Seven things I appreciated about Disruptive Witness by Alan Noble:
The writing is lucid and compelling
Terrific illustrations are peppered throughout
Teases out some practical implications from the writings of Charles Taylor
Focuses on major issues all Christians should agree upon
Good unpacking of how lethal distraction and the never-ending choices are in the modern era
Noble has a gracious, but candid style…not an easy combo!
Noble does not just complain, but offers some practical suggestions for us to adopt
Quote to consider: “The challenge for Christians in our time is to speak of the gospel in a way that unsettles listeners, that conveys the transcendence of God, that provokes contemplation and reflection, and that reveals the stark givenness of reality.”
I’ve been posing a dare to some friends. I’m daring them to read the introduction to this book and seeing if they can stop. Like one potato chip (which is hardly digital!) they will find themselves devouring the rest of the bag, er book.
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter is a terrific book. There is hard evidence in this book that digital is not the only game in town, but studies and statistics are augmented by engaging stories. Stories of people making things that we thought went the way of the Dodo bird add to the book’s allure, poignancy, and persuasiveness.
Vinyl records and used bookstores are back! They, of course, never totally went away, but their demise had an inevitability that was widely held.
So I dare you as well: Grab a copy (you will have to go to a bookstore to do this!) and read the introduction. I think you will find yourself wanting much more.
By the way, my “Moore’s Law of Reading” held true with this book. “Moore’s Law of Reading” takes the total number of pages of a book (242 with this book) and divides by two, so 121. If my marginal notes exceeds half of the pages then it was a worthwhile read. In this case, I made 166 marginal notes of various kinds, so it definitely was a great read.
Some books are long, but relative to their length you don’t benefit much. Some books are short, but relative to their length you benefit greatly. Joseph Clair’s new book, On Education, Formation, Citizenship and the Lost Purpose of Learning fits in the latter category.
In 120 pages Clair gives a crisp and thoughtful account of how higher education has lost its moral rudder. To make his case, Clair uses the always insightful and relevant, Bishop of Hippo: Augustine.
Instead of simply detailing the problem, Clair offers some suggestive and practical antidotes. I will mention just one as it is similar to something I’ve been thinking about. Clair mentions that teacher training ought to consider learning from “demanding vocations for inspiration and guidance—for example, Navy Seals, Jesuits, professional athletics—where a sense of identity and purpose provide a strong team spirit and where the results of a shared effort are judged on the basis of the whole community’s performance.”
There was one thing that made me reticent to recommend this book: the cost. That has now been rectified due to being out in a reasonable paperback.
Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ
If you purchase this book, make sure to get the edition that is edited by A.J. Krailsheimer. For some reason, Amazon is not allowing me to link to that edition.
Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing
Lewis: Loads to pick from, but I choose Surprised by Joy
Christ is risen! Christianity is unique. Check out my latest interview:
One True Life, C. Kavin Rowe: An Interview
The Amazon link to her terrific book can be found here:
First, this book is a meaty, yet beautifully written book of 600 plus pages. I made over 550 marginal notes in my copy. I read and discussed it with a friend which made it a very rich experience.
Second, even though her book is rightfully heralded in “conservative” theological circles, there are some things that you might find objectionable like Rutledge giving room for the possibility of universal salvation.