March 05, 2010

From the Salmon Library

Editors note: I added an Amazon widge-gidget to the sidebar and as I rotate out the old selections for the new I would like to briefly comment on those selections from The Salmon Library.

“Patience with God” by Frank Schaeffer

This book was a Christmas gift lovingly pilfered from my Amazon wish list. It found its way onto the list when I was searching for insights into the New Atheist movement. Had it not been for the wife I’m not sure I would have ever purchased it. That said….

A reader hoping to gain insight into atheism or religion for that matter will find that this work will not do much to enlighten. The first half of the book is a screed directed at atheism and organized religion alike and those that the author sees profiteering from it; the Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Rick Warrens of the world.

The second half is part memoir part spiritual journey. Under the direction of his parents he was a once a famous child evangelical who at one point fell away from the evangelical life, Where he landed is somewhere he calls the “Church of Hopeful Uncertainly.”

I was left with the impression that Schaeffer believes, like Soren Kierkegaard which he quotes throughout, “that the human race has outgrown Christianity.” In which case I fail to see how he is much different than those that he spent half a book berating.

UPDATE: Our friend at KingShamus found a recent video of Frank Schaeffer.

“Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton

In this classic Catholic apologia Chesterton makes a reasoned case for Christian faith. Not from the view of religion but from the view of a man in search of religion. In fact he begins with the story of a yachtsman that sets sail and because of a series of miscalculations unwittingly finds himself back where he began delighted in his accomplishment and amazed at the things he discovers there.

Along the way Chesterton dismantles the dominate ideologies of his day, equating those that are unable to believe as nothing more than inmates in the asylum. He also shows how it is the paradoxes of religion that non believers find so troubling that are at the core of truth. Truth summed up in the Apostles Creed.

It is not a book for the faint of heart as his rhapsodic and metaphorical style takes more than a few reads to unravel. It was however a challenging but fruitful read and I believe that if catechism class had been as enlightening many a Catholic would not have had to take the same voyage as Chesterton.

“Patriots” by James Wesley Rawles

Rawle’s operates one of the internet’s most popular survival web sites and this book is part novel about the end of the world as we know it and part handbook for would be survivalists.

In this book economic collapse leads to the total collapse of civil society. Fortunately for the main characters they had spent several years preparing for just such a calamity by stocking up on guns, bullets, and beans while honing their military skills and acquiring a northwest redoubt where they could sit out the catastrophe.

Like most books of this genre there is inevitably a faceoff between the survivors and the tyrannical government trying to retake control of the country. As expected truth justice and the American way once again prevails. This book was an enjoyable change of pace in these uncertain times.


Anonymous said...

Dude, I thought it might be the same Robert Schaeffer I was ranting about, but the guy from your review didn't seem like the same brain-dead douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the linkage. I appreciate it.