Feb 25

On Reading

By Kenneth Feucht FeuchtBlog Add comments

I tend to read quite a bit, and even once had a full page add written up in World Magazine with my photo, about my love for books. I’ve occasionally been accused of reading too much. I recently encountered the blog page of M.N. (http://www.allthingsexpounded.com/) who I find also has a tremendous fascination with books. There are friends of mine who are quite fascinated with books, one person in particular, D.D., who probably owns about 10 x as many of books as me, is quite familiar with the content of the books he owns and the public sentiments toward the book, can recommend just about any book on any topic and be correct, but has rarely ever read a whole book. It reminded me of brother Lewis, who had a library full of books, all with bookmarks about 30 pages into the book. M.N. seems to be more like me, with a long list of books, and a book doesn’t get filed until it is either read, or I realize that it is not worth reading. I read a modest amount on the internet, mostly for news. Facebook annoys me, especially for its triviality, yet it remains a good way of staying in touch with many people without fear of going deeper than superficiality.

My old list of every-morning internet news pages has changed. I rarely ever read World Net Daily any more. The only columnists that I read regularly are Pat Buchanan, Judge Napolitano, and occasionally George Will. My favorite internet sites for news are…

1. http://www.drudgereport.com/
2. http://patriot-newswire.com/
3. http://www.infowars.com/
4. http://townhall.com/
5. http://www.newsmax.com/
6. http://www.spiegel.de/
7. http://www.bild.de/
I skim through World Magazine every other week, and Bicycle Magazine once monthly. A friend subscribed me for a year last year to National Review, which I enjoyed reading, though I had some problems with its Neo-Con and Papist orientation. My current reads, of which you will be seeing reviews, include God & Time – Four Views, and Dostoevsky by Peter Leithart (Kindle edition).

My reading list this year is….

Kindle – wise

The Gambler – Dostoevsky
The House of the Dead – Dostoevsky
The Idiot – Dostoevsky
Gulag Archipelago –  Solzhenitzyn
In the First Circle – Solzhenitzyn
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – Shirer
The Prince – Machiavelli
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
Affirming the Apostles Creed – JI Packer
History of the Christian Church – Schaff (read once already)
Devotional Treasures from the Holy Land – Delaney
Systematic Theology – Charles Hodge
Durch die Wüste – Karl May
Kinder und Hausmarchen – Grimm und Hauff (read once already)

Hard Books

The God of Miracles – Jack Collins
Enjoy every Sandwich – Lipsenthal
The Emperor of all Maladies
Cutting for Stone
Life Together – Bonhoeffer
The Revelation of God – Jensen
The Person of Christ – MacLeod
Collected Writings on Scripture – Carson
Christ of the Covenants – OP Robertson (read once already)
Mein Kampf – Hitler
Die Deutschen – Guido Knopf
Redemption Accomplished and Applied – Murray
The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination – Boettner
Historical Theology – Cunningham
Several Photography How-To Books
The Systematic Theologies of
Horton
Turretin
Bavinck
Shedd
Dabney
Reymond
Erickson (maybe???)

There are other books on the shelves, but, that’s enough for now. I think it will take me about 3 years to get through all these texts, but then I’ll probably add on another dozen or more in the next year.

 

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5 Responses to “On Reading”

  1. Onkel Dennis says:

    “Facebook annoys me, especially for its triviality, yet it remains a good way of
    staying in touch with many people without fear of going deeper than superficiality.”

    The Internet social networking websites should be avoided. They are goldmines for human intelligence gathering. Do not suppose that you “have nothing to hide” unless you have no assets nor a prospective corpus delicti traceable by the Rulers.

    For more on this, see

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27643

    “”In light of that technological reality, we are gravely worried by the court’s
    conclusion that records about you that are collected by Internet services like
    Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Google are fair game for warrantless searches by the government.””

    As for the chattering class, George Will won’t tell you anything highly worthwhile. He will tell you only what David Rockafeller wants you to know,
    and think. Judge Napolitano does not, like Will, have any Money Power affinities and tells it more like it is.

    A person’s choice of information sources tells much about how far they have
    progressed in understanding the nature of the social order. One notable omission from the list is

    http://www.globalresearch.ca

    Some others I have on my list (in no particular order) are:

    http://www.dailyreckoning.com
    http://www.rense.com
    http://www.thedailybell.com
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwinA.htm
    http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/
    http://www.oftwominds.com
    http://www.infowars.com
    http://www.joelskousen.com
    http://www.larouchepub.com
    http://www.beforeitsnews.com
    http://www.richardkinnaird.com
    http://www.augustreview.com
    http://www.cryptome.org
    http://www.the intelhub.com
    http://www.viewzone.com
    http://www.truthistreason.com
    http://www.truthfrequencynews.com
    http://www.foreignaffairs.org
    http://www.copi.com/articles

    Foreign news sources:

    http://www.russiatoday.com
    http://www.aljazeera.com
    http://www.indiatimes.com
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardian
    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/

    Other important or tantalizing sources:

    http://www.skolnicksreport.com
    http://www.feuchtblog.net

    Book list comments:

    Quantity is no substitute for quality, of course. It is better to selectively read
    (and re-read) than to be on an infoholic binge.

    I would question the value of reading:

    The Systematic Theologies of
    Horton
    Turretin
    Bavinck
    Shedd
    Dabney
    Reymond
    Erickson (maybe???)

