Sunday, October 05, 2008

One Book Meme

That last series was really helpful and I appreciate all the feedback. If you still wish to dialogue about it I will be checking the comments for awhile. Of course, for those of us whom this directly involves, now it is time to find a way to address the denomination. Anyone who wishes to discuss that issue further with me can feel free to email or find me on facebook or something. As for this site, I hate to think that my usual posts are trivial, but it will be sort of nice to just blog about stuff that doesn't have the same kind of immediate importance again! Anyway, the following seemed like a decent way to get back to regular blogging.

I've seen this meme at a few other blogs lately, including here, here, and (along with an explanation of what a "meme" is) here. Its pretty simple: 13 categories (I've added a few), one book for each question. Quite honestly, the Bible would be my answer for many of these questions, but I'm going to follow Dustin's lead and assume we're not talking about books that claim divine inspiration, or have multiple authors. (Now that I think of it, it might be interesting to do this meme for books of the Bible.) Anyway, here goes:

1.) One book that changed your life

Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton (1907)

2.) One book you've read more than once

Resident Aliens: A Provocative Assessment of Culture and Ministry for People Who Know That Something is Wrong - Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon (1989)

3.) One book you'd want on a desert island

A Comprehensive Guide to Shipbuilding (this answer has been stolen from G.K.C., but I think its the truth)

4.) One book that made you laugh

Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby (1992)

5.) One book that made you cry

A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid - Pumla Gobodo-Madikezela (2003)

6.) One book you wish had never been written
Tribulation Force - Jerry Jenkins and Tim Lahaye (1997)

7.) One book you wish had been written

Church Dogmatics: Laymen's Edition - Karl Barth

8.) One book you are currently reading

The One, The Three, and The Many: God, Creation, and the Culture of Modernity - Colin Gunton (1993)

9.) One book you have been meaning to read but its size has prevented it

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (c. 1869)

10.) One book you were very glad to have been forced to read

Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context - Stanley Grenz and John Franke (2001)

11.) One book you wish they'd told you about

Adversus Haereses - Irenaeus (c. 180)

12.) One book that blew your mind

Perelandra - C.S. Lewis (1944)

13.) One book everyone ought to read

Exclusion and Embrace - Miroslav Volf (1996)


Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

This is great.

I'd forgotten that Chesterton remark about the shipbuilding book.

I'm really curious about this Exclusion and Embrace book now.

Umm, Stalker gets 7 and Amelie gets 10? Uh oh. I don't think we can be friends anymore.

jon said...

Well, Amelie was perfect for what it was. Stalker had great dialogue and interesting cinematography, and so it was good, but it didn't do it for me enough to be superior like an 8+. Admittedly that may have something to do with watching it in chunks late at night by myself. It just didn't grip me quite like I felt like it was supposed to. But the dialogue was awesome, when it was happening. i'd definitely recommend it. But I'd recommend Andrei Rublev way sooner.

Anonymous said...

Nice list, man. I gotta start reading more novels.

So what did you like about the Grenz and Franke's book? And how are you enjoying Gunton? Just watch out for his take on ol'Augustine :)

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Yeah, I like 'Amelie' too. Quite a bit.

For me 'Stalker' and '2001' are the only sci-fi films that have really gotten to me, so it seems like blasphemy to rate what is in my estimation a good-but-not-great film like 'Amelie' higher than Tarkovsky's epic of mystery.

Everyone should think like me! Ha.

It's a lot of fun for me keeping track of what films/books/etc you're consuming. I can see your Christianity reflected so brilliantly in the art you choose to interact with.

jon said...

thanks matthew. yeah its tough when you are comparing such different moviews. i can definitely see how stalker is in there with 2001. i think 2001 was more gripping for me somehow. visually? plot-wise? i don't know. i'm not saying stalker was bad, and i can certainly see the appeal.

jon said...

dustin: i'm finding gunton a little thick, but i like the basic angle he's taking. ever since reading volf and another book by van-leeuwen i've been thinking alot about us as social beings who nonetheless must be differentiated persons for that to mean anything. it is the tension or interplay of the one and the many that seems (socio-scientifically) to be so central to what it is to be human, and it is so insightful to me that this is not only affirmed but is spoken into (and rooted) in the Trinity. This is changing everything for me, really.

Incidentally, Matthew, that's part why I think any Christian, and anyone who wants a better understanding of what Christianity really is in this world, ought to read Exclusion and Embrace. I think it meets the social realities of our world and our personal lives and shows Christianity as simultaneously more relevant and more offensive (to our tastes) than perhaps imagined.

As for Gunton's take on Augustine, I noticed he was pretty hard on him, throwing him out with the Platonic bathwater so to speak, but I am not versed enough in Augustine to be able to know what's what in that regard. man i got a lot of reading to do.

grenz and franke lived up to their subtitle. that book came along just when i needed to know if there was a way forward for theology, let alone my faith, considering all the questions and doubts i was having (as a fairly postmodern person). this book not only encouraged me that there might be a way but actually charted a pretty decent course. i know there are things to critique about it and things i'll learn are dead ends, but i'd rather be finding my way doing theology in a postmodern context, actually addressing the problems and legitimate questions raised, than continuing to fake it on old apporaches to old questions that were only ever ringing hollow to me anyway.

perhaps other books might have done this for me, but this is the one that did. i intend to read it again. if it wasn't so technical i'd have said it was my one book everyone ought to read.

i assume you read it? did you find it good, helpful, likable?