Sunday, November 8, 2009

The List

Please forgive my lack of posting lately. I haven't been at the computer much at all in the past month.

In any case, one reader, J., was curious about what I was reading. Before I get to that, I have to confess that my last article "Where I'm At #2" was, on reflection, a muddle of guck. I proposed that truth is non-relational all the while relating that point as if it were possibly true -- which would make it false. In short, my conclusion was a contradiction. And if any of you took anything from the article -- whether a sense of irritation at my jejune philosophizing, or an impetus to question the nature of truth further -- something was related to you from my writing. If that's the case, then I am batting a good average in the stupidity game.

Forgive me, please.

As for what I'm reading lately, I've got a few titles I'm charging through. Here they are in no particular priority.

A.N. Wilson is a tremendous biographer, to my estimation. I've read a couple of his earlier works and enjoyed them very much. This latest read fits into my continuing research into doubt, skepticism, agnosticism, and atheism. It's quite a fascinating piece, and well worth the purchase, if you don't mind a challenge.

More from the Documentary Hypothesis front. Crisp, lucid prose, but not meant for anyone looking for an introduction to the origins of Judeo-Christian scripture. Certainly not a hit with Catholics because it challenges their self-assurance that they've got it all sussed out anyway. But coming from a former nun, I'm not too concerned that Karen Armstrong really wants to kowtow to the usual theological prattle concerning the genesis of holy writ. And to that end, I am happy to be educated.

I don't think I'm going to read the whole way through this handy (un)little volume. To be honest, I'm just not that interested in what some of the essays have to say. However, there is a gold-mine of intelligent, witty, and engaging prose in this companion, and anyone interested in the thought-life of Freethinkers would sate their curiosity with this book. Which brings up the next book...

Although I'm not American, I couldn't resist Ms. Jacoby's well-written essay. I'm only a few pages in, but I know I've encountered a keen, incisive mind.

So, J., those are the things I'm reading these days. Since my mind is set to 'Whirlwind Mode' of late, I can't offer you any substantial thoughts on what I've been reading. Hopefully I will be able to soon, however.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

So ... I'm quite sure you weren't too excited when I told you I'm reading The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants ... but, then again, some lighthearted yet thought-provoking reading is good, too.
And Discipleship on the Edge is a great opportunity to re-think everything I've ever been taught or thought I understood about Revelation.
I am loving the challenge to my prior thoughts on that book and seeing things about Jesus that bring comfort and joy.
We are, after all, heading into that season of "comfort and joy".
I honestly don't know how you have the time and energy to read all of this, but I know that you gobble this up and I hope that you have the opportunity to engage in discussions and that it brings you closer to the Lord as you digest some of this.
I look forward to reading YOUR book one day and I hope that it gives up to many and points them to the source of hope on this journey.

Christopher said...


I don't really have the time to read all these books. I'm just overtly selfish about the way I manipulate the time I spend doing other things. For example, when we go shopping, I make sure to have a book with me on the off-chance that I can have a few minutes reprieve in the van while my wife goes after a thingymabob or two. Sometimes I contribute to a slow decline into unhealth by staying up uncharitably late; other times, I take advantage of one of my kids calling out to me at 4 a.m. and stay up to read. Then there's work: some nights (like tonight) are pretty cushy, so I read. It's a slow gnawing process, but it feeds the literary appetite. Eventually.

I don't really know anything about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, to be honest. I'm neither excited or unimpressed with it. I'm simply agnostic about it. ;)

As to Discipleship On The Edge, I'm agnostic on that title, too.

I'm hoping my book will help me work through some of the things I've been learning and, at the same time, be a solid exercise in reasoning out my faith and my doubts.

You take care. Talk to you soon.

Gregory said...

Wondering if I might make a book suggestion, Chris?

I just finished reading David Berlinski's "The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its scientific pretensions". He's a secular Jew who is countering the common "scientific" arguments forwarded by Richard Dawkins and his merry band of militant atheists. It's a defense of religion by one who's not religious, and who himself has doctorates in mathematics and philosophy.

The best part is that he writes very similarly to G.K. Chesterton in wit and style, so it was a very delightful read, and could almost be read as something of a prequel to The Everlasting Man, though for all he sounds like Chesterton, he seems never to have heard of him.

Anyway, you'd probably like it.

Christopher said...


Thank you for that suggestion. I finished that book over a month ago now. And I gave a brief impression of it here. Nevertheless, you're right, he's quite sharp, entertaining, and dismantles Dawkins, Stenger, Hitchens, and Harris in less than a few deft strokes of the pen. I wouldn't liken him to Chesterton, mind, but I would put him in the same class of thinkers: ingenious.

What are you reading currently?

Gregory said...

Currently, I'm not reading anything (Just finished Berlinski on Thursday, and The Rite just a little before that). Haven't found anything new yet--and can't afford to buy anything if I saw it. Happened to find the two books that I just read at the library where my wife is doing "home instruction" with a kid who got suspended from his school.

Christopher said...


Go to the library and get out a work entitled When Atheism Becomes Religion by Christopher Hedges.

Excellent, and highly lucid read.