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review 2016-04-28 17:22
Suffer the Little Children (The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez Book 5) - Ann Swinfen

I have enjoyed all of this series—some books more than others, but every one has its own charms. This one was a particular pleasure. Kit is installed as an assistant physician at St. Thomas's Hospital, the second great facility caring for the poor in late 16th-century England, and in charge of the maternity ward. Abandoned, abused, and unwanted children are everywhere in this novel—the most compelling a group of young urchins who beg for food outside the playhouse where Kit's friend Simon makes his living as an actor. A young playwright named Will (with an unpronounceable last name—guess who?) has just joined the theater, and there are amusing references to his plays. But the central story line involves the approaching death of Sir Francis Walsingham, the potential threats to his secret service as a result, a kidnapped child, and, of course, a plot against the throne. It's all fast-paced and riveting and sets Kit up for the next journey, to Muscovy, which I loved even more.

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review 2016-04-04 23:00
I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence by Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger
I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence - Richard Clark Kroeger,Catherine Clark Kroeger

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

I haven't read 1Timothy all the way through yet, I'm still in the Old Testament as my Bible reading goes, but I know enough to be confused by the above passage. Paul refers men to women for the women to teach them things in other passages, so it doesn't make sense for him to have said this. Don't even get me started on being "saved through childbearing" or how Adam being "formed first" gives him superiority because Paul otherwise pronounces that we all will be saved by grace through faith, right?

 

This book made me realize a few things. 

  1. Translation is hard and your work will be second guessed, but some error or misinterpretation is inevitable.
  2. Context is key. Being congruent with the meaning of the rest of the text should be important. 
  3. We do not always properly consider the audience of the Pauline letters.

 

This book makes a lot of sense out of a strange and incongruent passage of the Bible. It takes a long, hard look at what's going on in the passage and the time it takes place in and makes some new assumptions as to what it could be responding to than I had heard before. 

 

Like the audience. Maybe it was just me, but I had messed up the intended audience for this letter when I first considered it. I had known that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, but I didn't put it together that his battles were not against Jewish traditions. This, unfortunately, meant that there was little or no reference to what he was battling with those letters in the rest of the Bible. We had no idea what the culture was like when many of our scholars were interpreting this letter and passing those interpretations on. This book gives us a glimpse of what that could have been, as much as we can get from two centuries away for now. Maybe new evidence will pop up and decimate this assessment. Time will tell. 

 

It also makes some sense out of his references at the end there. I've seen some jokes that the Adam thing doesn't make sense because the animals came before him and they don't have superiority over people. The argument that the Clarks make takes a look at these things smooths out the rougher edges of the letter. They make the whole thing make sense. 

 

They make it match up with everything else I have been taught about the Bible and salvation and what Jesus was trying to teach people when He was on this earth. I haven't finished reading through the whole Bible yet, I'm only in Joshua, but I know enough to know that this never made any sense, not completely. It's one of those passages that people like to pull out and throw around without context and while ignoring other passages that contradict it in order to suppress or oppress people. There are far too many instances of Paul referring men to women to learn from for this passage to hold up on it's own. 

 

These passages are not meant to stand alone, they are part of a story, a bigger message that these don't match up with. 

 

Anyone taking a look at women in the church should read this book. For that matter, anyone who goes to church should read this. 

 

 

Note: Before anyone attempts to hit me with some misogynistic Old Testament passage, I'd like to remind them that books are not measured by their beginnings alone. It's the progression, the arc. The Bible should not be treated differently. It's a message that progresses throughout it's own history and should not be judged solely by the misogynistic parts of it's beginning but by the arc to redemption and equality that waits at its end. I haven't read the whole thing, but I've read and been taught enough about that second half to look for that much. If you doubt this or are curious, come along with me on my journey reading through the Bible on this blog. Catch up here

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review 2016-04-04 00:00
Suffer the Flesh by Monica J. O'Rourke
Suffer the Flesh - Monica J. O'Rourke

GR Cleanup Originally Read in 2010

 

This is one of the most demented, disturbing books I've ever read. A chubby young lady listens and buys into a stranger's story about losing weight. Before you know it, she's kidnapped and held captive in a house of horrors where the demented pay big bucks to play out their fantasies on these innocent young women (who are basically starved into submission). This one started out interesting but devolved into one big gross out fest. I got bored about midway through despite the constant battering over the head with atrocities set up to outdo the previous ones. Pass me the brain bleach.

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review 2016-01-27 20:30
Suffer ye not!
Suffer - E.E. Borton

This is certainly not a work of any great literary prowess and I suspect it does not profess to be. Kate’s life is in chaos when she is brutally attacked in her home by a psychotic maniac and her son Caleb is horribly mutilated and murdered. As if this is not enough her husband Paul commits suicide as he cannot stand the pain or live without them......so just your normal every day occurrence in downtown US :)

 

But our Kate is a real “gutsy” lady and not only does she survive but with her trusty friends and, newly inherited immense wealth, sets up home in sunny Florida. From there she spends the rest of the book plotting to seek out and find the individual who destroyed her life and family.

 

This is an ok read, fast and fun which unfortunately begins to get a little “wordy” and lose direction in the middle third. The violence when it happens is quite graphic and bloody and the reader soon realizes he is heading for a gore feast at the invitation of Kate in her beautiful Florida home. Will Kate survive? Will the murderer be caught? Will the reader manage to get to the end without boredom setting in?...and most importantly will the sun keep shining in Florida? And what’s on telly tonight?

 

If you have a few hours to pass and require a little mindless entertainment then Suffer may just be the book for you. As the title suggests I began to feel the effects of suffering the longer I read and was very pleased when Kate reached the end of her mission........

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review 2015-12-11 17:17
Suffer the Little Children (Brunetti #16) - Donna Leon
Suffer the Little Children (Guido Brunetti Series #16) - Donna Leon,David Colacci

Interesting topic of discussion. Illegal adoptions, people who want to be parents buy children from people who don't want them. What happens after they're busted? Where do the kids go? Their birth parents don't want them back, a foster home is most likely their destiny. Sometimes, "the right thing" is not the right thing at all.

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