Sunday, January 6, 2008

Books, books, books!

My blogger friend, Debbie Kaufman has tagged me to do a little run-down of information about my choice, and not-so-choice, books. I'm going to limit my choices to 2007 and exclude the Bible because other books just can't compete with it. Enjoy!

1. One book that changed your life. I have to do two. Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard and Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender by John Stackhouse, Jr. The first book set me on the path of intentional apprenticeship to Jesus and the second changed the way I viewed women in the Kingdom of God.

2. One book you have read more than once. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This is one of my all-time favorite books. It gets deeper and more perceptive of human nature every time.

3. One book you would want on a desert island. This one's easy. Special Air Service Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman. Bear Grylls recommends it. It has to be good.

4. Two books that made you laugh. I have only one. I guess I need to lighten up in 2008. America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show. Call me a flaming liberal if you want, but Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central are the smartest and funniest men on television.

5. One book that made you cry. I have to include two again. The Language of Battered Women: A Rhetorical Analysis of Personal Theologies by Carol Winkelmann and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. With both books, I wept for the experience of women worldwide, one because of real stories of abuse survivors and one because of a feminist midrash on the stories of Genesis.

6. One book you wish you'd written. I'm such a cheater. I have to do two again. Mark by David E. Garland in the NIV Application Commentary series. This is the best commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Period. I don't so much wish I had written it, as much as I wish I had the depth of knowledge he possesses. Also, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit by Clark Pinnock. One of the most creative, spiritually astute, and biblically sophisticated theologies in years. Say what you will about his open theism, Pinnock is a giant among dwarf-sized theologians in evangelicalism today.

7. One book that you wish had never been written. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. I have great respect for both of these men (and their many contributors), but this book is treated like the "holy grail" of gender discussions in evangelicalism. I've read it and re-read it and I don't find it to be the flawless standard of truth that many complementarians make it out to be. Plus, I think the concept of "biblical manhood and womanhood" is patently untenable. But, I'll blog more about that some other time.

8. Two books you are currently reading. Great American Short Stories: From Hawthorne to Hemingway edited by Corinne Demas and Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome by Rodney Stark.

9. One book you've been meaning to read. Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright. This is one of those books I've heard a lot about, but I have yet to read it for myself. Mea culpa.

10. Five people that I tag. Paul Littleton, Art Rogers, C.B. Scott, Josh Carney, and Alyce Lee.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Thank you Emily. And I thought Green Eggs and Ham pretty deep. :) I just knew your list would be fascinating and you didn't disappoint me.

Susy Flory said...

Hi. Thanks for this post--lots of good books to add to my list. I can't wait to hear more about #7--please hurry! And I agree with you on Scarlet Letter--I think it's the great American novel (although my agent's been trying to convince me that honorific should go to Huck Finn...he hasn't convinced me yet).

Paul said...

Hi Emily,

Thanks for the tag. I've responded on my blog.

Hope all is well with you! Keep ignoring the cavemen. ;)