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Books I Am Reading in 2018
Orville Boyd Jenkins
As of 4 March 2018

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My reading goal for 2018 is 80 books.

Finished (15)

Bakker, Jim, with Ken Abraham.  Time Has Come:  How to Prepare Now for Epic Events Ahead.  Brentwood, Tennessee:  Worthy Publishing, 2012.  263p.  (Jim Bakker is to be commended for the perspective presented in this book, acknowledging the immediacy of his message to persecuted Christian churches in the Roman province of Asia under Emperor Domitian in the last decade of the first century.  Bakker takes a measured, thoughtful and humble approach to this topic, acknowledging there are varying views on many aspect of Premillennialism.  He carefully uses qualifying words like perhaps, probably, some people think, regardless of how it happens, and such, showing a spirit of charity.  This is refreshing, since many "prophecy" advocates are bombastic, belligerent, indignant, even gleeful, hateful and dogmatic.  Even with his welcome practical focus on the Lord's message through the Revelator, Bakker insists on hanging on to the future literal interpretation of events in our endtime future.  He, as is common in this endtime approach, never explains the basis for determining that we know somehow we are now at what has to be the end of history, instead of it still being in some future generation.  He is careful to note the immediate historical references of Rome, Babylon and the Beast to the Emperor, but still insists on segueing seamlessly into talking about the literalized futuristic Antichrist.  I found that amazing and totally unwarranted by the details he does bring out in the text.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 9 May 2017 in Cedar Hill, Texas.  Read 1-2 February 2018.  Bible

Bennett, William J.  Is College Worth It?  Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2013.  278p.  (Bennett focuses on the high and still-rising cost of college and university education in the USA.  He analyzes factors and details the commercialization and marketing of education even by traditional universities.  He surveys the recent development of for-profit educational companies, and compares offerings and results, as well as costs of these two approaches to education.  Along with this he looks at scholarship and government subsidized loan assistance for higher education, showing alarming trends that put graduates deep into debt, in most cases without the prospects promised for job placement.  Additionally he outlines new alternative approaches to education and training in free or low-cost alternatives, and the growing trend toward certification in non-traditional approaches, in direct cooperation with companies and industries.  These promising new approaches are growing in popularity, and Bennett reports high standards and very high students/learner satisfaction and good placement in career paths now harder to find in traditional high-cost educational approaches.  Bennett includes a set of scenarios, with advice on how to proceed and decide.  He closes with an excellent categorized descriptive directory of free or low-cost high-quality alternatives for current education, called "Schools Worth Attending."  This was an informative and encouragement assessment from Bennett, a former Secretary of Education and leader of many educational and social ventures over the years.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 3 June 2017.  Read 5-10 February 2018.  American Politics and Culture

Crossan, John Dominic.  How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian:  Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation.  NY:  HarperOne, 1989.  263p.  (Crossan performs his expected thorough and clear, readable analysis of the streams of thought that seem to portray two different portraits of God in the collection of documents over several centuries that now constitute what we call the Bible.  This was originally published in 1989 and may be available only from used book vendors.  I bought it through Amazon.  Crossan provides a very enlightening description of the differences between the character of the Hittite and the later Assyrian empires as reflected in their Covenants with the rulers and peoples they conquered or related to as vassals.  He explores how later empires, including the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, may be helpful in understanding the portrait of God culminating in the book of Revelation.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 5 January 2018 on Amazon.  Read 4-12 January 2018.  Bible

Derr, Mark.   How The Dog Became the Dog:  From Wolves to Our Best Friends.  NY:  Overlook Duckworth, 2011.   287p.  (This book is part of a longterm and ongoing personal study into the genetic sciences and historical reconstructions of the prehistory of humans and other species.  This rich title was an excellent history of genetics, tracing the development of the domestication of the wolf into the dogs of today.  It was more than that, however, correlating extensive DNA comparison of a wide range of canids and lupine varieties with human DNA historical reconstruction.  What could be a boring technical read flows like an exciting novel.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 28 November 2017 on Amazon.  Read 22 December 2017 - 4 January 2018.  Science (Paleaology, Paleoanthropology, Genetics)

