Category Archives: Book Review

THE PEOPLE OF CONCORD

https://www.amazon.com/People-Concord-Paul-Brooks/dp/1555914691/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

I have a keen interest in Ralph Waldo Emerson and those in his orbit, so it was natural to pick this book up.  I read it on a recent trip.  It is better than I imagined.  Wonderfully written and peppered throughout with fascinating details about Concord, Massachusetts during the 1840s. 

If you have any interest in Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, et al. this is a terrific read.

GREAT ANTIDOTE TO SPIRITUAL APATHY

Backhouse has written a terrific book.

This study of Soren Kierkegaard is eminently relevant to us today.  Kierkegaard wanted to reintroduce Christianity to those who thought they knew all about it already.  Our pews are full (though American pews are emptying) of folks who are bored and self-satisfied in their spiritual apathy. 

Kierkegaard is a great antidote to apathy.  Read Backhouse’s wonderful book and see why!

MARTIN LUTHER KING

Want a riveting read?  Well, this book certainly qualifies.

As a young Christian, I read a collection of King’s sermons titled Strength to Love.  In college, I took a rhetoric class where our professor regularly reminded us that King was the “greatest speaker he ever heard.”

Rosenbloom’s book chronicles the final 31 hours of King’s life.  And what a life it is.  The author does not paper over King’s adultery, but clearly thinks King was a great man.

King challenges us to live focused life with courage and compassion.

The publisher is to be thanked for making a beautiful book at a reasonable cost…a rarity in our day!

WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN THE GOSPELS?

Like other Christians, I’ve been puzzled by some of the differences in the gospels.  True, they don’t affect doctrine, but they leave one asking why the discrepancies exist.

Big books on the most common problems have been written.  Several times I have found myself frustrated by these tortuous explanations.

Enter Michael Lincona and his new book. 

Lincona offers another explanation for the varying accounts and it is found in appreciating how ancient biographers, especially Plutarch, worked.

Geared for the more serious student or the person who has unsettled doubts about the veracity of the gospel records.

THE VANISHING AMERICAN ADULT

Regardless of whether you agree with Ben Sasse’s politics, you will benefit from his terrific book, The Vanishing American Adult.  Sasse’s book is well-written and contains a wonderfully informed, yet accessible treatment of history.  Senator Sasse is a highly educated man with a PhD in history from Yale.

By the way, some of the negative Amazon reviews make me wonder if those folks read the book very carefully…

 

WHY STUDY THE PAST?

I have read a number of books that seek to motivate the reader to study history.

Though I had high expectations for this one by Williams, I was disappointed.

My disappointment was due to the rather meandering reflections, the less than clear writing style, and illustrating things with arcane examples from the history of the church.

It seems Rowan Williams so desperately wants to give credence to every possible position that it is difficult to see where his own convictions lie.