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neyhart

Neyhart's Book Nook

Jennifer Neyhart is an aspiring Scholar and Educator of C.S Lewis, Bible, and Theology. Her interests include reading (Fantasy/Sci-Fi along with books related to Theology, Philosophy, The Bible, Spirituality, etc...), writing, learning and teaching. You'll find her blogging about these interests accordingly at http://neyhart.blogspot.com

Currently reading

The Silmarillion
J.R.R. Tolkien, Ted Nasmith, Christopher Tolkien
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
Justin Lee
The God Box
Alex Sanchez
Gods at War: Defeating the Idols That Battle for Your Heart
Kyle Idleman
The Ersatz Elevator
Lemony Snicket
The House of Hades
Rick Riordan
Come Alive
Elora Nicole Ramirez
The Prophetic Imagination
Walter Brueggemann
Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Tullian Tchividjian
Speaker for the Dead
Orson Scott Card
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green Just read it. Seriously. You will laugh and you will probably get teary eyed at the very least. It is worth it.
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint - Nadia Bolz-Weber I doubt you'll find this book at your local Christian bookstore. And it might not be the book for you if you take offense to some of the more colorful four letter words. (The first line of the book is: “’$h!t,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to be late to New Testament class.’”)

But if you have struggled with heavy doubts about this whole God thing at some point in your life, perhaps due to suffering a major loss of some kind, death of a loved one, or physical/mental/ or emotional pain, addiction, etc... If you were given a false view of God as the opposite of love, if you've been hurt by the church, this book is for you. (It's kind of like "The Ragamuffin Gospel" on steroids, with profanity, written by a female Lutheran pastor instead of a male Franciscan priest.)

I've seen Pastrix described as a theological memoir of grace. And that it is. She talks a lot about the God who meets us in our suffering. She is adamant that God doesn't cause suffering, but that he bears it on the cross. He doesn't initiate it, but He redeems & transforms it.

I genuinely loved this book from start to finish and was deeply moved by it. I just finished it and I already want to re-read it (and make all my friends read it!)
Seriously... I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneres While I enjoy Ellen on her tv show, I found this book a bit disappointing, especially since I had just listened to Tina Fey's Bossypants and enjoyed it very much. Ellen's book lacked the substance of Bossybants, and while it made me smile a few times, it didn't make me laugh the way Bossypants did.
Bossypants - Tina Fey I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio-book. I love that Tina Fey reads it herself. She had me laughing out loud all along the way.
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card I greatly enjoyed this sci-fi read! Now I want to read the rest of the series!

The Explicit Gospel

The Explicit Gospel - Matt    Chandler, Jared C. Wilson, David Cochran Heath As to be expected, Chandler is coming from the hardcore neo-calvinist/young-restless-reformed theological perspective. In fact, I find it ironic that in a book that is supposed to be about the explicit Gospel, he doesn't see or acknowledge that his interpretation via Calvinism is an additional layer that he is putting on top of the Gospel, which can surely obscure it for many people. If you are already in that "camp" then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book. But if you're not, go read some books by Scot McKnight or N.T. Wright instead.

How the Bible Came to Be (Ebook Shorts)

How the Bible Came to Be (Ebook Shorts) - J. Daniel Hays,  J. Scott Duvall This short ebook was a freebie I downloaded on Kindle. As the title of the book says, it explores the origins of Scripture. I found it to be a helpful quick reference or refresher that would serve to whet the appetite for more information and deeper study. It would also be great for anyone who wanted a quick introduction to how we ended up with the Bible we have today.

The chapter titles are:
The Inspiration of the Bible
The Production and Shaping of the Old Testament Canon
Writing, Copying, and Transmitting the New Testament Text
The Canon of the NT, The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Septuagint, Bible Translations and the English Bible
Translations for the World.

(cross posted on Amazon)
The Case for Christianity - C.S. Lewis This is only part of what was later compiled as "Mere Christianity"
Redwall  - Brian Jacques, Gary Chalk I didn't enjoy it as much now as I did when I first read this series in middle school. My memory of it was better than my experience of it this time around.

O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling

O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling - Jason Boyett I was so encouraged by this book. I hope to re-read it soon.
Light: C.S. Lewis's First and Final Short Story - Charlie W. Starr Every C. S. Lewis fan should read this book. Not only do you get to read a previously unpublished short story by C. S. Lewis himself, but you also get a fun, engaging analysis of the mystery surrounding the "Light" manuscript, as well as a section diving into the possible meanings of the story which delves into Lewis's epistemology.

Admittedly, I am more than the casual admirer of C. S. Lewis and his writings. I've also done my fair share of academic reading. I think it is unfortunate that most of the time "academic" in this context tends to be synonymous with "boring", "dull", or "uninteresting". Fortunately, Starr's book manages to be both scholarly and entertaining as he takes us on his journey to solve the mysteries surrounding the Light manuscript.

My favorite section, other than the story itself of course, is part three: "The Meaning of Light". Here we explore how Lewis was doing what he did best in this story: talking about philosophy, epistemology, and theology though story and imagination. Starr helps us look at different possible interpretations here. The chapter titles in this section are, “Contemplation, Enjoyment and War”, “Toolsheds, Truth and Knowledge”, “Beyond Reason and Imagination”, and “Earthly Longing, Heavenly Light”.

I love the way Starr brings in so much of Lewis's work, showing us yet again that Owen Barfield was correct when he said that “what Lewis thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything”.

I also enjoy the parallel publication of “The Man Born Blind”, with “Light,” which allows the reader to see the changes and understand more about the nature of Lewis’s revisions.

Junia Is Not Alone

Junia Is Not Alone - Scot McKnight I wish this book was longer, but it serves as a nice, strong introduction to Junia and the topic of how women have been silenced so many times throughout history. And now I want to read pretty much everything he referenced or cited.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood

A Year of Biblical Womanhood - Rachel Held Evans A Breath of Fresh Air - Entertaining and Thoughtful
There has been a lot of controversy from the "conservative evangelicals" about this book, but I loved it! It made me laugh and it also made me think. In many ways it was like a breath of fresh air for me as she dives into so many of the same questions I've been asking.

I love the conversational style of the book and the ways Evans is able to laugh at herself and tackle deep hermeneutical questions about how we interpret the Bible, specifically as it applies to women's roles in the church, in the home, and in life in general.

As others have noted, there may not be new arguments here, but Rachel made the work of scholars much more accessible and personal. (And again, renewed my desire to dig deeper.)

Reading this book reawakened my love of the Bible in ways I could not have anticipated.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master" - Rachel Held Evans There has been a lot of controversy from the "conservative evangelicals" about this book, but I loved it! It made me laugh and it also made me think.

I love the conversational style of the book and the ways Evans is able to laugh at herself and tackle deep hermeneutical questions about how we interpret the Bible, specifically as it applies to women's roles in the church, in the home, and in life in general.

As others have noted, there may not be new arguments here, but Rachel made the work of scholars much more accessible and personal. (And again, renewed my desire to dig deeper.)

Reading this book reawakened my love of the Bible in ways I could not have anticipated.

I love God more now that I know that he isn't restricting me because I'm a woman. He wasn't the one doing that.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are - Ann Voskamp Beautiful writing, encouraging and convicting. I highly recommend this book.
A Severe Mercy - Sheldon Vanauken, C.S. Lewis Such a moving story of love and loss, and coming to faith all along the way. It's also a lot of fun to read the correspondence between the author of this book and C. S. Lewis as they struck up a friendship.
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd A really good story - engaging - pulled me right in.