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text 2017-04-22 18:38
National Sunday Law
National Sunday Law - A. Jan Marcussen

When I read this book, I knew what my review would be just not how to begin it and finally decided honesty is the best policy.

 

I am a Seventh-day Adventist and the topic of this book focuses on what Seventh-day Adventists believe is a central part of last day events before Christ’s Second Coming.  Unfortunately, the author has produced such a horribly written book as to induce cringe worthy level of embarrassment to any mainstream Adventist.  And to learn that it was left at people’s doors or mailed to them anonymously makes its impact even worse because while I believe the author was sincere in wanting to do good; I will not vouch for the ideas presented because fairly early in the book I began skimming through and will never read it for a second time.

 

This book is not in any way affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist church and the publication company is named as to be confused with a genuine evangelistic ministry.

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review 2017-04-18 01:24
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life - James Martin

An absolutely terrific book. Fr. Martin is funny, practical and inspiring. Not just for Jesuits... not just for Christians... fine thoughts here on the art of living in kindness and connection.

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review 2017-04-18 01:23
I Stand at the Door and Knock: Meditations by the Author of The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
I have enormous respect for Corrie ten Boom, and certainly she's one of the most inspiring figures of 20th c. Christianity. This book, however, although full of her quiet, solid, faith, exposed a dogmatic approach that I find too narrow. This is entirely personal, and shouldn't deter anyone who is of a more conservative bent.
 
 

 

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review 2017-04-16 01:51
The Millennium Bug
The Millennium Bug: Is This the End of the World as We Know It? - Jon Paulien,B. Russell Holt

The world approached the year 2000, the threat of disaster due to a glitch in programming to our technological world was all the rage in the media only to fizzle out.  However Jon Paulien’s The Millennium Bug is not about Y2K, but about how Christians—more specifically Seventh-day Adventists—should approach the then upcoming calendar change to 2000 when thinking about the “end times”.

 

Almost 20 years ago, the world was getting both excited and anxious about the upcoming new millennium.  Besides the magically alluring numeral 2000, there were questions about if the change would adversely affect computers causing chaos and to many Christians if this change in millennium would see Jesus’ Second Coming.  Paulien examines all the theories surrounding the millennium with the Second Coming and why Adventists with their history of Great Disappointment were even getting infected with “the millennium bug”.  Yet while Paulien was informative with all the reasons why the calendar change to 2000 was just artificial especially in light of what occurred leading up to the year 1000, when he turned to what Adventists should concentrate on when thinking about “the end times” a lot of his writing would suggest checking out his a previous book of his on that subject instead of giving complete answers in this particular book.

 

While this fact was a tad frustrating, Paulien went a long way in answer many question dealing and surrounding various ‘end time’ theories in which millenniums are involved whether dealing with the age of the Earth or when the millennium of Revelation occurs.  The Millennium Bug isn’t perfect and in parts a bit dated, it is still a good quick read of information.

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review 2017-04-12 20:37
Magdalene, by Marie Howe [poetry]
Magdalene: Poems - Marie Howe

I began reading Marie Howe when I was an undergrad taking my first poetry workshops. At first, I wasn't sure I liked her style, which is deceptively simple or plain. This was a contrast to many other poets I was introduced to at the same time, such as Mark Doty and Yusef Komunyakaa. But somewhere along the line, I fell in love with her aesthetic, and that first book of hers I read, What the Living Do, remains a favorite and a touchstone.

 

I now recognize and admire the delicate straightforwardness of Howe's language, which packs as much power as any formal poem or one with more verbal jujitsu. Her lines can be long, with lots of room between them or stanzas. They feel quiet, contemplative, so when there's a turn or revelation coming, it heightens the impact. I'm trying to explain her appeal, but part of it is that I can't. Or I could if I analyzed it to death, and I prefer letting the magic linger.

 

The poems' subjects range from desire to mental health, self-perception, spirituality, and motherhood. Though I don't read the book like one overarching narrative, it does feel like there's an arc; there's a fullness to that arc that somehow replicates the sensation of completing a big, fat novel. You have an idea of a life.

 

Here's a favorite:

 

How the Story Started

 

I was driven toward desire by desire.

believing that the fulfillment of that desire was an end.

There was no end.

 

Others might have looked into the future and seen

a shape inside the coming years --

a house, a child, a man who might be a help.

 

I saw his back bent over what he was working on,

the back of his neck, how he stood in his sneakers,

and wanted to eat him.

 

How could I see another person, I mean who he was--apart from me--

apart from that?

 

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