Review: The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses

The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses
The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of different addresses delivered by Lewis. It’s more like a collection of essays on different, though somewhat connected, topics. Many well-known quotes come from this book. His approach is more philosophical than theological. Many have written about different errors with Lewis, and he certainly has those. He demonstrates a great ability of reason and expression. These make Lewis an author worth reading. I have found there is something to learn from him even when he is wrong, or, at least I should say, when I disagree.

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Review: A Distant Grief: The Real Story Behind the Martyrdom of Christians in Uganda

A Distant Grief: The Real Story Behind the Martyrdom of Christians in Uganda
A Distant Grief: The Real Story Behind the Martyrdom of Christians in Uganda by F. Kefa Sempangi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is the author’s account of Christian faith, joy, courage, suffering, and martyrdom during Idi Amin’s reign of terror in the early 70’s in Uganda. So many is those days faced death daily. Sempangi tells of how people would claim to be converted and they quit asking them if they believed in Jesus Christ and rather asked, “Are you ready to die for Jesus Christ?”

He writes of the work going on in his own heart and life during these times. It was chilling to read of how he narrowly escaped, only by God’s grace, and went to seminary at Westminster in Philadelphia. He reveled in the study and discussions, but found himself drifting into an intellectual Christianity without the fire and zeal of his days in Uganda. It is a constant struggle we Christians face as we seek to have our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength engaged in the love, study, communion, worship, and work of God.

I highly recommend this book. It is also a valuable historical account of a time the author lived through.

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Review: Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith

Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith
Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith by Greg L. Bahnsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a solid work on presuppositional apologetics. Bahnsen refuses and exposes the myth of neutrality, defends the self-attesting authority of God’s Word, and shows why the Word is the ultimate starting point. He gives many counters to the common arguments and objections encountered by Christians in the culture. He recognizes that the collision is one of worldviews and not evidence.

I certainly recommend this excellent work on apologetics. Bahnsen has brought Van Til down to a more accessible level in this book, and that is a good thing.

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Review: The Apostle : A Life of Paul

The Apostle : A Life of Paul
The Apostle : A Life of Paul by John Charles Pollock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a biography of Paul the Apostle. Pollock is biographer and wrote this book as a biographer and historian. The New Testament is not written as a biography of Paul, so there are gaps in his life story. Some of those gaps have historical help to fill them and others don’t. Pollock does some speculating to close the gaps and sometimes notes alternative theories. Overall it was a good treatment and a helpful book to personalize Paul a bit.

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Review: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. It reminded me of twenty plus years ago when I was reading about brain and memory science, game theory, and Martin Gardner books and columns. I was familiar with some of the mnemonic techniques but had no idea there were competitive international memory championships.

The author focused mainly on the memory palace technique for memorizing. I have never personally tried any of these tricks because I fail to see much practical use. Even the author struggled to find some really useful application after a year of training and dramatic performance in competition.

I would like to have seen more counterpoint in this book. He did make one anecdotal reference to puritanical William Perkins, but he didn’t offer much pushback at all. For instance, what is the real benefit of such exercises and what is the cost, mentally? Do these tricks really make a person smarter, or a better person? Finally, seeing numbers as colors or experiencing numbers as emotions makes no sense to me. Foer has packed in a lot of interesting information and it is a worthwhile read.

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