Thursday, May 17, 2007

Book Notes: Various....

Reading is both a joy and a discipline, something immensly rewarding, yet something which jostle's for a position within the busyness of life. I remember one writer describing the dangerous 'tyranny of the urgent', which so characterises contemporary life. Over at "View from the Basement", Brodie wrote an interesting piece about reading strategies, which provoked good discussion. Partly in response to that blog and partly to having a week off - my short reading drought has come to an end. It's great!

In which N.T. Wright outworks the contraversial 'new perspective on Paul' in pithy daily devotional chunks. This is thought-provoking, stirring, well-written and witty stuff, very readable and beneficial (even for those unconvinced by all of the 'new perspective' school).

In which Charles Mckean looks at the railway politics of the Victorian era. There are many books which analyse the immediate causes of the fall of the Tay bridge, (design, supervision, ironworks, workmanship) but Mckean does better by looking at the economic system which forced the rival railway companies to attempt huge civil engineering projects on shoe-string budgets - arguing that the British parliament's obsession with 'compeittion' blinded it for the need for a coherently planned rail network. He compares the French attitude in the same era and argues that their planning both prevented such catastrophe's then, and beqeathed a far more useful infrastructure to the 20th century.

In which the celebrated Croatian theologian, Miroslav Volf discusses grace and forgiveness in a world marred by evil. He reflects powerfully on his homeland, and on his own family life to illustrate what it means to say that our sins are forgiven, and atoned for, by God; and how in turn we should forgive others. I'm only a little way into this one - so far it is compelling!

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