Truthful Misconceptions

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
378 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite

Con Trong Bui is the insightful author of Truthful Misconceptions, a non-fiction book in the religious and philosophical genres. Exploring the concept of God prior to the creation of the earth and the heavens, this book asks and considers some fascinating questions that I’d personally never considered since the bulk of Christian theology is focused on what came after the act of creation rather than before it. One particular strong point of this work is the attention to detail given to scripture and the fascinating deductions and extrapolations that the author is able to make from the small scraps of information often overlooked by fellow theologians.

Truthful Misconceptions aims to be an accessible book even for people who haven’t studied the Bible, which makes it an excellent tool for inter-faith dialogue. By breaking down the scripture that it focuses on, sometimes to the level of looking at the meanings of individual words, the work opens itself up to people without the benefit of prior knowledge of the Bible and its significance. Con Trong Bui’s insights into the philosophical ideas behind the writings within the Bible often transcend religious debate and open the reader up to exciting ideas about the world they live in. Additionally, their willingness to defy conventional thinking and established ideas about scripture creates a work of theological and spiritual discussion. A champion of both new ideas and modernizing old ones to make sense in our modern world, I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in studying the Bible beyond what it says on the surface.

K.C. Finn

Truthful Misconceptions is a work of non-fiction in the religious, spiritual, and theological subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Con Trong Bui. In this insightful and original work, the author puts forward the central concept that the verbatim interpretation of the Bible, at the bedrock of the Christian faith, may in fact hold many misconceptions and misinterpretations about the nature of God and the universe. Using Christianity as a starting point, the work explores other possibilities about God, the concept of multiple gods, the idea of paradise, and other perspective-widening queries.

Author Con Trong Bui presents a book that will certainly challenge the beliefs of traditional devout Christians but can be a useful tool for those asking deeper questions beyond the verbatim text of the Bible. I thought the approach was very well-balanced so as to never cause offense over such a divisive subject as religion; rather the questions and queries were asked in an open and earnest fashion. Some of the ideas that the author posits are very interesting, and things I had genuinely never considered before, regardless of which religion’s perspective I might choose to apply. The work has a few developmental issues in the way it jumps from topic to topic, but generally speaking, I was able to follow the detailed analysis well, and I found the verses and quotations very helpful in aiding this understanding. Overall, I would recommend Truthful Misconceptions to theologists and those interested in challenging their own perception of traditional religion and spirituality.

Vincent Dublado

In Truthful Misconceptions, author Con Trong Bui gives his hermeneutics on the King James Version of the Holy Bible. His interpretations are intended not only for open-minded Christians but for those who are not familiar with the Scriptures and for those who are struggling to grasp the meaning behind biblical teachings. He reviews selected Scriptures, particularly those that are commonly misinterpreted. A scrupulous effort is taken in understanding the relationship between text and meaning. Some Scriptures are even repeated when the author deems it necessary to be discussed and to provide a stronger recall for those who are new to the Bible. The King James Version has been chosen as it holds plenty of enigma for Bible readers. The framework for this hermeneutic approach does not claim to be perfect but it claims to be reasonable.

You may well find the answer to that long-standing question about why Bible interpretation is so important. The answer to this gains further traction in contemporary society as we need to know what it means before so we can understand its message today. Con Trong Bui’s interpretation is easy to comprehend and is enlightening enough so as not to make you miss out on the indispensable words of wisdom contained in the Scriptures. From a critical standpoint, Bui does not only rely on interpretation, but he complements it with keen observation and application. For anyone who is interested in the teachings of the Bible, the hermeneutical guidelines that Truthful Misconceptions provides are a huge step in eradicating confusion and conflicting interpretations. It succeeds in its goal of not simply determining what the Bible says, but also what it truly means and how it applies to our lives.

Leonard William Smuts

The Holy Bible has been the source of both inspiration and mystery to Christians since it became available to the general public, once it had been translated into English and printed in its King James Version during 1611. It is that translation on which Con Trong Bui bases Truthful Misconceptions, a study of the many anomalies and apparent contradictions that appear in its pages. These came about for many reasons. There is an obvious issue regarding the accuracy of translation from the original texts, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin into English. Then there is the age-old question as to whether the Holy Bible should be taken literally, or can be open to interpretation. Other factors which can cause confusion are the use of parables, analogies, and symbolism, as well as the inclusion, or otherwise, of hidden knowledge. The latter topic alone has provided the basis for many books. The author highlights the inability of language to adequately describe the complexities of phenomena such as the Creation process, as well as reflecting on how language itself has evolved through the ages, leading to potential misunderstanding of the original text. The book examines numerous biblical texts and offers new explanations, which differ from conventional wisdom and will provide a platform for lively debate.

It should be said from the outset that Truthful Misconceptions is not an attempt to discredit either the Holy Bible or Christianity. On the contrary, Con Trong Bui simply wishes to dispel what he believes are many of the misconceptions associated with its teachings and, in so doing, enrich the spiritual experience of its readers. Many serious issues are raised. Just one small example is the many names ascribed to the Creator – Lord, Father, Yahweh, and God, among others. The obvious question is whether these entities are one and the same being and whether humans are indeed created in the image of that entity. Other issues of faith are analyzed in detail. The Creation itself, events in the Garden of Eden, the concepts of heaven and hell, body versus soul, salvation, vicarious atonement, and resurrection are all included. There is some repetition as the same texts recur to illustrate and expand on different concepts. The book is aimed at both practicing Christians and a wider audience. It will not find favor with fundamentalists who believe that every word in The Holy Bible is literally true, but it is a well-researched analysis that can serve to demystify a sacred text that is in worldwide use and continues to provide daily inspiration to millions.