Instead of helping things, the Church - with few exceptions throughout history - has exacerbated the race problem in America. Overall this book is gre...moreInstead of helping things, the Church - with few exceptions throughout history - has exacerbated the race problem in America. Overall this book is great when it comes to outlining the problem, but a little weak in terms of solutions.(less)
All the concepts are good. I think I'm with him on about 95% of his theology. But sometimes this book was a little tedious to read. The first chapter...moreAll the concepts are good. I think I'm with him on about 95% of his theology. But sometimes this book was a little tedious to read. The first chapter of disclaimers is annoying - most people know they can put down a book if they don't like it. I forced myself to persevere till the end, though, and I have several really profound points tagged...
-(Quoting a mentor) "In a pluralistic world, a religion is valued on the benefits it brings to its nonadherents." (111)
-"When Scripture talks about itself, it doesn't use the language we often use in our explanations of its value...authority, inerrancy, infallibility, revelation, objective, absolute, literal...hardly anyone notices the irony of resorting to the authority of extrabiblical words and concepts to justify one's belief in the Bible's ultimate authority...I've never heard of a church that asked people to affirm a doctrinal statement like 'The purpose of Scripture is to equip God's people for good works' (from 2 Timothy)." (164)
-"The Bible is a story, and just because it recounts (by standards of accuracy acceptable to its original audience) what happened, that doesn't mean it tells what should always happen or even what should have happened." (167)
-"As so many species slide closer to extinction, the rare species known variously as 'Christianus environmentalis' or 'Disciplos verde' is making a comeback." (233) HA!
-"For pop-Evangelical eschatology to proliferate...prophetic visions of reconciliation and shalom within history...had to be pushed beyond history, either into a spiritualized heaven or a millennial middle ground...they also had to marginalize Jesus with all his talk of the kingdom of God coming on earth, being among us now, and being accessible today." (238)
-(quoting Chesterton) "Any man who preaches real love is bound to beget hate...real love has always ended in bloodshed." (143)
-"So here's the tension (referencing a Chesterton quote): we must always be discontented with our portraits of orthodoxy, but we must never, in frustration, throw the Subject of our portrait out the window." (297) This meets me right where I am right now...
Probably should have written down my thoughts the minute I finished reading it, but here are a few snippets I remember:
-Not my favorite Kingsolver. Lo...moreProbably should have written down my thoughts the minute I finished reading it, but here are a few snippets I remember:
-Not my favorite Kingsolver. Longer than it needed to be. Not as neat and clean as some of the other ones. But still definitely worth reading.
-all the eco-talk and anthro-talk I love. all the politics I love.
-The Nathan Price approach to missions is not that exaggerated for the time in which it takes place. I've read non-fiction accounts that are similar. I wasn't expecting much nuance in Kingsolver's approach to missions, but then there's a chapter thrown in the middle about another missionary to the same village who thinks completely differently, and a lot more Christ-like. That was definitely my favorite chapter.
-I was totally intrigued by Adah...the theology of disability...I guess I haven't spent too much time in the mind of someone with a disability.
-Since I was reading Matt's book on myth and fantasy at the same time, I was hyper aware of the moments when this story got didactic. It got pretty heavy near the end, like Kingsolver was trying to create an alternative theology or something. Only it was incomplete, a little contradictory (like when the dead sister narrates the last chapter even though the soul is not supposed to continue after death), and definitely not hopeful. I sort of wish she just stuck to the story and left some things to our imagination.
-Basically - and of course this isn't a fair thing to say - I wish the same book had been written by a Christian. I understand that "toxic theology" doesn't always lead to happy endings, but it's draining to read a book that long and painful and be left without much hope, having watched an entire family's lives ruined amidst corrupt global politics that continue in much the same pattern today.(less)
Obviously I'm biased toward the authors, but this was definitely a good read. Dickerson and O'Hara were really cohesive, too, and you couldn't tell (o...moreObviously I'm biased toward the authors, but this was definitely a good read. Dickerson and O'Hara were really cohesive, too, and you couldn't tell (or I couldn't) who was writing which parts.
I'd have to say my favorite chapters were the ones on modern fantasy - Philip Pullman, Ursula LeGuin, and J.K. Rowling. This is where the author's worldviews, somewhat more subtle up to this point, came out full force and either praised or dug holes in the underlying moral lessons of these books. I definitely do the same thing as I read fantasy, and it was nice to see someone take written stock of the reasons I find myself liking some things more than others. Basically I like a story that reflects - but isn't an allegory of - THE story.
There was also some good background, mostly from Tolkien and Lewis' non-fiction writing, that defined myth, fantasy, and fairy tale and discussed why they are so important.(less)
Maybe it was the moment in life when I read this, but some of Miller's imagery and stories really made me see the same ole gospel in a totally new lig...moreMaybe it was the moment in life when I read this, but some of Miller's imagery and stories really made me see the same ole gospel in a totally new light. Others have said they liked this book less than more well-known works by Miller, but I thought it was the most spiritually challenging I've read of his.(less)
very brief overview of some hotbed political issues and what a possible Christian stance might be. honestly I agree with Tony on most of these, but I...morevery brief overview of some hotbed political issues and what a possible Christian stance might be. honestly I agree with Tony on most of these, but I think there are better books out there on the "red letters" that motivate me to vote the way I do.(less)