Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

April 05, 2005

The 1st "R"

I like to ask people what they're reading. You know, at that point in the conversation when most people ask, "So what do you do for a living?" I ask instead, "Read any good books lately?" It seems to take people aback. It's an unexpected question. I don't ask just anybody, mind you. Only people who I think might have interesting answers.

As for me, I'm reading George Marsden's Jonathan Edwards: A Life. A very satisfying book that seems to put the Great Awakening into a sound perspective, neither psychologizing the episode, as other historians have done, nor applying some current social theory fad, but simply describing the event and the various reactions and interpretations of Edwards and his contemporaries. Edwards himself comes across as a remararkable figure, not without faults and foibles. This book has stirred a desire in me to read some of Edwards own writings (never have, except of course for the famous Sinners in the Hands . . . sermon) and also to read more about the Awakening.

The Edwards book is serious and stimulating, so my other current read is pure entertainment. Stephen Lawhead's Taliesin. Lawhead ties together the Arthurian legend with that of Atlantis. I'm not familiar enough with this genre to know if that's a highly imaginative idea or just your run-of-the-mill fantasy trope, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the book. A highly-sophisticated and "advanced" Atlantis is the setting for one story-line, while the other is set against a backdrop of pre-Christian Wales. The book is the first of a trilogy (of course . . . it wouldn't be a "fantasy" if it didn't come in threes!). It's too early for me to give it my unequivocal thumbs up, but I'm definitely finding it difficut to put down.

BTW, read any good books lately?


Blogger Donna said...

Hi Bob. The 'good book' I read recently is When I Don't Desire God, by John Piper. It was a crucial read for me at a time when I was feeling so far from God and felt helpless to move out of my rut. Piper showed me how to fight for joy in the Lord, and the fight is not based on feelings. I was inspired anew to memorize scripture.

I am currently reading Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. No thoughts on it yet. Blessings!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main book I am reading is the Bible...using 2 versions, once again trying to read through the whole book this year. I have some health related books I must get to try to help the blood pressure problem on my own so much as I can (not appreciating the side effects of the doctor given drugs I am on). Wish I had more time for the FUN kind of books! Someday... I do enjoy hearing of your reading and your opinions of such books though!

8:07 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Donna, I'm really glad the Piper book is helping you. He's another writer that seems to get the focus right. I'll have to put that one on my to-read list. Also, the Alcorn book is another I've been interested in. Maybe you can blog about it after you're through.

Elizabeth, I do hope you get a chance to read for sheer pleasure. It's tremendously therapeutic thing to do. When I read history or fiction--I get away from myself for a blessed while. Always a good thing!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Yikes, I always seem to be "in the middle" of a book. I did finish The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind a couple of weeks ago.

Now I'm reading Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp and a book about church history by Mark Noll.

4:24 PM  

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