Category: Goodreads

5 of 5 stars to Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader edited by James D. Bratt

Even though it took me more than five years to finish this book, I loved it. James Bratt collected and introduced sixteen of Kuyper’s essays on a variety of subjects such as modernism, common grace, Calvinism and constitutional liberties, evolution, sphere sovereignty, and education. I found this unique photo in the book, and found some current application for his thoughts on sanctimoniousness and powerlessness.

Should you read this? Probably not first, though it does give a bunch of Kuyper’s foundational thoughts in one volume.

I’d recommend starting with Lectures on Calvinism, then Wisdom and Wonder, and then Our Worship. I’ve started making my way through his Collected Works in Public Theology, but it’s quite a number of thumb’s-widths wide.

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3 of 5 stars to It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

I appreciated the stories and principles in this book. I did not like the egalitarianism found near the end, but reading to the end was worth it because that’s when he at least let a little off the air out of his humble-brags. Anyway, a leader should keep learning, keep listening, and keep leading.

“the winning leader’s first principle: Optimism rules. And the corollary: Opportunities never cease. The bottom line: It’s your ship. Make it the best.”

Should you read this? If you lead somewhere, then yes, put this into your non-urgent but needing-a-shot-in-the-arm queue.

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5 of 5 stars to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

2019: This was my second time traveling with Bilbo, and this round I listened to more than half the book on Audible. Interesting fact about the audio version: the reader sang all the songs, which made me think about the songs differently, but didn’t make me want to listen to the reader’s “performance.” I still haven’t seen the 18 hours of movies (or whatever it is), but I do still enjoy the story. 

2017: For some reason I had it in my mind that Tolkien wrote this after the Trilogy, as a prequel, so I started with The Fellowship of the Ring a few years ago until I finished the three. Then I learned that I was wrong, The Hobbit did come first, though I really wasn’t looking forward to reading it at all.

I was wrong again. I liked this the best! I liked Bilbo. I enjoyed the ride, and a few unexpected turns in the story. So FIVE STARS! And I will recommend it to all my friends (if not with quite the enthusiasm as I recommend That Hideous Strength).

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2 of 5 stars to The Abolition of Sanity: C.S. Lewis on the Consequences of Modernism by Steve Turley

You could read Lewis’ The Abolition of Man without reading this. You should not read this without reading Lewis (and while you’re at it, That Hideous Strength). That said, there’s no harm in reading this, especially if it reminds you to go and read Lewis.

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3 of 5 stars to Beauty Matters: Creating a High Aesthetic in School Culture by Steve Turley

This is short, good, and would have been even gooder (sic)(in my opinion) if it had been shorter. 

The first part of the book is gold. Does beauty belong with truth and goodness? True! Should we get better at seeing how beauty helps us love what is truly lovely? For real, it matters, and how much more so in a society schooled in subjectivity and sentimentality! Should we think about the best ways for our classrooms to commend beauty? Amen, so let it be.

It’s the second half of the book that I was less encouraged by, even though the author was trying to give some examples. But do we need to think about the Whiteboard-as-Altar to get the message? Hmmmm…. Would God be more pleased with our commendations of beauty if we held science classes in gardens?

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3 of 5 stars to Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

I am less interested in the EOS ®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System as a “complete system.” That said, as someone involved in a few different groups trying to DO STUFF, I appreciated some of the questions that Wickman urges people to SOLVE.

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3 of 5 stars to The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great by Ben Shapiro

Shapiro frames sharp criticism against our current cultural hatred of the very principles that built our culture. However, his call to return to Jerusalem and Athens, as representing virtue and reason, is not enough. He suggests that virtue and reason have worked to give us great things, and that is sort of true. But they worked, to the degree they did, among men who worshipped the Triune God (of Christianity). The eternal Creator and Redeemer is the only transcendent grounds for caring about virtue and reason. Without submission to Him, haters gonna hate, even when the hate destroys them.

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5 of 5 stars to Wisdom and Wonder by Abraham Kuyper

2019: This was my second read through the book, and it is as good as I remember. The church is most definitely not the boss of science and art, but the church should most definitely encourage Christians both to work in the spheres of science and art and also to appreciate where God’s common grace has allowed unbelievers (even though often inconsistent with their stated worldview) to contribute to humanity.


2013: More deep and wide application of Christ’s lordship over every thumb’s width in the universe.

It convicts me even more concerning my narrow, dualistic, wrong-headed Christian thinking. I cannot be little-zealed in helping to enculturate the next disciples.

There is so much work to do, just to expand the imaginations of men for the work they can do. Business and products wait to be created. Medical and governing solutions sit unconsidered. Music and media thresholds are far from being crossed.

As Christians we do not have the imagination, the ambition, the objective restraints, or the readiness to give ourselves to it. These come from grace, and we need that most of all.

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5 of 5 stars to North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

Book #2 in the Wingfeather Saga was no let down, though it’s not quite as light a story as #1. The plot surprised me multiple times all the way to the end. At a few points in the middle of the book I’ll admit I was irritated, but in good ways, because I wanted to know what’s going to happen? but also knew that certain events meant that answers were even farther away. Excited to start #3 soon.

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