My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

26 July 2005

Vacation Books

Here I am in the middle of vacation...I thought I'd give you some very short notes on books I've read or are reading lately.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince - Another good book by Rowling; I sure wish, though, parents would read it before they let their kids read it. As Harry grows up, so do the books: there's some fairly harsh language in this one. Amazing storytelling, too.

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis - A really amazing book of which I'm sure I understood very little. Lewis retells the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche (which I don't know much about) into a mythical story about two sisters. Anyway, there's not much I can tell you about the book till I read it a few more times, but it's definitely worth your time.

The Life of John Brown by John Brown and William Brown - John Brown of Haddington was a Scottish pastor in the 18th century. This is a remarkable life story, of an orphan teaching himself Greek, Hebrew & Latin while plowing fields. The book includes some autobiographical fragments, a large portion of his "last words", some notes from his son, and pieces of his shorter writings. A couple thoughts: First, the writing isn't all that good and the book isn't well organized at all - yet it retains some power. Second, the religion of John Brown - or at least the religion he puts forth in his writings - seems quite odd or over the top. He is so often denegrating himself, casting himself in the worst possible light. This helps him exult more in Jesus' love, but it makes him seem like a religious manic-depressive. Lately, I've been pondering what good and bad self-esteem is. If I, as a pastor, met someone who spoke himself/herself like Brown wrote about himself, I would take them to the Scriptures and learn about definitive sanctification, about being a new creation in Christ.

6 comments:

Kara said...

Till We Have Faces is my favorite work of fiction, although I hated it the first time through. I've read it about four times now, and it really does take many times through to even scratch the surface of Lewis's depths in that book.

Tamara Rose said...

cool! I don't really like harry potter that much and i havn't read the other 2 but they sound good. well i hope your having fun on your vacation! ttyl

Meg Hughes said...

Jared,
I also noted that there was an increase of adult language and teen-TV type situations in #6, but I think it may be my second favorite HP anyway. It packed a real surprise ending and (maybe?) a message about grace with Dumbledore's trust of Snape?

Continued happy reading on your vacation!

Meg

Kurt said...

As we take every thought captive to Christ, here is a revealing dissertation on how idolatric practices can weave themselves into a contemporary Christian worldview:

Using Alchemy to Teach Christianity?
A chapter by chapter examination of Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger....
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/harry-granger.htm

Jared said...

I wondered if I would have to defend Harry Potter or not...of course parents are wise to be careful for what they and their kids read.

Here are a couple links to well-thought articles on some questions of Harry Potter's helpfulness for Christians (thanks to barlowfarms.com for the links).

Jared

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0001/reviews/jacobs.html

http://www.christiancounterculture.com/articles/harry_potter.html

Kurt said...

I have just read "Harry Potter's Magic" by Alan Jacobs and have a question - for anybody:

What is the source of Harry Potter's "magic" within the context of the book?