some recent reading

February 7, 2007

I finished a handful of books in the last month or so that I’ve not yet been able to get posted on here, but here’s a few thoughts on each:

The Writing Life — by Annie Dillard
This was an easy read, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I might. I think I was hoping for something similar to Bird by Bird, but it read more like a memoir than some guidelines for writing. Maybe it was just discouraging because it made writing sound hard and lonely.

The Rise of the Creative Class — by Richard Florida
I can’t say I normally enjoy reading about sociology that much, but this one held my attention. The best synopsis I can give comes from a paragraph late in the book: “I fear we may well be splitting into two distinct societies with different institutions, different economies, different incomes, ethnic and racial makeups, social organizations, religious orientations and politics. One is creative and diverse — a cosmopolitan admixture of high-tech people, bohemians, scientists and engineers, the media and the professions. The other is a more close-knit, church-based, older civic society of working people and rural dwellers. The former is ascendant and likely to dominate the nation’s economic future. Not only are these places richer, faster growing and more technologically savvy, they are also attracting people.”

Extra Credit: For a good treatment of this book from the always thoughtful Tim Keller, download Christianity and the Creative Age.

Slaves, Women and Homosexuals — by William Webb
You’ve got to be intrigued about this one just because of the title. Webb describes how all three of these categories of human have something in common in that how they are treated in the Bible is often considered archaic by today’s culture. Webb does an in-depth study of how they are treated and shows the the Bible is always trying to advance the cause of women and slaves, but does not treat homosexuality in the same way. I think the first section alone is a worthwhile read for any serious student of the Bible.

Extra Credit: Read some of Scot McKnight’s thoughts on Webb’s work.

The Resurrection of the Son of God — by NT Wright
Geez. I started this one last summer sometime. 700-something pages later, I’m just happy to say I’m done.

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