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Refreshing What We Already Know (Or Think We Know)

May 5, 2009

This May marks my 20th anniversary of graduating from seminary. Many miles, books and an additional degree have all pasted under the bridge since then so I have purposed to spend time this summer renewing and updating my reading along the lines of my seminary curriculum. My first book in this endevor was The History of Christianity In The United States And Canada by Mark Noll published by Eerdmans and weighing in at a hefty 550 pages. The work is by no means an easy read but its liberal use of photographs , illustrations and poetry/hymns make it engaging. The two particular areas of strenght that stood out was the interweaving of Canadian Church history into the familure fabric and personalities of US history. I am amazed at my lack of background and understanding on out neighbors (Brothers/Sisters in Christ) to the North, Noll helps rectify this appalling situation with grace and insightful story telling. The second strenght was Chapter 19 Personalities, Leaders, Examplers which is the presentation of character studies in the great personalities of the recent past who are influencing the presnet and will impact the future. I was familure with each of the people included but had no idea of the signifigant details that gave insight into thier lasting impact. Mark Noll has taught me a valuable lesson maybe it is time to reread more of those formed class textbooks now that there is no deadline to meet or an outlandish amounts of additional reading to do at the same time and reflect on some great information I just have assumed I knew all these years.
I also finished John Stotts book Favorite Psalms published by Moody Press. This undersized coffee table book is rich in color photographs of the Holy Lands and offers some clarifying insights but the text is uneven with some paragraphs mearly stating the obvious or a very personal reflection but the accasional gem of exegetical insight makes the book worth owning and reading through if you can find it used for a couple of bucks.

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