Fascinating read so far! Finished. A very good read, but not as amazing as I would have liked. Still, definitely worth the time to understand where br...moreFascinating read so far! Finished. A very good read, but not as amazing as I would have liked. Still, definitely worth the time to understand where brain science is and is heading.(less)
This isn’t so much a review of “Love Wins” by Rob Bell as it is a response:
There’s a reason that in Churches and religious organizations they have a S...moreThis isn’t so much a review of “Love Wins” by Rob Bell as it is a response:
There’s a reason that in Churches and religious organizations they have a Statement of Faith or Beliefs and not a Statement of Knowledge. There is much in life for the religious person, Evangelicals included, that is taken on faith. Believing in a God that can’t be seen or touched, having faith that there is an afterlife better than the one on this earth, believing that the bible is more than just a historical account - a path for life. Belief is not the same as knowledge though and faith is not necessarily fact. I know there’s a chair supporting me right now; I believe and have faith it will continue to do just that.
Rob Bell clearly knows the difference between belief and knowledge and in this book he is continuing the dialog that others have started about how our beliefs affect how we live. Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” I think what Bell is saying holistically in this book is that for many Evangelical churches, this quote has come to fruition through their doctrine. They are so worried about saving people from an eternity in hell, they lose sight that eternity has begun and there are people living in hell already, here on this earth. Young women in sexual slavery, young mothers unable to feed their children, fathers losing sons to war, young men with substance abuse and no home. They know hell, not one in some distant future, but today.
So while people are sent off to be reached with the gospel in distant countries, some have forgotten that there are so many of the least of these right here at home. Yes, many are doing their part, but that part is not enough and not near what could be done. While collectively we spend $25 billion a year on maintaining our Churches in the U.S. , government budgets are being cut for services to the least of these so there can be lower taxes. All so we can spend money on more cars, vacations and sending people across the globe to reach the unreached instead of funding programs already in place locally to care for those in need. We spend billions of dollars to provide places to worship a God who I believe would rather us not worship and sing but get the hell out the pew and do something that makes the world sing.
Rob Bell isn’t saying anything new here and for me his beliefs are in line with his knowledge. He knows what he knows and he knows what he doesn’t know. I do think it’s important to have a system of belief, without it there would not be democracy and there would be much less justice in the world. Much more important though, is to act on what you do know. Bell I think captures the true holistic message of the bible, that justice for those less fortunate than me should be my focus in eternity. This eternity, the one started for me when I was born. There may come a day when my focus can change because justice (i.e. everyone has what they need: food, love, hope, happiness, equality) covers all. Maybe when I die, my focus will change, but I doubt it unless justice is ubiquitous. What I know is that there is not justice across this globe today and I shouldn’t spend a moment thinking about the rest of eternity until there is.
Boston is one of my favorite cities in the U.S., so this book was a fun find at a used bookstore in Chicago when I was there last month.
The book is a...moreBoston is one of my favorite cities in the U.S., so this book was a fun find at a used bookstore in Chicago when I was there last month.
The book is a series of essays about Boston, it's culture, religion, sports, architecture and other topics. It touches how people live, work and play in the Boston area and also has a lot of historical information. It was delightful to read and made me want to head back to Boston soon!
If your heading to Boston, I would highly recommend this book as an interesting primer for the area.
Wow. A VERY candid look at our political process, Evangelical Christianity and fringe groups like the 9/11 Truthers through the eyes of Rolling Stone...moreWow. A VERY candid look at our political process, Evangelical Christianity and fringe groups like the 9/11 Truthers through the eyes of Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi.
This volume is definitely NSFC (not safe for Church) as it is riddled with profanity and also ridicules the John Hagee ministry and how "conversions" happen. Taibbi goes undercover in the Church and experiences what happens when a new convert joins the Church. While Hagee's ministry is not entirely representative of Evangelical Christianity, there is more common than not with most Churches today.
The view of the bi-partisan congress we have and the political process that happens is disheartening and one I knew was there, but Taibbi shows the underbelly. Ugh. While Taibbi is a firm liberal, he pulls no punches on either party as to the collective corruption in both and all of Washington.
