Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Two Book Recommendations--Sort of
I don’t recommend books just to recommend them. I read a lot—not as much as I want—and try to be discerning. I am reading a novel now called Hold Up the Sky by an author named Patricia Sprinkle. I was not familiar with her, and I found this book, recently published, in our public library. It’s a decent read. It’s good for sitting on the (um-hum) throne and reading before going to sleep at night. It’s not great literature, and I have a couple of issues with the factuality behind it—it seems that characters are just plain dumb, but that may be the point: they seem so bent on living life their own ways that they won’t get help. For example, the main character has a severely disabled child but they are just about starving to death. Has she never heard of SSI? And enough happens to these characters in less than four months to do for a lifetime—divorce, rape, fire, abandonment, life-threatening illness, murder of a husband, horrible abuse, illegal immigration, family dysfunction, drug cartels, blah, blah. I also don’t get her point of view changes. But I keep turning the pages to see what happens, so it’s pretty good. Beach reading, I call it. And she does some things MUCH better than I do .
On the other hand, I am reading The Reason for God which I consider an absolute must and a book everyone should have some extra copies of to give away. Now, I would say that some Christians would have a problem with his dealing with evolutionary theory (he accepts some of it as a way that God created but rejects it as an encompassing explanation of origins). I know for one that John MacArthur would have a cow over it, literally. And I am conflicted on it. I don’t accept a 6,000 year old universe, but I can’t figure out why God would use a system that is essentially based on death to bring about a perfect world that produces a race of people who then fall into sin, bringing back death so that we need redemption. So we had death, perfection, then death, and now we are moving back to perfection? Evolution just does not fit a Christian world view. To me they are both leaps of faith.
Regardless of that, this book is well written for a secular, questioning, but sort-of-seeking audience. It is not short but it is also not dense. He has obviously read widely and knows what he’s talking about. I think it would be a great gift for someone who would seriously read it and consider it. A person would be without excuse after that—they would just have to admit they choose not to believe in Christ, not that intellectual reality is holding them back.
He has a wonderful chapter on the Trinity that I plan to share about later. We Christians sort of try to avoid the Trinity, but there is so much richness in that theology that we are sorry when we do.
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