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Finished reading: 2018, part five

My reading has apparently slowed down a bit this summer. Still, there’s been some good stuff recently:

Well, first an intro to the first two books. I heard Brad Jersak speak at the Water to Wine Gathering back in June – what a treat. Brad is a Canadian pastor and author, more recent convert to Orthodoxy, and spent many years in pastoral ministry working with the mentally challenged and the poor. He’s funny, wise, and kind… and I’ll pick up whatever book he writes next.

A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel by Bradley Jersak
If Christ is the truest expression of what God is like, what does that really mean? How should we then think about God? Jersak is no fan of the “loving Son protects us from the wrath of the angry Father” picture, and instead works through what it looks like to think that Jesus is what God the Father is like.

Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem by Bradley Jersak
Here Jersak takes a careful look at the Biblical texts about heaven and hell and judgment. While it seems he can’t quite bring himself to become a universalist, he makes a strong case for the potential that heaven will be much fuller, and hell much emptier, than my traditional evangelical upbringing taught me to expect. And I like the hopeful view. If there’s a reasonable case for being hopeful, why not be hopeful?

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Hugo-winning sci-fi to change things up. A decent story, nothing amazing but entertaining enough.

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk
I picked this one off the library shelf on a whim and ended up not really liking it that much. Brutal, pessimistic, dark… No time for that nonsense.

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Kurlansky tracks the usage of salt through history. The book is more interesting when it focuses on ancient times, and progressively less interesting as it reaches the modern day. Also there were far more recipes for salting foods included than I will really ever need.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
A classic from Baldwin, and the first I’ve read of him. What a writer! Beautifully written with a powerful message.

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
Picked this one up after @johnthelutheran raved about it. I’d previously read Faber’s Book of Strange New Things and enjoyed it. The Crimson Petal and the White was something completely different – a Victorian novel that reminded me a good bit of Dickens – but it kept me interested all the way through.

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