Sunday, September 05, 2004

Good Vacation Reads

Work has been so busy this is my first chance to post in a while. I kind of missed it! I couldn't wait to get on the Internet today and check out a few of my favorite blogs.

I look forward to vacation all year long for just one thing - the ability to read relatively uninterrupted for hours on end! This year I brought 4-5 books and about 10 magazines. I start saving my subscriptions in July so I have lots of fresh magazines for the trip. This year I'm reading two great books and coincidentally, they kind of complement each other. I started Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur on the trip down yesterday and finished it in tears out on the deck this morning. I first learned of this book over at the JollyBlogger's site, where he has an excellent review of the book. In short, Wisdom Hunter is the story of a disillusioned fundamentalist pastor, whose life is turned upside down after the death of his daughter and wife. The tragedy causes Jason Faircloth to realize that much is amiss in his relationship with God, in spite of his reputation as a leader in his denomination. His journey in search of the granddaughter he never met leads him to scrap everything he ever believed, and he begins building his life from the bottom up with a fresh perspective on God's word. My favorite parts of the book were the Wisdom Book entries, where Jason stops to record some of his observations about the Christian life. This is a book for anyone struggling with the stifling "packaged Christianity" of legalistic denominations who longs to get back to the basics of a relationship with Christ.

The other book I'm reading is Extreme Righteousness by Tom Hovestol. Admittedly, I started this book expecting (and hoping) the legalistic leaders of my fundamentalist past to be cast in the role of the notorious Pharisees. So I was surprised when the author first endeavors to explain the background of this religious group, and then lists their positive qualities. This book, being a non-fiction, is taking me a little longer to plod through, but already I am beginning to see myself in the Pharisees. Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun, and human nature is still human nature, subject to the same sinful attitudes and spiritual blindness, even two thousand years after the time of Christ. If God gave these religious characters such a prominent place in the Gospel account, perhaps it is because there is a little bit of Pharisee in each of us. I need to cast aside the negative caricature I commonly associate with them and see what God would have me to learn from this most interesting group of people.

Ah, vacation! I'm loving it!

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Hey Dianne,

Thanks for the book reviews; they sound good. I bet it was nice having all the time to read.