Books

The Get Out of Debt Kit: Your Roadmap to Total Financial Freedom

Publisher
Dearborn

Author
Deborah McNaughton

Posted in Books, Staublog in October 1, 2002 by | No Comments »

Down to a Soundless Sea

Publisher
Ballantine

Author
Thomas Steinbeck

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July, July: A Novel

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin

Author
Tim O’Brien

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The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives

Publisher
Hampton Roads

Author
Stephen Simon, producer of Somewhere in Time, All the Right Moves, What Dreams May Come.

Central Theme
There are mystical messages to inspire our lives in many of today’s movies.

Overview
From the school of metaphysics and under the influence of Neale Donald Walsh, James Redfield and others, Stephen Simon believes we each create our own reality and that in today’s films the ¢â‚¬Ëœuniverse is communicating’ with us.

For those interested in seeing how the mind of a contemporary, humanistic, post-modern relativist works this is your chance. Simon has himself created a post-modern theological film, What Dreams May Come, and analyzes 75 other films through his lens.

Beliefs num
–There is no absolute truth.
–We each create our own reality.
–There is no ¢â‚¬Ëœexternal God,’ god is within each of us.
–There is no evil, but different sides of the same coin.
–Even what appears to be evil is created by us and has a purpose.
–A force in the universe itself sends us messages nudging us to evolve into the good race we yearn to be.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is there absolute truth?
–Is saying there is no absolute truth, itself a declaration of an absolute truth?
–Do you believe we create our own reality?
–Is God external to us, within us, or both?
–Do you believe there is evil in the world? Evil deeds? An evil force in the universe? A personified evil (the devil)?

Provocative Quotes byline
–It is no accident that Confucius, the Buddha, and Jesus were all gifted storytellers. Today’s great storytellers are novelists, publishers, lyricists, musicians, screenwriters and filmmakers.
==SS.
–We’re at a crossroads both in society and in our industry. There is such a yearning for meaning and hope in the world, for stories that challenge us to be our best, to lift up our hearts to the skies and encourage us to become the people we were born and have evolve to be.
==SS.
–I do not believe that there can ever be a universal truth when it comes to matters of faith. For me, everyone is entitled to believe as he/she chooses, and I respect all these views as long as they are honoring of the essential sanctity and integrity of human life.
==SS.
–Where I have a major problem is when I am told that I am wrong and that my beliefs are in violation of any ¢â‚¬Ëœtrue’ faith. It is precisely that kind of bigotry that has started most of the major conflagrations of history.
==SS.
–Once any group thinks they are the only true believes, people usually die for holding other beliefs.
==SS.
–Get back to your heart, Stephen. They guy who started off making ¢â‚¬ËœSomewhere in Time’ should not be making movies like ¢â‚¬ËœBody of Evidence.’
==Friend after bad opening of Body of Evidence.
–I share Stephen Simon’s belief that we live in a culture of diminished ethics and morality, but there are resources within us we know little about. In this engrossing book, Stephen shares his conviction illustrated by a wide variety of films he has chosen as examples, that by searching for the best within ourselves we can create a better society and a better world.
==Christopher Reeve

Posted in Books, Staublog in October 1, 2002 by | No Comments »

The Love List: Eight Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Marriage

Publisher
Zondervan

Author
Les & Leslie Parrott

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The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate

Publisher
InterVarsity

Author
Phillip Johnson

Central Theme
The best way to approach a problem of any kind is to ask the right questions in the right order before thinking about answers.

Overview
Johnson has seen great success in advancing the intelligent design cause through asking the right question. He recognized that “the great confrontation in science is between those who say life can be explained without recourse to reasons or intelligence and those who say life embodies information the word and must be explained as the product of an intelligent agent.” The debate shifted from the frist chapters of Genesis to the idea conveyed in John 1, in the beginning was the word, the logos The Greek word for reason, intelligence, rationality and information. This approach offered the strategic benefit of uniting Christians (divided by young earth, Genesis order and sequence issues) while isolating and exposing weaknesses in the classic Darwinist approach.

This shifting of debate to the right question can be accomplished in other arenas as well. Johnson offers examples from: science, God and morality, the religious foundations of education, logic, meaning of lie, tolerance in a pluralistic society, gender, truth and liberty. The book ends with a fascinating look at what happens when we ask ¢â‚¬Ëœwhat is the most important event in human history?

By the author’s own design, the significance of this book is in illustrating the approach more than offering definitive answers.

Beliefs num
–Right questions in the right order always precede significant and effective answers.
¢€œThis methodology can be applied to every arena of public life and should.
–The right questions are central, core issues and serve to unite and divide at the same time.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Why is asking the right question so important?
–Why are we so easily drawn into answering the less important questions?

