Chance for free books

Are you familiar with GoodReads, a popular site for following authors, seeing what your friends are reading, and getting ideas for books that you might like?  The site has a giveaway feature, with which you can sign up for a “drawing” that can give you free books. For the month of August, my daughter’s book, Blessed: God’s Gift of Love, co-written with Christopher Mitchell, has three copies available as giveaways.  (Go here for my review of that book.)

In September, our book, Family Vocations will be available.  I’ll give you a link when the giveaway is set up.  In the meantime, take a shot at Mary’s book.  The contest is linked after the jump.

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A comedy-thriller about the Reformation

You have GOT to read The Relic Master, a novel by Christopher Buckley (son of conservative icon William F. Buckley).  It’s about a dealer in sacred relics (bones of the saints, artifacts from Bible stories, etc.) that, when venerated, were thought to provide time-off from purgatory.  The story takes place in the time of Martin Luther.  The cast of characters is a who’s-who of Reformation history.  Buckley, a noted satirist, has written a novel that is funny, exciting, and true to history.  His scathing portrait of the religious corruption and decadence of the time leaves no doubt that Luther, in his effort to reform the Church and recover authentic Christianity, is the good guy.

Dismas is the relic supplier for both Frederick the Wise of Saxony and Archbishop Albert of Mainz.  Some theses posted on a church door by a friar who teaches in Frederic’s university start to make waves, with Frederic protecting him and Albert trying to burn him at the stake.  Dismas, caught in the middle with his livelihood threatened, sees Luther’s point, but gets caught up in a relic forgery scam, aided by his side-kick, the great artist Albrecht Dürer.  The plot thickens, and their plot thickens, leading to a mad-cap scheme to steal the Shroud of Turin. [Read more…]

A theology of writing/a theology of fiction

My daughter Mary Moerbe, over at her blog Meet, Write, & Salutary, is trying to think through a theology of writing and a theology of fiction.   She is seeking input and possible contributors.  See where she is with this after the jump. [Read more…]

Still waiting for Godot

Some former students are putting on Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett’s absurdist comedy, and asked me to write a post for the troupe’s blog that would help people understand what the heck is going on.  So I offered some worldview analysis of Beckett’s absurdist existentialism and threw in some literary analysis, as is my wont.  See the post, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Confessions of an ex-liberal theologian

Thomas C. Oden is a prominent theologian who formerly was a major practitioner of liberal, modernist theology.  But then, after reading the Church Fathers, he did an about face, turning to orthodox, historical Christianity.  He tells his story in A Change of Heart:  A Personal and Theological Memoir.

This is the most stimulating and illuminating book that I have read in a long time, giving an inside look at the construction of liberal theology, explaining what happened to mainstream Protestantism, and describing in novelistic detail how a prominent scholar came back to an authentic Christian faith.

Reading this book, published a couple of years ago, was an especially strange experience for me because Oden’s background and mine are so similar!  Though he is 20 years older than I am, our experiences have been so similar or at least parallel that reading about them is like reading about my own life.  [Read more…]

We aren’t as busy as we think we are

Chaucer describes a bustling lawyer (the Sergeant of Law) like this:

Nowhere so bisy a man he ther nas                                                                                                                       And yet he semed bisier than he was

It turns out, though we all complain about how busy we are, a study of how we actually use the 24 hours in our days suggests that we may not be as busy as we think.  Or so says Laura Vanderkam, working mother of four,  in the New York Times. [Read more…]


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