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NotATameLion (Michigan)

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Halftime Sc
Halftime Sc
by Bob Buford
Edition: Paperback
79 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a book I truly despise, Aug. 22 2002
This review is from: Halftime Sc (Paperback)
There are a whole lot of reasons why I despise Bob Buford's "Halftime." Besides the fact that it is horribly written (with the exception of a few entertaining anecdotes), besides its horridly cultural-christian tone...the main reason I would give this book zero stars if I could is that Buford makes it sound like pursuing material gain in the early years of life is not only normal--but to be expected. Buford's condescending assumption that people cannot hunger after and pursue the Kingdom of God at an early age is unbelievably obtuse and shallow. I usually don't waste my time on such drivel. I had to read it as part of a group. That some folks teach this as a curriculum for Christ-followers is just weak and sad.
Don't buy this one. If you have, its probably worth more to you as kindling.

Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree
Price: CDN$ 18.18
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars everything great about U2, Aug. 22 2002
This review is from: Joshua Tree (Audio CD)
Having just listened to this CD for the bizillionth time last night, I am once against struck by the enduring beauty and meaning of the songs on "The Joshua Tree." This is, without a doubt, one of the best and most important pop recordings to come out of the 80's.
Perhaps more than any of their other albums, "The Joshua Tree" captures the great themes of U2's music. Politically forward, spiritually searching and earthily honest--these eleven songs all still speak as loudly today as they did in 1987.
The first three songs (Where the Streets Have No Name; I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For; With or Without You) are deservedly the most famous. Yet all of the songs are worthy in their own way of recognition.
It has always mystified me why "Running to Stand Still" is not more widely played. It is the lyrical gem of the CD. Likewise, I always thought "In God's Country" deserved and could easily find a larger audience.
U2 got to work with a dream team in Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite. It shows in the absolutely great yet transparent sound of this recording.
I can honestly say that I wholeheartedly recommend this album. Get it today.

The Rebel Angels
The Rebel Angels
by Robertson Davies
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
76 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Parlabane is back..., Aug. 21 2002
Rarely have I read a book that is so dead-on in its depiction of the petty concerns turned to obsession and often ingrown, self-righteous "worldly" provincialism that is higher academia. Robertson Davies has perfectly captured all the head spinning egotism and resulting humor (so ready for those not wrapped up in themselves or their work to discover) that is always lurking within its ivy-covered halls.
At its core, "The Rebel Angels" is the story of the trials and joys that a student assistant to a medieval literature instructor goes through as she works with "the great man." Most of these trials (and a couple of the joys) arrive in the form of John Parlabane. It is Parlabane's return that sets off the action of the plot. It is his departure that sets off its resolution.
"The Rebel Angels" is one of those rare books that has a plot so intricate, and characters so unique that I do not wish to spoil it with too much elaboration here. Instead, I'd rather sing the praises of Davies as an author.
Davies is, first and foremost, a master of the English language. His turns of phrase are wonderfully expressive. They always hit the mark perfectly. Rarely has such a wit walked the Earth. In my opinion Davies is the greatest example of the classical definition of a "wit" since the time of Pope and Dryden. His mastery of language and wit make "The Rebel Angels" a dangerously funny book. He had me laughing at some pretty awful things.
Yet, inspite of some of its more juvenile moments, "The Rebel Angels" also contemplates some of the deeper things. The whole book serves to challenge our very modern, very empirical worldviews. Is all knowledge exclusively progressive? It'd be mighty vain to think so. "The Rebel Angels" takes us to task for doing just that.
This is a great book. I give it my full recommendation.

Athena and Eden: The Hidden Meaning of the Parthenon's East Faade.
Athena and Eden: The Hidden Meaning of the Parthenon's East Faade.
by Jr., Robert Bowie Johnson
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 5.18

4.0 out of 5 stars echoes of Scripture..., Aug. 19 2002
Lacking knowledge of the Architectural issues involved, I had to approach "Athena and Eden" with my experience of ancient and classical Greek literature. I was shocked by the strength and cogency of Mr. Johnson's arguments. Though not yet fully convinced of all of the conclusions Mr. Johnson has reached, "Athena and Eden" has definitely given me some ideas to chew on while Mr. Johnson writes his second volume.
Many near eastern/mediteraenean cultures exhibit shared memories of a common prehistory. From Gilgamesh in Mesopotamia to early tales of Osiris in Egypt, echoes of the Genesis and Flood stories abound. If Mr. Johnson is correct, than Greek mythology is a very twisted (possibly Satanic) retelling of the fall of Man.
As far as particulars--
I found his arguments about the true identity of the Zeus figure extremely compelling. Yet the Athena/Hera division is still a little muddled in my mind (probably more my fault than the author's).
Overall, "Athena and Eden" is a very intriguing book that deserves a lot of attention. It gets my recommendation.

