Tuesday, October 13, 2009

John's October Reading

Currently Reading:

The Compass Rose by Ursula Le Guin

This is a book of short stories that seem to linger in the grey zone between science fiction and fantasy. I'm starting to develop a taste for Le Guin...

Primeval Saints by James Jordan

I've read a fair bit of James Jordan over the years (mostly on the Biblical Horizons website) and he's always stimulating. In this book he looks at the patriarchs in Genesis. My wife read it a while ago, and now it's my turn.

A Passion for Books by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan

A modern classic in the books about books genre. The subtitle says it all: "A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for and Appreciating Books."

Scientific Mythologies by James Herrick

This is a true "Science and Christianity" book, but it's also "Science Fiction and Christianity". Herrick examines the interplay between science and science fiction over the past century, and some of the myths that have arisen in both. I think this book has a really cool cover:

Finished Recently:

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre

This is a gritty, "realistic" spy thriller, not at all like the James Bond books I read as a kid.

Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport by Richard Mouw

The idea of this book comes from a scene from the 1979 film Hardcore (which I have not seen) in which a Dutch Reformed elder from Grand Rapids attempts to explain the five points of Calvinism to a prostitute at Las Vegas airport. Which raises a whole lot of questions, that this book attempts to explore: How does TULIP relate to everyday Christianity? Is Calvinism more that just the five points? Do we refer to the "Reformed distinctives" when we explain the gospel to non-Christians? I really enjoyed this book up to chapter 8, when Mouw's inclusivism bubbled to the surface.

Travel with Robert Murray McCheyne by Derek Prime

Note the non-standard spelling of M'Cheyne's surname. Still, this is a solid contribution to a worthwhile series. It is a biography combined with a travel guide, which means the reader is treated to some lovely, if somewhat gratuitous, pictures of Edinburgh, Dundee and Jerusalem.

Minority Report by Carl Trueman

I heard Carl Trueman speak in Melbourne a few months ago. Hearing him was great and reading him better. This book has several shorter pieces from his Wages of Spin column on the reformation21 website, as well as four longer pieces. Two themes emerge from his writing. The first is the necessity of studying (and understanding!) church history. Not all that surprising, really, given that Trueman is Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at WTS. The second theme is a bit more surprising: he critiques the "mere Christianity" popular in modern evangelical circles, which thrives at the expense of a robust confessional orthodoxy. Trueman's perspective comes out most clearly in his review of Is The Reformation Over? by Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom. Thought-provoking stuff.


Stephen McDonald said...

"Note the non-standard spelling of M'Cheyne's surname."

Althought I always spell my surname "Mc", both "M'" and "Mc" are actually abbreviations of "Mac". There are documents where people use all 3 forms for their own name (usually using the shorter forms as they get further down the page). I suspect "M'Cheyne" is standard usage because that's they way he spelled it, but either of the other forms are acceptable.

Alistair Bain said...

Compass Rose is the name of the ill-fated WWII corvette in the classic novel The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat. You should read that one John (if you haven't already)

I'll check out Trueman's book. If his writing is better than his lecturing then it must be good.