July 2007


If you are interested in the Iraqi rebuilding/security effort, here’s a cool article you should read.

Biographies:

Jonathan Edwards: A life, by George M. Marsden is a brilliant biography that goes deep into the life of a theological giant. One of the many things I liked about this biography was it brings you into the reasons and motives for most of his works.

Classics:

Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas is an excellent adventure novel. I usually don’t like to read books after I’ve seen the movie (the one that came out several years ago), but this was well worth it. The movie and the book are nothing alike except for the similar themes of revenge and imprisonment.

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson is another adventure novel that was a joy to read. If you want to find out where the name “Long John Silver” comes from, I would suggest reading this book.

Persuasion by Jane Austen was my fourth Austen novel. Though it wasn’t as good as some of here other works (IMHO), it still displayed the good ole Jane Austin style of writing that I’ve come to like. I find her to be a very talented and witty author.

Gospel:

God is the Gospel by John Piper, is a typical piper book, loaded with scripture and a strong theological foundation. This may be one of my favorite Piper books because God used it to give me a better and deeper understanding of the gospel.

Living the Cross Centered life by C.J. Mahaney is another book that gave me a better understanding of the gospel. The book was loaded with gospel truths and practical advice that encourages you to live the cross centered life.

Recent Fiction:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan and I don’t just read them to engage the culture! Rowling is a brilliant author who has brought us one of the most popular serious of all time. She brings to life a story that is very intricate and always throws you for a loop.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is the final book in the Harry Potter series. Does Harry and Voldermort live or die? Is Snape good or bad? What is the seventh Horcrux? Those are all questions that are answered in this book. And yes, I was one of those people who spent all of last Saturday reading it. All I can say is Wow!

“When I first began reading through the Bible I looked for some unifying themes. I concluded that there are many and that if we make just one theme the theme (such as ‘covenant’ or ‘kingdom’) we run the danger of reductionism. However, one of the main ways to read the Bible is as the ages-long struggle between true faith and idolatry. In the beginning, human beings were made to worship and serve God, and to rule over all created things in God’s name (Gen 1:26­–28). Paul understands humanity’s original sin as an act of idolatry: “They exchanged the glory of the immortal God…and worshipped and served created things rather than the creator”(Rom 1:21–25). Instead of living for God, we began to live for ourselves, or our work, or for material goods. We reversed the original intended order. And when we began to worship and serve created things, paradoxically, the created things came to rule over us. Instead of being God’s vice-regents, ruling over creation, now creation masters us. We are now subject to decay and disease and disaster. The final proof of this is death itself. We live for our own glory by toiling in the dust, but eventually we return to the dust—the dust “wins” (Gen 3:17–19). We live to make a name for ourselves but our names are forgotten. Here in the beginning of the Bible we learn that idolatry means slavery and death.”

read on here.

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath for the release of the 4th of July Bike Tour Video. Now it’s here! Enjoy.

I am on the verge of launching into a study of the book of Hebrews and was wondering if anyone would like to join. I am also curious if any of you have suggested commentaries or other resources that would be helpful? I have wanted to do this study for a while but have been putting it off. It will require significant time and energy which is now available and accompanied by an inprocrastinatable hunger brought on by Heb 1:1-4.

I appreciate any help and would like to study and discuss Hebrews on this blog if anyone else is interested.

Get ready, this is really a dose of Chesterton. Enjoy!

 

 

The larger part of womankind, however, have had to fight for things slightly more intoxicating to the eye than the desk or the typewriter; and it cannot be denied that in defending these, women have developed the quality called prejudice to a powerful and even menacing degree. But these prejudices will always be found to fortify the main position of the woman, that she is to remain a general overseer, an autocrat within small compass but on all sides. On the one or two points on which she really misunderstands the man’s position, it is almost entirely in order to preserve her own. The two points on which woman, actually and of herself, is most tenacious may be roughly summarized as the ideal of thrift and the ideal of dignity.

Unfortunately for this book it is written by a male, and these two qualities, if not hateful to a man, are at least hateful in a man. But if we are to settle the sex question at all fairly, all males must make an imaginative attempt to enter into the attitude of all good women toward these two things. The difficulty exists especially, perhaps, in the thing called thrift; we men have so much encouraged each other in throwing money right and left, that there has come at last to be a sort of chivalrous and poetical air about losing sixpence. But on a broader and more candid consideration the case scarcely stands so.

Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance. Heaven knows I for one speak disinterestedly in the matter; for I cannot clearly remember saving a half-penny ever since I was born. But the thing is true; economy, properly understood, is the more poetic. Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. It is prosaic to throw money away, because it is prosaic to throw anything away; it is negative; it is a confession of indifference, that is, it is a confession of failure. The most prosaic thing about the house is the dustbin, and the one great objection to the new fastidious and aesthetic homestead is simply that in such a moral menage the dustbin must be bigger than the house. If a man could undertake to make use of all things in his dustbin he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare. When science began to use by-products; when science found that colors could be made out of coaltar, she made her greatest and perhaps her only claim on the real respect of the human soul. Now the aim of the good woman is to use the by-products, or, in other words, to rummage in the dustbin.

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“Of course, the main fact about education is that there is no such thing. It does not exist, as theology or soldiering exist. Theology is a word like geology, soldiering is a word like soldering; these sciences may be healthy or no as hobbies; but they deal with stone and kettles, with definite things. But education is not a word like geology or kettles. Education is a word like “transmission” or “inheritance”; it is not an object, but a method. It must mean the conveying of certain facts, views or qualities, to the last baby born. They might be the most trivial facts or the most preposterous views or the most offensive qualities; but if they are handed on from one generation to another they are education. Education is not a thing like theology, it is not an inferior or superior thing; it is not a thing in the same category of terms. Theology and education are to each other like a love-letter to the General Post Office. Mr. Fagin was quite as educational as Dr. Strong; in practice probably more educational. It is giving something–perhaps poison. Education is tradition, and tradition (as its name implies) can be treason.

This first truth is frankly banal; but it is so perpetually ignored in our political prosing that it must be made plain. A little boy in a little house, son of a little tradesman, is taught to eat his breakfast, to take his medicine, to love his country, to say his prayers, and to wear his Sunday clothes. Obviously Fagin, if he found such a boy, would teach him to drink gin, to lie, to betray his country, to blaspheme and to wear false whiskers. But so also Mr. Salt the vegetarian would abolish the boy’s breakfast; Mrs. Eddy would throw away his medicine; Count Tolstoi would rebuke him for loving his country; Mr. Blatchford would stop his prayers, and Mr. Edward Carpenter would theoretically denounce Sunday clothes, and perhaps all clothes. I do not defend any of these advanced views, not even Fagin’s. But I do ask what, between the lot of them, has become of the abstract entity called education. It is not (as commonly supposed) that the tradesman teaches education plus Christianity; Mr. Salt, education plus vegetarianism; Fagin, education plus crime. The truth is, that there is nothing in common at all between these teachers, except that they teach. In short, the only thing they share is the one thing they profess to dislike: the general idea of authority. It is quaint that people talk of separating dogma from education. Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from education. It is education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.”

~G.K. Chesterton from What’s Wrong With the World