Sunday, February 26, 2017

Reading of Late

I've had more time to read lately and wanted to comment on and recommend some books to consider. And my queue is always full, but certainly welcome good suggestions. 

The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot McKnight is a fascinating book that will challenge how you read the Bible. We pick and choose what we follow and believe and McKnight calls us on it. Very thought providing. Much to consider here.
"Many of my fine Christian friends, pastors, and teachers routinely made the claim that they were Bible-believing Christians, and they were committed to the whole Bible and that—and this was one of the favorite lines—”God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me!” They were saying two things and I add my response (which expresses my disturbance): One:    We believe everything the Bible says, therefore … Two:   We practice whatever the Bible says. Three:  Hogwash! Why say “hogwash,” a tasty, salty word I learned from my father? Because I was reading the same Bible they were reading, and I observed that, in fact—emphasize that word “fact”—whatever they were claiming was not in “fact” what they were doing. (Nor was I.) What I discovered is that we all pick and choose. I must confess this discovery did not discourage me as much as it disturbed me, and then it made me intensely curious (and it is why I wrote this book). The discoveries and disturbances converged onto one big question: How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?"
and he reminds us that Paul was adapting as he went along. 
"What about the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23, where Paul says his strategy is one of constant adaptation? Paul’s strategy was to be Jewish with Jews and to be like a Gentile with Gentiles. If Paul was already adapting first-century Jewish ideas to first-century Gentile situations, can we expect to do anything else? Can we imagine Paul wanting to back up in time to Moses’ day? To quote Paul, “By no means!”"
I will be processing this book for a long time. 

A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness is really a children's story with a powerful message. This monster is teaching a lesson that is needed at just the right time. We listened to this on Audible and it was magical. My reading consultant and hero wrote about it here.

Here are some quotes from the book:
“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” 
and
Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.”  

Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts by Andrew Robinson which is related to another book that I read years ago called The Story of Writing by the same author. I've been fascinated by how lost languages can be deciphered. The movie Arrival reminded me of this where one of the key themes in the book is trying to understand aliens.

The first section of the book talks about characteristics of written languages and then highlights how one would proceed to discover the meaning of a written text. The next section of the book tells the story of three great decipherments: Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Linear B and Mayan Glyphs. Fascinating. The rest of the book is about texts that are still undeciphered. Most interesting. Both books on this subject are fascinating to me.

I read the full story on the Linear B decipherment in an early book that I mentioned here.

More next time. Send me recommendations.

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