Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Reading Thus Far

it's been a great summer of reading so far, here's what i've been up to:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: The vampire/teenie sensation. i'm not above reading these pop novels and i really enjoyed it. i wondered why i was able to read it in 3 days and that's because i didn't have to think about what i was reading the whole time ;-)! which was a nice change. i think it's an excellent methaphor for teenage sexual tension and abstience. you can definately feel the Mormon influence in subtle ways, but i enjoyed the recasting of what vampires are and esp. the concept of "good" vampires.

Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips: dude quits job so he can hang out at coffee shops and ask questions. sounds like my dream job! i'll post more on this book later because there's some questions i want to cover here... this book is a great read for the beginnning or expert philosopher even though, at times, it is poorly worded... like i should talk, i'm the poster-child for that ;-)

A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren: Is really a wonderful book. it mirrors closely to what i believe.. it's about an evangelical pastor who is thinking of quiting the ministry meeting with his daughter's high school science teacher who used to be a pastor as well. the pastor is introduced to post-modern thought by the science teacher and the conversations are full of wonderful stuff. this book is giving me a new perspective, not only on what i believe, but also on what others believe. my evangelical and more conservative/traditional brothers and sisters concerns are presented in a way i can understand. like why have the bible be inerrant and infallable? this book helps me understand that and how best to talk about theology without getting defensive.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner: in preparation for my CPE program this fall (CPE= hopital program to see where your buttons are and to come face to face with tragedy) i figured i best read this classic on why we suffer. i really enjoyed this book and learned a great new insight on the Genesis story of creation:

from pages 72-73: God is represented as saying, "Let us make Man in our image." Why the plural? Who is this "use," the "our" of which God speaks? My suggestion for understanding this sentence is to see it as connected to the sentence immediately before it, in which God creates animals... Let us fashion a creature who will be like you in some ways--needing to eat, sleep, mate-- and will be like me in other ways, rising above the animal level. You animals will contribute his physical dimension and i will breathe a soul into him.

i love this understanding because it's more biblical and literal. no apologetic nonsense of God talking to the heavenly hosts. this is closer to a biological understanding of creation, right inline with what we're finding out through Evolution. i LOVE it.

Reel Spirituality, Theology and Film in Dialogue by Robert Johnston: for my Theology and Film class which i'll post on later as well. talks about how movies are now the new means of conveying and portraying our sacred stories. i agree with this.. we've gone from sitting around the flickering fire to sitting looking at the flickering screen. there's even a whole ritual that goes along with going to the movies.. popcorn and soda is the new communion, the previews are like the call to worship, and then the main event. could movies be the new church?

i'm looking at two movies, Defiance (starring Daniel Craig) and Fight Club (starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt) for my final paper. i hope to post the movies we covered in class as well, Gran Torino, Atonement, Maria Full of Grace, Doubt and Cold Mountain. look forward to those!

coming up on my reading list: Selections from Kirkegaard, The Dangerous Act of Worship, and Domination and the Arts of Resistance. stay tuned and hope your summer is going well!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I LOVE movies! Movies could be the new church if they're thought-provoking (which church should be). I don't see Paul Blart Mall Cop fitting into that, but I guess there's a certain community who goes to see that, too! And some people do turn off their brains at church like they do at the movies, so that fits into the "movies as church" idea, too. Cool/creepy! One advantage church has is that it's a lot more timely--you can preach a sermon about something going on the day after it happens. Movies take months/years to go through the production process.
Oh, and I love Edward's cold, marble body. I don't love his personality (he's kind of a jerk, and I can't have any friends outside of him), but man, is he hot! (in a cold, vampire-y way, of course)