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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year! 

My New Year's resolution is to read more. I have well nigh lost any habit I once had of reading for pleasure, due to years of assigned reading in college and seminary. Now that I'm done with all that, I'm going to make an effort to regain the habit.

If anyone has any suggestions for books I ought to read, please post them in the comments.

May God bless you and yours in the coming year.

Comments:
Hey Matt. First off, what "colege" did you go to? ;^)

Are you looking for fiction or non-fiction recommendations?
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Ouch... that's embarrassing.

Anything. Lay it on me. If you think I should read it, let me know. If I disagree, or if I've already read it, I'll just ignore it.
 
Byzantium - Stephen Lawhead; Historical fiction based on an Irish monk's travels to deliver a copy of the book of Kells to Constantinople (Byzantium). An epic journey from Ireland, to the Viking's homeland, to the middle East. The first 100 pages (it's about 800 pages total) are a bit slow, but keep plowing through. If you start it, you MUST read to the very end... very uplifting.

Song of Albion series - Stephen Lawhead; I liked this trilogy (The Paradise War, The Silver Hand, The Endless Knot) better than his take on the Arthurian legends.

What We Can't Not Know - J. Budziszewski; excellent closer to his previous The Revenge of Conscience and Written on the Heart.

Origins of Life - Hugh Ross & Fazale Rana; good foundation for the coming revolution in how life's origin is viewed.

Undaunted Courage - Stephen Ambrose; get bitten by the Lewis & Clark bug... it's their bicentennial. You might rent Ken Burn's Lewis & Clark first as a primer, or just get a copy of the Lewis & Clark journals (edited).

The Privileged Planet - Jay Richards & Guillermo Gonzalez; see what caused such a fuss at The Panda's Thumb.
 
Matt don't listen to Rusty, he's evil, hehe. If you're gonna delve into sci-fi, stuff by Stephen Baxter is really good. He has a novel out called Evolution which is definitely dramatized, but has some useful scientific framework in it covering some material you need to be half way familar with if you're going to wrapped up in EvC.
I think his best stuff is The Xeelee series (Ring, Vaccuum Diagrams), and my fave novel he wrote is called Manifold Space. Those are all staight out top-notch sci-fi, with an emphasis on physics and cosmology.

General non-fiction that will do your brain good, Chaos by James Glieck.
Intelligent Design by William Demsbki.
The Elegant Universe By Brian Greene.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.
 
Yeah, Dembski's book does a good job explaining ID (albeit, from a different point of view than, say, Reasons to Believe). Greene's book provides a wonderful description of the complexity of God's creation, although Greene professes no theological stance - as far as I'm aware.

Back on the historical fiction side, you might also look at The Iron Lance, by Lawhead. The chapter in which he describes the plundering of Jerusalem, during the Crusades, will leave you breathless with regards to the depravity of man.
 
Matt,

If you want to read a novel that is hard to put down I suggest Timeline by Michael Crichton. I also hear he has a new book out, but I have not read it yet. If you enjoy Tom Clancy style thrillers you may want to read one of Joel Rossenberg's books. I believe the first one is the Last Jihad.

Hope you do well with your Resolutions.
 
Greene really does do a good job in that one I agree Rusty. Especially considering it's not exactly light material that lends itself to intuitive metaphor. BTW, since you had to get in that comment about God's universe and all, I might point out that if indeed god is responsible for the universe, then he's one hell of a scientist meaning that thevo woldn't exactly present a challange. Just keeping you on your toes buddy ;)
And if you want to see an example of a really pitiful creationist rant, check out the clown that PZ profiled on Pharyngula today. It's guys like that Rusty that make me appreciate someone like yourself who's willing to put in the time to be educated and make sense, even if I disagree with your view on common descent.
 
Thanks for your comments Dark (are you buttering me up for an end-around attack?).

BTW, I've never stated that God couldn't operate the way Theistic Evolutionists claim. My stance is that TE effectively closes the door on any need for God and, in doing so, relegates any awareness of God's existence to that of purely subjective experience.
 
Rusty said: "My stance is that TE effectively closes the door on any need for God and, in doing so, relegates any awareness of God's existence to that of purely subjective experience."

I'm not really sure what you're driving at. If you mean something like you said one of your previous statements, which seem to go along the lines of TE making God unnecessary, I don't really see how that would be. In TE God creates the universe, the processes within, physics, gravity, ect ...and either sets up evo up from the get-go or tweaks it along the way or both. So in TE God is as indispensible as in any other scenario and as necessary as He would be in PLate Tectonics or Stellar Nucleosynthesis. And it doesn't rule out any kind of revelation or some kind of direct experience with God.

LOL ... no I'm not 'buttering you up'. Of course, it doesn't mean we're engaged to be married either, heh.
You wouldn't *believe* the average 'quality' of creationist ravings that show up in my in-box everyday. I'm not bitching about getting them because it's an inevitable consequnce of my own choices, but they're so, so, abysmal. Not just in scientific content, but in tone. About half of them are like CD ROM's. They don't respond or interact, they just keep stating the same threats, insults, refuted arguments (Quite a few are verbatum Hovindisms) and usually go on to claim 'victory' several times a day. Here's some examples:

"DS I see you've still been unable to show how mutation would incrase information ..." This after I used symmetry and back mutations, and even reviewed K-C Theory showing how any metric that can host a loss, has to be able to host a gain.

"oh my goodness! did you know that archeaeptryx had true perching feet? It was just a bird! Darwinists have built their hole fanstay on a bird!"

"So why don't you be a good little evolutionist and explain how a spinning dot can blow up and make planets which spin the OPPOSITE way and get your $250,000? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T!!!"

"I'll pray for you because I don't want you to think I'm laughing at you when you're burning in hell"
 
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