Closest book meme

I’ve been tagged for one o’ them crazy memes. This one involves:

  • Grabbing the nearest book.
  • Turning to page 123.
  • Quoting the fifth sentence on the page.

I’m sitting in the front room near a bookshelf full of books. Strictly speaking, there are four books that are nearly equidistant from me, so I’m going to quote the requested passage from all four of them.

From Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible:

Thus the correspondence was to be first settled by a sensible appearance of the divine glory, which was afterwards to be carried on more silently by the ministry of Moses.

From the Reformed Expository Commentary on Galatians by Philip Graham Ryken:

Even though he did not use these precise words, Paul obviously believed that the Bible is infallible and inerrant from beginning to end.

From Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology:

Because there is some common knowledge of right and wrong, Christians can often find much consensus with non-Christians in matters of civil law, community standards, basic ethics for business and professional activity, and acceptable patterns of conduct in ordinary life.

And the wildcard in the bunch, from Richard Lyman Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling:

The revelation on the millennial gathering brought all the routine activities of everyday life into question. End mark

NPR miscellany #4

NPR Logo

I’ve been using LibraryThing to catalog my books since September 2005. All Things Considered on NPR recently featured LibraryThing in a story called “Web Sites Let Bibliophiles Share Books Virtually” (listen).

I especially love the intro to this story:

You know that you’re a bibliophile if you check out peoples’ bookshelves when you visit their homes, if you never pass a used bookstore without going in, or if you have a giant wishlist on

That fits me to a tee. If it fits you, you owe it to yourself to check out LibraryThing! End mark

(hat tip: The LibraryThing Blog)

Bible literacy

TIME Magazine Cover: Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public School - Apr. 2, 2007

I read a controversial article the other day in TIME Magazine: “The Case for Teaching The Bible”, which makes a clear call for courses teaching about the Bible in public high schools. The author, David Van Biema, TIME’s senior religion writer, carefully couches his call with some guidelines, namely that such teaching must be entirely secular and constitutional. The emphasis within the teaching should be on the Bible’s impact on Western history, literature, and culture.

The article mentions a couple of groups producing texts for such classes, including The Bible Literacy Project, which, in cooperation with The First Amendment Center, published a document in 1999 called “The Bible & Public Schools: A First Amendment Guide” and has more recently released a textbook called The Bible and Its Influence.

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Christian basics

I just finished a couple of great books: Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem and Basic Christianity by John R.W. Stott.

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

If I had to choose one of these books over the other, I think it would be Christian Beliefs. It follows the same major topics as most full-blown theology texts, and, in fact, is a condensation of Grudem’s 528 page Bible Doctrine, which is itself a condensation of Grudem’s 1,296 page Systematic Theology. As such, there is a wealth of information packed into this svelte volume. I especially found the Westminster Catechism, the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, and the ancient Christian creeds in the back of the book to be a nice touch. Grudem also provides a list of roughly 45 books for additional study from a variety of perspectives. I can’t think of a better, more easily digestible introduction to Christian theology than this book, and have already recommended it to several friends and others who have inquired about what I believe.

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