You Are What You Read

“You are what you read.”

Do I hold the values I do today because I read these books as a child or did I love these books because they share the values I hold? I suppose it’s a little of both.

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The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer


Review below written in 2012, when I was 17

Reading Francis Schaeffer is like falling out of a fishing boat into the ocean. Both the depth and vastness is overwhelming. It takes but a few pages before you begin floundering and coughing up sea water.

And Mr. Schaeffer’s subject matter, philosophy, is like studying the cellular structure of the vast, deep, sea’s water molecules. It is the ocean itself–culture–that he is studying, but with a stronger magnification glass than most people trouble themselves to pull out. Most are satisfied with the view from the boat and their sweeping observations of the ocean’s surface but with the extra magnification comes a stronger, more comprehensive, more precise, understanding of the whole ocean.

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(A 300-words-or-less review)

Something between a picture book and a novel, Seabird makes for a pleasant summer afternoon’s reading or a periodic before-bed-time story with something there to spark the imagination of both the adult and the child too young to read it on his own. I loved the imagery and word pictures. The book reminded me constantly of Moby Dick. Sometimes it took only a word to bring back the salty sea breeze and the zing of the whale lines, taut with the chase.

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Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift


Summary & Analysis (contains spoilers)

Gulliver’s Travels, before it is anything else, is a satire–both on human nature and travellers’ journals such as Robinson Crusoe–which means there is far more to it than meets the eye and nothing is as it seems.

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Walking the Bible: a Photographic Journey


The next best thing to walking where the saints of Ancient Israel walked is walking it through the eyes of a skilled photographer, recalling to life the very air they breathed. History is tied not only to real people but real places–places you can revisit, relive, places retaining insights even in its soil into the lives of those who trod there.

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A Balanced Look at “One Thousand Gifts”

Even after over two years, I still don’t know how to rate this book. There were things I loved about the book and there were things that really disturbed me about the book. Even the writing style has a love/hate relationship with me. Her quasi-poetic style is unique, fresh, contemplative and often leaves you gasping at its beauty but at times borders upon the absurd and goes out of its way to be abstruse, frustrating my need for clarity and precision.

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Spiritual Warfare



Brian Borgman walks through first a balanced perspective on spiritual warfare and the dangers of leaning “too far to one side or another” (denying all demonic influence or attributing everything to Satan) then he walks through each piece of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20 and walks you through the possible meanings of each, examining, for example, what the “gospel of peace” means elsewhere in the Bible then applying it to the life of every believer, always pointing you back to Christ’s sanctifying work in you to grow and sustain you.

It’s a short book, available on kindle–I would highly recommend it! It would be an excellent introduction to the topic for a new believer as well as an encouraging reminder to the mature believer.

America and the Ambiguity of History


In which I comment on three books on the Founders of America, two of them secular, one, Christian, and meditate on the perplexity and relative ambiguity of history, its difficulty in interpretation, the dangers of writers with an agenda–albeit Christian or secular–and pass on a little homeschool-gleaned advice.

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The Problem of Pain –review


Written in September 2012 when I was 17

As is often the case with C. S. Lewis, some chapters deserve a five star rating, while others a perplexing “1”.

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