The first thing that put me off of this book was the foreword where the writer made the statement that Allis should be listened to because of all of the qualifications that he had, and then went on to list those qualifications. Personally, that goes without saying however just because you have a bunch of qualifications and have held a bunch of chairs at various universities does not necessarily mean that you have to listen to what they are saying. Using the writer's logic, we should also listen to [author:Richard Dawkins] and accept what Richard Dawkins say as fact, something that I am sure would send the writer of the foreword into an absolute tailspin, but in writing the foreword that he did, that is effectively what he is saying.
Anyhow, I may listen to these people but I may not necessarily accept what these people are saying as fact, or even talk up their particular writings. I am sure that Dawkins says some things that I would agree with, but he probably also says a lot of things that I don't agree with. I have never read any of Dawkins' works, and really have no intention of reading any of is works, not because I am simply writing them off as rubbish, but because I have no interest in what he is saying. Anyway, I have a lot of other books that I would prefer to read and, to be honest, the Harry Potter series actually sits above (albeit slightly) Richard Dawkins in the list of books that I want to read (which puts them pretty low down the list).
As for this book, well it is a long dry exposition as to why Isaiah was written by one person and not a book that was redacted and edited at a later date. When I first saw it sitting on the shelf at Church I decided to grab it (they were giving away all of the books in the library) because I thought it might be interesting, but now that I have read it all I can say that it hasn't actually said anything that I didn't know (or believe) anyway, and even if the book's job is to argue that a proper Christian has to believe that Isaiah was written by a single person, then I personally believe that it is one of those books that should go back on the shelf and stay on the shelf because I think that there are much better, and more useful, Christian books that people should read.
As I said, I believe that Isaiah was written by one person because, well, I think it is pretty cool that some guy named Cyrus as being the king of Persia two hundred years before he was born, and that Cyrus was to set in motion the process of the Israelites' return to the Promise Land. However for those people who hold to the belief that half of Isaiah was written at a later date, my response is that that is their belief and they are entitled to it. As for me, I like all of the funky things in the Bible, such as the pillar of flames, the world wide flood, and the unicorns. It adds to the wonder and the magic of the world that I live in. If somebody would prefer to live in a dull, dry, world were everything operates on the laws of logic, and that there is no magic beyond what can be measured by science then so be it – my response is have fun in your world, because I'm having fun in mine.
Okay, I can understand the concern that these people have with these beliefs because they see that if we start hacking Isaiah apart we also start to explain away the other miracles of the Bible and then end up explaining away the divinity of Jesus and the resurrection, and thus Jesus just ends up as little more than a reactionary. Further, they end up explaining away sin, judgement, and begin to create a shadow of what Christianity is supposed to be. However, the pendulum can actually swing in the opposite direction as well, because when we begin to insist upon one interpretation of Isaiah, we then begin to insist on one interpretation of the rest of the Bible, and we end up chaining the Bible to our own specific interpretations and thus end up with a pale shadow of what Christianity really is. Personally, I believe in the unity of Isaiah, but if you don't, well, more power to you. I don't believe in a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, I believe in a poetic interpretation. Further I don't believe in a literal interpretation of the end time prophecies, I believe in a poetic interpretation, however I suspect that there are other books that are on my reading list in relation to the interpretation of the end time prophecies, so I will leave it at that.
Anyway, it is 11:30 at night and I have work in the morning.