Very good writing and the narrative was interesting and insightful. But it's not a healthy book to read often, nor does it present the full picture ofVery good writing and the narrative was interesting and insightful. But it's not a healthy book to read often, nor does it present the full picture of reality. It presents a piece of reality, for a certain kind of person (I am not, here, referring to perspectivism).
I can't help myself, absurdism is absurd! No duh! :P...more
The sketches are pretty awesome and the whole concept is pretty cool. And though the message that the author shares through his story is lacking in aThe sketches are pretty awesome and the whole concept is pretty cool. And though the message that the author shares through his story is lacking in a true grounding of reality, nevertheless, I really enjoyed a lot of his insights and humor.
Essentially, Nilsen's message seems to be, "We can't really know the answers to the big questions, but we just gotta keep on living anyway, it's all we can do. Keep eating those seeds, and try to find as many doughnuts as we can." Pomo.
So there's no real ground for hope there, nor any reason to keep on living... but I still really liked the book, it has a lot going for it: visual beauty, good humor, and a somewhat interesting narrative, despite its ambivalent and agnostic tendencies....more
I like Edwards' simplicity in writing, it's especially nice after reading more difficult writing styles.
But, I felt like Gene was, in places, arguingI like Edwards' simplicity in writing, it's especially nice after reading more difficult writing styles.
But, I felt like Gene was, in places, arguing that the truth needs not to be defended (if you don't like the word "defended," because of negative associations, then use the word "upheld" or "preached" or "exhorted" or etc.). That laymen or elders or preachers don't need to watch the flock, to keep the sheep free from lies, free from wolves, free even from misguided sheep. That instead of being gentle in rebuke, that, in fact, it's better to do nothing.
Just do nothing.
But, again, I don't think this is biblical. I would point to the pastoral letters, also to Paul's rebuke of Peter, also to Nathan's rebuke of David, and etc. Granted, the less training or less learned we are in the Bible, the more we should be quick to listen and be gentle. But there comes a time when truth needs to be upheld, where wolves, or misguided sheep need to be rebuked, sometimes banned from fellowship because of their denials of truths Jesus preached, that God has spoken in His word. (This is where we need to be clear about essentials, non-essentials, the importance of different truths).
Because sheep are sons and daughters of God. But how will they draw nearer to God if they don't know His truths? How will they remain comforted by the Spirit of Truth if they are led away from the Truth?
So saying all that, we need to be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY humble when it comes to these things. It doesn't mean we have to be limp-wristed cowards. It does mean we need to draw close to God, and with all that we are cry out to Him, knowing that these things are not trivial. We deal with both God's word and the souls of mankind. Eternity is in the window, this isn't court tv. And we deal with God, our Creator, our Lord, the Judge of all, are we gonna be arrogant and quick to throw brothers and sisters into hell over small truths or ignorance? NO!
Nevertheless, we need to come to the Spirit to gain wisdom, love, humility, strength, and (even though the word is soooo abused) discernment. Are we certain of the truths we are "defending?" Are we certain there isn't just a misunderstanding? Are our motives basically good? Are we doing this, in love, because we love God and love His people?
Or are we doing this from a feeling that only we can guard God's truth, and only we have it, and only we have wisdom, and etc.?
So before we ever defend truth, let us come to God as broken vessels in prayer and seek Him in His word, ask for counsel from better and wiser Christians, and then pray some more, and then to trust in God's leading hand, walk with Him, trust in His promises, and act in gentleness, love, truth.
Always, always, always, begin in gentleness.
But please, don't ever just do nothing. At least pray and read the word and seek counsel....more
**spoiler alert** Great imagination. And the plot unfolded at a smooth pace.
Idk what to think, about the story in its entirety, but it was very enter**spoiler alert** Great imagination. And the plot unfolded at a smooth pace.
Idk what to think, about the story in its entirety, but it was very entertaining, which I needed, and also thought-provoking, which was cool.
