Thursday, June 21, 2018

Elizabeth Goudge's "The Child from the Sea" and How I Got My Copy

How I came to possess Elizabeth Goudge’s The Child from the Sea was in a very roundabout way. It happened a few years back, while I was working as an administrative assistant at a furniture store. As part of the “staging,” there was a variety of old books that would be placed upon bookcases or other shelving.

Past experience has taught me that treasures can be hidden in the least probable places, so I went through the store reading over the various titles. Most of these books were not very interesting—mostly Readers Digest Condensed volumes and that sort of thing—but among them was a nondescript, black-bound hardcover with “GOUDGE” on the binding.

At the time I hadn’t read anything by Elizabeth Goudge myself, but as she’s one of my mom’s “target” authors and collects all of her works, I mentioned it to her. I remember my mom being a bit horrified that a book like that should be collecting dust, unread and forgotten in a furniture store. She said about as much to one of my coworkers one day when she visited me at work.

This happened to be around Mother’s Day, and my coworker, with the generosity of giving away something that didn’t necessarily belong to him, immediately handed it to her as an early gift.

(Lest anyone accuse either him or my mother of stealing, I “donated” one of my books to take its place upon the shelf—A Geological Survey of Syria or something along that line.)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Reading a Sermon: D.L. Moody's "The Way to God"

In many other Christian books--about missions, theology, or church history--I’ve heard about or read quotations by Dwight Lyman Moody, an American pastor who was a pioneer of evangelistic preaching and founded the Moody Church, Moody Bible Institute, and (perhaps the most familiar to me as a reader) Moody Publishing. Therefore I was curious to find out first-hand who he was by reading one of his books.
“The children of God are not perfect; but we are perfectly His children.”
The Way to God and How to Find It seemed to be a good place to start. Some theology books can get very deep and tangled as they delve into complex issues such as the Trinity or Election. When trying out a “new” theologian, I find it best to gauge whether I like them by reading on a more basic topic, or even one I know well enough to determine whether their opinion is in line with Biblical doctrine.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Reality Ensues "In Darkest England"

“One of the secrets of the success of the Salvation Army is, that the friendless of the world find friends in it.”
Having chosen this book almost at random, from a list of free theology books I found online, I didn’t realize until I was well into this book that In Darkest England and the Way Out was written by the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth. In fact, one could argue that this book is practically a sales pitch for the (relatively) new charity organization he’d created: the first half of the book describes “darkest England,” the social, economic, and moral problems that undermined their own country (as opposed to the possibly more popular mission field of “darkest Africa” or something along those lines); the second half of the book includes his proposed solutions, including halfway houses, job placement services, and concepts that seem almost modern such as co-ops and communal gardens.