|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|Your strength is just an accident owed to the weakness of others. -Joseph Conrad||Quotes|
Calvinist philosophy professor Theodore Plantinga suggests that 'post-Enlightenment' Protestants, so as to act progressively or correctly in support of individual liberties, should embrace the Protestant faith, building their responses to the world on the foundation of Calvin and Luther, rather than embrace 'short-sighted' Enlightenment ideas. How does Plantinga justify his view that the societal direction of Western civilization can be improved by eschewing the Enlightenment influence and replacing it with the Reformational Christian outlook of the 16th century?
Pocket Review, Title Band Of Brothers, Studio HBO, Rating 5.0,
Band of Brothers is intimate, sobering, and gives some sense of the bonds formed in war by soldiers facing death together. It is an account of a cohort of U.S. airborne troops, beginning with their training through their World War II combat experiences in Normandy, Holland, the Ardennes Forest, Alsace and Bavaria, culminating in the post-war occupation of Bavaria and central Austria. This is the best war movie ever made.
Book Pocket Review, Title A New History Of Early Christianity, Author Charles Freeman, Rating 3.5,
A New History Of Early Christianity
This is a very readable historical treatment of the early gestation of Christianity. The approach is explicitly historical rather than theological, allowing the author to examine the early documents and archeology in light of the culture and politics of the early Christian writers. In particular the diverse perspectives and the many contradictions found in their writings can make more sense when considering wider historical influences, such as the region the writer came from, the language(s) they spoke and didn't speak, whether they were Jewish or Gentile, their position in society, and so on.
Book Briefly Noted, Title Why Evolution Is True, Author Jerry A. Coyne, Rating 3.5,
Why Evolution Is True
Jerry A. Coyne
This book has been hailed by some as a clear-eyed exposition of modern evolutionary biology. I found it strong on the science, and disappointingly weak on the intellectual discipline.
Book Briefly Noted, Title The Ministry of Special Cases, Author Nathan Englander, Rating 4.0,
The Ministry of Special Cases
In The Ministry of Special Cases Nathan Englander tells a story of the Dirty War of Argentina as if in the guise of Isaac Bashevis Singer. The tale is steeped in irony, told through the eyes of a Jew, Kaddish Pozsnan, even outcast from the Jewish community of Buenos Aires.
Movie Review, Title Five Easy Pieces, Studio Columbia TriStar, Rating 3.0,
The movie Five Easy Pieces was all the rage when it was made, a tale of alienation in a time when many fancied themselves agents of great change, so I decided to finally watch the whole thing, having only seen the famous chicken sandwich scene. Jack Nicholson's performance was excellent. The film, alas, for me, was too psychologically brutal to enjoy, and left me wondering what the point was.
Book Book Review, Title Shut Up, Legs!, Author Jens Voigt, James D. Startt, Rating 3.0,
Shut Up, Legs!
Jens Voigt, James D. Startt
Jens Voigt was a wonderful cyclist to watch in the Tour de France. He was an aggressive rider, willing to attack in breakaways with few odds of success, friendly and available before and after a race. His motto, 'Shut Up, Legs!,' can be appreciated by anyone who rides bicycles long distance, or any endurance athlete for that matter: Muscular pain from exertion must be ignored in the pursuit of endurance feats.