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  What Book Are You Currently Reading? (search mode)
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 336188 times)
True Federalist
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« on: May 14, 2011, 06:11:25 pm »

The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian by Shelby Foote
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True Federalist
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 03:16:24 pm »

You like cats, correct?
Yes, but they don't write books. Tongue
Yes they do.  It's how they can afford to buy cheezburgers. Wink
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True Federalist
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:05:13 pm »

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True Federalist
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 06:04:48 pm »
« Edited: September 28, 2013, 06:12:38 pm by True Federalist »

After coming across a quote from it that piqued my interest, I went to the library today and got a copy of The Problem of Pain by C.S.Lewis.  Fairly straightforward so far, with me being pretty much in agreement, but not finding anything especially profound, just reasonably well-written.  I'll reserve judgement until I've finished reading it to decide whether I'd recommend it.

Still I'll share with you a quote I found interesting:
"We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven a senile benevolence [...] whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be said at the end of each day 'a good time was had by all.'"
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True Federalist
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 09:48:27 pm »

City of God by Augustine of Hippo.

I'm currently in the middle of the second of the twenty two essays, and so far I'm not impressed.  He's coming across as more sanctimonious than sanctified so far.  I think I see why the preface suggested a first time reader might want to skip over the first ten essays and come back to them later.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 09:11:21 pm »

I went ahead and returned City of God to the library after finishing only the first three essays. Maybe I'll some day read the rest (or at least the eleventh and later essays), but neither his style nor his theology were all that appealing to me. More than a trace of Augustine's former Manichaean beliefs are fairly evident, which likely contributed to that assessment.  I fully believe there is such a thing as evil, but I don't need a dualistic theology to explain how there an be both evil in the world and a God who is good. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "The fault, dear Augustine, is not in our devils, but in ourselves."
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True Federalist
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 01:04:32 am »

I'm currently slogging thru Aquinas' Summa Theologica.  Maybe it's the translation I'm reading, but I'm not impressed so far.  He makes assumptions that while doctrinally sound are still assumptions yet he casts them as self-evident truths.  He also asks some questions I don't really see the point of, such as "Is God a superior example of oneness to all other ones?"  First off, as far as I'm concerned one is one.  Something is either one or it is not and I fail to see how one one can be different from another one its quality of oneness.  Even if it were possible for there to be differing types of oneness, how would one judge one one to be superior another one?  Aquinas doesn't say, nor does he say (at least in what I've read so far) why he considered the question worth asking.  He just points out that he had previously shown that God is one and that God is superior to all else, therefore He must be the superior epitome of oneness.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2013, 12:03:33 am »

I can't really argue for or against Aquinas' position here since I don't know what he means by 'oneness' in this context

If he means anything by one other than one, he never states it.  Perhaps I'm stuck with a bad translation.  I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme unity" far more readily than I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme one" and I can sorta see how a bad translation from Latin might confuse the two concepts.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2013, 11:34:27 pm »

I particularly liked the Fiat Lux portion so far and wish Miller would have told us more about how that subplot turned out.

You may wish to read Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman then.  It's set about seventy years after Fiat Lux. Miller was working on it when he died and the estate had another author finish it.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 08:47:56 am »

(EDIT: Ernest got there first.)

But you gave a fuller discourse, one I was not able to provide since I have not read Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman myself.  I tend to be dubious of estate-completed sequels.  They rarely are as good as the original.

As for my own reading, Christ the Eternal Tao is currently on my plate.  It's written by an Russian Orthodox hieromonk and treats Lao Tzu in a manner similar to how Greek philosophers are often treated by the Church.  It's interesting, but I need to read some undiluted Daoist works before I can reasonably hope to comment on how faithful to the Daoist perspective the work is.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 05:08:21 pm »

I'm reading a book, I will give you the opening paragraph and see if you can guess it.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Tale of Moderate Heroism?
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True Federalist
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2013, 12:18:03 pm »

I'm reading Tintin. Because it's Christmas.

Nothing so wonderfully captures the Christmas spirit as Tintin in the Congo.  What better exemplifies the spirit of giving that marks the season than white men giving civilization to child-like Africans?
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True Federalist
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 08:27:28 pm »

Resa Aslan - Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth


I was able to get it for $13 so I took the plunge.  it's relatively well done, and written for a mass rather than an academic audience, unlike most of the reading on religion/theology I've done over the past few years, which is refreshing, in its own way.  he focuses on the 'historical Jesus' and takes great pains to place him within the context of the socio-political situation of first-century Palestine, especially vis-a-vis the relationship between the Jewish cult and the Roman occupation.

I did skip ahead and read the chapter on Paul, towards whom Aslan can barely conceal his enmity, fwiw.

My own views on Paul have softened somewhat over the past few years.  Much of the more problematic material in the Pauline epistles appears to have not been written by him and I'm convinced that at worst Paul was deluded rather than an intentional fraud.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 10:28:47 pm »

The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer (1910 translation of the 1907 edition)

An interesting read on the development of the treatment of the historical Jesus during the 18th and 19th centuries and corresponding with it the development of Marcan priority.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 11:14:45 pm »

The Gospel in Hymns by Albert Bailey

An old 1950 book I got from the library and much more interesting than I thought it would be.  It's not a telling of the gospel story in hymns as I thought from the title, but a history of the English-language church since the break with Rome as exemplified by the hymns written and sung in each period in history.  It's only real fault is that it is six decades out of date.  I'd love to have a new book done in the same style.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2014, 07:57:34 pm »

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Picked them up from the library.  Finished the first, which was delightful, and halfway through the second which isn't as satisfying, since Hoff inserts some Eeyore-ish comments of his own into the text of his sequel.  (My impression of their relative merit appears to be generally shared by others.  On the B&N website, the first has 4.5 stars and the second but 3.5 stars.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2014, 01:25:48 am »

Heart of the World by Hans Urs von Balthasar.  Interesting, and if I shared his premises I would share his conclusion.  But frankly, I found little in his premises that I agreed with. I don't see Human individuality as inherently incompatible with Divine unity.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2015, 09:18:55 am »

"A Canticle for Leibowitz". Loved it until Br. Francis died. Not sure what to think of the book's second part.
It's good.  It suffers from a fate common to many well-beloved SF works, heirs getting a second rate sequel written from something in the notes left behind so as to milk some extra money out of fans, but that doesn't affect the book itself.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2015, 10:35:42 pm »

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A good read so far, and the first of Spong's books I've ever opened. I think he overstates his premise, but there do seem to be some genuine nuggets of golden insight.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2016, 05:08:11 am »

I just finished rereading The Tao of Pooh. It's an enjoyable little primer on Daoism; and I'm thinking of giving a little talk on Daoism based on it at my UU church. I recommend it, but don't recommend the author's sequel, The Te of Piglet. In fact, rereading Pooh I see hints of what I didn't care for in Piglet. (The author comes across as an environmentalist Eeyore in Piglet.)
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