It was interesting how the author, China, wove religion into the story. Or even that he did, or tried to do it. Maybe, for him, it was more of an afterthought, though. But, still, it was fascinating the parallel between his setup halfway through the book where he essentially equates the first lie (in the alien civilization) with the Ariekeis' self-destruction and the Biblical narrative of the fall from grace in the garden of Eden, where by a lie the accuser (satan, in the form of a snake) tempts Eve, and then through Eve, Adam, into evil (self-destruction, i.e. disobedience against their Maker). For me, that was kind of cool, powerful, even. (Yeah, eventually, the parallel falls apart, because it is through the lie, or metaphor, that real language comes into being, which then saves the hero and her compatriots). Brave New World, perhaps (for the Ariekei). (Totally awkward paragraph, but too lazy).
And then there was the obvious connection between the Ariekeis' attempts to learn to lie and of Buddhism, which was kind of interesting too. Thought-provoking. (Buddhism, from my little understanding of it, is about escaping reality and therefore suffering, in the sense that we are all living in a dream unreality. Nothing is real, or permanent. This is really like the Ariekeis' attempts to lie, especially in the process of the trying, as they attempt to leave Language, which was only "the world" and enter into a lie, an unreality, not the world).
And then there was the question as to whether the Ariekeis' native "Language," was actually language at all? Was it? Idk. Would it even be possible? And etc.
"Language had always been redundant: it had only ever been the world." - pg. 311
Anyway, really cool book. Very thought-provoking. Really good writing, but there were several occasions where his sentences were somewhat incomprehensible, just didn't know how to translate them....more
Took me too long to read, for reasons I will not give forth, but the one piece of the book that will stay with me, surely, was at the very end.
BunyanTook me too long to read, for reasons I will not give forth, but the one piece of the book that will stay with me, surely, was at the very end.
Bunyan makes the point, and pleads with us, to come to God in prayer daily and continuously, because we must, he says, rely only upon the grace (or loving-kindness) of God. Without the benevolence of God we will be unable (not able) to live according to God's will, we will not be able to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit (i.e. love, patience, truth, joy, self-control, kindness, humility, and etc.). And Bunyan says that reliance upon God shows itself through prayer and is sustained by prayer, because that's the way God wants it to be. God wants us to remember Him --
-- Imagine that.
And God desires to be remembered not because He is impotent and needs our remembering, but because He is sovereign and LORD and WE are the ones who are impotent and need to remember Him. It is because He loves us, this is why He would have us remember Him, because He is the origin and spring of all real joy and peace.
Life is much too harsh and much too difficult and much too full of evil to try and go it alone in the search for peace. I've tried and failed too many times. Perhaps that's why it took me so long to read this short book. I'm serious, but I'm also not divulging....more
How does a reader rate a biography? Especially a biography like this one?
How can I rate it a 5 (i.e. "it was amazing")? It WASN'T amazing. It was HORRHow does a reader rate a biography? Especially a biography like this one?
How can I rate it a 5 (i.e. "it was amazing")? It WASN'T amazing. It was HORRIBLE. Absolute horror.
But I can't rate it a 1 either (i.e. "didn't like it"), because then people will think I didn't appreciate the book.
So I guess I'll rate it a 5 anyway, but with this proviso: I did not enjoy reading about or thinking about the horrors of life, and of the lives of so many girls, however Somaly's story has shown me, even more, the need in this world for Truth and Life and Love IN action.
Thank you Somaly for sharing your story of almost unimaginable suffering. And thank you Jesus for being the One who suffered on the cross, even greater suffering than anyone can imagine, so that we do not have a God who does not understand our sufferings, but in fact we have a God who has suffered and has suffered even more than we will ever be able to know, because at the cross God forsook God to conquer the darkness and to call sons and daughters home.
God can wipe away even the dirt in our past. He is so much better and so much bigger than it all. Honestly, there is no life without Him....more
Not the kind of book I usually enjoy all that much because of the focus on emotional angst in the midst of sex, but the book manifests enough of otherNot the kind of book I usually enjoy all that much because of the focus on emotional angst in the midst of sex, but the book manifests enough of other topics that it kept me as a friend....more