books i am reading

How to Read the Bible Book by Book  by Fee and Stuart. I have been reading this book for a while. It is a guide to reading the entire Bible with notes to point things out if you are not a theologian and if you don’t know biblical languages. I am on page 183 out of over 400 pages. It is totally screwing up my pattern of reading the Bible in one year which I have done for decades, but I am learning things. For instance, today’s reading is Isaiah 40:12-41:29. There is only about a third of a page of material to read, but I also read the selection from the Bible. Each time a new book of the Bible is started, there is an entire section on that book to introduce it and summaries at the end.

One Year Book of Psalms by Wm. and Randy Petersen. Hands down, one of the most encouraging books I have read in quite a while. This book includes two pages per day. One page is the actual section of Psalms which is being studied and one page of commentary with historical notes etc. I love this book. I highly recommend it. I found this book at Powell’s Books in downtown Portland. I buy a lot of my books on Amazon or Abe Books, but the big advantage of a great bookstore is that you can sit down and peruse books which you might have overlooked on-line and find worthwhile purchases.

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A. Noll. I also purchased this at Powell’s. Mark Noll is an amazing author. I had already read (and own) a church history book of his, so I knew he was insightful, weighty and interesting. This book is all of those things, but I am reading it slowly, digesting it if you will. When Noll wants to make a point about how history brought us to the disaster where we are now, he is very thorough and circumspect. There is no doubt left when you are done. His knowledge of history is exactly what makes him insightful, weighty and interesting, but it also makes him very persuasive. The sad thing about this book is that the people who need to read this book the most never will. To prove that, I will gift you with the following quote from page 52.

“Evangelicals display a Gnostic strand when we treat the Bible as if it were an esoteric code to be deciphered as a way of obtaining privileged information about the creation of the natural world, the disposition of historical events, or the unfolding of the future.”

Noll may not be for everybody, but he ought to be read by a lot more people.

Another purchase from Powell’s was the book, Inside A Cutter’s Mind by Jerusha Clark with Dr. Earl Henslin. I am about a fourth of the way through this book. I always seem to be reading at least one psych book because I am a psych nurse. I ask everyone I admit if they have a history of cutting. The author is correct in saying that this is a practice of both men and women, although people predominantly believe that cutting is a female practice. I can have lots of mercy on lots of people because Jesus has mercy on me, but I confess that cutting was one GIANT MYSTERY to me. Possibly when I am done reading it I will blog about it. I have not seen a lot of research on cutting, and Christians just about never mention it.  Trust me when I say it goes on in your church, just like… Oh wait, we are not supposed to talk about that.

My book reading friends are in total shock that I only purchased three books at Powell’s, but I did not have a lot of room in my suitcase which the steward said was too large, but it wasn’t and he tried to send it to Bozeman, Montana, to teach me a lesson. He also made Horrible Coffee, but I am over it. I am over it now. Well, I will be over it pretty soon.

My last purchase at Powell’s, other than fantastic tea in their coffee shop with some sort of croissant thing with ham and cheese, was a really cool device for someone like me who reads books for content and buys used paperbacks most of the time. (No first editions or leather bound books except Bibles.)  I cannot find it anywhere on their web site or on the web in general, which is another great reason to visit Powell’s. It is a little orange metal device that holds your book open for you. It will also allow the book to stand if it is something like a cook book. It cost only $2.99. If you are like me and you can be constantly interrupted while reading and have a crowded desk, you will find it helpful. If you are a book worshiper, you will be aghast and want to run me out of town. To the book worshipers, let me say that it would not be the first time, and I read books for content and education, except for picture books, and I highlight and make notes all over my textbooks. I am done loaning out books, however, except to book worshipers, because no one else bothers to take care of them or even return them. So even book worshipers have their good points.



2 Responses to “books i am reading”

  1. Apple Hill Cottage Says:

    Here’s what Russell Moore said about evangelicals:
    It wasn’t even intentional on my part. I just noticed a few weeks ago that I had stopped describing myself to people as an “evangelical.” I had begun, subconsciously, to say that I am a “gospel Christian.” When I caught myself doing this, I wondered why and the answer wasn’t long in coming.

    “The word “evangelical” has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
    He’s now calling himself a Gospel Christian.

    I put Noll’s book on my list… thanks to your comments 😀

  2. thegreatfish Says:

    This year it feels like Evangelical = Racist Misogynist, although I am not either of those things. The worst thing about evangelicals never hits the papers; it is the fact that we are almost biblically illiterate as a group and substitute what Oprah (or insert any popular entertainer here) thinks for truth.

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