I would have like to seen some answers, but understand as a reporter, answers are not part of the deal. So this book leaves you a bit up in the air as to what to do. I know I've felt that way anyway for some time, so perhaps this book wasn't all that helpful, but I am determined to find a path that won't have me voting for the person who will cause the least harm. I've also been in the process of deprogramming 50 years of Evangelical brainwashing over the last few years, so the look at the Church was not shocking to me. He shares some poignant moments though that show why belonging to a Church is valuable beyond the doctrine and dogmatism that have taken over what faith was meant to be.
Read this one at your own risk. I recommend it, but only to those who can handle the language and the harsh look at the topics.
What a beautiful book. To see a life through the eyes of the one who lived it is such a special gift. The end of the book brought tears to my eyes and...moreWhat a beautiful book. To see a life through the eyes of the one who lived it is such a special gift. The end of the book brought tears to my eyes and also prepared me for the death of my Dad the day I finished the book.
This will be a book on my shelf as long as I have a shelf to put it on. If you're a baby boomer with aging parents, you need to read this book.
The Seven Minute Planner - Small Steps to Big Changes by Allyson Lewis gives some great ideas and practical tips for organizing your life. It's a holi...moreThe Seven Minute Planner - Small Steps to Big Changes by Allyson Lewis gives some great ideas and practical tips for organizing your life. It's a holistic look at the time you spend each day and how with just a few minor changes and a focus on being purposeful a few minutes a day can really change your life.
The planner that you can get with the book is a great way for anyone to organize and keep track of things to do along with contacts made and what did't get done. Looking back on each day, you can tell how successful you were and celebrate growth.
This is a must read book on what is in store for us for the future. Sharing resources online and offline is a growing business model that has pushed t...moreThis is a must read book on what is in store for us for the future. Sharing resources online and offline is a growing business model that has pushed traditional business aside (Netflix vs. Blockbuster).
Showing how others have done it, Lisa Gansky shows many different models and the corresponding pitfalls and successes. Learning a new way of doing business that is really an old way of doing business brought back to life by global connectivity could transform your future planning.
Definitely pick up a copy of this book, the addendum of "Mesh" websites in the back of the book is worth the purchase price alone.
This is by far the best book on public speaking I have ever read. It's loaded with practical ideas, encouraging statistics and mind changing truths ab...moreThis is by far the best book on public speaking I have ever read. It's loaded with practical ideas, encouraging statistics and mind changing truths about why we fear bing in front of crowds.
If you do any public speaking, from small groups to stadiums, this book will help you organize, prepare and make your communication with groups much more effective and much less worrisome!
The subtitle for this book is "Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World." You can tell Jacqueline Novogratz has done that ver...moreThe subtitle for this book is "Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World." You can tell Jacqueline Novogratz has done that very thing with her life.
This book is a wonderful and spell binding story of the beginnings of the Acumen Fund and Ms. Novogratz's journey from International Banker to being a world leader in helping the poor. Not just giving them a hand out, but truly giving them a way to pull themselves out of poverty through entrepreneurship.
I've read several books in this vein and it's clear to me that blind charity, money thrown at a problem, will not fix it. A plan, that includes helping the poorest of the poor find a way to build on their own initiative is the only way to bring lasting change.
Particularly poignant is the section regarding the Rwanda genocide. Ms. Novogratz worked in Rwanda prior to the genocide and truly gives an insiders view to what happened including interviews of some women in prison for contributing to the massacre.
For anyone interested in helping the poor, the "least of these", this is definitely a book you must read.
I'm really enjoying this series from Wendell Berry - a glimpse into a simpler way of living on the farm in the 40's. Berry has a way of bringing to li...moreI'm really enjoying this series from Wendell Berry - a glimpse into a simpler way of living on the farm in the 40's. Berry has a way of bringing to life the characters. This book is one of a profound loss affecting young Andy Catlett. A great read, much recommended.(less)