Saturday, August 19, 2006

I've been tagged . . .

Steve Bishop tagged me. I didn’t even know I was playing!

Before I answer the questions (see below), I’ll offer the disclaimer that the Bible fits almost every category (and I’m not a pietist!): it changed my life; I’ve read it more than once (or I’m trying to); I’d want it on a dessert island (but I like to pose the question, what five books of the Bible would you pick if you had to?); it makes me laugh; it makes me cry; while I can’t wish it had been written, I often wish it included more; sometimes I wish it hadn’t been written because of the demands it places on me (ignorance is bliss, they say); I’m currently reading it (currently in the Psalms); and, yes, I’ve read and am reading the Bible, but I so often find myself ignorant of much of the wisdom, mystery, and knowledge of the Scriptures that I share the sentiment that we sometimes have about books we’ve been meaning to read.

One more disclaimer: I may call this site the Reformational Blogger, but if you expect a litany of “reformational” books, you’ll be disappointed. (I believe that that fact makes me particularly representative of how a reformational thinker should think!)

1. One book that changed your life: American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund Morgan—reading it was my epiphany in becoming a historian.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: My own, The Dutch-Munsee Encounter, but I don’t suppose that’s the intention of the question and I can’t say I enjoyed it much the second, third, fourth . . . ad nauseam . . . time through.

I’m currently rereading Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: My favorite book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck (hope it doesn’t wear thin—I’d hate to hate it!).

4. One book that made you laugh: A Prayer for Owen Meany, but a close second might be Straight Man: A Novel by Richard Russo. This is a great cathartic for those dealing with the nonsense of academia.

5. One book that made you cry: I generally cry at movies, not when I read books, but I probably cried when I read Jane Eyre as a teenager. Slave narratives tend to get to me (or anything else that reveals injustice).

6. One book that you wish had been written: Calvinism and the American Founding (a detailed, careful, and nuanced study by a professional historian which exams the relative influence of Calvinism on the founding of the United States).

7. One book that you wish had never been written: The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall or any book which simplistically and blithely connects the American founding with Calvinism or makes the United States out to be God’s chosen nation as though God is still in the business of choosing nations the same way he chose Israel.

8. One book you’re currently reading: The History and Character of Calvinism by John T. McNeill (in preparing to teach a course on the “History and Doctrine of Calvinism”).

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: There are many--in history, philosophy, theology, as well as literature--but this past year my thoughts keep turning to Bavink’s Reformed Dogmatics.

10. Now tag five people: Nathan Otto and Dave Hegeman. That’s only two, but Steve tagged one too many, and I’m not sure who else to tag at this moment.


I'll tag legion if I can contact him . . .

And, Arnold Sikkema!


At 3:58 PM, Anonymous David said...

Nice to see your list. After reading a few of the other ones, I was feeling like I should be reading more fiction.


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