- I'm slowly making my way through James C. Davis' The Human Story: Our History from the Stone Age to Today. Davis taught history for thirty-four years at the University of Pennsylvania. His focus during those years was on European history, especially on the city of Venice and the lives of ordinary Europeans. But it's clear that Davis also spent some time teaching survey courses, covering the gamut of human history.
- H.W. Brands' Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times is the book I'm currently reading aloud to my wife on our driving trips. (She's the one behind the wheel, by the way.) I have to confess that I'm not an Andrew Jackson fan. But, true to the promise of the subtitle, Brands paints an interesting and vivid picture of both Jackson and the early American frontier from which he sprang. The United States was a blank vista that white men of ambition were able to conquer and nobody was a more assiduous conqueror--military or political--than Andrew Jackson. I still don't like him, but Brands is a fine writer who informs his reader as he entertains.
- Most weeks, I spend a few hours studying in the library of a local Roman Catholic seminary. Their reference books help me to prepare my sermons and other writing. The library is on summer hours now, open only in the afternoons. Last week, I arrived a bit early and sauntered down to a room that houses books that have been donated to the seminary, but which the library can't use. There, I found a book I cited in my message last Sunday: Three Priorities for a Strong Local Church.
Joseph F. Girzone, forced more than twenty years ago to retire as an active priest for health reasons, has nonetheless become a best-selling author and speaker. Girzone is most famous for his novel, Joshua, later turned into a film starring F. Murray Abraham.
- Right now, I'm reading his book called Trinity: A New Living Spirituality, which I cited in this post. I'm about halfway through Trinity and so far, what I admire most about it is that rather than trying to explain the Triune God as a theological doctrine, Girzone sets out to help the reader experience the ways in which God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons. (He also demonstrates, as my seminary professor Ron Hals did in his book, Grace and Faith in the Old Testament, the consistency between the God revealed in Old Testament times and Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, as seen in the first century.) It's a book brimming with warmth.
- Mark Dahle is a Lutheran pastor in southern California, who I met last year. (And wrote about here.) Dahle has a new book out about healing, called simply, How to Pray for Healing (and what to do when nothing happens). Actually, I'm now in the process of re-reading the book, attempting to digest it fully.
Dahle has self-published the book, which can be purchased by check for $10.00, the check payable to "How to Pray for Healing." The address: PO Box 8309, La Jolla, CA 92308.
I'm still trying to figure out what I think of Mark Dahle's book. If you read it, let me know your reaction.