Still Reading

by Christine Sine

all-saints

Like many of you I get inundated with books each month that I should read and review on my blog.  I like to make sure that I give them all the attention they deserve.  I know as a writer myself that there is nothing worse than feeling people do not appreciate the effort I have put into a book.  On the other hand I must confess there are some books I am more drawn to than others.  So here is a quick synopsis of books I have received in the last few weeks

All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets and Witnesses for Our Times:, Robert Ellsberg.  This is the best book that has come across my desk in the last couple of weeks.  It is a wonderful collection of stories from the lives of saints and prophets of all ages and traditions.  I am enjoying it with my morning devotions and am both challenged and enriched by the saints I am reading about.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to reconnect to the saints of past ages and strengthen their faith through the witness of those who have gone before.

Parabola: Experiencing Jesus As Reality, Kelly Deppen.  I loved the premise of this book that in Christ the realms of heaven and earth collide and the idea that the intended earthly home for followers of Christ is a place where heaven permeates earth.  I also enjoyed the way that the author used her scientific knowledge to undergird this understanding – particularly her provocative comments on Einstein who showed the world that things unseen are often more real than what is seen.

“Could it be that the entire universe is made of, organized by and held togther by an unseen thing?… As science moves closer to understanding the nature of reality, it reveals the unseen realm – the real of Spirit.  (p69)

As a contemplative I appreciated the contemplative exercises at the end of the early chapters.  It was a shame that Deppen did not continue these throughout the book.  I also struggled with the very conservative language that she uses for God which seemed inconsistent with the radical thoughts she was expressing.  Generally a book worth browsing through for anyone with a scientific mindset.

Eve: A Novel of the First Woman, Elissa Elliot.  I should preface my review of this book by saying that I do not generally enjoy Christian novels and so maybe I was a little prejudiced from the start.  Even though Elliot has a richly imaginative way of writing I found the the language rather stilted and therefore the story difficult to read and unreal.  I think it portrayed well the struggles that arose because of Eve’s eating of the fruit but it seemed to me that too much emphasis was placed on Eve’s responsibility.  Adam appears as a rather ineffectual figure while Abel looms larger than life as the one of her children that Eve loved most.  While this book will not hold a privileged place on my own bookshelves I think it would be a welcome addition to those who enjoy Christian fiction.

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