"The Sin of Certainty" is a reflective and extremely well written book; I think it dovetails nicely with Enns' previous book "The Bible Tells Me So"."The Sin of Certainty" is a reflective and extremely well written book; I think it dovetails nicely with Enns' previous book "The Bible Tells Me So". After reading the latter, much of my intellectual perspective on the Bible was broken down into itty bitty pieces. I was questioning everything about a book I'd known since childhood, but in a good way -- it felt healthy. (This feeling was largely related to how well Enns laid out his arguments and concluded them.) Then, in "the Sin of Certainty" Enns demonstrated that although useful in some ways, an intellectual view of the Bible can detract from true faith. (I saw this happen a lot with peers in college and graduate school; once a professor started to pull at the thread of an argument that was tied to a belief, students would get extremely defensive and unable to move forward in the conversation.) He emphasized how quickly intellectual arguments tied to faith come apart easily, not only in an academic setting, but also on the occasion that life throws you for a loop. Instead, Enns focused on trusting the person of God, and supported his reflections with numerous verses in the Bible from others who had done the same.
This books was clearly deeply personal for Enns, but it is extremely relatable as well. It reads quickly, yet profoundly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it both on an intellectual and personal level. There were times when I wanted him to go further with an explanation about a Bible verse or a point he was making, but he always wisely reminded me that that is not point of the book. The book does not seek to explain or bolster faith as many Christians use and understand that word. Instead he lays bare all the complexities of trusting God just as we trust others in our lives on a daily basis, which is largely instinctual, complex, and unintellectual act. ...more
Despite a lack of footnotes (which ALWAYS bothers me in a non fiction book --- although Pollen includes a comprehensive bibliography and resources inDespite a lack of footnotes (which ALWAYS bothers me in a non fiction book --- although Pollen includes a comprehensive bibliography and resources in the back of the book), this book reads very scholarly and well researched. Yet for all that, Pollan's writing is very approachable and has a nice flow to it.
I take no issues with the science of this book; he's preaching to this vegetarian-granddaughter-of-immigrants-choir with this kind of information. All of it makes perfect sense and speaks very well to the constantly changing nutritional science rammed down our throats to little or no result in our overall health and weight management.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Don't eat anything your great grandparents would not have recognized as food. Eat consciously and with enjoyment. ...more
This book is a more challenging read than other translations of Beowulf, mostly because Tolkien is obviously no longer alive to edited it, and this veThis book is a more challenging read than other translations of Beowulf, mostly because Tolkien is obviously no longer alive to edited it, and this version is the combination of several versions he left behind. That being said, it's a beautiful, evocative translation, and much more poetic and saga-ish than translations normally used in academic settings. It also has the added bonus of Tolkien's Sellic Spell and his Lay of Beowulf. Well worth a read, but not an easy one. (I gave it four stars simply because although footnotes would have messed with the flow, I would have preferred them to endnotes.)...more
I grew up as a Christian, spent my childhood and young adulthood in church involved in various church activities, went to a Christian college and tookI grew up as a Christian, spent my childhood and young adulthood in church involved in various church activities, went to a Christian college and took many Bible classes and history classes centered around Christianity, and earned a masters in Medieval European History, which involves quite a lot of church history and Bible history. I thought I was pretty well versed in multiple perspectives on the Bible and ways to read it, but "The Bible Tells Me So" showed me I had missed some crucial ones. Dr. Enns' conversational, humorous, and intelligent writing opened my mind and blew it up, especially with his chapters on God in the Hebrew Scriptures and how the story of Israel was the number one focus for most of the authors in the Hebrew Scriptures. While I'm still processing much of the ideas put forth in this book, I can say that it has enriched my faith (a faith I thought I pretty much had figured out, because I thought I'd worked out most of the academic kinks in college and grad school, obviously arrogantly so), by expanding my idea of who God is and how God was viewed in the book at the center of my faith by ancient authors. Dr. Enns described reading the Bible as "eavesdropping on an ancient spiritual journey" (I might be paraphrasing; I don't have the book in front of me), which brings God outside of the confines of the Bible while at the same time freeing the reader of the Bible to not have to reconcile every discrepancy that the Bible is riddled with, because God is bigger than the Bible and the Bible was written by humans in their ancient context for their own ancient reasons, namely to tell the story of their nation, Israel. This sounds super simplistic, but "The Bible Tells Me So" goes much deeper than this; like I said, I'm still processing and I'm no where near the writer Dr. Enns is. If you want or need a fresh perspective on the Bible, or just want to read a funny and well-written book on the Bible, this book is for you. ...more
This book is a gentle and scholarly look at how Christians can approach the human origin story. Ultimately, the book draws the reader's attention to "This book is a gentle and scholarly look at how Christians can approach the human origin story. Ultimately, the book draws the reader's attention to "...the phenomenon...referred to as 'interpreting the Bible.' What earnest readers think the Bible says is sometimes a merging of what is there in black and white and how one's faith tradition has come to understand it. And that merger is often seamless, so much so that most readers are not even aware of it." (p. 114) While the first part of the book deals with Old Testament history, culture and faith tradition surrounding the creation story, the second part of the book looks at how St. Paul interpreted the tradition of Adam in the light of his context and his Christology, and how readers throughout history have interpreted Paul. Dr. Enns' conversational writing style made this a wonderful and educational read. But if I have one criticism of the book (and I know it's probably more the publishers fault than yours), I would have appreciated footnotes rather than endnotes. So please alter your manuscript accordingly and mail me a finished copy for my next reading. Please and thank you. :)...more
This was the first book I've read by James Herriot, and I've been a fan of the show for years. I thought the book was gorgeous. Herriot's writing wasThis was the first book I've read by James Herriot, and I've been a fan of the show for years. I thought the book was gorgeous. Herriot's writing was descriptive without being long-winded and he writes his characters with a depth and observation few have. I will certainly have to get my hands on the rest of his books....more
I love this book as much as I love Tolkien's other works. Although it wasn't meant to be, I wish it was much longer in order to fill in many of the taI love this book as much as I love Tolkien's other works. Although it wasn't meant to be, I wish it was much longer in order to fill in many of the tantalizing detail and history I've come to love in LOTR. Luckily, Tolkien wrote many histories, so my complaint is really moot. I love this story for its simplicity, images, and characters. ...more
As always, Carol Drinkwater has her own view on life and the way it should be. And as always, she writes life as it happens, without glossing over theAs always, Carol Drinkwater has her own view on life and the way it should be. And as always, she writes life as it happens, without glossing over the tougher parts, with an honesty and imagery I have not found in any other author. Her road to farm her land organically is a hard one, and at the end of the book it was not complete or resolved. But reading her growing and developing philosophy on Nature and what she can and cannot control, I found very uplifting and refreshing. Through her challenges, she always manages to maintain a sense of wonder and appreciation for the Earth when she would have have reason to be discouraged.
While I missed reading about life at Appassionata, I found myself engrossed in thechanging landscapes, colors, and personalities that made up this booWhile I missed reading about life at Appassionata, I found myself engrossed in thechanging landscapes, colors, and personalities that made up this book. The book was more educational than drinkwater's other narrratives, and i appreciated the history and descriptions of the places she visited. I also learned a great deal about what the olive tree has to offer a part of the world already challenged by lack of water, and how damaging over-farming is to the planet, not just the Mediterranean. Another wonderful, though-provoking, and character-laden book from Carol Drinkwater....more