Skip to main content

On my holidays I mostly like reading books on the beach

So I'm gathering the books I'm going to take on holiday with me.

Wesley Owen tells me that the one Christian book I should read this summer is The Shack (at least their Bristol shop is full of copies of it and big 'must read' signs). And Eugene Peterson says it's the new Pilgrems Progress... which is glorious praise if true. And yet Christian fiction usually smells like Contemporary Christian Music - often average, and in the Christian bookshop because it's not good or engaging enough to be sold in Zavvi. Mark Driscoll just says 'don't. Walter Hanegar says it's "spiritual comfort food loaded with theological trans fat". Challies on the Pilgrems Progress comparison: "neither as good nor as original a story and it lacks the theological precision of Bunyan’s work". I'm not opposed to reading it but if it's content is that messed up, and it's not actually all that well written there are plenty of good novels yet to be read!

So, instead I've got Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Colin Duriez' biography of Tom Price's hero Francis Schaeffer, Amy Orr-Ewing's But is it real?, Cormac McCarthy's The Road (though I might finish that before I go), Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach and Dostoevsky's The Karamazov Brothers. Plus possibly Thomas Schreiner's New Testament Theology or something else. Should keep me going for a bit. Plus Bible, Chris Wright's BST on Ezekiel and my copy of The Valley of Vision.

I ♥ books. Some people take the kitchen sink on holiday with them. I just need my bookcase. Now bring on the beaches!

Comments

  1. Dave,

    Duriez on Schaeffer is a gem. I couldn't put it down.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How long is your holiday ?!!!

    That's a seriously ambitious reading list.

    "The Shack" was on Newsnight a little while ago because it is such a publishing phenomenon. Brothers Karamazov is probably about 100x times better though. I really struggled through that but it has stayed with me in a way no fiction book has since. Although I don't think I really get it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The shack has drawn a fair bit of criticism from the online world - i think its Tim Challies who has opposed it on amazon. If im brutally honest I usually deliberately avoid the Wesley Owen best sellers. Joyce Meyer and Rob Bell being quite often on their list doesn't impress me..

    I recommend - not that you asked - Roger Steer's bio of Hudson Taylor or Elisabeth Elliot's bio of Jim Elliot.

    I love books as well. Going abroad for a year as part of my course my big question is. What books can I take?

    ReplyDelete
  4. DK,

    I'd rather aim high than risk running out. And, I am already about a third of the way through Karamazov (and yeah, not all clear on it yet), I'm about 75% of the way through The Road, so that should help... 3.5 weeks of holiday though!

    Larry - I've read the Eliot biog. V.good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Al Mohler did a radio show on, "The Shack" you might like to listen to it. Basically it's an interesting book with some really bad theology! I like your blog.

    God bless

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am just not sure if Driscoll recommends "The Shack"?

    Any ideas? I wish he would not sit on the fence!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK65Jfny70Y

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good list. I'm also part-way through Brothers Karamazov, and loving it! But I admit that I've read several other books in the pause I'm taking... I usually avoid looking at the W.O. recommendations / bestsellers lest I sink into despair - it can quite ruin a day. Apart from grace and gospel hope that is.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Karamazov I'm taking in small doses - I started it in May and keep coming back to it, I fear I'll lose where I'm up to but I'm still enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've read The Shack - its a bit soppy and cringy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. But what about your choice of beaches... obviously none as good as my homeland down the road from you... heading off down there next week... can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  11. For a light hearted, fun fiction, Jan Karon's Mitford Series is the best!

    Read a review in Ravi Zacharias' newsletter recommending it...have read the 7 books in the series several times since :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…