Book Reviews

These are some of the books I have read in the last couple decades or so, in no particular order:

Why Don't We Listen Better? by Jim Petersen, a sort of pop-psych jaunt through a retired "liberal" (meaning he doesn't think much of the Bible as a guide to faith and practice) pastor's remininces of 40 years counseling couples and others to be more accepting of each other. Not the sort of book I could recommend to anybody.

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell, a wake-up call from an industry insider, warning us that the snake oil (not her term) being sold as "Artificial Intelligence" isn't really intelligent at all. She still thinks true AI (understanding, like humans do, with analogy and metaphor) is probably possible, but not any time soon.

Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow, not the book I was trying to write on the topic (see my "God of Truth"), but probably more effective at curing the gender gap in American churches, but only if people will read it and take action as recommended.

Dancing with Eternity by John Patrick Lowrie, an interesting exploration of religion and death by an author who has no experience in either, but is somewhat afraid of both (blog post). He writes about what he knows, in this case his fears (lots of introspection in the first-person narrative).

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, a fantasy novel disguised as sci-fi, but with good insights into the thought patterns of non-post-Christian atheists like the Chinese, and why modern science never got a start in such an environment.

Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank, a tract disguised as a book, promoting the denominational dogma of the Church of Christ

The Great Controversy by E.G.White, another tract disguised as a book, promoting the denominational dogma of the Seventh-Day Adventists

The Origin of Paul's Religion by J. Gresham Machen, more than a tract, but still mostly a polemic against the German "form criticism" of a century ago. He seems to have succeeded, I never hear anybody argue their dogma any more.

Being As Communion: A Metaphysics of Information by William Dembski, arguing logically that information is more fundamental than matter

Miracles by Eric Metaxas, a logical defense of why we should believe them, followed by some warm fuzzy stories

The Hacker Ethic by Pekka Himanen, a muddled attempt to make something new of computer hackers

Three "Christian" Novels, which might be "romance" or (slightly) "fantasy" but aren't very Christian.

Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a collection of three blog posts written while reading the book.

The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day, a well-documented refutation of atheist arguments; and The Loser Letters by Mary Eberstadt, some novel feminist arguments against atheism cast in a dubious bubblehead framework

God Is not Great by Christopher Hitchens, not so much a review as a (rather long) refutation of the uninformed opinion of one particular illogical atheist

God is Good, God is Great, edited by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, against the New Atheists

Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp, an Advent book aimed at children & Feelers, not me

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, built on Isaiah 9:10, an invitation to take our own 9/11 event as a call to repentance

1000 Days by Jonathan Falwell, apparently a collection of sermons on the ministry of Jesus.

God in the Dock, a posthumus collection of C.S.Lewis essays.

Three books by Edward Tufte on the Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, a sort of running commentary on a read-through

John Piper's Desiring God, another running commentary on a read-through

What Hath God Wrought by Wm.Grady; errors and hypocrisy overwhelm any positive insights

The Last Disciple by Hanegraaff & Brouwer, a good story, but obviously very fiction

Heaven by Randy Alcorn, good theology despite bad exegesis and tedius writing

Michael Crichton Novel Reviews, a collection of blog posts covering several novels

Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson, a good description of how geeks think, two more (Snow Crash and DODO)

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J.Jacobs, a first-hand insight into Pharisaic hypocrisy

The Shack by William Young, a Feeler view of God, not very Biblical

The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason, another Feeler view of God, seeing in Job affirmation in times of despair

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker; every woman and public office-holder and paid guard (and their employer) should read this book

On Killing by Lt.Col.Dave Grossman; how video games and TV are responsible for the increase in violence

Pursuit of God by A.W.Tozer, a devotional book for people without the Spiritual teeth to ingest Scripture directly

The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse by Steven D Smith, demolishing the circular reasoning of "liberals" seeking to keep religious ideas out of public discourse and law, and showing that they themselves "smuggle" in such ideas

Should Christians Embrace Evolution? ed Norman Nevin, an awesome critique of the most recent arguments proposed in support of evolution, and why Christians in particular should not be drawn into that belief system

Leviathan by James Byron Huggins, a modern morality play poorly executed (the science is too far-fetched to call it "sci-fi") and its best insight is not well integrated

The Truth Project is a DVD video series featuring Del Tackett, not a book, but who reads books any more?

Miller's Law, quoted in The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette Haden Elgin, who has one very important insight:

In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of.

Updated 2023 August 9