Spirituality

Book Review: Rumors of Another World

Rumors of Another World
Author: 
Yancey, Philip
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Having been a Christian for some time, I was familiar with the name Philip Yancey. I knew he often wrote books about Christianity and how those of us in the faith should examine some of the more challenging topics of our belief.
When I picked up Rumors of Another World from a friend, I was expecting an examination of the afterlife promised us in God's Word. Part of me was planning to use this book as a bit of research for my own fictional writing, or at least to give me ideas on how to incorporate a heavenly realm into it.
In the end, this book was not what I expected.

It has been a long time since I've read any Yancey, but I don't think this is his strongest work. My primary issue with it is that it tries to speak to too many audiences. If it either focused on trying to convince atheists and other scientific-minded individuals that there is a heaven and a hell or helping believers enforce their apologetics on the topic of the afterlife, it could have worked. Instead, it (almost ironically) sits in the middle of these two worlds, never diving deep enough to make a solid point about anything.

Furthermore, while I appreciated the anecdotes and quotes from other authors, many of them were reused throughout the book, making the whole narrative seem repetitive and redundant. I mean, I get it: C.S. Lewis is an excellent writer with a ton of great quotes, but there are other Christian authors out there as well. In the end, Rumours of Another World provides a few thinking points for Christians and non-Christians alike, but it never really challenges our deeply held beliefs or leads us into startling, life-changing revelations.

An OK book that breaks down some reductionist arguments, I give Rumors of Another World 2.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin M. Weilert

Book Review: The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales

Book Review: The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales
Author: 
Kohn, Sherab Chödzin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

A great book for reading on break or at lunch. The tales are interesting and amusing. Some were more obviously lessons while others just seemed to be stories. Thumbs up!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven
Author: 
Krakauer, Jon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Wow. If there was anyway to just completely rile me up, it was to read this book. Which means the book was really good. I've known just a little about Mormonism from some kids I went to school with and such, but the fundamentalist side of it was alien to me (aside from polygamy). I really makes me wonder about the human condition and the types of religion it accepts, even if it seems like it's being accepted blindly. Great book, and written with more of the facts in mind, rather than a bias.

Reviewer's Name: 
Cassie

Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Author: 
Metaxas, Eric
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A great book with mini biographies of 7 men who made choices that changed their society and left legacies for us. The writing style is informal. I learned things about these famous men that I hadn't known before.

A great inspirational book for teens and adults.

Reviewer's Name: 
Julie

Book Review: Crazy for God

Book Review: Crazy for God
Author: 
Schaeffer, Frank
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I grew up in the evangelical world. I witnessed first-hand the fanaticism of the believer. This book was interesting to me because it pulled back the curtain on the religious right, particularly in the 80s. Frank Zappa was right, there was indeed "50 million dollars in his heavenly bank account". I just wish there had been more pages devoted to this time in the author's life. Nonetheless, the author was honest and forthright about his upbringing and wrote with charisma.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Free Will

Author: 
Harris, Sam
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

For a small book, it was definitely intense. Sam Harris is a great American intellectual and advocate for reason. In "Free Will", he really brings up an issue that really makes you reconsider everything you ever thought about what drives us as human beings. It leaves you to chew on what you just read and think more about why we do what we do. He inserts in some of his sense of humor too, which helps break up the pace. I only wish he could've expanded a little bit more, and gave more insight into opposing viewpoints.

Reviewer's Name: 
Cassie

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