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Christianity as a Way of Life

Christianity as a Way of Life: A Systematic TheologyChristianity as a Way of Life: A Systematic Theology by Kevin W. Hector
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At times I wondered why he felt the need to give such an extensive argument for some point. Some times the understanding being developed was more traditional than I currently am. Some times it felt like aspects that should be left to metaphor and imagination were being over-analyzed. And then, some parts were profound, innovative, practical, preachable.

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The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous UtopiaThe Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not only is LeGuin one of our greatest writers, she was a profound thinker. Part of the genius of this story is the way it explores and comments upon various human socio-political arrangements and the flaws that creep into any system, but in a way that's not even remotely didactic and always in service to character and plot.

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Why the Bible Began

Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its OriginsWhy the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its Origins by Jacob L. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read numerous books on the Hebrew Scriptures over the decades, and this may be the very best. A summary of the current state of scholarship (and archaeological research), he presents the best understanding of ancient Israelite history, the development of the religion, and the writing, editing, and formation of the canon. Here was synthesized bits and pieces I'd encountered in recent years in various places, but never all put together. And some of it was also new to me. The picture presented is radically different from what I learned in my Old Testament classes thirty years ago.

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Emerson's Essays

Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo EmersonSelected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I first read a few of these essays when I was a sophomore, which seems like the perfect age to do so. When life is full of newness and potential, and we are making choices as to who we are going to become.

I read a little Emerson again a few years later during one of the anniversaries, when there was some Emerson focused events go on.

This reading comes in my very long project of re-reading through the canon in chronological order. And, this time, some resonated and some didn't. You can't accuse him of consistency. Some ideas seemed immature or disproven by the subsequent centuries, while others remain intoxicating. Clearly reading Emerson is still essential to understanding the American character.

One line that really resonated in my reading today was that there are always folks who think they know better how to do your job. Since he was clergy, that really connected with my own experience.

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The Deep Blue Good-By

The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee, #1)The Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

MacDonald was recommended to me by a new friend. Not my usual reading, but I did enjoy it. I did not expect the intense ending. So the story held some surprises that made me respect it more. I really loved his descriptions of various things. For instance, the scene when Lois crawls into Travis's bed was SO well written. And sexy.

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