newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Month: July, 2018

REVIEW: “Hope of Nations”

This is a review of the book Hope of Nations: Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World by John Dickerson.

This book is okay.

I’ll admit this not the best way to start a review about a book, but it seems to fit in this sense. No matter what a person feels like the words good, awesome, etc. mean, most people have a consistent interpretation of the word “okay.” To that end, Hope of Nations by John Dickerson is okay.

The book is very well-researched; skimming the notes section at the end of the book, as well as observing all the different things Dickerson references in the text both give clear evidence to the fact that JD knows what he is talking about. All the information and analysis that Dickerson presents is done so in a straightforward manner which makes sense to the reader.

Dickerson presents the historical trends from the United States’s establishment as a Truth-Based (founded on a fixed set of principles by which laws, etc. are interpreted) to its slow, steady trajectory towards becoming a Post-Truth nation (laws, etc. are defined by experience and what feels right). Dickerson shows through his research other countries -Germany and Russia- whose culture shifted in similar ways to how ours is transforming now and how they turned out. He presents research from Pew, Gallup, and other research organizations, and lays out the dangers behind them. He wraps up the book with a nine-part plan for how Christians should respond in the face of this shift.

But for all of it, the book is okay.

While I can see what a shift from capitalism to socialism breeds problems, and I can understand why it is troubling that the next generation will not lean on its heritage for guidance, something bothered me while reading. In Hope of Nations, Dickerson in the first couple chapters lays out his themes and major ideas, but then continues to repeat them continually. This feeling of “come on, you said that already, so show me the why” started to come up in my mind early and wouldn’t stop until the last part about how the Church should respond. There were parts throughout which felt long to the point that I almost checked out during reading and skipped to the end.

In the end, Hope of Nations is okay.

I received my copy of the book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reading it and reviewing it. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

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7.21.2018.BrainDump

Ever have one of those times where you just have a bunch of random thoughts going through your head that you want to get down? Me neither.

I would rather wake up in The Truman Show than in The Matrix. Republic of Wolves is a surprisingly good band. Am I preconditioning my daughter to be a dork? Barbecued meat is delicious. Why is it that sometimes good ideas seem really bad? Will Sarah and I ever get out of debt? What is the difference between writing a short blog post and writing a long Facebook status update?

Ugh.

REVIEW: “God’s Words of Life for Fathers”

This is a review of the book God’s Words of Life for Fathers from Zondervan Publishers.

Sometimes, the simple books are the most enjoyable ones to read. God’s Words of Life for Fathers is one of those types of books. Its function is simple: Provide a series of Bible verses on different topics related to being a father, and after each subject’s collection of verses, provide a short reflection which is loaded with brief insights and practical advice.

This book is useful as a topical devotion for dads, or as a motivational go-to source for wisdom on different topics of fatherhood. The book ranges in subjects from anger to integrity to work. While I might fault the editors for the fact that the Bible passages used in this book are from the 2011 edition of the New International Version (I am a fan of the NIV84), the passages chosen lend themselves well to the devotional reflects contained at the end of each topic/chapter.

As a gift for a dad, I cannot say enough good things about this book. Even dad’s who would balk at the idea of religion in general can find plenty of useful material, as the writer of the reflections -Robert Wolgemuth- presents applicable insights that all dad’s can relate to.

If you’re a dad looking for inspiration, buy this book. If you know a dad who needs encouragement, buy this book. If you want a concise study on different topics related to being a parent, but this book.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions contained are mine.

How the side of a freight train is like American Idol (without the inflated ego).

I am not a fan of American Idol, never have been and never will be. The only part of American Idol I ever enjoyed was watching the audition episodes. I enjoyed them because the people with no talent made the audition episodes entertaining. In watching audition episodes, it was always clear when performances were juxtaposed, who had (some) talent and how had none at all. Sitting at a railroad crossing while watching a freight train pass by, I realized that trains cars exhibit a very similar thing.

Try this some time.

Look at the graffiti on the side of the train cars. Just like an episode of American Idol, seeing all the artwork of varying kind, you can tell which “artists” have a skill for spray paint, and which ones do not. I bet you too will notice the distinct differences.