4 of 5 stars to Joy for the World: How Christianity Lost Its Cultural Influence and Can Begin Rebuilding It by Greg Forster
2017 – I don’t share Forster’s view on the Christian-or-not founding of the United States, nor do I share his view on a variety of other specifics in the book, but I definitely share his enthusiasm for “awakening from the dogmatic slumbers of fundamentalism” and very much enjoyed sharing the “victory feast of [his] liberation” from dualism (page 16). I would recommend this for anyone trying to add a little more Kuyperian into his worldview who doesn’t necessarily want to read about, or by, Kuyper himself.
2018 – Reread this and talked through it with the men’s group at our church. Forster is not Kuyper, and I think he’s more happy about that than I am, but it still provoked a lot of good discussion about how Christians can influence our neighbors with more joyful living and labor.
3 of 5 stars to On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
This book is often near the top of the favorites list by some writers I like. I still like those writers better than this book. It’s the only one by King I’ve read, and it gives me good reason to keep it that way. I was most interested in by the Postscript where he describes what it meant to him to get back to writing after his accident.
3 of 5 stars to Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover
I grew up watching Michael Jordan, and this was an interesting perspective from his first trainer. This is not a book about Christlike greatness. It’s not a book about how to have friends or care about anyone other than yourself. At the same time I found some of the reminders timely and a spur to confidence.
5 of 5 stars to Reset by David Murray
I give 5 stars when I really like a book (as is the Goodreads standard) but also when I would immediately start rereading the book. Such is Reset.
I did not want to like it. I am less impressed with guys who talk about taking a break and seek my encouragement from men who spend until they are broke. That said, this was the free ChristianAudio book a couple months ago, I started to listen, Mo also started to listen, and we realized that both have some work to do in the various repair garages as Murray refers to them.
My hard copy arrived last week and I plan to use it like a workbook over the next month or so.
4 of 5 stars to Why Ministers Must Be Men by Douglas Wilson
Brief observations on the relevant Bible texts along with the implications of what corporate liturgy teaches about God’s nature and our relationship with Him. Plus, some inimitable Wilsonian jibes exhorting guys to put on their man pants.
5 of 5 stars to Death by Living by N.D. Wilson
Provokes your eyes to see. And to cry. My eyes were busy with both blessings. (2013)
Finished again in July 2015. I was not less blessed by the second reading, though more excited for non-dualism and daily deaths.
Finished again in May 2018 with the L2L leaders at our church. Also reread Empire of Bones at the same time. Glorious.
5 of 5 stars to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Read in 2018 with the ECS board. This must have been my third, maybe fourth, time through. It was also my first time through after having read Planet Narnia a couple times. It was better than ever. Apparently I am “old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
My Bible class started to read through The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment the last Quarter of the year. We didn’t quite make it halfway, but I wanted to start rereading it again for myself this summer anyway. Though a repetitive Puritan (is that redundant?), Burroughs convicted me many days in class. If I can keep up the reading I’m sure I’ll have more quotes to share.
The following one made me think about a few things: social media and Matthew 15:10-20 and emotional control. It’s easy to blame our negativity and fear and irritation on external things, when in fact the problem is in our own hearts. We can, and should, learn the art of a calm heart even when the outside is neither smooth or still. (Also, we can unfollow as necessary.)
“A great man will permit common people to stand outside his doors, but he will not let them come in and make noise in his closet or bedroom while he deliberately retires from all worldly business. So a well-tempered spirit may enquire after things outside in the world, and suffer some ordinary cares and fears to break into the suburbs of the soul, so as to touch lightly upon the thoughts. Yet it will not on any account allow an intrusion into the private room, which should be wholly reserved for Jesus Christ as his inward temple.” (23)
5 of 5 starts to Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson
2018: What Lewis’ That Hideous Strength is to The Abolition of Man, so N.D.’s Empire of Bones is to Death by Living. I reread this along with the Capstone class at our school for sake of leadership training. Great truths enfleshed in great characters. Makes you want to sing while they cut your heart out. You have a life. The time to spend it is now.
And I forgot how much I really am interested in the fourth volume hopefully coming soon.
2013: If you’re looking for a stout, fictional story to complement the philosophy and autobiography in Death by Living, then look here. In other words, this book will fire up your laughing and life-spending cylinders.
5 of 5 stars to The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse
Reread this again with the ECS Board. Fantastic all the way through.
This book is fantastic in almost every way. If the Senator would have used BC and AD instead of BCE and CE, and not capitulated on the age of the earth, then it would have been amazing. As it is, I still give it five stars, will be giving copies of it away as gifts, and encouraging everyone I know to read it. Really, really, good all the way to the end.