For today's installment, I thought it would be appropriate to ask the League of Superheroes what registered geeks think about William McGrath's Eretzel, since it's a bit of a he-geek novel. We'll also have Rod Davies' dad along to make sure the testosterone level is high enough.
Ansric: So, Mr. Davies, you read Eretzel yourself?
Mr. Davies: 'Course I did. I wouldn't give Rod trash to read, so I thought I'd see what it was like.
Ansric: Good book, then?
Mr. Davies: Yeah, it's kind of like Tom Clancy before he got politically correct. But McGrath is a Christian--I mean a real Christian, not one of these wimpy "sorta" Christians where you gotta guess a lot--and he's doing swords and stuff, not the high-tech gear Clancy's into.
Ansric: Anything else?
Mr. Davies: I think McGrath could whip Clancy's--
Ansric: Let's watch the language.
Mr. Davies: "Rear end." Is that okay? Do I have to hold my pinky out too? 'Cause back in the old days, I'da held out another finger and said it the way I wanted.
Ansric: I appreciate your restraint. So apparently it's manly enough, and I guess the geeky stuff wasn't a problem either.
Mr. Davies: He's a manly geek, anyway. Kinda like my brothers--they could do all the explainin' and still use your face for a mop. But like I say, McGrath has better values than that. It's the kinda thing I want Rod to read, especially since he's got that Titan suit.
Ansric: That's a good segue to Rod and the others. Comments?
Rod/Titan: I like the geek/macho balance. Some of the theology seemed a bit weird, but Tom's dad says there's nothing harmful there, just unusual.
Mr. Davies: The guy is a bit confused about the end times. We're supposed to be out of here when the Antichrist shows up.
Tom/Darklight: Dad said there was a mix of old and new ideas. The oldest teaching about the Tribulation is that the Church goes through it. In the Bible "tribulation" practically always means "persecution of the Church."
Allen/Tachyon: Which is why the Church has taught that all along.
Mr. Davies: Well, Tim LaHaye knows his stuff, just like McGrath knows the technical stuff.
Allen/Tachyon: And could whup up on LaHaye too, I bet.
Mr. Davies: Just like I got authority to whup up on any smart mouths. That bit still stands, you know.
Charlie/Micromegas: This is why we don't discuss Bible prophecy that much.
Tom/Darklight: It's also why Dad scheduled our trip to the Grand Canyon so we'd miss the eschatology festival at Rod's church. He wasn't happy when they rescheduled and we came in on the last half of it anyway.
Allen/Tachyon: And it scarred you so much that you had all the prophecy references in League of Superheroes, which began almost two months later.
Ansric: Putting eschatology on hold, what about the book as such?
Allen/Tachyon: It was an interesting mix of Protestant and Catholic. He doesn't beat up on Catholics like a lot of Protestants, but he's definitely Protestant. We believe in the Body of Christ, with everyone in his place. Protestants like the lone wolf idea, which is like having an arm or a leg wandering around on its own. But maybe this is a good way to bridge the gap. The Dante stuff at the end was kind of cool for a Protestant, though I have to admit Tom knows more about that than I do.
Tom/Darklight: It's like the eschatology--a mix of old and new. I don't care for some of the new stuff, but if it makes a bridge so modern readers can appreciate the older teachings, it's a good thing. I'm for anything that can get people to stop and think--or start to think--without messing up their theology.
Charlie/Micromegas: There was a bit more emphasis on human action than on the power of God, but from the ending, I think that will change. We tend to lead with our fallen nature anyway.
Ansric: Closing remarks?
Mr. Davies: It's not for wimps. That's the problem: there are too many wimps out there who are too lazy and scared to read it.
Ansric: And your advice?
Mr. Davies: Advice is for wimps too. I'd just say, "Read Eretzel, or I'll use it to whup your--"