Friday, April 27, 2007

Book meme

Shellie of Profound Gratitude has tagged me for a book meme. Shellie, I am so sorry to have taken so long to complete it. =)

Now, those who know me know what a mess my books are in, piled all around the place and on the bed, so much so that I sleep on the couch. I used to move the books to the couch when I sleep and move them again when I wake up. Afterwards, I just gave up and let the books sleep.

I don't read in an organized manner. I'll read multiple books at once depending on what catches my fancy. I might then lay it down again and for days before picking it up and finishing it in one seating.

Here's some of what I'm mainly reading now.

George R. R. Martin in Ireland, photo by Parris

I'm re-reading George RR Martin's epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire whilst waiting for the fifth instalment, A Dance with Dragons, to be finished so I can keep track of the many characters and complex plot lines when the book comes out. Waiting for this book to come out is like waiting for the motu proprio. You know its there, but you wait and wait and one date after another goes by but still, bupkus.

Anyway, A Song of Ice and Fire is the only book I've read so far that warrants the claim of coming close to Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings. Martin is truly a master story teller, bearing the reader to distant lands and wondrous scapes with his use of words. A true delight to read. My first time, I read it through the night and went all sleepy to the office =)

I'm still plonking through Jaroslav Pelikan's magnum opus, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. I'm currently reading Volume 4: Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700). In volume 4, he traces the origins of the reformation, introduces the major players and delineates the causes if the Lutheran revolt which was soon taken up by the Calvinists and the response, or rather lack of it, on the part of the Church. ll the major players and ideas are there. Read it.

Another big series I'm reading is NT Wright's, the evangelical Anglican Bishop of Durham's Christian Origins and the Question of God. Currently, I'm reading volume 1, the New Testament and the People of God. NT Wright is a leading evangelical and Bishop in the Church of England. He's also one of the foremost scholars of the New Testament today. I enjoyed his earlier book on St. Paul title 'What St. Paul Really Said". He's a follower of EP Sanders and the New Perspective on Paul school of thought and one of it's most articulate and brilliant proponents.

Judgement & Justification In Early Judaism And The Apostle Paul. This book by Chris van Landringham is interesting. The New Perspective on Paul folks propose that initial entrance into God's covenant was by grace alone while staying within that covenant is synergistic and obedient works done under grace keeps one in the covenant. Reformed Protestants have disputed EP Sanders' contention that works play a part in the final salvation. Van Landringham however challenges the grace part and posits that in Paul's thinking, as in early Judaism, works and how one lived his life, is the criteria of final salvation at the last judgement. His thesis challenges the Reformed understanding of Paul and should he prove to be right, then Protestantism's 2nd pillar will be shaken to the core, and should tumble. Good read. If you likes Not By Faith Alone, this book proves a great follow up which explores all the relevant texts in the context and understanding of early Judaism.

Genesis by John J Scullion. Scullion uses a historical-critical approach that I really don't like, but as I'm currently teaching a bible study on Salvation History and we're going into God's covenant with Noah, some background study is needed although I think the Priestly, Yahwish, Elohist and Deuteronomic sources posited by this theory unnecessary. He gives his own translation of the texts and his opposing interpretations give me another perspective from a liberal point of view rather than the orthodox one that I'm used to.

A Priest Forever: The Life of Fr. Eugene Hamilton. Great book and a very moving account of Fr. Eugene Hamilton's call resulting in his ordination hours before his death after the intervention of Cardinal O'Connor, Bishop (Now Military Archbishop) O'Brien, Pio Cardinal Laghi, Prefect of Catholic Education and Pope John Paul II himself. He never functioned as a priest but in God's eyes, he is still a priest forever. This book underscores the reality that is affected by ordination and serves to undermine the culture that associates functionalism with the priesthood, rather than the priest's mystical union with the person of Christ as an alter Christus.

I'm also going through John Gospel using the excellent Ignatius Study Bible's RSV text and commentary. The scripture course I'm going through now is on John so i have to study it. It has always been my favourite Gospel because it is so deep and spiritual. My favourite signs

And blogs...lots and lots of blogs!

I now tag Darth Binky aka Mark of Exsurge Domine, Archistrategos of Ecce Ego, Quia Vocasti Me, Danny Donellan of Prodigal Son, Paul of Deo Juvante and Fr. Daren Zehnle of Servant and Steward. Do drop me a comment to let me know when you're done.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I haven't been reading a whole lot lately & never heard of a meme until now. I gave it a go anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, Andrew! Now I'm thinking... Martin... hmmmm. Will consider.

Thanks for sharing. Great-lookin' list!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed a priest forever too Andrew, really sweet little book.

Archistrategos said...

Those are some nice selections, Andrew. Thanks for the tag, I'll have this done hopefully by Tuesday.

Mark Tan said...


Unknown said...

I live in the area where Father Hamilton grew up. His father is (as far as I can recall) still a Deacon at St. Peter's Church, Haverstraw NY.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the comments and feedback y'all. And Patrick, thank you for letting us know that. Fr. Gene is a real inspiration to all of us and I think his story should be more widely known.