September 2011

Brad’s no. 8 Don’t Waste Your Life by Piper

September 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

This will be short and sweet. I am doing this without a keyboard. I have read most of this book before. The part that I read changed my life; read it again and was even more deeply convicted. It is an amazing, passionate, and biblical plea to love God with your entire life. If you want to stay blissfully enamored with the lies of this world, don’t read this book. Share on Facebook

JRF’s #29- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

September 26, 2011 // 0 Comments

This was the second novel I picked up during my trip to China last winter. It is a beautifully written story about two young men from well – to – do backgrounds who are sent into the Chinese country side for “re-education” after their parents are imprisoned for being wealthy and educated during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  They eventually discover a horde of western literature and make it their goal to use it to “civilize” the beautiful young village seamstress they have fallen in love with. While I think the intention of the author was to praise the power of Western Enlightenment thinking to free the passions of those under repressive communist regimes, as I tried to apply a Biblical Worldview to this story I noticed a deeper truth being affirmed: we are all sinful and lost without Christ.  While creativity, hope, and love are suffocated in communism while power, corruption, and poverty thrive, the passions and liscence and greed promoted by Enlightenment thinking are just as deadly.  Christ-less communism and Christ-less capitalism all lead to the same place – hell, although I admit one route might be more fun than the other. I enjoyed the writing style and some of […]

Ron’s #36: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

September 15, 2011 // 1 Comment

I put my goal to read Moby Dick on hold in order to read The Scarlet Letter as I prepare to teach it with my AP Language & Composition class. As Hawthorne and Melville were friends, I didn’t think that Melville would mind. While I read and taught The Scarlet Letter before, I never had the appreciation for it as I did in this reading. I was captivated by the story, but the language and style of its writing was preeminent for me. Hawthorne crafts a beautifully written story that tells the familiar tale of Hester Prynne’s public shame and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale’s private tormented guilt after an adulterous affair set in the backdrop of Puritan Boston. The story is simple, as Hester faces a judgmental crowd in the town, and Dimmesdale suffers from a burning conscience as he does not admit to his sin. One man, Roger Chillingworth—Hester’s husband—knows the secret and is bent on revenge against them both. While The Scarlet Letter is often used to criticize and demonize the Puritan era, it rather shows the importance of what the consequences of sin lead to within our hearts. The public consequences are temporary, but the private consequences are […]

JRF’s #28 – The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

September 13, 2011 // 2 Comments

I have been listening to this audio book in my car on the way to and from work for the last six months or so.  Here is what I have learned: – Dietrich Bonhoeffer was incredibly smart – Dietrich Bonhoeffer was incredibly passionate about Christ – I am not a audial learner Not only did I find that I retain far less information by hearing it than by reading it (and making notes), but the 5 minute drive to and from work is not enough to saturate in the information.  This is a book that requires much mental chewing and spiritual digestion.  Bonhoeffer is very philosophical in his approach and this left me lost very often and a few times wondering if his philosophical conclusions were scripturally solid, although I wasn’t able to keep pace with his reasoning most of the time so to question the conclusion without following the path may not be wise. The few nuggets I did retain however made it all worthwhile.  The large portion of the book that is an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount I appreciated as Bonhoeffer forces the reader to take seriously the demands of Jesus to live out the […]

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