September 2010

Mark’s #31 – The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World by R.C. Sproul (203 pages)

September 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Consequences of Ideas is a brief survey of the history of the philosophers and their philosophies that have shaped the world we live in today. In the introduction R.C. Sproul states, “This book is written not for philosophy scholars but for laypersons — albeit educated laypersons.”   While it is a ‘brief survey’ of philosophy, many of the concepts and ideas are not easily understood or explained.  In short, this was not a lazy Sunday afternoon read.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the review, and in some cases, the introduction to many of the great philosophers and their thoughts on ultimate reality. Here’s a list of each of the chapters, which will help you get an idea of the direction and content of the book: The First Philosophers 13 Plato: Realist and Idealist 27 Aristotle: ThePhilosopher 39 Augustine: Doctor of Grace 51 Thomas Aquinas: Angelic Doctor 65 René Descartes: Father of Modern Rationalism 79 John Locke: Father of ModernEmpiricism 91 David Hume: Skeptic 103 Immanuel Kant: Revolutionary Philosopher 117 Karl Marx: Utopian 133 Søren Kierkegaard: Danish Gad?y 147 Friedrich Nietzsche: Atheistic Existentialist 159 Jean-Paul Sartre: Litterateur and Philosopher 173 Darwin and Freud: In?uential Thinkers 187 Conclusion: Gilson’s Choice We read this […]

Mark’s #30: ‘Dug Down Deep’ by Joshua Harris (241 pages)

September 18, 2010 // 1 Comment

Dug Down Deep is a mix between an introduction to systematic theology and an autobiography.   Joshua Harris, perhaps most famous for his books ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ and ‘Boy Meets Girl’, wrote this book to show his journey of discovering the importance of studying, discerning, and embracing sound theology.  Along the way, each chapter deals with a specific area of doctrine. This book is a great book for the young, restless, and reformed (or reforming) crowd.  Harris makes it clear which authors and pastors he draws heavily upon.  It is the typical list among the new Calvinist movement – Piper, Grudem, Packer, Dever, Mahaney.   As such, those who are already familiar with, and have read, the works of these authors will not get many new insights into doctrine, life, and faith. However, for the new believer or the young Christian aged 16-35, I would gladly recommend this book.  Joshua does a good job of showing the connection between life and doctrine, which can sometimes be lost in the study of systematic theology.

Mark’s #29: The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger (222 pages)

September 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

As I sit down to write this short post, my wife warns me, “You know that book is a classic. You can’t say anything bad about it, it will make you look stupid.” Hmmm…. I’ll try my best to not look like an idiot…. Written in 1951, this is a ‘classic’ book about teenage angst, rebellion, and cynical adolescence.  The story follows two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caufield right after he get’s get out of prep school.   It’s written from an autobiographical perspective.  As such, like many 16-year-olds, Holden seems to have a high view of his own wisdom and insights on people, relationships, and life in general. As the story progresses, the reader begins to see a bit behind the veil into the insecurities and lostness of the kid.  Everywhere he goes he seems to run into some kind of conflict – always the result of others actions, not his of course. I had a hard time with this novel. Probably because, as my wife implied, I’m not well trained with the ‘classics’ yet, thus, I’m an idiot.  I found the plot to be a bit too nebulous.  I was hoping that he would at […]

Ron’s #34: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

September 12, 2010 // 6 Comments

For me, reviewing a book on parenting is like reviewing a book on snowboarding. I know what a snowboard is, I understand the theory of how to snowboard, I have seen snowboarders (good and bad ones), and some of my best friends have snowboarded sometime in their lives. I, however, have no experience with a snowboard. As Kristie and I move toward adoption, I thought that I should read a few books to begin thinking about parenting. Lots of friends like Shepherding a Child’s Heart, so it’s a good place to begin.  In a statement, the essence of this book is, “Help your child learn to honor and obey you as you honor and obey God.” Tedd Tripp shows that in this “circle of blessing” is where the child is richly blessed. I liked that the main focus of this book is to place God at the center of your family. A child is not at the center of it. Unfortunately, we have several friends where the child is the center, and the parents cater to every whine and whim of the kid. It’s sad, as they don’t see it, almost blinded by their “love” for the child. The child […]

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