My Summer Reading

The first day of summer in the northern hemisphere is the day of the year when the sun is the farthest north. This is June 21st. I love long summer days, so it is a great time of year for me.

Since summer is ready to begin, I am ready to pick out a book for my summer reading. I am a slow reader, so it will be just one book this summer.

Should I pick a witty and humorous novel or a top business book on social networking? How about reading a historical or biographical tome like the 944 page Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Godwin (my very enjoyable summer reading a couple of years ago)? No, my pick this year is the Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Critical Questions by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

Here is my thought, what bigger questions are there to consider than some of the following issues:

  • The existence of God
  • Faith and reason
  • Providence and free will
  • Miracles
  • The problem of evil
  • The Bible's historical reliability
  • Life after death
  • Heaven and hell
  • Salvation
  • Christianity and other religions
  • Objective truth

I have some ideas on a number of these issues. But as I have been asked questions lately by my very inquisitive daughter, I have come to see that I do not know as much as I think I do.

So it is back to the books: A look at some of the deeper questions about life.

What will you be reading this summer?


Anonymous said...

Interesting selection. If you have time for a second book, I suggest Devotional Classics (Edited by Foster and Smith) to enhance "Handbook of Christian Apologetics" and perhaps to provide some background for the content of the book.

From its introduction, Devotional Classics writes, "We today suffer from the unexamined notion that the more recent something is, the better, the more true it must be. This book is our attempt to counter this present-day myopia. It brings together fifty-two carefully chosen selections from the great devotional classics."

There are readings from C.S.Lewis, Dallas Willard, Jonathan Edwards, John of the Cross, Bernard of Clairvaux, and St. Augustine, and this is from only the first of seven sections.

I like this book because the readings are broad based, timeless, short, and focused.

One of my problems is too many books, not too few. I looked into "Handbook of Christian Apologetics" at Amazon. I'd buy the book for the introduction alone, which is a simple survey of reason, logic, and argumentation. But I'd like to get your sense of the content first, to know if the core of the book is easily digested or too heavy.

BTW, "Team of Rivals" was an outstanding read, as you say, and I enjoy Kearns and her political commentary on TV.

And, should you be planning your fall reading list, I'd suggest "Manhunt- The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" by Swanson. Although not the wordsmith that Kearns is, Swanson packs the book with incredible detail. It is like a mystery book where you know the beginning and the ending, but want to discover everything in between.

Tony Rossell said...

Don -- Thanks for your comments. I agree that finding time to read is a challenge. When I compare the intellectual impact books have had on my life to what I get from the newspaper or TV, I must say that books win hands down. I also agree that the test of time is a very good indicator of quality. If a book was worth preserving for a few hundred years, it probably is a lot more significant than my latest blog post.

By the way, I mistakenly ended up with two copies of the Handbook. If someone wants a free copy, send me an email and I will send it along to you.