On the Bookshelf

I am now reading The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis, to Christopher.  This is the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series.  It is also my least favorite, as it displays 3 aspects of C.S. Lewis’s beliefs which I think are wrong to varying degrees.

I am reading The Fellowship of the Ring  , by J.R.R. Tolkien, to Susan.  It is a rule in our house that you do not see the Lord of the Rings movies until you have read or heard the books.

Jane and I are reading “That Hideous Strength“, also by C.S. Lewis, to each other.  This is the 3rd volume in the  Space Trilogy.  One nice thing about this book (as compared to previous books we have read together) is that it is neither too masculine (i.e. the Jack Aubrey novels) or too feminine (the #1 Ladies Detective Agency novels) for us to take turns reading to each other.

I continue to plod slowly through the Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin.  I am through the section on the Ten Commandments.  If Calvin had known about the Internet, I am sure he would have said something about it in his commentary on the Ninth Commandment. 

I am also reading (don’t report me to the Presbyterian Inquisition for this) “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict XVI.  I am not very far along with this, but here are my impressions, as a person who is not normally very sympathetic to Roman Catholicism or the Papacy:

1)  It is a really good book.  If you are Roman Catholic you should buy it.  If I were a Roman Catholic priest I would get a copy, and I could probably mine it for 50 or so homilies.

2)  It is not particularly Roman Catholic in its focus.  Therefore, a hard-core Protestant like me can read it without it feeling like fingernails on a chalkboard.  In fact the author explicitly says he is not using his papal authority when he teaches in this book.

3)  The book looks at the Jesus’ public ministry, using all four gospels together, starting with his baptism and temptation.  The author’s goal is that you would look at the gospels and learn who Jesus is.  He says that the unfortunate result of much modern critical scholarship is that it either makes Jesus unknowable, or it analyzes the biblical text in a “scientific” method that puts Jesus at a safe distance, much like a frog in a jar of formaldehyde.  These approaches, being based on faulty presuppositions, are deeply flawed.  It is important to look at the gospels in faith, knowing that they are trustworthy and God speaks through them.

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One thought on “On the Bookshelf

  1. I acquired the “Jesus of Nazareth” book from my pastor when he retired. I have not read it, but intend to. Thanks for your thoughts on it. I’ll have to share mine when I’m done 🙂

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