Thinline Bible-NIV
Thinline Bible-NIV
by Zondervan Bible Publishers
Edition: Leather Bound
14 used & new from CDN$ 25.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Book--New International Version, Aug. 14 2002
This review is from: Thinline Bible-NIV (Leather Bound)
I love the Bible. It is the story of how our Holy God (Namely Yahweh, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) has had and is having an ongoing love affair with humanity.
Faithful to us throughout all history, the Bible shows that God has loved us even as we have continually played the prostitute within our hearts.
The Old Testament shows us how God came to one nation in particular out of all the diseased and dying cultures of Earth and gave it instruction in healthy living. Yet the history books of the Old Testament show how like an angered, hungry infant, we swatted away the bottle of life when it was presented to us. The Prophets and the Psalms are filled with rebukes to the self-destructive people of the world. They are also full of the promise of a new day. Many passages of these books are filled with praise for God's deeds--past, present and future.
The Gospels are the story of how Jesus, God's Son, came to once and for all rescue mankind from itself and the world's unseen forces of evil. The book of Acts continues with the story of the wonders and sacrifices of the early Church. The letters address how we are to live as the people of God. The Revelation is one of the most beautiful and awesome pieces of literature ever written.
If you haven't read it lately (or ever), let me recommend the greatest book ever written. This New International Version would be particularly wonderful for those of you who once had a run-in with the Authorized or "King James" Version (don't worry, I couldn't make heads or tails of it either).
I have owned this particular format of the Bible (NIV Thinline Bonded Green Leather) for some time. It is sturdy as a warhorse.
Get this book!

The War in Heaven
The War in Heaven
by Theodore Beale
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.19

5.0 out of 5 stars very promising first book, Aug. 14 2002
I came as a skeptic of sorts to Theodore Beale's "The War in Heaven." So much of modern "Christian" fiction is neither well done nor Christian. The fact that Beale is represented by the agents who serve a couple of the authors who write some of the books that have given me this negative impression did not speak well to me about the possibility of this book being any different (neither did the cheesy cover artwork-which will soon be thankfully remedied in the forthcoming trade paperback version). How wrong I was...
There are indeed things I do not like about "The War in Heaven." Yet rarely has my heart cried out in joy over a book as it has with this one.
First, the bones I have to pick...
The biggest one is the representation of Kaym. Kaym is the fallen angel that mentors Christopher in the ways of darkness (or light--depending on who is to be believed). Kaym spews all kinds of Nietzschean drivel about power and freedom being beyond good and evil. This is not the part that I dislike. Having subscribed to such folly in my youth, I can see this being a decent angle for a fallen angel to take in the postmodern age. What bugs me about Kaym is his garb. Describing him as wearing Ray-bans is gonna date him, and possibly the book, really fast.
My second bone to pick is the way in which Jami and Holli talk. Beale has hit the nail of how American teens communicate on the head. His dialogue is spot-on. Yet restraint is a good thing. Perhaps a little less of the "ohmigod's" and the "like's" would have been a good thing too.
Bearing these two minor flaws in mind, I still have to give this book my highest recommendation.
Beale proves himself to be a master of imagery. I was surprised to find some truly great moments of what can only be described as mythopoeic storytelling in this book. Ahura Azdha is full of wonders. Beale's remolding of the words from the Bible's second book of Kings about Sennacherib's threats against Hezekiah and Jerusalem in the fictional siege of Chasah is sheer brilliance.
There is a whole lot of meat to this book. Biblical allusion, references to Milton's Paradise Lost, Apocryphal tales-"The War in Heaven" is a real treat. This is redemptive fiction at its most imaginative best.
I urge you to get this book.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
by Jon Scieszka
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
60 used & new from CDN$ 1.03

4.0 out of 5 stars stickin' it to "the man", July 29 2002
Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) raised in the western industrialized world of the twentieth/early twenty-first century has at some point heard the story of the three little pigs. But not everybody has heard it told like this.
I love Jon Scieszka's "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs."
This version is from the wolf's side of the story. And Mr. Wolf is a deliciously suspicious (if not untrustworthy) narrator. In correcting the story that we, the public, have blindly swallowed whole, Mr. Wolf has hopefully vindicated himself while doing us all a great service. This whole charade was the fault of the dull-witted, untrusting pigs.
"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" is a powerful parable about what it means to be a good or bad neighbor. If the tragedy of this story teaches us nothing else, it is at least hilariously entertaining.
I give this book my full recommendation.

