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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Review: Love Among the Chickens

Love Among the Chickens
Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ha ha, that was a fun ride. I’m not entirely sympathetic with Ukridge but his final stand was entertaining and approaching redemptive.

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Review: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. It’s filled with psychology and sociology studies, but written in an accessible and interesting way. Grant uses real world illustrations and doesn’t flood us with statistics or jargon. I don’t know that this book had a lot to say about originality but it definitely had much to say about leadership, persuasion, influence, etc. If nothing else, it’s worth reading to be armed with the term “strategic procrastination.”

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