Book 47: The Bible Companion by Ronald D. Witherup (1998)

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(Thoughts permanently on hold.)

(Nice book though.)

Book 39: A Short History of Christianity by Stephen Tomkins (2005)

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This is the best history book I’ve ever read. It covers literally (almost) everything about Christianity – in a considerably thin book. I have of course read countless times about Martin Luther and the Reformation, but most of those writers are a bit sketchy on everything else. Either that or I kept being an inattentive reader during the exact same periods. This book, though, made me aware of who did what when how in Christianity. My life is complete now.

Oh, and a random fact: Hitler was inspired by none other than Nietzsche. Take that, you vegetarians.

Will definitely read this book again in the future. I’m reserving other thoughts for my other (private) blog.

Book 30: The Qur’an: A Biography by Bruce Lawrence (2006)

(I will edit this page later.)

(Maybe.)

Book 28: Thou Art That by Joseph Campbell (2001)

(I’ll edit this page later.)

(Note to self: Bill Moyers)

Book 25: Jesus: A meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women by Andrew Greeley (2007)

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The title of this book may be generic, but the subtitle gives away what this book is all about. Basically, the author takes passages about Jesus and analyze them in accordance to his personal belief. He’s Catholic. And like many other Catholics, he seems to share my aversion to Bible-thumping Evangelists and Mel Gibson. I find myself agreeing to most of his opinions anyway. Perhaps instead of completely letting go of my Catholic upbringing the other day, I have subconsciously suppressed it within the depths of my soul – where it still remains and waits for the perfect moment to eventually triumph over me. You know what they say: Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.

This book reminds me of two things:
1. My childish (i.e., selfish, twisted, pure evil) thoughts regarding some of the parables.
2. The average person’s lack of knowledge and understanding of something – and his/her/its enthusiasm to spout off with authority regardless. A lot of people on WordPress are like that.

Book 21: Concise History of the Catholic Church by Thomas Bokenkotter (2004)

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I’m sorry, I thought I knew what “concise” means. At 600+ pages including appendix and index, this is the thickest book I have to read this week. I only ended up skimming it though. Even though I’ve never been an especially good Catholic, I actually know the history of the Church. (See how it is capitalized? That makes all the difference.) Of course it helps that I also took a couple classes on Western civilization and read The Da Vinci Code. I am truly the enlightened one.

Although comprehensive, this book may be even better if it were more engaging. The author tries so hard to cover everything about the Church from A to Z that he barely brushes upon the more interesting parts. I mean, come on. All I wanted was some sensationalism and made-up anecdotes. Those would have kept me awake.

Book 18: Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas (2004)

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Ah, the first of the many theological books I’m going to be reading before I finally lose interest and move on to other things. Since this is the first theological book I’ve read in a while – or maybe ever – I’m not sure what kind of impression I’m supposed to have. I would like to agree or disagree with some of what the author says, but I don’t have enough knowledge in this department to do that.

I do know that this book focuses on the “seven last words” that Jesus said before he died on the cross:

1. “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” — Luke 23: 34

2. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” — Luke 23: 43

3. “Woman, behold they son!” . . . “Behold thy mother!” — John 19:26-27 (KJV)

4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — Matthew 27:46

5. “I thirst.” — John 19:28 (KJV)

6. “It is finished.” — John 19:30

7. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” — Luke 23:46

If I feel like it, I may add what I think the author is trying to say later. For the moment, I’ll leave it at a simple, useless list. What I find interesting is the way the author uses the KJV version for the third and the fifth words. Isn’t the King James Version notoriously inaccurate? How exactly are those verses worded in the other versions? More importantly, what do they say in their original language?

I’m now going to do some research on this issue. Stay tuned while I eat this cupcake.