Book News

While I was in hurricane land, I did take some time to read. After all, you have to put down the chainsaw every once in a while. I finished Whose Bible Is It? by Jaroslav Pelikan. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I realized that it was aimed more at the beginner, so I settled in and enjoyed the book. I did learn some things, so it was worth reading. This is also the first book by Pelikan that I have read, and I may just have to read another one some day. If you are interested in how the Old Testament/Tanakh and the New Testament were formed, including how both were read and used, you may find it interesting.

I also picked up a copy of the ESV for about $6 at Half Price Books. I’ve read snippets out of the translation before, but needed a physical copy for longer reading stints.

The first book I jumped into after Pelikan’s was Christianity and Paganism, 350-750: The Conversion of Western Europe. The copy I picked up for only $4.98 at Half Price Books is in horrible condition, but the reading itself has been pleasurable. It is, however, too early to tell if the book will end up being worth my time.

As a general rule, Christian bookstores only depress me because they have really crappy selections. But I did have a little free time before I left Beaumont, so the mum and I dropped in to the local LifeWay. Surprisingly, not everything there was complete rubbish. My mom agreed to buy me How We Got the Bible if I promised to let her read it when I was done. So far the book is really very basic and I’ve got the feeling that it has a really conservative bone to pick. But time will tell on that one as well.

I don’t know if you, dear reader, like to read beginner books, but I do. I think it is for the same reason that I took first year Greek for a second time; I wanted to see how somebody else did it. Writing for a lay audience without losing the facts is a difficult thing to do, and I like seeing it done well. Pelikan did it well. We’ll see if Lightfoot does.

While I was gone I received two books in the mail. One was Presentation Zen, a book with "Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery". Since I do presentations, I figured it might be worth my time as it comes recommended highly. I have recently been reading the author’s blog by the same title, and it seems worthwhile.

The other book that I received was Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark. I read about a third of it a few months ago, and since I just began co-teaching a series on Mark at church I figured I would go ahead and get a copy.

And, though it isn’t actually a book but I’ll tell you about it anyway because it cost way too much money, I purchased my very own copy of Photoshop CS3. I’ve been using the trial for a month and got the cash to pay for the real thing. Though the lingo and tools are hard to get used to at first, you can really do some amazing stuff with it. It will definitely be very handy in my web development work.

Well, that’s it for tonight! Need to get some reading done before I get some z’s...


Shaun Tabatt 2008-09-28 06:21:23

Presentation Zen is a great introductory book to presentation theory. It really changed the way I do my presentations. I think you’ll be very pleased. Happy reading!

Eric 2008-09-29 08:15:40

I’m about a third through and I’m really enjoying it. He certainly has some good ideas.

David 2008-09-30 11:49:14

My first Pelikan book was "The Christian Tradition" Volume 1. Not so much a history of the faith, but of the development of doctrine over time. It wasn’t an easy read for me. More of a textbook or good reference for one’s library. Maybe I’ll give Pelikan another try with "Whose Bible Is It?"

The paganism book sounds interesting. Thanks for posting it. A friend recently loaned me "The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity" (Richard Fletcher). I highly recommend it. Covers all of Europe and is an enjoyable read.

Eric 2008-09-30 11:50:38

That looks pretty interesting. I’ll have to put it on the list!