason for the “wow” is that the author has tackled a complex subject with marvelous relish and passion, and did so superbly and thoroughly well, in the circumstances (i.e. it is a controversial and tough subject), doing what had been set out according to the cover title as well as any I have seen. While “A must-read for every Christian”, also on the cover, can be seen as publisher hyperbole, except for a small caveat I would agree. My reticence is that the author was preaching to the choir, although even as this choir member admits, it came up with stuff he was previously barely aware off and did fill in gaps in his knowledge. While I don’t doubt the depth of research, it still panders to the views of my fellow deplorables and doesn’t do enough to address the concerns and axioms of nice, thinking Christians, like my GP friend, who are more inclined toward accepting the official narrative. For example, I would have liked to see a critical evaluation of the merit / need (or not) of wearing masks (one of the subjects we talked about).
While I doubt only a few of such folk (who form perhaps the majority of the Christian public) will read it (which is a pity), that is where the target audience should be. In a day when even Christians (I use the word “even” because truth should be the watchword) polarise in their opinions on Corona, just as they did on climate change, Brexit and Trump, honest debate should be what we do, followed by prayer, joint activism and enjoying a good laugh – but it doesn’t happen nearly enough. The author renders a service by encouraging those Christians who feel left out because of the sanctimonious pontifications by church leaders going with the societal flow, and while we are on the subject of the Christian audience (noting the subtitle also mentions “World”) the author is keen to encourage those who aren’t Christians, to become so, as not only is that what God desires and we need to be saved, but given the path the world is going down, e.g. forced lockdowns and vaccine passports, it is the way we need to go, to come to terms with the pressures this ongoing “crisis” has brought to bear on all of us.
I will wind up, mindful there are many nooks and crannies I could have explored in this first “review”, but I will end by considering the author, even though the author with due humility might want us to focus on the subject matter and considering “the case”, before concluding with my verdict. When I talked to my GP friend, I wrongly assumed the author is a “he”. It turned out “he” is a “she”, although I might be excused, for unlike J.K.Rowling of Harry Potter fame, there was no indication that J.L.Fuller, who is referred to as J.L.Fuller in the supporting blurb, is a she (without finding this out from the video presentation). I had somehow wrongly expected a wisened, grumpy old man (a bit like me) rather than a bubbly, enthusiastic young woman (I say young but noting her résumé she can’t be that young). While not a medic, theologian or a recognised church leader, JL is remarkably well qualified. The verses “for such a time as this” and “God moves in mysterious ways” came to mind when considering the author. I get the impression JL has a good support network and she needs it as she is on the front line because of what she has done, especially as the message she is trying to put out is not one the Devil wants and he will use his minions to oppose.
Coincidentally, this is the third book I have reviewed in the last three weeks (see here and here for the previous two) and they are all different when it comes to subject matter. They all have merit and show books matter. Let me first give one more (mild) criticism of the book, although the author can be excused given the monumental project she has embarked upon. One of the reasons (I suspect) why me and my GP friend did not see fully eye to eye is I follow (or rather check out what they have to say) conspiracy theorists like David Icke and Charlie Ward and the imho excellent “Fall of the Cabal” presentation by Janet Ossebaard. One of the assertions these come up with is the world is run by an evil, satanic cabal and Covid-19 and vaccines are all part of their wicked plan to depopulate and enslave us all. These are complemented by the deliberations of the “political prophets” (I discuss the concept in my Prophets of the Bible book) and one can find more about individuals in resources like Richards Watch and Elijah Streams, who like the conspiracy theorists offer hope that the good guys supported by an awakened humanity and the hand of God will overcome the evil cabal. I suspect, like my GP friend, JL doesn’t follow these, noting the reality that those who we follow will affect how we see things. I suspect too, she has been influenced by some not considered mainstream. That is not to decry but rather a cry for reader caution. (Btw: On the subject of Great Reset or Great Awakening, which I have blogged about, my counsel has ever been – prepare for either, trusting and obeying God alone, who is in complete control, AND use resources like this book when it comes to informing your responses.)
But I would like to give my resounding endorsement to “Romans 13 and Covid 19”. J.L.Fuller has done an outstanding job, not just by informing the world at large as to what is really going on around Covid-19 and evaluating various responses to the pan(scam)demic, but encouraging the Christian public, not least by her examination of what the Bible has to say that relates, who like everyone (outside of the evil cabal) have been hit hard by what has happened, and even more so the deplorable remnant who are often patronisingly or worse sidelined by the clerical hegemony who “know better”, yet who understand spiritual warfare and the importance of being a disciple, who could well benefit from her intel and good counsel as to how to respond. I cannot help but praise her diligent labour of love in researching this challenging subject. I have no reservation when it comes to recommending this book – and to test and weigh!