July 2011

Jim’s #26: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

July 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

What a classic!  I don’t really have a ton to say about the book since I’m sure everyone that’s reading this has already seen the movie and most have probably read the book.  It was great.  A great story line, wonderful character development, and altogether fun and engaging.  After reading the Magician’s Nephew first, it is clear through some references in this one, that this was meant to be read first.  Jon Freiburg’s comment on my last post points to a neat article in Christianity Today on the chronology of the anthology. Again, the depiction of Aslan as the Christ figure was great to read.  There were other biblical features that Lewis through in that I thought were particularly neat.  The deep magic of course referred to the law and the broken stone table simulating the torn veil.  Aslan’s words to Lucy and Susan on the night of his death were neat as well, instructing them to keep him company, but only to a certain moment, after which he would need to proceed on his own like the Garden of Gethsemane.  After his resurrection, it was the girls who were the first to see him as well and then he […]

Ron’s #27: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

July 31, 2011 // 2 Comments

Outside of the novella The Old Man and the Sea, I haven’t read any long works from Ernest Hemingway. As an English teacher, I ought to be ashamed of myself. I love his short stories and his terse writing style, so I added a Hemingway novel to my reading list this summer, and I was glad that I did. Published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises was Hemingway’s first novel. It tells the story of a group of American and British expatriates living in Paris after the First World War. I know that many of the reviews for this book discuss how the novel captures the hopelessness and disenfranchisement the “lost generation” felt after the war. I suppose this is true, but what I noticed is that this is a group of folks that drinks and drink and drinks. After the tsunamis of beer, wine, and coffee consumed at Parisian and Spanish cafes, I felt like I needed to call AA to get help. The narrator Jake Barnes is a writer in love with Lady Brett Ashley, a gregarious Brit in love with every man she meets, with the exception of her husband. Jake loves Brett, but Brett loves Mike, […]

Mark’s #35 – A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden

July 29, 2011 // 5 Comments

Concluding my church history series at The Harbor, I choose to do the final message on Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).  I didn’t have time to read Marsden’s 600+ definitive biography on Edwards, but I was delighted to see that he wrote this much shorter (152 pages) biography which was also available instantly via kindle download (I did read several other articles and sections of books, as well as  listened to several other lectures and sermons as well). Like most people today, the image that I had formed of Jonathan Edwards growing up was that of the old Puritan, no fun, all hellfire and brimstone, “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” picture in my minds-eye. Like most caricatures, the real Jonathan Edwards is very different.  As it turns out, he is quite a different person with quite a wide and vast impact on philosophy, theology,  church history, and American history. Marsden does a great job of capturing the depth of Edward’s story, his advanced intellect, dogged persistence, theological and philosophical contributions, his home-life, study habits (13 hours a day), his preaching as the catalyst for the first Great Awakening, and his affect on America and Christian world missions for  the […]

Mark’s #34 – Calvin by Bruce Gordon

July 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

Currently I’m preaching through a Church History series at The Harbor. One of the catalysts for the series was to provide me with a motivation to read this in-depth biography of John Calvin (1509-1564) by Professor Bruce Gordon of Yale. John Calvin, and the subsequent theological system known as Calvinism has led many to take an impassioned stand either for or against the man and the system.  Often, on both sides, the debaters are only vaguely aware of the main points of contention, often gleaning their thoughts and opinions from hearsay or passing references in sermons or books.  As such, Calvin is often cast either as a demoniac on the one hand, or an infallible and nearly divine figure on the other. Thus, as many in the world celebrated Calvin’s 500th birthday on July 10th, 2009, there were many biographies published that year.  Of those biographies, many of my sources pointed to this book as a deep, rich, balanced, and fair biography.  Having now read the book, I would agree with those assessments. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being absolute hatred of Calvin, 5 being neutral, and 10 being idolatrous worship, I would say Gordon rests mostly at a […]

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