This is a book likely I would never had come in contact with if not given as a Christmas gift.
In the last hundred years and more there has been multipThis is a book likely I would never had come in contact with if not given as a Christmas gift.
In the last hundred years and more there has been multiple attacks on the reliability of the New Testament. Much of this has come from trying to apply new scholarly critical methods and some from skeptics simply trying to undermine the texts. There are also many common sense approaches that seem to bear out reasons to be distrustful. Some of these approaches became very useful in approaching these texts while others were built on incorrect assumptions such as aspects of form criticism.
So I was delighted to find that this book takes the current research in multiple fields and looks at some of the assumptions made in the past and see how they hold up. One of the areas regarding reliability of the Gospels has assumed facts such as communities changing texts and the unreliability of testimony of eyewitnesses.
This book is quite amazing in scope and quite an amazing undertaking. I leaned so much along the way regarding memory and what the latest research found in modern communities with a primary oral tradition. Memory can and does fail due to false memories, blending, and trying to pull together forgotten details is spelled out. Yet there are areas where memory are much more reliable in the main events. This provides some of the background. But there is also intense study regarding the structure and narratives involved in the Gospels along with all the clues that can be found. This is combined with what was known historically regarding the authors and composition of the Gospels. The Gospels of Mark and John are especially studied. There is even study of personal names and historical statistical usage to show evidence regarding testimony.
This book is quite scholarly with tons of footnotes. Yet as a non-scholar I was absorbed by the details and the forensic examination of the Gospels. Strangely it also makes the Gospels come more alive for me as it erases some of the modern assumptions I had.
This is the third techno-thriller I have read from this author and the weakest of the lot. On the plus side this is a very imaginative technology wiseThis is the third techno-thriller I have read from this author and the weakest of the lot. On the plus side this is a very imaginative technology wise knitting together science and speculation with other elements. I enjoyed the majority of this. The flaw was in execution and that I figured out a head of time exactly what was going to happen. Something that should have been a surprise. But the structure of the storytelling gave it away for me since I couldn't accept what happened as the actual answer and this lead me to the solution.
The attack in the book on priestly celibacy was rather idiotic saying it would attract child abusers, something that is not born out by any study as compared to other groups. Just not sure why this was included in the story at all. Some of the theology in the book could have used a good dose of Aquinas since it was rather off, but speculative theology with speculative science can certainly be part of the genre....more
While I enjoyed this book and the case presented. I don't myself find that what he called the forgotten story was really forgotten, at least in CatholWhile I enjoyed this book and the case presented. I don't myself find that what he called the forgotten story was really forgotten, at least in Catholic circles in my experience. Although he did have a general caveat about where this was true among Protestant churches, especially ones with a more pauline focus.
Still I found some interesting insights regarding the narrative of kingdom and cross and one especially useful metaphor...more
Solid summary of the life of this great saint. Still not much more detail or insight for those who already have some more than casual awareness of hisSolid summary of the life of this great saint. Still not much more detail or insight for those who already have some more than casual awareness of his story....more
I am still kind of processing this last entry in the Odd Thomas series. There were surprises and a trajectory I expected. There were cerCloser to 4.5.
I am still kind of processing this last entry in the Odd Thomas series. There were surprises and a trajectory I expected. There were certainly expressions at what make Odd Thomas such a great character. Humble and meek, but meek in the old sense of the word always willing to do what is right as the situation calls for it. Navigating all the external dangers while also navigating the spiritual dangers.
Overall a fitting end to the series. Really it makes me want to go back and read the first and third books which really excelled....more
Stunningly good and a flight of imagination that carries you along. Traveling from the Garden of Eden to the Pied Piper and its own mythology is brougStunningly good and a flight of imagination that carries you along. Traveling from the Garden of Eden to the Pied Piper and its own mythology is brought together to present a fascinating story. A decedent of the pied piper and an evil act that must be atoned for is brought into a world not of his choosing. Enjoyed pretty much every aspect of the story. While it is apparent there are more books to come in this new series, the first book is totally self contained. ...more
I knew a little of his story, but this certainly makes me admire him all the more. I hadn't realized he was a A6-A Intruder pilot which was interestinI knew a little of his story, but this certainly makes me admire him all the more. I hadn't realized he was a A6-A Intruder pilot which was interesting to me considering my years working on avionics for a later version of this aircraft.
That despite almost constant torture over multiple years along with many years in solitary his Catholic faith was enlivened. It is hard to imagine enduring this. Much less with multiple injuries to bring your faith more alive and taking the part of a leader to help others. That he served with so many men who endured the same thing is also awe inspiring. An interesting aspect of this book was all the means of communication that prisoners used since they were not allowed to communicate to others at all. Their comradeship and the level they went to help each other knowing that they would suffer seriously if caught. Despite his ordeal he does not dehumanize his captors at all.
The majority of the book regards his years as a prisoner in Vietnam, but the epilog goes over some of his years a a Senator for Alabama where again his leadership was in show creating lasting political effects. That I was pretty much in total agreement with his political opinions of course led to enjoyment regarding this....more
When I first came across Alice Von Hildebrand while watching Mother Angelica Live I was rapidly impressed with her. Her quick wit, intelligence, and cWhen I first came across Alice Von Hildebrand while watching Mother Angelica Live I was rapidly impressed with her. Her quick wit, intelligence, and common sense was a delight. Since then I have been interested in what she had to say. Around the same time I became acquainted with the works of her late husband Dietrich Von Hildebrand. I have by no means fully dipped into all his works, but I want to go further. His Transformation in Christ is a book I dearly love.
