An Invitation to Read Together
Monte's Book Club
Not as popular as Oprah - but just as good looking
I talked with several friends this past week about books that we've read, are reading and dream of reading. It got me thinking that reading is one of my favorite things, and it's made even better when I get to discuss books with others. The latter is increasingly difficult to do so I thought I'd try to do it with others through the blog.
I just finished Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana by Anne Rice. (The second in a trilogy she's writing on Jesus of Nazareth. The first is entitled: Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt). These are amazing books. Yes it's Anne Rice of all the vampire fame and gore. And she's writing a Novel in three parts of the life of Jesus - all in the FIRST PERSON. She's done a lot of research and study. She writes of Jesus as he grows up. The miracle at Cana (John ) takes place at the end of the 2nd novel. So she's been trying to flesh out what was happening to, in and with Jesus as he grew up, and his divinity/mission/purpose emerges in his consciousness and his family system. It's quite good, weaving together the 4 gospel accounts, data from the Dead Sea Scrolls and stuff from the Apocrypha and the Gospel of Thomas on his childhood. Very thought provoking. Very much orthodox. Very human.
Has anyone read it? If so what'd you think?
The question it leaves me with is when and how did Jesus grow up? What influenced and shaped him: his community, his family, the divine presence in and around him? At what point did he choose to accept what he was being pulled to? How do you reconcile your experience or perspective on his humanity and divinity with that?
Next Month - MAY - I'm going to read 2 books:
Get a copy of one or both and look for my thoughts posted in May seeking to invite discussion and dialogue online!
Presence: An exploration of profound change in people, organizations and society by Peter Senge. (recommended by Sheila Denton)
Here's a review from Amazon.com:
Presence can be read as a both a guide and a challenge to leaders in business, education, and government to transform their institutions into powerful agents of change in a world increasingly out of balance. Since business is the most powerful institution in the world today, the authors argue, it must play a key role in solving global societal problems. Yet so many institutions seem to run people rather than the other way around. In this illuminating book, the authors seek to understand why people don't change systems and institutions even when they pose a threat to society, and examine why institutional change is so difficult to attain.
The authors view large institutions such as global corporations as a new species that are affecting nearly all other life forms on the planet. Rather than look at these systems as merely the extension of a few hyper-powerful individuals, they see them as a dynamic organisms with the potential to learn, grow, and evolve--but only if people exert control over them and actively eliminate their destructive aspects. "But until that potential is activated," they write, "industrial age institutions will continue to expand blindly, unaware of their part in a larger whole or of the consequences of their growth." For global institutions to be recreated in positive ways, there must be individual and collective levels of awareness, followed by direct action. Raising this awareness is what Presence seeks to achieve. Drawing on the insights gleaned from interviews with over 150 leading scientists, social leaders, and entrepreneurs, the authors emphasize what they call the "courage to see freshly"--the ability to view familiar problems from a new perspective in order to better understand how parts and wholes are interrelated.This is not a typical business book. Mainly theoretical, it does not offer specific tips that organizational managers or directors can apply immediately; rather, it offers powerful tools and ideas for changing the mindset of leaders and unlocking the latent potential to "develop awareness commensurate with our impact, wisdom in balance with our power." --Shawn Carkonen
Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Clairborne. (Recommended by Ruth Villasenor, Matt Prinz & Mary Glenn)
Here's a review from Amazon.com:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Here is the must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith? Haw and Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) slice through politics as usual and well past the superficial layers of the culture wars with their lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government. Their entertaining yet provocative tour of the Bible's social and economic order makes even the most abstruse Levitical laws come alive for our era. They also provide a valuable political context for Christ's life, reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into government—he urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. The compelling writing is enhanced by a lavish, eye-popping layout. The pages are a riot of textured callouts, colors, photos and fonts—the perfect packaging for a message that must compete in a world of sound bites. With this second book, Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God. (Mar.)
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