Well, I’m a day late to the carnival, but I just couldn’t get to the blog yesterday. So, I’m writing my post today. You can see other nightstand posts at the host blog, 5 Minutes for Books.
Unmasking the New Age by Douglas R. Groothuis. Drew was in the church library a few weeks ago and there was a box marked as free books. I guess they were cleaning out the shelves to make room for new things, and Drew found some interesting titles in the mix. This was one of them. I found it intriguing and just a bit disturbing. And I also found it still very, very current considering it was published in 1986. In fact, the trends he discusses have only become more mainstream in the intervening years, not less. What is very disturbing to me is how much of the kind of thinking that characterizes the very eclectic and broad New Age movement is become mainstreamed right into the evangelical movement with some thin veneer of Christian language. This was an eye-opening book if you are able to read it and think about a lot of catch phrases and mindsets we’re seeing among many Christian groups today. I found it disturbing.
But We Are Not of Earth by Jean E. Karl. I know, this one seems a little surprising, probably, but I really like science fiction, but I have to be careful with it because much of it is written from a basically atheistic or even New Age type of worldview. I use ‘New Age’ loosely, because I’m finding that there are a huge number of eclectic things that can be classified as such, but they all have certain hallmarks in common. I can’t get into all that in this short post, but, well, you’ll see from my currently reading why I added that little note. Anyway, I still like science fiction, and this book was a fun read about a futuristic group of children who are the children of planetary explorers who have disappeared and who are not allowed to go back to Earth because of some mysterious happening there in the future past. This was a book I read as a kid – in fact, it’s one that I repeatedly checked out from the local library because I liked it so much. Over the past several years and moves, I’ve been looking for it in the library because I wanted to read it again since I remembered liking it so much. I have not been able to find it anywhere. It turns out that it is no longer in print, but I found it on Amazon and purchased a copy. I liked it again, and my 10-year-old son kept pestering me to read it after he read the back cover. I told him he could after me. So it’s in his room now on his nightstand.
Understanding the New Age by Russell Chandler. Another of Drew’s free books from the library give-away box. This one was written by a religion journalist from the Los Angeles Times and published in 1991. In the Preface to the book, Mr. Chandler shares that he took an eight-month leave of absence from his beat at the Los Angeles Times to research and write this book. And I am glad he did. Again, though the book is now over 15 years old, I am finding that the trends he discusses are even more mainstream, not less. And, again, it is frightening how much of the New Age worldview seems to be influencing parts of the evangelical movement – experience trumping the written word, relative truth verses absolute truth, contemplative spirituality and searching for experiences rather than running all experiences through the grid of scripture, searching within for the divine, feminism and goddess worship, yoga, doing what seems right to you, reinventing spirituality in whatever image you feel comfortable with, it’s all very disturbing. Maybe I’ll attempt a blog post sometime if I can get my mind wrapped around it all. Then again, that may be a daunting task.
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. I seem to be stuck for the moment reading kid fiction, but I am liking this second book in the Inkheart trilogy. So far it seems a bit darker than the first, but still an interesting read. Well, I guess the first had some dark moments, too, come to think of it. It was a little different from the movie – especially at the end. But that’s all I’m saying. Don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it yet and want to.
Soon to read:
If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy! Making the Choice to Rejoice by Lindsey O'Connor. This is a book study we'll be doing this summer with our MOPS group. I'm looking forward to it.
Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix (who also wrote the Shadow Children series that I mentioned here.) J got this one from a book order and I want to read it, too. It looks interesting. In fact, I read somewhere that when the movie The Village came out that there was some concern about how similar it was to this book. Don’t quote me on that, I just remember reading something along those lines somewhere, but I don’t remember where. I’ll have to see when I read it, I guess. Anyway, looks like I’m not getting away from juvenile fiction yet.
I’d still like to read the King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead, too. That’s still on my mental list of ‘to be read.’
Don’t forget to look at other nightstand reads at 5 Minutes for Books!
Updated: I forgot to add what I'm reading with the kids. We've been reading The Fellowship of the Ring for forever it seems. As of a few nights ago we're taking a break from it because it's just hard to read it out loud and I needed a break for something easier for my guys to listen to. Now we're reading Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This is at the request of my 8-year-old son who had started reading it himself and wanted me to read it out loud when I said we needed something else to read. I told him I would, reluctantly, but if this thing ends sad, well, he answers to me. Kidding! Sort of kidding. It's a story about a boy and a dog. Any takers on whether it ends happy? Anyone? Most dog books end with the death of the beloved dog. We've had several that we've read together that I had to read through tears at the end (Old Yeller, A Dog Named Kitty). True confession, I skipped to the end and skimmed the last page. I think the dog is still alive there. We'll see......
We are also reading through the book of Exodus after having finished Genesis a couple of weeks ago. I love it that they still ask every morning if we'll be reading the Bible together that day. I love it that they are wanting to know what happens next as we continue reading through Exodus. Love it!