When her biography of her husband came out The Soul of a Lion: The Life of Dietrich von Hildebrand I quickly attained and read it. Such an amazing story and an equally amazing man. You would think somebody who was a named enemy of Hitler would have his story more well known. There is at least a new book out called My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich.
When I read Soul of a Lion I wondered about his later years since the story ends, as I remember, after his escape and ultimately ending up in New York. Some of this is covered in Alice Von Hildebrand’s new book Memoirs of a Happy Failure. While this autobiography does go into how she met her future husband and some of her life with him, she is mostly quiet on her personal life in this regard except when there are interactions with her students.
What this book does cover is her life growing up in Belgium before World War II and her subsequent move to the United States during the war. The book starts out with her on a ship headed for New York that was threatened by a German sub with orders to evacuate before being sunk. I was quite interested in her descriptions of being raised in a very Catholic culture and the descriptions of her family members including the roles they played during the war. There were differences in both sides of her family that caused some tension.
The large majority of this book covers her years as a teacher at Hunter College which is part of the City University of New York. This was to be where she ended up teaching philosophy throughout her career. Now having heard her speak I was aware of the difficulties she had regarding students versed in moral relativism as she taught the objectivity of truth. I just didn’t realize that this was a continual philosophical battle.
What shouldn’t have surprised me is that this was rather minor considering even worse problems with the other faculty and those above her. The stories she relates regarding how she was treated by her fellow academics in such a pitiless back-biting manner raises your ire as she relates them. A Darwinian survival of the fittest where the fittest meant you had the right politics and sneer regarding subjective truth. Part of this was due to her being a women, but no doubt a lot of it was due to her being Catholic or really for being a faithful Catholic. Academics have no problem with Catholics just as long as they don’t believe that stuff. She describes how her education as taught by nuns little prepared her for such an atmosphere of prejudice and ill will.
What I enjoyed most was her stories of students. It was quite obvious her love of teaching and her love of her students. There are many wonderful stories regarding the opposition she got and when the truth of what she was saying clicked with many of her students. Even stories of students converting to the Catholic Church despite the fact that she never talked about the Church at all in her lectures. Not all the stories regarding her students go well and some are rather sad. Still there were several that came into the orbit of her personal life along with her husband. Despite the opposition she was getting from the school and the many attempts to sabotage her career and to force her to leave, she endured. It must have really annoyed them the number of students who elected to take her classes over other philosophy professors more in tune with the zeitgeist.
The title of her autobiography is quite apt. From the measure of the academic world she was mostly a failure. From the measure of her students that was not correct and even ultimately the school had to grudgingly admit this. I enjoyed the good humor she uses as she relates all these episodes. Experiences that might leave many bitter, yet her happiness shines through along with her love of the truth.
On a side note this book provides another example to me regarding the cultural revolution of the sixties. In that it was not as if everything was in good condition before then and that this was a sudden revolution. Her examples of attitudes in the 1950’s show just how much the culture was infected with moral relativism and that it was even worse in academia. Cultural termites had already weakened the foundations of the culture....more
So funny I just kept laughing yet also found so much spiritual wisdom in this book. This was on my to read list for awhile. Now it is on my read againSo funny I just kept laughing yet also found so much spiritual wisdom in this book. This was on my to read list for awhile. Now it is on my read again list....more
I picked this up because John C. Wright said "it is the only thriller style book, not science fiction, that I have ever read with complete pleasure"
FrI picked this up because John C. Wright said "it is the only thriller style book, not science fiction, that I have ever read with complete pleasure"
From start to finish this thriller totally dragged me in. Interesting since it is unlike most thrillers in that while there is action in it, that is really a subpart of the story. It is the character that pulls you in. A man with a past that he has left behind get pulled into a situation where he is the only one who can act. His past intrudes and he tries to push on past the temptations.
This character was totally convincing in every aspect. Most thrillers are so over the top, being a fun ride. Never felt pulled out of the story at all. While there are conservative critiques of political correctness in this novel it is seamless in the story and not preaching. I just totally bought into the struggles of the main character and the consequences of his actions also seemed true-to-life to me.
While there are sexual situations in this thriller it is also part of the story and amplify the heroes struggles.
I have never read any of Mr. Klavan's novels before, but I was totally impressed with this one.
I picked this up as a daily deal. I have never read any of the Perry Mason books, just grew up on the reruns of the TV show.
Still i was not prepared fI picked this up as a daily deal. I have never read any of the Perry Mason books, just grew up on the reruns of the TV show.
Still i was not prepared for how good this was and just how interesting the character of the detective-lawyer Perry Mason was. The show presented some of this, but once again the book is always better....more
This made for quite interesting reading regarding the so-called "dark passages" of scripture. While I had some basic understanding regarding these texThis made for quite interesting reading regarding the so-called "dark passages" of scripture. While I had some basic understanding regarding these texts, this book really fills it out with a much better understanding of them. There was also much to learn from this book, that I had not come across before which I found quite helpful.
My only caveat was a couple mentions of the crusades which I found rather ironic. The author was continually calling for a understanding in the context of the times and to study what actually happened. Something he did not do himself regarding the crusades. Still this was a rather minor aspect....more