Showing posts from November, 2012

book response: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (2012)

Description unavailable (Photo credit: cindypepper) If Holden Caufield's soul was divided into seven horcruxes, each part bringing with it one aspect of his character, and put into new characters and set it in the English country side instead of New York City, one might discover Rowling's new world in The Casual Vacancy. What took J.D. Salinger to describe in The Catcher in the Rye, Rowling does in The Casual Vacancy, but across more characters and age groups. I am not saying that Rowling's work is inferior at all, but she can plumb the depths of the human soul with all it's earnestness, hypocrisy, pain, vengefulness, passions high and low, like Salinger. However, Rowling uses a dozen major characters, almost all well developed and tangible, instead of two. Rowling does develop the story around one character who dies at the beginning of the story, yet had provided a foil for so many citizens in his town.

This story passed my nap test. Every Saturday afternoon, I sit in…

book response: Jesus- A Theography (2012)

Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have collaborated on a new book to help clueless Christians like myself, that Jesus was not lying when he said all the scriptures testify about him, John 5:39. I'm very grateful for their efforts. As I've engaged with the violent and genocidal passages of the Old Testament, the authors refer to it as the First Testament, I've been helped by learning how the Ante-Nicene fathers saw them allegorically, and in this book, the benefit of reading this way still, in our (post-) modern age. The first chapter, looking at the representation of Jesus in Genesis 1 is a relief, disentangling that chapter from a battle over the age of the earth, revealing it's portrayal of Christ. One method of interpretation divides the church the other unites it. I don't think they are telling believers anything new. In fact, I think they are introducing to us clueless evangelicals and fundamentalists what the historic church has already discovered. Although Sweet…

been reading and thinking

Sometimes a poorly reasoned book written by an earnest believer can start a ball rolling on reading well reasoned books by other earnest believers, which can cause this earnest believer to earnestly believe a little differently. But it is hard to say, whilst on that journey to the land of "little differently", if one is merely moving to a different view on the same country, or really traveling farther afield. Two of the well reasoned books I've finished are Divine Presence amid Violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua by Walter Brueggemann and The Joshua Delusion?: Rethinking Genocide in the Bible by Douglas S. Earl. The Israelite invasion of Canaan with it's incitement to genocide by "God" has always bothered me, as it has many others, and as it should. Taken literally, it's a behavior inconsistent with the command to not kill. I'm leaning toward the idea of hyperbolic language. Earl goes much further than that, but not out of orthodoxy. One po…