My 2020 Reading Stats

My 2020 Reading Stats

This year has been quite a wild ride, but one thing that has not changed is the necessity of reading good books. Neil Postman once wrote,

“Almost all of the characteristics we associate with mature discourse were amplified by typography, which has the strongest possible bias toward exposition, a sophisticated ability to think conceptually, deductively and sequentially; a high valuation of reason and order; an abhorrence of contradiction; a large capacity for detachment and objectivity; and a tolerance for delayed response.”

Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 63

It is these very qualities that I wish to cultivate in myself and so I devote a significant time of my life to reading. More than that, I find the reading of a great book to be one of the most consistent and accessible paths to joy (used in C. S. Lewis’ idiom).

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What I Read in 2020

What I Read in 2020

For those interested in my reading statistics, see this post.

Apologetics

City of God Aurelius Augustine

This one has been on my list to read for a while and I finally got to it, albeit in audio form. On the whole, I was very impressed with the breadth of this work. Written as an apologetic against detractors of the faith, Augustine systematically dismantles the pagan roman religion and then sets forth the Christian conception of history. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to dive into patristic theology and after they’ve read The Enchiridion.

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The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (With Scripture Proofs)

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (With Scripture Proofs)

We believe in one God, (Deut. 7:4 cf. Mark 12:29-32, Eph. 4:6)
     the Father almighty,  (2 Cor. 6:18)
          maker of heaven and earth,  (Gen. 1:1)
          of all things visible and invisible.  (Col. 1:16, Heb. 11:3)

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G. K. Chesterton and Conspiracy Theories

G. K. Chesterton and Conspiracy Theories

Ever since I first encountered him my senior year of high school, G. K. Chesterton has become one of my favorite authors. Despite disagreeing on many things (Chesterton was a Roman Catholic and staunch anti-Calvinist, I am a protestant and staunch Calvinist), I always find him insightful and this is one of the most profound pieces I’ve ever read by him about how to engage with a “maniac” with the goal of evangelism.

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Augustine On Suffering

Augustine On Suffering

There are some thinkers throughout history that stand like giants. They are massive pillars upon which the rest of us stand. Aurelius Augustinus, or Saint Augustine, was just such a thinker. I just started reading through Augustine’s City of God and thanks to the magic of technology, I’m able to “read” it while I chisel out eroded sidewalks and repair them with new cement.

As I have been reading through, some sections have stood out to me as particularly insightful and useful for Christians today. One of these is book one, chapter eight, entitled “Of the Advantages and Disadvantages Which Often Indiscriminately Accrue to Good and Wicked Men.” In this short chapter, he deals with suffering, common grace, and providence. Here it is, tolle lege.

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Genesis 6: Sin, Judgment, Grace

Genesis 6: Sin, Judgment, Grace

Introduction

The following is an exegetical essay on Genesis 6:1-8 in which I hope to provide an exegetically rigorous, theologically sensitive, contextual interpretation of one of the most debated passages in Scripture. The essay is divided into seven sections:

  1. Establish the Text
  2. Genre and Context
  3. Structure
  4. Exegesis
  5. Themes and Main Point
  6. Biblical Theology
  7. Application
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My Reading Plan for 2020

Lord willing, the year 2020 will bring my graduation from seminary. That day will usher me into a new era of my life – one in which I have no assigned reading. Therefore, I have decided that it is time for me to create a reading plan in order to insure I keep my intellectual horizon ever broadening. I have decided on thirteen categories from which to read one book next year, which you can see below. This is by no means a list of all I will read, but simply a list of the minimum I will read from each category. For a list of all the books that I read in 2019, see this article.

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What I Read in 2019

Below is a list of what I’ve read in 2019, assorted by genre. I didn’t start keeping track until about November, so I may have forgotten some books in my attempt to make this list. If you want my thoughts on any of these books just ask in the comments.

For my reading plan for 2020, see this article.

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Advent: O God-With-Us

Advent: O God-With-Us

Isaiah 7:14, 8th century B.C.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

O Emmanuel, 5-8th century A.D.

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

John Mason Neal, 1861

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Malcom Guite, 2018

O come, O come, and be our God-with-us
O long-sought With-ness for a world without,
O secret seed, O hidden spring of light.
Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name
Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,
O quickened little wick so tightly curled,
Be folded with us into time and place,
Unfold for us the mystery of grace
And make a womb of all this wounded world.
O heart of heaven beating in the earth,
O tiny hope within our hopelessness
Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,
To touch a dying world with new-made hands
And make these rags of time our swaddling bands.

Advent: O King

Advent: O King

Isaiah 9:6-7, 8th century B.C.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

O Rex Gentium, 5-8th century A.D.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

John Mason Neal, 1861

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Malcom Guite, 2018

O King of our desire whom we despise,
King of the nations never on the throne,
Unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone,
Rejected joiner, making many one,
You have no form or beauty for our eyes,
A King who comes to give away his crown,
A King within our rags of flesh and bone.
We pierce the flesh that pierces our disguise,
For we ourselves are found in you alone.
Come to us now and find in us your throne,
O King within the child within the clay,
O hidden King who shapes us in the play
Of all creation. Shape us for the day
Your coming Kingdom comes into its own.