January 2011

JRF’s #3 – James: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries by James Moo

January 30, 2011 // 2 Comments

Our community group decided to spend 5 weeks going through James so I thought I would read through this commentary as well. I took a winterm class from Douglas Moo on James during seminary was impacted by his knowledge coupled with his obvious pastoral and missionary heart (not often found in a scholar of such caliber). In that class we used his Pillar Commentary primarily so I was interested to see what differed in this more concise version. I was surprised and excited at how exegetical and technical this small book was.  Overall it was very helpful; scholarly, yet accessible.  I have two criticisms – one trivial and one slightly more important. First, it is a pet peeve of mine when commentaries phonetically spell Greek words in English.  If someone knows enough Greek to benefit from its mention then you would think that they would be able to read it in the original script.  Methinks it is just easier for the writer or printers not to have to change fonts. Second, and more importantly, I found myself frustrated that Moo didn’t always take as strong a stand on some of the many difficult passages (and therefore multiple possible interpretations) in […]

Brad’s #1: Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut

January 27, 2011 // 2 Comments

Well this is my first book of the year, my first book read on my new Kindle, my first post for the blog, and also my first foray into Vonnegut.  I refer to him simply as Vonnegut in order to buy some whit of credibility with any scholarly types who might read this.  Though, my admitting this is my first of his works read surely undermines my efforts.  Well apparently my attempt at creating something of meaning ended up being a foolish illusion…much like John, the protagonist of the tale. Let me start with a brief summary of the story.  John, an aspiring author, is seeking to write a book about America’s reactions on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  This leads him to begin investigating the life of the late Dr. Felix Hoenikker, one of the primary minds behind the atomic bomb.  The book however, ends up being the MacGuffin (albeit a symbolically relevant one)  that introduces John to Hoenikker’s three children: Newton is a genius midget; Angela is emotionally cold whose only catharsis to lifes traumas is furiously playing the violin; Franklin is socially awkward,  fascinated with miniature models and disappears after high school only […]

JRF’s #2 – Fern-seed and Elephants (and Other Essays on Christianity) by C.S. Lewis

January 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

Ok.  I know I got carried away with this one.  There were just so many quotable quotables!  I promise to try and shorten these reviews from now on. This book is a collection of essays and papers by Lewis I picked up in a second hand bookstore in England about 10 years ago and never got around to reading until now.   As with all of Lewis’ writings that I have read so far, while I find myself disagreeing at times, I always am challenged and edified by the thoughts of this brilliant Christian thinker. Here is a “brief” overview of each essay: Membership: Lewis explains that being members of the Body of Christ is something radically different than the “unity” so eagerly sought and so energetically peddled by the world. Unity in the worlds’ eyes is more properly identified as uniformity. Being a member of the living Body of Christ is more than being a homogenous unit in a collective. Lewis reminds us that being “members” of Christ’s Body isn’t being a “member” of a club but being a “member” in the sense of a body part – “what we should call organs, things essentially different from, and complementary […]

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