Provocative Quotes byline
–The great confrontation in science is between those who say life can be explained without recourse to reasons or intelligence and those who say life embodies information the word and must be explained as the product of an intelligent agent.
==Nancy Pearcey in Foreword
–Johnson redirected the debate along fruitful lines by jumping over Genesis and focusing on John 1, ¢â‚¬Ëœin the beginning was the word, the logos The Greek word for reason, intelligence, rationality and information.’
==Nancy Pearcey in Foreword
–One factor that made Francis Schaeffer so effective was that he clarified the search for truth by sketching, in stark outline, what the basic choices are.
==Nancy Pearcey in Foreword.
–Even as Johnson achieves a high profile within evangelicalism, he continues to do real, front-line work in confronting the secular culture. At the same time, Johnson is building up a movement equipped to carry on the cause into the next generation.
==Nancy Pearcey in Foreword.
–In a lifetime of studying and participating in controversies, I have learned that the best way to approach a problem of any kind is usually not to talk or even think very much about the ultimate answer until I have made sure that I am asking all the right questions in the right order.
==PJ
–Today, we are learning the language in which God created life; we are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.
==President Bill Clinton regarding the completion of the genetic sequence in DNA.
–It is humbling for me and awe-inspiring to realize that we have caught a glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.
==Dr. Francis Collins, dir. Of Human Genome Project.
–What really astounds me is the architecture of life. The system is extremely complex, It’s like it was designed¢â‚¬¦There’s a huge intelligence there. I don’t see that as being unscientific. Others may, but not me,
==Gene Myers, computer scientist with Celera Corporation.
–The difference between belief and knowledge is easy to state but often subtle in application. Knowledge is objective and valid for everyone. Belief is subjective and valid only for the believer.
==PJ.
–Unite the pair so long disjoined, knowledge and vital piety.
==Charles Wesley motto at Nazarene College.
–It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).
==Richard Dawkins 2001.
–I like to tell audiences that our faith thrives in the long run when we are persecuted, painful as that may be for those who have to endure it. What Christianity can’t stand is wealth and respectability.
==PJ.
–I had always prided myself on being self-reliant, and my brain was what I had relied on. Of all the bad things that might have happened to me, brain damage was the one I had feared most.
==PJ.

Posted in Books, Staublog in October 1, 2002 by | No Comments »

The Power of a City At Prayer: What Happens When Churches Unite for Renewal

Publisher
InterVarsity

Author
Mac Pier and Katie Sweeting

Central Theme
God desires to renew his people and that process always begins with prayer.

Overview
If you are weary of the marketizing of the gospel, which appears to be generating revenues but not spiritual renewal, here is the story of a grassroots prayer movement in New York. The authors point out that prayer has been part of NYC for four centuries, but intensely for the past fifteen. Prior to 911 over 100 churches were meeting to pray specifically for NYC. The Lord’s Watch is a 24-hour prayer movement assuring that every minute of every day, NYC is prayed for. This meant that when 911 happened, an infrastructure for cooperation, prayer and ministry was already in place.

Look at any urban or suburban or rural area in America and you will see pressing needs. How often do you see a strategic prayer foundation built as the basis for rebuilding the city in a way that pleases God? How can strategies to please God be recognized without listening to God in prayer?

Beliefs num
–There are four pre-requisites for effective prayer: desperation, unity, sustained effort and inspiration.
–There are five dimensions of prayer: personal, family, local church, communitywide and nationwide.
–Prayer leads to transformation that includes four elements: revival, reconciliation, reformation, reaching the lost.
–The three callings of a spiritual leader are to: define reality, call people to prayer. Say Thank You.
–From Nehemiah we lean that you will never learn to pray unless: you are concerned enough to ask, you are moved enough to weep, you are honest enough to confess, you are bold enough to risk.
–Nehemiah knew he would not be successful without prayer. He also knew that he would not be successful with prayer alone.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–How active is your prayer life?
–How active is your churches prayer life?
–How active is your community in a cooperative prayer effort?
–Why is prayer so absent in American Christianity?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Nehemiah knew he would not be successful without prayer. He also knew that he would not be successful with prayer alone.
==Pier, Sweeting.

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Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story

Publisher
Newmarket Press

Author
Antonia Felix

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Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life

Publisher
Algonquin

Author
Lauren Winner

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The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid – America’s First World War II Victory

Publisher
Viking

Author
Craig Nelson

Posted in Books, Staublog in September 30, 2002 by | No Comments »