Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recent Reads

Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Rob Bell, Don Golden): If Velvet Elvis expressed Bell's general view of theology, JWtSC expresses his specific theological framework for looking at Scripture. Starting with the "first book of the Bible: Exodus," Bell goes through the metanarrative of Scripture with the framework of exodus and exile. It's much more structured than his previous books, with each chapter building upon the previous one, ultimately leading up to a fairly harsh critique of American values. It's a challenging and thought-provoking book that has left me thinking about the American church and youth ministry's role in it for days. My only critique:

the over-used literary device 

of writing

one sentence paragraphs

that look like this.

Twilight (Stephanie Meyer): This is the young adult vampire novel that has every 15-year-old girl swooning over vampire-stud Edward Cullen. Let me start by saying that I read the whole book in one weekend; definitely stayed up until midnight Saturday trying to finish it. It's not particularly original or extraordinary...yet there is something about the story that is extremely engaging. The romance between Bella and Edward is very mature for a teen relationship (by "mature" I don't mean "R-rated," but rather a more in-depth romance story than a typical teenage crush story). I enjoyed it.

The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture (Shane Hipps): Hipps used to be in the marketing world where he first encountered marketing guru Marshall McLuhan. Hipps looks at McLuhan's laws of media to understand both the emerging church movement as well as how media influences culture. The main theme is McLuhan's famous line, "the medium is the message," meaning that the methodology inherently communicates the message. This raises the question, if the church is the medium God is using to reveal His kingdom, what message is being communicated? A great book on culture, media, and how these inherently affect theology.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel): I picked up this novel at Powell's based on the recommendation of a friend. It's an incredible story about survival at sea with some rich spiritual undertones. The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat in the ocean with a few zoo creatures--a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Martel is a gifted writer, and what sounds like an incredibly implausible premise turns out to be a moving epic of a story that ultimately asks deep questions about truth, life, and God. If you choose to pick this up, read it all the way through--the ending is the most powerful moment in the novel, leaving you reevaluating everything you had read 'til that point.

1 comment:

  1. i don't get

    the point you

    were trying to

    make about

    Bell's writing

    style. This is harder than

    it may seem.