    Sytematic theology books are written by theologians who feel compelled to tell you what everybody thinks on every topic, usually in rationalistic arguments that leave the most important facts about Christianity to lie moldering in forgotten texts on the history of the forgotten church, a history which does more to enlighten the theology of the historic church than a pile of systematic theology books.

    Books I could recommend, in no particular order:

    Just a Farm Boy, Sam Feucht (This book is not for everyone!)
    Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness, Benjamin G. Wilkinson
    The Grand Deception, Dennis Feucht (- nor is this one.)
    The Grand Consipracy, Dennis Feucht (for everybody)
    The Captive, Mary Rowland
    God and the Ancient Chinese, Samuel Wang, Ethel R. Nelson
    The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop
    The Books of Jasher, 1 & 2 Esdras, and Tobit
    The Drama of the Lost Disciples, George F. Jowett
    Missing Links Discovered in the Assyrian Tablets, E. Raymond Capt
    Celt, Druid, and Culdee, Isabel Hill Elder
    The Story of Celto-Saxon Israel, W. H. Bennett
    The Glory of the Stars, E. Raymond Capt
    Tracing Our Ancestors, Frederick Haberman
    Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, J. H. Allen
    The Mystery of the Gentiles, Ted Weiland (!)

  2. Dennis;
    I missed the http://www.infowars.com website, which is actually one of my top four. Terrible oversight. I have grown weary of the Agora / Daily Reckoning crowd. Your comments on the systematic theologies leaves me wondering how carefully you have read many of them. Perhaps you are like Lewis in your systematic theology reads in picking here and there, which will not give you a good taste as to the total orientation of the theologian. You might remember the days when you complained that the ACC did not have enough systematic theology. Your comments are correct if thinking that systematic theology offers the total of the Christian faith. In that regard, as JI Packer taught me (I took a class from him in systematic theology), systematic theology is intended to offer contemporary analyses of timeless truths. One must also engage in biblical theology and historical theology to best understand the whole of Scripture.
    Regarding recommended books, I’ll stick with “Just a Farm Boy”. Perhaps I need to do a book review of that!

  3. Onkel Dennis says:

    “… picking here and there, which will not give you a good taste as to the total orientation of the theologian. ”

    I am not condemning theology as a whole, nor even a systematic account of it, but I am saying that the most important aspects of the biblical worldview are not found (much, at least) in it. I have read extensively enough in systematic theology books (and have a few on my bookshelf) also also OTHER MATERIAL that I can say this. It is the other material that is lacking for those theologically inclined to stay inside the box of convenient and common theological thinking. Run with the herd and get the mediocre results of the herd.

    The forgotten history, found in some of the books I listed, will not appeal to people who have been conditioned to avoid any truths that fall outside their preconceived theological concepts. I read far more church and Bible history than systematic theology and it has given me a perspective that I could never have obtained from a stack of systematic theology books. So my point is that systematic theology is LIMITING – far too limiting. It is not a source of new or neglected primary material. It is a commentary on existing well-digested material. It is based on a certain intellectual orientation that traces back to the rationalizing arguments of the Middle Ages. It is more papist and Greek than Christian and Hebrew in its approach to truth.

    Systematic theology has its place in one’s development, but then it is time to move on …

  4. I think you miss the reason for the existence of systematic theology. It is not intended so much to play a summary of beliefs of the faith, as to contextualize those beliefs to the contemporary mind-set. Systematic theology is as much an apologetic for the faith and refutation of false beliefs as it is the desire to summarize current thinking on any given topic. After all, we all (you included) think in these categories. We have ideas as to the trinity and false beliefs about the trinity, ideas on the creation and false beliefs on the creation, etc. The book I just reviewed (Redemption Accomplished and Applied) is essentially a 1955 systematic theology of the atonement and its effect on the Christian. It was written to refute many false beliefs that had arisen and are still with us regarding the atonement. Ultimately one needs to compile in their mind or on paper what they believe on a given topic. To not do so leaves your belief structure indeterminate or muddled. Just think of the AC Church. Your efforts at the ACC Journal attempted to force AC leaders into thinking in a systematic way about what they believe. That work was not futile, though, when I look back over the Journals, appear to be a trite naive as to assumptions and beliefs of the authors. A tradition of thinking clearly and arguing clearly about theological matters had not yet been formed in the AC Church. Unfortunately, some of those authors have since gone on to be full-blown heretics. So, systematic theology is part of the picture but is not the entire picture. JI Packer made that very clear to use in his class on systematic theology.

  5. Onkel Dennis says:

    “…it is the desire to summarize current thinking on any given topic. After all, we all (you included) think in these categories.”

    As I said in my previous post, I do NOT think very much in the categories of systematic theology. I think more in the categories of what has happened historically among God’s people.

    “Ultimately one needs to compile in their mind or on paper what they believe on a given topic.”

    Certainly, but how this is done varies, and the way it is done in “systematic theology” is not the only way. One quickly discovers this by reading scripture itself. It is not organized in the manner of systematic theology. Why not? God chose to give us his revealed truth in a historical context and not the manner of the Forum in Athens.

    “… systematic theology is part of the picture but is not the entire picture. JI Packer made that very clear to use in his class on systematic theology.”

    I agree, and Packer is one of the better systematic theologians. My emphasis is that there is more that is revealing of God’s truth than can best be expressed in the manner of systematic theology. That is why I have, for the last dozen years, pursued these other paths less traveled, and to much benefit.

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