May 12, 2006

Books, books, and....more books!

Here are some books that I've been reading:

The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte:

We (my mom and I have been reading these books together) finished Shirley (It was a really, really good book!) and now we've started on this one. So far it has been really great! If you are a fan of the Bronte Sister's books, I suggest picking this one up!

SHE [Safe, Healthy, and Empowered] Teen by Rebecca St. James and Lynda Bjorklund:

This bookzine (It is a book but is made to look kinda like a magazine) has been really good! They deal with subjects like being secure, being feminine, being pure, being purposeful, being empowered, etc.

she: The title every girl gets the moment she is born.

SHE: The title given to those girls who seek more from God and submit their life
to being transformed into his original design. The result is a Safe, Healthy, and Empowered SHE.

pages 2-3

Live Like a Jesus Freak by dc Talk:

Don't mistake the title for a bad thing because it isn't meant in bad way. In the section "A Word Before We Start" dc Talk explains "Jesus Freak" as:

"Jesus Freak" started off as a derogatory term for people who were radical in the way they followed Jesus. True believers, however, took it as a compliment--to be labeled a Jesus Freak meant others saw a difference in your life, and that--perhaps--Jesus was beginning to mess with their lives as well. And that is a good thing.

Throughout this book, you will see the term Jesus Freak used often. When you do, think of a Jesus Freak not as someone who is perfect, or even close to perfect. A Jesus Freak is simply one who knows he or she cannot be perfect without God's incredible grace and mercy, and daily seeks those two gifts. A Jesus Freak has chosen to leave this life behind and seek the abundant life God promises. this is a choice that is made daily, and some days are better than others. But still, God forgives.

So far it has been pretty good. But of course I've only read the first chapter (Believe Like A Jesus Freak) and part of the second (Pray Like A Jesus Freak). They have both been really good. What is the definition of Freak you might ask, well, dc Talk has the definition in the front of the book:

1. A sudden and odd or seemingly pointless idea or turn of the mind.

2. A seemingly capricious action or event.

3. A strange, abnormal, or unusual person or thing.

4. An ardent enthusiast

"But Don't All Religions Lead To God?" by Michael Green:

Have you ever had anyone say to you, "All religions lead to God"? As a Christian you know that's not true but maybe you aren't sure how to reply to this statement in a way to convince someone that they're wrong. Well, my mom and I have been reading this book together and so far it has been excellent! He explains things really well and has some arguments that would be great to remember in case anyone evers makes a statement like that to you.

Here is a sample of the book. It is a little long but it is worth reading! (Chapter title: "It Doesn't Matter What You Believe As Long As You Are Sincere")

That is something you often hear when religion is being discussed. Not of course, when the talk is about politics or whether one country should bomb another. You never hear it when people are talking about the horrors of Auschwitz or Belsen. Hitler was undoubtedly sincere in his hatred of the Jewish people, but everyone would admit he was wrong. (If you don't admit it, I shall take leave to disbelieve you!) The massacre of six million Jews in the Second World War was deliberate, ruthless, and the product of a very clear and sincerely held belief. Hitler was sincere but terribly wrong.

An example like this, which caused the annihilation of millions of people, should make us very cautious about claiming that it does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. It is manifestly nonsense. For centuries people sincerely believed that thunder was caused by the gods at war. We now know that this sincerely held belief was superstitious rubbish. They were sincere but wrong. For centuries people sincerely believed that the sun went around the earth. When Galileo, following Corpernicus, showed this was not the case, he was forbidden by the pope to "hold, teach or defend" such a view and was handed over to the Inquisition. I am sure he would not have agreed, as he languished in his prison, that it does not matter what you believe as along as you are sincere!

Now, of course, sincerity is vitally important. Everyone dislikes a hypocrite. But sincerity is not enough. I may sincerely believe that all airplanes at London Airport will take me to America, but I would be wrong. I may sincerely believe that lots of cream and chocolate is the best way to recuperate after a heart attack, but I would be wrong.

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