Wednesday, 2 January 2008

On Good and Bad Christian Books

So, yesterday, after getting home (a little pinker than when I left Rebecca's - back to normal now) I did a little reading. I read two books and then a short story. And then I started to work out what I wanted to read next. I noticed that I had a response to another book. I hadn't read it yet (altough I've had it for more than a year) because I didn't have the book that it was a response TO. But, looking at my books, I DID have the 'continuation' of it.

The book I didn't have was called Honest to God, and it was neither honest nor to God. I felt ill reading the response (called For Christ's Sake). For Christ's Sake was good, but even reading the quotations of Honest to God really made me feel ill. As the writer of FCS said, it would be bad enough if anyone wrote this book, but the guy who wrote it was a bishop in the Anglican church. That makes the book even worse. If I'm going to read something by Dawkins, I know that it's going to be an anti-God book. He's Dawkins, after all. But a bishop is supposed to be an actual believer in God.

But I looked at the second book I had by John AT Robinson, Exploration into God. After all, it's possible he was misrepresented. It does happen. So I opened it up and took a look in the contents. The last chapter was entitled: Beyond the God of Theism. There was also a chapter entitled "The Journey Inwards" and another was "An Exercise in Re-Centering". Seems that For Christ's Sake was spot on. So I'm getting rid of them both. For Christ's Sake is, as I said, a good response, but I don't want anthing to do with Honest to God.

Well, all that talk about Richard Dawkins reminded me that in his recent book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Francis Collins calls some Intelligent Design scientists the "rebellious love child" of some guy and Richard Dawkins. The rest of the book wasn't too good, but it was worth it for that comment alone.

So, onto the good book. And boy, is it good! I'm reading A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm by W. Phillip Keller It's FANTASTIC. You all need to read it. He was a shepherd, and he goes through this famous Psalm line by line explaining what that line actually means in terms of shepherding, and he then relates it to God's relationship with us. For example, did you know that there are 4 different conditions that a sheep needs to have met before it will "lie down" anywhere. A good shepherd will do all he can to make sure these conditions are met so that the sheep in his flock can rest. And we have the BEST shepherd. So read it. It's fantastic!

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