Category Archives: Books

The Greatest Show on Earth

So the Library very kindly and conveniently notified me yesterday that they were holding Richard Dawkins’ latest book for me. I barely made it in the door to get it… in fact, the only reason they let me in is because the book was held. If I had to get it off the shelf, they wouldn’t have let me (Thus, I do not have Tile Your World, which I would like to review before tiling my bathroom floor).

So, similar to my reading through Coyne’s book, I will be posting various thoughts and insights as I read the book. Last night I read chapter 1, “Only A Theory?”. Here is my summary of points:

  • Creationists are idiots.
  • Evolutionists are persecuted in schools.
  • “Senior clergy and theologians” don’t have a problem with evolution, and so neither should you.
  • Creationists are idiots.
  • Defining terms: Theories and Facts.
  • Creationists are really idiots.

We’re off to a wonderful start.

Pretty Awesome

Doug Wilson announces that Canon Press is in the process of putting all of their titles on GoogleBooks.

Here are the titles now available…

“Reformed” is Not Enough
Against Christianity
The Victory According to Mark
The Lord’s Service
Trinity and Reality
The Promise of His Appearing
Deep Comedy
A Great Mystery
Building Her House
For a Glory and a Covering
Faith of Our Fathers
The Baptized Body
Critique of Modern Youth Ministry
Contours of Post-Maturity
Brightest Heaven of Invention
Reforming Marriage
Trial and Triumph
The Paideia of God
Fidelity
Praise Her in the Gates
Mother Kirk
Future Men
The Mantra of Jabez

Books Read List

Well, I kept a list of the books I read this year, and impressive it is not. For what its worth, though, here it is, along with my mini-reviews:

#1 Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design, Michael Shermer
Mostly an argument in favor of darwinian evolution. The points where he touched on the scientific elements of ID were light and mostly misrepresented it. The political/ideological critiques were a little more pointed and applicable, but didn’t seem to be as serious as he seemed to think.

#2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
Always good to read a HP novel. I wanted to at least read this one before 7 comes out. I’d like to have read them all, but come on. This is book #2 for the year, and I wasn’t going to kid myself.

#3 The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey
Boy, am I glad I finished it. It has some very useful information, but by the end I wanted to just throw it across the room every time he used one of his lame phrases (which I refuse to repeat) or talked about having a TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER (which you should hear echoing). I felt less and less like the book applied to me the more I got into his program. I have some debt (our van), and I don’t enjoy it, but I don’t think I feel as bad about it as Dave thinks I should. I pay more than the minimum payment, but I’m willing to bet that if Dave looked at my finances, he’d call me stupid or something along those lines.

At our church we’re very clear to distinguish between principles and methods. This book has great principles, but is too heavy on method. And by ‘too heavy’ I mean ‘my way or the highway’. It’s like saying that homeschooling is the only way to provide a christian education.

I recommend the book, but I’d warn you not to feel beaten down by the threats that Dave throws out for those that dare to not follow his plan to a T.

#4 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis
This I was reading to the girls before bed. I don’t remember when I finished Prince Caspian. I think it must have been this year, because I’m pretty sure it didn’t take six months to read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But maybe it did, I don’t know. But I know I finished this with the girls last week.

#5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling
Bittersweet.

#6 The Edge of Evolution, Michael Behe
good, worthwhile read.

#7 The Case for Covenant Communion, Gregg Strawbridge, ed.
I’ve been reading this for a long time… I think I got it for Christmas, maybe earlier. So anyhow, it’s good to finally be finished, even though it was a fun read. I especially liked the chapters by Rayburn, Meyers, Sutton, and Lusk.

#8 The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
Finished this with the girls. Virgil mentioned Puddleglum in a sermon, and Geneva thought it was great.

#9 Leepike Ridge, Nate Wilson
Fun little book. I borrowed it from some friends and read it in a day.

LibriVox

I just discovered this website, called LibriVox, which may interest some of y’all. It is audio recordings of various books in public domain.

People volunteer to read portions of books, and submit their recordings, and they are then made available to the public. Some of the books have just one reader, most use multiple readers. They have a pretty big catalog, including Austen, Chesterton, Dickens… Darwin. They have classics, philosophy, historical speeches, plays, and so on. They also have…. Wodehouse.

You can download the recordings chapter by chapter, or the whole book in a zip file. You can also subscribe to a RSS feed, and download it as a series of podcasts.

I just downloaded Chesterton’s The Man Who Knew Too Little. It is read by just one reader, and the audio quality of the recording is great. I wouldn’t complain at all about it. I also wouldn’t complain about the quality of the reader. He reads very well, and has an interesting accent that makes for good listening. It isn’t quite as peppy as professional recordings of books i’ve listened to, but that’s not a complaint.

So check it out.

Where I discuss: amillennialism

I just discovered a new book, due out next month, by Kim Riddlebarger. The book is called A Case for Amillennialism. It has an attractive cover.

From what little I’ve been able to find about it, it doesn’t appear to interact with the flavor of Postmillennialism that I believe to be accurate, which is explained on Jon’s blog, and also discussed on Wayne’s in the comments of this post. I emailed Dr. Riddlebarger about it. If I get a resposne, I’ll let you know.

I also wonder if he deals with the distinction between Amillennialism, and its elusive cousin ‘Optimistic Amillennialism’. If anyone can point me to something good to read on that, I’d appreciate it.

[update]

I heard back from Dr. Riddlebarger. Here’s the relevant portion of his email:

In the book, I do indeed take on postmillennarians of both stripes (the Edwardsian view of a literal thousand year reign yet to dawn, and the more moderate view–Mathison, Davis, Gentry et. al.).