Posts Tagged ‘reading’

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Books: A Profound Weakness: Christians & Kitsch

July 23, 2010

A Profound Weakness: Christians & Kitsch (2005, B. Spackman, UK: Piquant)

I’ve been reading this excellent book on and off for a few months. Each time, I am once again amazed by its intelligent exploration of Christianity and the arts (and kitsch). It’s very challenging, too, and there’s a good chance that a lot of Christian readers might even feel insulted or uncomfortable by the text. Not that feeling bad is a problem: sometimes the truth hurts! It has taken me so long to read, simply because it is so big, so deep, that I can only absorb it in small doses. However, it addresses several important issues of Christianity, and I highly recommend it.

It is for anyone who has ever stopped to ask about the meanings (both overt and hidden) behind Christmas card imagery, Jesus statues, graveyards, motherhood and Mary, Christian t-shirts, Bible verse embroidery, multimedia presentations in church, church buildings, What Would Jesus Do? bracelets, icons, relics and several other similar areas. The insights regarding Christian art, particularly in the pressure upon artists to deliberately incorporate deliberate Gospel messages in their work, is especially important. I have enjoyed the process of being confronted by this powerful illustrated text.

I just wonder how I can get all the Jesus bumper sticker types at my church to read it! (Before you ask, I do not have any Christian bumper stickers on my car. My theory is that, unless I’m a brilliant and consistently courteous, careful driver, I probably shouldn’t be turning people off Jesus by inadvertently irritating them. What is it with the crooked parking, lane-cutting, unexplained sudden braking driving habits of people with ‘Fear God’ bumper stickers*, anyway?!)

(Links accessed 23 July 2010.)

More information:

http://www.amazon.com/Profound-Weakness-Christians-Kitsch/dp/1903689139/

http://orders.koorong.com/search/product/view.jhtml?code=1903689139

http://word.com.au/details.aspx?ProductID=546404

http://piquanteditions.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=10

*generalisation for humourous purposes only

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Frustrations Of Self Directed Time Wasting

March 5, 2008

Visual Diary

10.49 pm – Wed 16 January 2008

Summer holiday observations:

  • despite my valiant resolutions I still continue to stay up too late at night
  • I receive a bunch of books for Christmas and figure I’ll read them throughout the year. Instead, I read all 20 books in about 2 weeks.
  • I promise I’ll finish that manuscript… then waste time watching tv show repeats
  • I intend to play with the kids more… but spend too much time on housework
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A Bit of Fantasy

February 28, 2008

While I’ve been recovering from my operation, I’ve been lying in bed reading a lot of books. It has been commented, by people that know me personally, that I read a lot, and that I read very fast. Some have even suggested that I ought to slow my reading pace because it is uncomfortable for them to watch me race through book after book. Indeed, there are times where I take a week or two or three off reading books, and read only my regular Bible readings, so that my brain doesn’t explode from the reading.

I bought two fantasy-genre novels before my operation and, almost a week later, have finished both of them. I couldn’t put them down, and was struck by their originality and depth of meaning – so I thought I’d mention them here.

Graham, L. B. (2004), The Binding of the Blade Book 1: Beyond the Summerland, Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing.

Koorong, Official Website.

This book kept me compulsively reading it. It’s fairly lengthy compared to the normal size of the novels I read, but that said, I managed to finish it within a week. So that really says something. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I found myself really caught up in the characters.

The story is mostly told around the journey of the hero Joraiem. Destined to be one of the leaders of their country, he journeys to the ancient city where his country’s leaders have been trained for generations. When the training takes an unexpected turn, they journey over sea and land to fight an ancient foe. There are great characters – a wise prophet, a beautiful princess, galloping horses, a warrior tiger, talking bears, magnificent dragons, and evil enemies. It’s one of the better books I’ve read in the fantasy genre. There’s a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

Admittedly I wish the ending was a little different – though it felt appropriate to the grand and epic tale, it left me feeling rather sad. Hopeful, but sad. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant story and I feel all the more enriched because of it. Now I have to save up some money to buy the rest of the series now and find out what happens next!

Overstreet, J. (2007), Auralia’s Colors, Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press.

Koorong, Word, WaterBrook Press.

This is the story of a baby girl found in the wilderness. As she grows, she is found to have a mysterious gift that could disrupt the laws of the nearby town. It’s a mysterious tale, I found it fascinating, if not a little dark. It was definitely entertaining and full of drama. It made me ask a lot of questions – who are the truly evil? Why have laws for merely law’s sake? What lengths would people go to to enforce social divisions? Why would a society silence the spiritual from open discussion? I have no idea if that’s what the author intended though, and I’m not postmodern enough to suggest that the author’s purpose and motive ought to be discounted! It was definitely a fascinating read.

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