I am not a person who likes to leave something incomplete, or commit to a project that I cannot finish. So you can understand that I have been bothered by the fact that I have been accumulating a small collection of half-read books on my shelves. Due to my success in reading over the last few weeks, I decided to choose a few half-read books to finish.
1. Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up by Francis Chan. I stopped reading this book about half way through because I got bogged down in all the the language and theological rhetoric. Frankly, it was putting me to sleep. The book is largely a response to the book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell. I have not read Rob Bell’s book, but I did attend attend his church on and off for 4 years during college. I resisted reading either book due to the controversy surrounding them. On returning to the book last week, I was able to get though the text much faster, and actually began to enjoy and even underline sections of the text.
2. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Kenneth E. Bailey. Brad has been after me for awhile to read the first 50 pages of this textbook that he has been reading for one of his seminary classes. He liked the book so much that he actually bought it for some friends as a Christmas gift. As much as I love reading textbooks, I put it off for the last 7 months. However, I did find the book very interesting. The first chapter presents intriguing insights into the birth of Jesus, and the second chapter delves into Jesus’ genealogy and Joseph’s character. At 426 pages, I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the book any time soon, but I did enjoy the first two chapters, and Brad was pleased that I finally got around to reading them.
3. Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and What He Wants to Do with You by John MacArthur. My parent’s best friends were on vacation with us two summers ago, and Suzy gave me a copy of this book. I again got about half way though the book, and became distracted by the busyness of moving and caring for a toddler. Following the Bailey book, I found this book very interesting as it expanded on the lives of twelve women singled out in the Biblical narrative. It takes the time to explore the historical and cultural context of their lives, and how the way they lived their lives can affect the way we choose to live our lives today.
What books have you been reading recently and what did you think of them?