Some Books Recently Read

Of course vacation means a little more reading – although with three children (and three boys at that – 2,5 & 9 years of age) the ‘peace and quiet’ aspect is somewhat lacking! However some of the books I managed to get to read are:

A really interesting read. When Gordon McDonald was taken aback at the mood at the yearly church meeting (and especially a comment from a parishioner whoa sked Who Stole My Church), McDonald began a Monday night meeting with some of those who were opposed to change in the church. The meetings were meant to be discussions based on scripture on why the changes were proposed as well as a forum for McDonald to hear from parishioners who were upset. The book is an account of those meetings. It shows some of the dynamics of confronting those who are opposed to change – even good change, as well as a lesson in awareness for leaders to be aware of those with opposing views and the need to listen. A good book.

This is Hillary Mantels follow up novel to Wolf Hall.This is a fascinating look at a man who has been largely neglected by biographers – Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s Secretary of State. Mantel has a very distinctive way of writing but the story was fun. She puts a face to Cromwell, as he navigates the dangerous course of Tudor England and Henry VIII’s court.

This was a fascinating insight into the world of the President of the United States. Living in Washington DC I have become more aware of US politics. This book looks at the role of the former Presidents and their input / influence into their successors policies. Really enjoyed this one.

I was late to this party. Hunger Games has been out for a while but I thought I would read it. Nothing special. Somewhat dark and brutal view of post-apocalyptic America. Bog standard fair!

Knowing we were going to spend 6 days in the mountains of North Carolina I decided to read this book which was set in North Carolina. A true story, this depicts the brutal and longstanding feud in the 1800’s between the Hatfields and McCoys. Apparently The History Channel has done a film with Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield. I have not seen this but the book is a fabulous read.

I have been reading ALOT of Jewish Roots material and it has been wonderful. This is a great book. Bivin leads the reader through the process of understanding Jesus’ words from a Jewish perspective – something we have neglected in out interpretative process in the west.

Another Jewish roots book. This is a good introduction to the issue of Jewish Roots Christianity. The insights and understanding that Juster opens up when one looks at the NT through the prism of Hebrew thought is so refreshing and exciting!

This is probably the most shocking book I have read this year. I read it on Tim Challies’ recommendation. This is a true story, written by the daughter, of a pastor who is confronted by insane opposition from the man who sits in pew number seven. When I say insane opposition, I am not exaggerating. The fact that this pastor remained in his church as long as he did is remarkable (or maybe some would see it as stupid). There is a massive lesson in this book.


4 thoughts on “Some Books Recently Read

  1. Hi Andy,
    There’s a good review of “Bringing up the bodies” here:
    Note the moral relativism that Mantle manages to bring into a story that has otherwise been used to inspire people to stand up for moral absolutes. I suspect that this is why her books are so popular. People don’t like to read stuff with a strong moral message in today’s culture

    • Hey Tim. Thanks for comment. Hope you and yours are well. Interesting review but frankly, for me, irrelevant. Or maybe I should say indifferent. Mantel is a novelist. While she may represent culture and it’s thinking she is a story teller. The same could be said for almost every novel on the market including Hunger Games. For me the book did not rattle any of those cages in the review although I was not necessarily looking for them. And, on vacation, (the only time I tend to read novels) it was simply a fun read chosen because I read and reviewed copious books on Tudor History. I was more interested in how she relates to the history of the time and the Tudors. While misrepresenting Anne Boleyn somewhat, she does a good job on representing the time and mood of tudor England which is the only reason I read it. I’ll leave others to analyze and scrutinize novels.

      • Thanks Andy, I don’t think the worldview of novels can be ignored though – even if you read them on holiday! There’s no time off from being alert to these things. Hope all’s well with you – blessings to all the family. Tim

      • Tim, I am not unsympathetic to relativism or wordlviews in books. Just that there are bigger issues than whether an unbelieving story teller is writing a novel which advocates relativism. There are more important things to get passionate about, especially within the church; such as the gospel, preaching Jesus and living god-centered lives and being a people who love others as Jesus intended us to love in 1 John…. That’s all.
        Peace bro!

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