alien righteousness

Book Talk: Office Hours – Desert Island

Two short interviews I found interesting, enjoyable, and insightful were Joel Kim and Ryan Glomsrud’s talk of books:

Joel Kim interview

Professor Joel Kim gives some interesting thoughts on Ned Stonehouse’s book titled J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir. Joel Kim describes this book as a valuable book to those thinking about the ministry. This would probably complement well D.G. Hart’s biography on Machen. If you haven’t read any Machen, do so, his stuff is gold.

Also in the area of non-theological books he mentioned a very interesting book by Anne Fadiman titled, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader which talks about a married couple who are “lover of books” and the written language, and the book tells of the couple’s journey in how they reconcile in mixing and putting their books together on the same book shelf. The book is comical, and it sounds like a good read.

Further, Joel Kim’s talk of the Institutes by John Calvin made me regret leaving them back in the States, yes the institutes are made available over the internet, yet I need a physical form so I can mark up, I find I learn best when I am interacting that way with a book.

Another book he mentioned was by journalist Barbara Demick titled, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Joel Kim gave a short yet good review of this book.

This book is a well written and documented page turner dudes, yet one has to pause at times to take in many of the stories of the North Korean defectors especially in the time of Kim Sung-Il’s death–the starting of the famines. The narrative information hits yourself like a brick where the next time you eat a meal you are that much more thankful for God’s common grace and the freedom that we possess. A must read, which may bring you to further studies of the past and present DPRK, and talks of reunification.

Joel Kim added an interesting tid bit, how in the city of Pyongyang in Northern Korea, before the Korean War there was a solid Presbyterian presence, and a Presbyterian seminary there.

Ryan Glomsrud interview

Glomsrud mentioned a lot of books that he would like to read, and books that he has read that he would bring to the desert island. In the interview they pointed out the aspect of reading to lighten up dark areas of areas they were not knowledgeable in, which is one of the reasons why we read.

Ryan gave a short review on a the book by Phillip Benedict titled Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of Calvinism which sounds very interesting. Ryan was describing the book by Benedict as a history that put Calvinism in a more general context, which would be a complement to other many Calvin books out there that focus on theology.

Also a part of the discussion was the case for physical books and the up and downsides of reading books via Kindles, Ipads, et cetera.

I share the same sentiments in regards to actual books, especially reading with a pen or pencil in hand. At the end of the interview he says, “I love books,” flippin’ hilarious the way he said it.

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