Friday, November 25, 2005

Books read in November (6)

1. Politics, Religion and the British Revolutions - John Coffey

This is from a doctoral thesis on Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford is seen as beloved of evangelicals for his letters and of the so called Christian Right for his Lex Rex which puts rulers under law from God. His divine right of presbytery and opposition to religious freedom for non-Presbyterians is neglected says Coffey who seeks to give an all round picture of the man.
This is a most informative work, heart warming on Rutherford as pastor but harder going elsewhere.

2. E-tales - the best and worst of internet humour

As the general standard of internet humour is nearer the pornographic than the pure, this book provides few new jokes or stories for polite company.

3. E-tales two - more of the best and worst of internet humour

Ditto, but some good puns.

4. Letters from a Lost Generation - First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends: Roland Leighton, Edward Brittain, Victor Richardson, Geoffrey Thurlow

One of the saddest books I have ever read. Four boys from the same year in their school are commissioned in the army and all die in the First World War. First to die is Vera Brittain's fiancee. Between them there was but one kiss and many letters. Last to die was her brother. Trench warfare and the horrors of nursing the wounded are described in detail. The pain of losing a generation is all too apparent.
Read and weep.

5.The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity - Philip Jenkins

The author establishes that contrary to popular opinion, Christianity is not a European religion. Its origins are outside Europe and it was centuries before its strength was centered in Europe. The future of Chrstianity will be in Africa and Latin America. There is a global shift. Europe faces a bleak, depopulated secular future as far as its native peoples are concerned acording to present trends. Southern Christianity will be charismatic and ethically conservative. The author's prophecies are those of a demographer. He predicts increasing confict between Christians and Muslims.

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