This book straightforwardly collects, analyzes, and reframes ecclesiology using the Holy Spirit as its main lens. It helpfully challenges ways we thinThis book straightforwardly collects, analyzes, and reframes ecclesiology using the Holy Spirit as its main lens. It helpfully challenges ways we think of church. It also has study questions at the end of each chapter....more
This is a must-have for anyone who does any transactional work. It's got the nuts and bolts of drafting to be readable and effective with research toThis is a must-have for anyone who does any transactional work. It's got the nuts and bolts of drafting to be readable and effective with research to back it. Almost every page has my notes on it. This will help any lawyer break out of the archaic mold of standard contract language borrowed from generations of agreements....more
If you've ever wondered, "What would Mister Rogers think about" some current issue, this is the book for you. The answers are often not surprising, exIf you've ever wondered, "What would Mister Rogers think about" some current issue, this is the book for you. The answers are often not surprising, except for how ahead of his time the man in the sweater turns out to have been. I highly recommend this book.
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers presents the Fred Rogers that we all probably suspected was real but never got to see because the man so carefully cultivated his public image. Michael Long, a scholar of religion, peace, civil rights, and sexual politics, takes us through the Neighborhood one topic at a time to show how this wonderful television program subversively taught principles of peace through lenses of pacifism, tolerance, environmental stewardship, and active inclusion. He does this by juxtaposing great thinkers with excerpts from the television program and more personal, biographical sources like Fred Rogers's correspondence, interviews, and colleagues. And the context and time frame in which each topic is tackled is always included, so we see that antiwar episodes aired in the time of the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf, that Officer Clemmons debuted at a time when white police officers were beating black protestors, and that Queen Sara Saturday kept her maiden name when that was still very unusual.
The great shortcoming of this book—the only reason I only gave it four out of five stars—is that the author often overplays his hand, sometimes bordering on self-parody. The feminism chapter is the pinnacle of this problem. He makes connections between Rogers's thinking and a famous author's stronger than they probably are when a comparison would have sufficed to make the same point and avoid this awkwardness. Similarly, he sometimes makes connections to episodes in the Neighborhood with current events that were far enough in time—sometimes several years—that the producers were probably not thinking of these specific events, though they almost certainly were considering the larger cultural context. There are notable exceptions, like the two wars mentioned above. But Queen Sara's and Princess Diana's wedding vows don't need to be compared for the reader to understand that equality in the Make-Believe bride and groom's vows was groundbreaking in 1969. And reading that Sara would have joined the Neighborhood's "Lucy Stone Club" if there was one, was such a literal eye-roller for me that I turned to my wife and read the whole paragraph to share the entertainment.
Despite these moments of overimportance, the book is a gem. It's thoroughly researched and sourced, the prose is very readable, the chapters are concise and compelling, and the case made for a countercultural Mister Rogers is convincing in spite of the overreaching. In my mind, it shows that Fred Rogers was as transformative a figure as Martin Luther King, Jr. who sought to appeal to a broader audience earlier in life to shape them toward very similar principles. As an added bonus, the average reader will almost certainly get brief windows into the thinking of some of the most influential, pioneering, and sometimes forgotten figures in history, which is admirable though less than perfectly executed....more