The Wisdom Of Tenderness
The Wisdom Of Tenderness
by Brennan Manning
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 15.28

5.0 out of 5 stars living as the people of Abba, July 22 2002
Brennan Manning writes: "Instead of a light volley of divine love followed by the heavy artillery of rule-keeping, Jesus' love for the unlovely must pierce the heart of every Christian."
In the "The Wisdom of Tenderness" Brennan Manning once again discusses the unfathomable love of God. By discussing the tender, pursuing love of Jesus, as well as the fierce mercy of our Abba, Manning seeks to point the way to how we should live as God's people in the twenty-first century.
Manning begins by giving the lie to the all too common, overly optimistic self-evaluation modern Christians have been giving themselves. In an era where many live by legalism instead of grace and love, it has become too easy to skew the holy "stat sheet" by moving the goal posts into a more favorable position.
Manning's main argument is that the Church at large has become so self-involved and inward, that we squabble while the world around us spiritually starves to death:
"When the primacy of love is subordinated to doctrinal correctness and orthodox exegesis, cool cordiality and polite indifference masquerade as love among theologians, biblical scholars, and faculties across the land. When absolute control and rigid obedience pose as love within the family and the local faith-community, we produce trained cowards rather than Christian persons."
What Manning suggests as solution to the horrid state of things is a return to Christians living as a people of tenderness. The example and presence of Jesus and his loving Abba are to be a model and motivation for believers:
"Because of the mysterious substitution of Christ for the Christian, each encounter with a brother or sister is a real encounter with the risen Lord, an opportunity to respond creatively to the gospel and mature in the wisdom of tenderness."
As usual, Manning's writing is top notch. He is a very talented author. More importantly, Brennan has fearlessly laid bare his soul in parts of this book. Others will no doubt find great healing and motivation in this book as a result. I know I did.
I give "The Wisdom of Tenderness" my highest recommendation.

The Message - Complete Bible
The Message - Complete Bible
by Eugene H. Peterson
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.82

5.0 out of 5 stars it is finished, July 22 2002
At long last, after eleven years of hard work, Eugene Peterson has completed his translation of the Bible. Before reviewing it, I'd like to just say thanks. The Message has added a dimension to my spiritual life.
Having started the study of Biblical Greek myself about two-thirds of the way through Peterson's labor of love, I now have at least a partially complete picture of the joys and difficulties (or should I say impossibilities?) Mr. Peterson must have faced along the way. It has amazed me to see how much of the seething, vibrant, life that is so often removed from the New Testament in more formal and "stately" translations is brought by Peterson into powerful, everyday English--or as Peterson says--"American."
There are some places where I fear certain sections have lost theological nuances (James' letter being a prime example) but one cannot argue that Peterson does, in the end, faithfully and creatively present "The Message" of the Living God.
The Old Testament, which I am familiar with only in English, sings compared to other translations. Some high points for me in Peterson's Old Testament translations are: Job, 1 & 2 Kings, and Isaiah, (possibly my favorite of all of Peterson's translations: chapter twelve's ending especially gets me: "Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, oh Zion! The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.")
Believer or not, "The Message" will wake you up. It does not do this at the expense of the gospel. It does so by giving worn-out language new wings. Just as the writers of the original books were used by God to communicate His message to a hungry, thirsty and longing world, Peterson has allowed himself to be used to speak to the world of today.
I give "The Message" my highest recommendation. Get it today.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Widescreen) [Import]
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Price: CDN$ 22.85
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars well done movie, poor DVD package, July 17 2002
Having thoroughly enjoyed all four Potter books so far, I was skeptical about a movie version. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by the movie's general faithfulness to the book. Considering the horrid limitations that constrain moviemakers trying to bring a book to the silver screen, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a very good adaptation.
Though I had some minor problems on first viewing: the abbreviation of the book's beginning, the poor portrayal of the scene in the forest, and as great as she is in her own way, Emma Watson did not fit my picture of Hermione--the movie has since grown on me in its own right.
On its own, this movie easily gets four stars out of me. But...(and this is a big BUT) with two discs to work with, Warner Brothers has underwhelmed me with the DVD's weak special features. Most of the cool stuff included here has been available free at the Harry Potter website.
In comparison with other recent multi-disc releases (Cast Away, The Godfather Collection, The Simpsons Season One) and even some single discs (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Gandhi) Harry Potter's special features come up miserably short. There is not even a director's commentary (just a woefully short featurette).
I give the movie my full recommendation; just don't expect much else from this DVD package.

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