After finishing the book and giving myself some time to browse other readers thoughts, I'd have to say I come out somewhere in the middle. I think it'After finishing the book and giving myself some time to browse other readers thoughts, I'd have to say I come out somewhere in the middle. I think it's a great, yet easily readable book. It's not an academic exploration, even if at times it does attempt to use research outside of the realm of NT studies, or historical Jesus studies.
My biggest issue with this book is that it's dependent on you already agreeing with him on a historical Jesus having existed. Now that topic is obviously not the point of this point, but it's the previous step before this one. If not, the more accurate title should mention this being more of a study on the earlier communities and what they specifically believed. It's under the assumption that all of x, y, or z are "remembered, changed, and invented", but the possibility of there not being a kernel that all stories go back to is not within this book. Nor is it up for debate any longer for Ehrman. It's a great book if you can get past this presupposition.
He pleads at the end for readers not to approach the texts as pure, unadulterated historical documents. I think this is spot on! Where I don't think he is spot on and where I think he has much ground to cover is his assumption that there actually is any historical truths to be found in regards to the historicity of Jesus. I think he's far too confident in his ability to sift through the documents he deconstructs so well and find something of value on this.
Anyways, interesting book. I'd imagine the liberal readers will love it and the conservative more theological driven readers will detest it as usual. As goes the world of "biblical studies" - totally divided by theological assumptions and jumps and not purely on verifiable historical fact. ...more
Decent book, but I did find the lack of appreciation for individual action concerning. While they acknowledge those who do act individually, they failDecent book, but I did find the lack of appreciation for individual action concerning. While they acknowledge those who do act individually, they fail to address the moral concern for doing so. Since they assume that it's just a small drop in the bucket, it then really doesn't matter. But at least they draw attention to the ability of individual actions influencing those directly around them to make positive changes. Still, I think any concern for climate action is ultimately of moral concern and thus, individual actions should also reflect the same. If it's right or desirable for the collective to do it, it should start with the individual(s) who make up the collective. And it does matter, morally speaking. ...more
This is an academic historical perspective and analysis of the origins and evolution of the Christian narrative that the United States is founded on CThis is an academic historical perspective and analysis of the origins and evolution of the Christian narrative that the United States is founded on Christianity. It is not a casual, nor is it an easily digestible read in my opinion. Green takes a very thorough and exhaustive examination of the historical record - historical events, writings, statements, beliefs of the time, and documents. His legal background is appropriate and helps his handling of the constitutional issues relating to Christianity. The mythical conception of the United States being a Christian nation was done far after the fact. It's shown to be a very specific construction in order to justify and sanctify the country.
An academic publication that I personally feel should be mandatory reading for entering into this particular "debate". Though I feel there is not much of a debate to be had, but Green does take good care to address talking points on both sides of the aisle. Well worth the effort and time to read through. And I especially recommend following through with the 42 pages of notation....more
What an amazing and wonderful book! Lieberman weaves together our evolutionary history and its influences on our modern day life. Dealing primarily wiWhat an amazing and wonderful book! Lieberman weaves together our evolutionary history and its influences on our modern day life. Dealing primarily with the negative aspects, he shows that much of our modern environment enables bad behavior or poor choices that leads to the many ailments of affluence.
Part one is a crash course on our evolutionary history from apes to modern day genus Homo. Part two goes through the following agriculture and industrial revolutions that not only changed us for better or for worse, but also set the groundwork for the environment we currently occupy. Not only has the natural environment been changed, but so has our cultural environment been changed. The third and final part is on how we learn to cope with these mismatch diseases and where to go from here.
I'm very impressed that the book didn't fall a part as many science for a popular audience books tend to do. Though anti-government fundamentalists might find some of his recommendations and thoughts on solving the problems to be petrifying, I would say most will find them reasonable and commonsense. The need for collective action both on the individual level (for those most informed or possessing the right information) and on the group level via government nudges is something he lands upon at the end, but doesn't unpack too much. Regardless, an acceptance that the government already does influence our diets via subsidizing farmers "to grow so much corn that gets turned into high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed beef, and other unhealthy food" would be a big step. I thought it great he brings this up in part three.
This will NOT bring about an overnight improvement upon your health. It WILL however potentially enlighten many who opt to read it and digest the authors thoughts. Taking into account our evolved history is the first step to living healthier lives in the present. ...more
3.5 more than just a 3/5. The book is not as coherent and structured as I had wanted. It's a collection of previously published essays with some edits3.5 more than just a 3/5. The book is not as coherent and structured as I had wanted. It's a collection of previously published essays with some edits. Want to know a more mature take on conservatives? This is your book. Obviously opinion based, but Robin takes a more serious approach throughout his essays arguing that conservatives are better understood as reactionaries who deeply care about maintaining hierarchical structures. Definitely recommended reading for those interested in progressive observations on conservatism. ...more
One of the best books (textbooks) on critical thinking I've read. A book for beginners, Ruggiero sets out to lay down the fundamentals of informal logOne of the best books (textbooks) on critical thinking I've read. A book for beginners, Ruggiero sets out to lay down the fundamentals of informal logic. The readability of this book is what I think sets it apart. It would easily allow it to be digested by those new to the studies of logic and critical thinking. He presents things in a conversational tone, while giving examples in application.
Highly recommended for those new to critical thinking or those experienced minds looking to clear off some of the barnacles that tend to form over time. Especially if you don't use or practice! ...more
An easily accessible book for those who often spar with climate denialists. Or as this book calls them, skeptics. One thing they never use are politicAn easily accessible book for those who often spar with climate denialists. Or as this book calls them, skeptics. One thing they never use are political labels. Often times the denialists are of the conservative side. Nuclear energy is refused by the liberal side. This is probably a good thing as to make the book neutral.
They cover a lot of myths in here. Many of which I had never heard. But all of them are tackled in an easy to understand way. This is not a scholarly publication by any means. Strictly an addition to the conversation for those looking to handle skeptics or denialism. I was generous and gave it five stars because I think simplicity in approach worked in this case! ...more
I had not planned to read this because of the recent Syrian refugee crisis, but it worked out that way. A book filled with many approaches to "doing gI had not planned to read this because of the recent Syrian refugee crisis, but it worked out that way. A book filled with many approaches to "doing good" or in a way, solving moral dilemmas. While some of the examples were interesting and admirable, I do think that there are examples of some being so blindly driven to do good that they overlook the consequences of their pursuit. Pragmatism concerned with the consequences of ones actions should be, or at least is in my opinion, the guiding factor to doing good or increasing overall happiness - both for yourself and those around you.
Still, this books content is food for thought and recommended to any idealist or those interested in morality. ...more
Not sure if I'm ready to give this book a 4 star rating, but more of a 3.5 star rating. I thought given the flood of data and evidence in support of tNot sure if I'm ready to give this book a 4 star rating, but more of a 3.5 star rating. I thought given the flood of data and evidence in support of their argument on trust issues, commentary, or at least some thoughts going forward could have been given. There indeed were some conclusions of sort given, but nothing that I think really carried it forward. I felt confused on exactly what should be done from here on out. Not to mention the lack of mention on whether or not there are objective truths to hold and whether or not certain political dispositions denying them is contributing to gridlock. This seems to work in conjunction with trust factors, but of course this comes down to "ideological" possibly. Though I didn't know truth, objectivity, and intellectual honesty were partisan issues.
An interesting book that at least sets the groundwork for understanding the increasing polarization in American politics, but in no way could I say that this is exhaustive or the end in any way. This is just focusing on one piece - trust. ...more