Grisham, John.  The Confession.  Random House Audio, 2010.  Audiobook. (This was an excellent detailed story with believable personalities. I listened to the full-text audiobook. Grisham focuses on the death penalty in Texas and the problem of convicted and condemned wrong person for a crime.  He probes the politically- and racially-oriented judicial system in a fictitious county of East Texas.  Just as the wrongly-convicted young black high school football star faces death on Texas Death Row, the real perpetrator, just out or prison and nearing death with a brain tumor, presents himself to a Lutheran minister in Kansas, confessing to the crime, wanting to help save the wrongly-convicted young man.  The hours count down as they try to get the situation corrected.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Borrowed 2 February 2018.  Heard 4-11 February 2018.  Fiction

Leanse, Ellen Petry.  The Happiness Hack: How to Take Charge of Your Brain and Program More Happiness into Your Life.  Naperville, Illinois:  simpletruths, 2017.  109p.  Bought 10 February 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 12-13 February 2018.  Science (Neurology, Theory of Mind)

McCall, Andrew.  The Medieval Underworld NY:  Barnes and Noble, 1993 (original edition by A M Heath & Co, 1979).  319p.  Bought 3 April 2017 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  Read 20-27 February 2017.  History

Monsma, Stephen V and Stanley W Carlson-Thies.  Free to Serve:  Protecting the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations.  Grand Rapids:  BrazosPress, 2015.  198p.  (These two authors review the social and legal attitudes and rulings in recent years to compare student organizations on university campuses and non-profit service agencies to contrast the treatment of religious and non-religious, which has resulted in a growing discrimination against organizations with a faith-based mission or foundation.  They present campus and court decisions that have treated faith-based organizations in a much more repressive and restrictive pattern than non-faith-based.  The discussion and analyses are scholarly and logical, and very insightful about the two different standards of judgement used on a growing basis.  Faith-based organizations on campus, for instance, have been required to accept anyone as officers and leaders, whether or not they support their stated basis of organization.  Applied to political campus clubs, this would be equivalent to requiring a Republican club to accept a Democrat as member and president or group leader.  One or more have actually taken it to that absurd length, effectively destroying the very basis for clubs and organizations to exist.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.) Bought 4 January 2017.  Read 28 February - 4 March 2018.  American Politics and Culture

Moynihan, Robert.  Pray for Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope from the Americas.  NY:  Image (Random House), 2013.  256p.  (I was impressed with the personal insights this journalist included in this portrait biography of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentine Bishop who became the current Pope Francis.  Moynihan has reconstructed a sympathetic portrait that provides an unusual look into the personal faith and devotional concepts and commitments of Pope Francis.  The author includes a large selection of various pronouncements, sermons, public statements by Bergoglio during his life, giving us a good opportunity to see the focuses he valued and causes he championed in his native Argentina, long troubled politically and economically.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 1 January 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 15-20 January 2018.  Biography

Neville, David J.  A Peace and Hope:  Contesting Violent Eschatology in New Testament Narratives.  Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2013.  288p.  Bought 18 December 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 27-31 January 2018.  Bible (New Testament Eschatology)

Rah, Soong-Chan and Gary Vanderpol.  Return to Justice:  Six Movements that Reignited Our Contemporary Evangelical Conscience.  Grand Rapids:  Brazos Press, 2016.  224p.  (They focused on key personalities and events and distinguished between various religiocultural themes and political movements that have constituted or influenced this movement to clarify the complexity, and even uncertainty, of this label.  I had met some of these personalities, and read books by more, and was aware of many of the names.  But I grew up and entered ministry in a milieu totally unaware of all but the historical use of the term Evangelical other than to identify Protestantism in general.  Read my full review of this book on GoodReads.)  Bought 16 January 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 24-26 January 2018.  Church and Culture

