Goofus tries to read at least two fiction books and at least five nonfiction books all at once. Gallant takes his time with written works, maintaining a balance of fiction and nonfiction.
Guess which I am. But today it makes for a more interesting summary of my current reads.
Spiritual Warfare In A Believer’s Life — C. H. Spurgeon (ed. Robert Hall)
This one isn’t a Spurgeon devotional. The introduction says it’s a collection of Spurgeon works edited together. But I’ve been treating it like a devotional by poking my way through it so long. As I mentioned before, Spurgeon surprises me with his lucid and often topical preaching, solidly Scriptural yet also sparkling with subtle wit, poetry, and imagination. Many pastors who rightly believe in Biblical exposition and shun frivolous anecdotes may want to follow Spurgeon: he explores texts speculatively, far beyond “wooden” preaching.
Anne of Ingleside — L. M. Montgomery
My wife, Lacy, has finally indoctrinated me in what I now call the Anneverse. Now I’d like to induct L.M. Montgomery’s then-contemporary creation as an honorary member of the “speculative” genre hall of fame. What makes it speculative? Rather simply, her characters, especially Anne Shirley herself, demonstrate what it’s like to live real lives that have been informed by healthful fantastic imaginations. Anne’s is a realistic world of hard work, tragedy, good friends, comical encounters, outward religiosity mixed with heart, and a world of imaginary fairies, nymphs, epic myths, local legends, and spiritual wonder.
Standing Strong: How to Resist the Enemy of Your Soul — John MacArthur
MacArthur’s lately been in the evangelical news for a little shindig called the Strange Fire Conference. This older work of his made it to the free e-book scene not long ago. Now I’m two-thirds through this basic overview of Biblical spiritual warfare. MacArthur contrasts Scripture’s emphasis with that of older, and still common, spiritual-warfare notions.
“This insidious practice of making God small and people great characterizes much of today’s spiritual-warfare movement,” he writes.1 “How? By drawing undue attention to demons instead of Christ. People who ought to fear God fear Satan instead and focus on the powers of darkness. The modern spiritual-warfare movement has diluted biblical teaching about God’s sovereignty, our sufficiency in Christ, salvation, and sanctification. God’s simple battle plan for spiritual warfare is this: Turn from sin and turn to Christ.” A great reminder especially at Halloween.
A Cast of Stones — Patrick Carr
The problem with mentioning this Bethany House-published fantasy is that by listing it as one of my “pending” books, I could give the impression the story was dull, so I became distracted. Trust me: I forget if we have leftover doughnuts in the house. Similarly, I can become distracted even from a great story. Carr’s fantasy began well, and I look forward to resuming it soon. Cast’s characters, speech patterns, and places have left impressions in my memory, fading only because of time. Soon I’ll return to this very promising ebook.
Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art — Abraham Kuyper
For years I’ve meant to read Kuyper, and now I finally am. For this volume, the Reformed Dutch theologian’s specific essays about science and art have been newly translated (and sometimes you can tell, with a functional yet odd-sounding turn of phrase). It’s great stuff, seemingly simple yet with profound applications for the Christian who seeks to hold both God’s common grace in the world with the truth that unregenerate man corrupts things.
Amish Vampires in Space — Kerry Nietz
Yes, I’m almost two-thirds through this novel. And it’s a hoot, a hoot not because it’s so silly, but because it isn’t. Nietz spends chapters introducing characters and concept — just as it should be — before the story begins to do exactly what it says on the tin. And I now realize, first, that even these presumably lower-key vampires are freaky scary, and second, smashing iconic groups such as vampires and Amish together, in spaaace, makes for great drama. Unlike Nietz’s previous works, this one features an ensemble cast and third-person past perspective, which makes for a more sweeping work that feels truly, surprisingly epic.
I’ll conclude with all the puns I just successfully avoided: un-dead genres, feeds on popular myth, biting satire, count it success, makes my blood rush, sink my teeth into the story.
What have you been reading?
- MacArthur Jr., John (2012-07-01). Standing Strong: How to Resist the Enemy of Your Soul (Kindle Locations 724-728). David C Cook. Kindle Edition. ↩