Matters of Interpretation

Books, for instance, like of the Bible

The “Read Me” Project Removals 2022

Measurement keeps things real.

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Read and Removed 2022 (4)

Check_-_2 Bos, Johanna W. H. Van-Wijk. The End of the Beginning: Joshua and Judges. Book 1, A People and a Land. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019. added 12.5.19 – a gift from the author (3)

A lyrical commentary on the opening of the Deuteronomistic history, beautifully written, paying patient and loving attention to the characters and events and especially to the literary features of the text, and to explicating their effects and meanings. Clear and explicit about the multivocality of the text, and its ambiguous contemporary significance. Inviting dialogue, contemplation of the riches of the text, and reappraisal. Seriously, anyone who can convince me that the book of Judges is something more than a gruesome record of hideous mistakes has done something amazing.

Check_-_2 Burge, Ryan. The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going. Fortress Press, 2021. added 10.3.2021 (1)

This is an interesting little book, which mostly reads like it’s been written by a political scientist – which it has – but concludes with a really remarkable sermon that more than makes up for all the prior annoyance. So I continue to think that it is a big category mistake to conflate “one’s relationship with the divine” with “the way an individual thinks” (as he does on page 10); and it is like nails on chalkboard to me every time he uses the word “visualize” to mean “represent” or “depict” or even “graph,” which were all still perfectly good verbs the last time I checked; and I noticed that he treated the behavior of capitalist managers (“business leaders”) like some law of nature instead of as the socially conditioned behavior we all know it is (123). But it really was worth putting up with all that to learn more about the “nones,” and especially to hear his plea for taking the imago Dei more seriously in the life of the seemingly inexorably shrinking American church.

Check_-_2 Laubach, Frank C. Letters by a Modern Mystic. Purposeful Design, 2007. (2)

What a provocative, life-changing book – even if you don’t start trying to play “the game with minutes,” but you probably will. Watch out.

Check_-_2 McCall Smith, Alexander. The Sunday Philosophy Club. Anchor Books, 2004. [added Christmas 2021] (4)

A leisurely walk through a slowly unravelling mystery, with romantic side plot, local Edinburgh color, and moral philosophy musings along the way. This is to be expected, as the main character, Isabel Dalhousie, is managing editor of The Review of Applied Ethics, and thoughtful in every sense of the word. As well as being independently wealthy, an inveterate solver of crossword puzzles, a lover of music and art, and a model conversationalist. Pleasant despite the mortality.

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