Reeder, Caryn A.  The Enemy in the Household:  Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond.  Grand Rapids:  BakerAcademic, 2012.  236p.  Bought 18 December 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 4-12 January 2018.  Bible

Varela, Lorraine Marie.  Love in the face of Isis:  Seven Prayer Strategies for the Crisis in the Middle East.  Minneapolis:  Chosen, 2016.  158p.  (Lorraine Varela presents a practical challenge to Christians to take Jesus seriously and love ISIS in a practical way in our own attitudes.  Even ISIS must be the object of love if we are to follow Jesus.  She focuses on numerous examples of terrorism and how those terrorized responded in love to ISIS persecutors and those about to murder them.  Stories also relate conversions of Muslims, including ISIS members, in response to dreams and visions.  Some readers will note the flighty character of some of her effusive wording, or may be put off by some of her sometimes jargonish English syntax.  But Varela has heard the perspective of Jesus' teachings that are usually glossed over and spiritualized, reminding us that these are not just figurative but really meant as the way to live in kingdom faith.  Her insights and challenges, her passion and the stories demanded my attention.  I hope other readers can find a way to connect with her content, as she presents information, inspiration, challenge and practical, serious guidelines to develop and implement an attitude consistent with Jesus' practical teaching about the Christian life.)  Bought 10 October 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 19-20 February 2018.  Faith & Life

Webb, Stephen H.  Taking Religion to School:  Christian Theology and Secular Education.  Grand Rapids:  Brazos Press, 2000.  253p.  Bought 9 August 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 20-24 January 2018.  Philosophy (Theology)

White, Heath.  Postmodernism 101:  A First Course for the Curious Christian.  Grand Rapids:  BrazosPress, 2006.  176p.  Bought 6 February 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 14-18 February 2018.  Philosophy

Now Reading (4)

Carmody, Denise Lardner and John Tully Carmody.  Native American Religions:  An Introduction.  NY/Mahwah, New Jersey:  Paulist Press, 1993.  270p.  Bought 25 September 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  Read 4- March 2018.  Religions

Green, Eugenio.  1 Pedro y 2 Pedro (Comentario Biblico Hispanoamericano, ed Justo L Gonzalez). Miami:  Editorial Caribe, 1993.  461p.  Bought 17 August 1997 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  Read 1-2 Peter in August 2017.  Bible

Higson, Charlie.  Double or Die.  NY:  Random House Audio, 2007.  (A Young James Bond Story.)  Audiobook.  Borrowed 13 February 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  Heard 28 February - May 2017.  Fiction (Murder Mystery)

Tov, Ro'i, ed Corinne Lynch.  The Cross of Bethlehem:  The Memoirs of a Refugee.  Lexington, Kentucky:  http://booksurge.com, 2009.  336p.  (The overall story of intrigue and perfidy is attractive, but the author's style is plodding and self-distracting.  The mass of detail along the way is self-interrupting and not well-defined to provide a sense of continuity and movement through the plot.  It is hard to maintain interest.  It could have used a good style edit.  Some sentences stand out for their confusing syntax.  This is the first of a two-book series by an Israeli Jew who became a Mossad agent, after working in electronic intelligence.  He claims he was quashed and suppressed and finally Mossad put out an unsuccessful hit on him because of his questioning and growing opposition to the deceit and assassinations or other crimes performed by Mossad then blamed on others to stir up situations as a subterfuge they could benefit from.)  Received as a gift September 2017 in Cedar Hill, Texas.  Read some November-December 2017.  Autobiography (International Intrigue)

Planned (1)

Akpabot, Samuel Ekpe.  Foundation of Nigerian Traditional Music.  Ibadan:  Spectrum Books Ltd, 1986.  113p.  Bought 29 January 1991 at Ile-Ife University, Ife, Oyo, Nigeria.  Music

What I read in 2017
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Orville Jenkins Thoughts and Resources
Orville Jenkins Ideas and Interests
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