Monday, December 28, 2015

Reviewing Kenneth Oppel's "Silverwing" Trilogy

Long ago there was a war between the birds and the beasts. The bats, who shared attributes of both, abstained from taking a side, making them equally contemptible by both. In the present day, in an alternate reality not so far removed from our own, a young bat named Shade breaks the taboo that has kept the peace for years: he gets a glimpse of the sun. By breaking this law Shade brings down retribution from the birds onto his entire colony, and finds himself alone and without a home.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Comfortable with Quiet

I’ve known for a long time that there is a word to describe what I am.  Introvert.  Even before I knew the word, I knew even longer what I was.  There are other descriptions people have used on me. Shy.  Anti-socialKeeps to herselfNot outgoing.  These are the words I overheard as I was growing up.  Some people have blamed my upbringing, saying I wasn’t adequately socialized because I was home-schooled.  But that is not the reason.  Not to take a stand on the whole “Nature vs. Nurture” debate, but I knew that I was introverted before I was school-age.  I didn’t call myself that.   I called myself “Laura.” But I knew that I did not “need” to be around kids my own age.  I didn’t rely on others to have fun.  I had me. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Reviewing Philip Yancey's "Reaching for the Invisible God"

Philip Yancey is possibly my favorite writer on theology, and that is despite of—or perhaps because of—the fact that he often doesn’t answer his own questions. 

Some readers might take comfort from reading theologians who seem to have it all figured out, the spiritual optimists who know God has a plan for everything and never doubt either His presence or their own faith. Spiritual optimists aren’t wrong, but as a natural pessimist it often leaves me feeling like a failure because although I know these truths from the Bible, I so often don’t feel their reality in my life. God’s presence is nebulous, elusive, and as for my own faith…actually, perhaps the least said about that debacle the better.

So when I see books written under the titles Where is God When it Hurts?, Prayer: Does it Makes a Difference?, The Jesus I Never Knew, Disappointment With God, and Reaching for an Invisible God, even the titles are encouraging. Not the questions they raise, but the fact that there is someone else out there asking them. Every book by Philip Yancey that I’ve read has been authored with humility, sensitivity, and (somewhat oxymoronic considering the sensitivity) brutal honesty.