Oct 22

Hodge

 

Charles Hodge Systematic Theology ★★★★

Several aspects of this review need to be separated. First I will comment on the media of the book, and then on the contents of the book itself.

This book was downloaded from Amazon.com. It is a large text, over 2700 pages in printed type, fitting into three volumes. I have the printed version, but decided to read the Kindle version instead, as it is more convenient. There are several serious problems with the Kindle version. It was a scanned edition, and the typos in the text are extremely numerous, and oftentimes very bothersome. Secondly, Charles Hodge quotes much latin, none of which is translated. He quotes and personally translates the German and French, but assumes that the reader will have a command of Latin. That was probably true in 1870, but absolutely not true in 2013, and thus any appropriate reproduction of this book should now have the Latin in translation.

Charles Hodge was professor of theology at Princeton Seminary from 1851 to 1878. His thinking has heavily influenced evangelical thinking up to this present day. There is no doubt that Hodge is truly one of the great Presbyterian/Reformed theologians of all time. This set is his magnum opus, and a very fine display of his thinking. First, the problems with his writing. Hodge was affected by the science of the day, and often explores science. He often discusses the leading scientific and philosophical thinkers of his day and refutes them. Unfortunately, none of those thinkers are well-known today, and the subjects to be refuted would not be considered relevant today. The beauty of his writing overwhelms the problems. The style of writing is more similar to that of Michael Horton than of Louis Berkhof. Hodge attacks relevant topics, and leaves other topics only briefly discussed. He is not encyclopedic like Berkhof. Sometimes, he will ramble in philosophy. Otherwise, he might even quote scripture. Often, he will have a blend of both. At no time did I find him affronting my Reformed faith, but rather agreeing with it. Hodge is most masterful at tackling difficult theological issues, and the greatest beauty of this book showing how one can think through difficult theological issues in a very logical but Scriptural fashion. For Reformed thinkers, it is a must read at some time in ones’ life, just at Calvin’s Institutes should be read at some point in time.

I started reading this set late last year, interrupted by numerous other books. Nearly a year later, it is finally completed. I must now go on to read other texts. I am reading some history and hiking books on the iPad, and will begin Calvin’s Institutes, Battles’ version, soon. I made it nearly half way through the Institutes, and now need to start over and complete the task. It will probably take six or more months. The other theology texts waiting include Reymond’s recent systematic theology text, and Bavinck’s systematic theology – four volumes!, as recommended by Rob Rayburn. Stay tuned.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Oct 22

PeterWimseyCarmichael PeterWimseyWhetherbridge

 

Dorothy Sayers Mysteries, and the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries ★★★★

These are two sets of Dorothy Sayers Mysteries, all of them featuring the Lord Peter Wimsey. In the first set, Ian Carmichael stars as Peter Wimsey, and in the second set, it is Edward Petherbridge. The second set also includes Harriet Vane, a young lady whom Peter persistently asks to marry him. Peter Wimsey, in all of the series, has a male servant, Bunting, who is several of the Ian Carmichael films, does a better job of acting than Carmichael himself. It is impossible to say who was the best Peter Wimsey. Edward Petherbridge was constantly preoccupied with his monocle, and a serious type. Ian Carmichael was never sure what to do with the monocle, but tended to constantly giggle, often inappropriately. All the mysteries are long, 4-5 hours worth. The plot is a little less predictable than the Agatha Christie novels, though still just a smidgen contrived and absent of potential reality. They are entertaining. They are a different style of mystery from Agatha Christie, but still very engaging.

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Oct 22

Miss Marple

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Movies No Comments »

MarpleAgatha Christie’s Miss Marple, starring Joan Hickson ★★★★

I’m told that there have been a number of Miss Marples, but this set only has Joan Hickson. There are a total of 10 episodes that Betsy and I watched. Agatha Christie is a master story teller, though the mysteries tend to follow a rough schema as discussed with the Poirot series. Miss Marple, contrary to Poirot, is an amateur detective, a little old lady who happens to be observant, and able to put confusing clues together. Hickson fills the role of Miss Marple quite convincingly, and I’m not sure anyone else could do as well as her. Like the Poirot novels, these are quite entertaining, very well done, and worthy to watch late at night.

 

Tagged with:
No Comments »
Oct 22

Poirot

By Kenneth Feucht Media, Movies No Comments »

PoirotAgatha Christie’s Poirot, starring David Suchet and Peter Ustinov ★★★★

These movies consist of 16 Poirot mystery novels by Agatha Christie and re-created for movie. Most of the Poirot episodes use David Suchet, who I feel does a better job of Poirot than Peter Ustinov. The best episode is the Murder on the Orient Express.  Agatha Christie novels have a set plan, and so there is a sense of predictability. The crime (usually murder) is enacted, and you have no clue who did it, or sometimes, even whether or not it was murder. Poirot meets with all the suspects, and a prime suspect is developed. All of the suspects are then gathered in a meeting place, and Poirot then discusses his findings. He usually can accuse everybody in the room, but ultimately pins one generally less suspicious character as the murderer. Never does the movie give you enough clues to figure out before hand who might have committed the murder. Even with its predictability, these are still great murder mysteries, and very well reconstructed. There is high evening entertainment value to this set.

 

Tagged with:
No Comments »
preload preload preload