I'm not really fit to compare Greek grammars. I read this one (carefully) for class as I was obliged to do. Whatever Turner's value compared to his coI'm not really fit to compare Greek grammars. I read this one (carefully) for class as I was obliged to do. Whatever Turner's value compared to his competitors, I, at least, got one big life-altering truth out of this book that has stuck with me ten years on, and at least one friend got the same truth out of it: Greek is not an algebraically precise language; it's a human language, with all the foibles and changes that come along with human speech and writing. Turner was continually observing that the precise usage distinctions observed by educated users of classical Greek had eroded in the Κοινή era. Those distinctions are, then, like the precise usage distinctions observed by educated users of English: they are routinely ignored and even flouted by the great majority of ("Κοινή") English speakers. And that's okay—okay for English and okay for Greek. If you think you can look up the exact meaning of a-given-preposition-followed-by-a-noun-in-a-given-case, and that thereby you may ignore the context in which that construction appears, you're treating Greek like a magic spell instead of a human language. That's a life lesson worth learning for all exegetes....more
Just fine, but it felt perfunctory—like Ryken was dutifully distilling the quotes and talking points people-like-us like to make about worldview. TherJust fine, but it felt perfunctory—like Ryken was dutifully distilling the quotes and talking points people-like-us like to make about worldview. There's Kuyper's "Mine!" quote; there's Creation, Fall, Redemption. Perhaps this little book would serve as a good introduction, but I would still prefer Wolters' Creation Regained. It has the feel of a life's labor, and it is more richly scriptural. Ryken probably deserves more than three stars, and I didn't find myself disagreeing very much at all. He just failed to get me interested....more
I read this book because blogger Justin Taylor said professor Leland Ryken said I should. I was not disappointed. A few of the many coincidences stretI read this book because blogger Justin Taylor said professor Leland Ryken said I should. I was not disappointed. A few of the many coincidences stretched my ability to be immersed in the world Dickens created, but they did not break that ability. It was the characters who, though sometimes painted in extreme colors, kept me immersed. Dickens' send-up of high-society toadies was hilarious. I was also deeply affected by Joe's grace to Pip, and by Biddy's wisdom. Who cannot see the grace of God reflected in those characters? And I felt Pip's rocky experience with fortune was a valuable picture.
Reading stories isn't just about distilling morals, it's about that immersion. But the world you see when you're immersed in Dickens is a moral one, and if there is a moral to this particular story, I think I got it. Mixing up two biblical proverbs: "Better is a little with righteousness than great treasure and trouble with it" (Prov. 16:8). The great expectations we sometimes entertain that our ship will come in fail to recognize that ships carry rats and disease in our fallen world, and not just cargo. The Greeks knew that stories shape us precisely because of the moral worlds they create. We should know it as well, and it's a mark of the common grace of God that an unconverted man, living however in a Christ-haunted culture, could produce tales of such moral worth—and sheer enjoyment.
I did get the audio book for 99 cents (see Taylor's post for more info), and I mostly listened to the book while driving, doing laundry, and feeding a beautiful newborn boy whose life, I pray, will benefit from a family stability Pip did not enjoy....more
This was really an excellent little book. Accessible, perceptive, engaging, and rooted in that Christian intellectual tradition this little Crossway sThis was really an excellent little book. Accessible, perceptive, engaging, and rooted in that Christian intellectual tradition this little Crossway series is aiming to reclaim. It loses one star on a technicality: if we're really reclaiming an intellectual tradition, I think we should get a little more hint—in the footnotes, at the very least—that the discussion is in fact tied to that tradition. The authors claim Augustine, Calvin, and Edwards for their side (and I believe they were accurate in doing so), but that was the closest I remember the book getting to Christian-intellectual-tradition-reclamation.
The authors teach art and music, respectively, at Grove City College. They tie beauty to goodness and truth, as Christians have long done. And they persuasively argue that the denial of truth in our postmodern era has had an organic relationship with the rise of the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that it is entirely subjective. The authors helped crystallize for me the idea that beauty is tied to the created order.
I wrote my own perceptive comment in my notes ("wow") after this perceptive comment:
Aesthetic relativism is an attack on revelation resulting in moral and epistemological relativism. Where does it come from? Sins like sloth, lust, and pride may play a part, but most fundamentally our attraction to aesthetic relativism suggests an aversion to God’s glory. Could it be that we hate beauty because we hate God? That we hate real pleasure?
I've got no time to write a fuller review and, frankly, I consider myself a newbie in the arena of aesthetics, but here's a hint of the meaty stuff you'll chew on if you take up and read this little book. Here are "four reasons, based on the Christian doctrine of general revelation, why we should enjoy art and music."
1. Artists and musicians expound general revelation in much the same way that preachers expound special revelation. 2. Art and music are communication from our fellow man. 3. Art and music help us avoid being desensitized. 4. Failure to enjoy art and music invites folly.
It's a travesty to quote these without explaining some of the development the authors provide, but my aim is appetite-whetting. Buy this book. It's a quick but deeply insightful read....more
A gracious and godly man giving a lot of good advice. But it isn't enough to proclaim that a given issue shouldn't divide Christians. Independent BaptA gracious and godly man giving a lot of good advice. But it isn't enough to proclaim that a given issue shouldn't divide Christians. Independent Baptists need their leaders to dig deeper in their exegesis of passages like Romans 14. Chappell covered that passage but didn't seem to do any homework on it. He raced quickly over Paul's intense reasoning and left me saying, "Woah, woah! Did Paul really say that? Maybe, but I'm not just going to take the author's word for it." Without such exegesis his applications are only one more human opinion.
Two other little things: 1) The Waldenses and Albigenses were not proto-independent-Baptists. 2) And I deeply appreciated warnings about manipulative revivalist practices but puzzled over the list of Baptist worthies Chappell praised late in the book. It seemed to me that those men were guilty of some of the focus on numbers and failure to follow up with discipleship that Chappell decries.
Chappell is engaging in gentle, humble, name-no-names fundamentalist self-criticism. And that's to be appreciated....more