Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Summer Reading Plan

Here's the reading list I promised about a week back (I know Julie, you could hardly wait). My plan for the next few months is to take it easy. My reasons for this are: 1) I think my brain has earned a deserved reduced reading break. 2) My schedule is in constant flux lately and will continue to be this way until sometime after Noah is born. I don't know what my schedule is going to be from week to week and probably will not know what it will be like from day to day once he's born. 3) I think I'm long overdue for some fun reading. So here's the plan.

First, I'm currently reading Wright's The New Testament and the People of God (I'm somewhere around pg 80). It's slow but delightful reading. In addition, I'm also about 80 pages into Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner.

Let me digress for a moment about the latter title pictured above. No, it's not a cuss word despite the fact that it has a BLOGAN ring to it. Let me digress even further on the term I just coined. You've probably heard of "Bennifer" (Ben Affleck and JLo), "Tomkat" (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) and "Brangelina" (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie). Let me introduce you to "Blogan." That's a combination of Tim Baylor (of Luther's Stein fame) and Scott Logan. Anything that's cussworthy or that smacks of the profane, shall heretoforth be known as being "blogan" or "bloganesque." I encourage you to adopt this new term into your vocabulary and employ it on your blogs (just remember you heard it here first!).

Returning to the first digression, Freakonomics is an attempt to wrestle with life's more interesting and odd questions from the vantage point of a brilliant young economist who teaches at the University of Chicago. He wrestles with questions like: "If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their moms?" His major premise is something to the effect of: If morality describes how we wish the world was, economics describes how it really is. It was recommended to me by my good friend and fellow grad, Andy Davies. It's also #5 or 6 on the NY Times bestseller list and you can check out the web page here.

Next on the list are two devotional works. I just bought Bruce Waltke's Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? I started it on Sunday afternoon, and it's good so far. Tonight I was at Barnes and Nobles on my lunch/dinner break and read about 20 pages from Wild at Heart. Though I certainly disagreed with some of what I read, I was largely intrigued. I'm planning on picking it up tomorrow and continuing the read. Anybody out there read it? Any thoughts?

I conclude with some reference reading. I just bought the Dictionary for the Theological Interpretation of the Bible and am planning on page turning through it after it arrives and reading the essays that catch my interest. I also just purchased The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels and am planning on doing the same with this book later this summer/fall. However, this one will probably get a more rigorous or systematic reading since I am aware that I need to sharpen up my synoptics/historical Jesus studies and my interest was peaked by Michael Bird's recent post regarding the relative neglect of Luke/Acts studies especially among PhD students.

This should be sufficient to keep me occupied for the summer. If I finish NTPG and Freakonomics before Noah's born, I'll be happy. We'll see about the rest. Once he's born I'm sure life will be marked by craziness and sleeplessness for the first couple of weeks (months?). I have a more intensive plan for the fall, but that will have to wait for another day since this post is already a bit longer than I anticipated.


Luther's Stein said...

Thanks for the shout out . . . I think. You know, I am convinced it is your crap like this that is going to keep me from a PhD. It's stuff like this that attaches to you and never lets go.

Julie's dad once called me "Uncle Butt-Butt" in front of my neices and since then I have never been known as anything else . . . did I just say that out loud? I'm a blogan idiot.

Anyway, with regard to your reading list, I heard Freakonomics was good though, according to my brother who deals in the world of finance and economics, some of the issues treated in the books are "false causes."

I wanted to read Waltke's book myself, but never got around to it and would be interested to see a review of it. Also well as the NTPG.

Wild at Heart, I have never read it personally. I have only heard one person comment, and they called it "unsound." I am not positive, but I thought I heard he was inclined in some regard toward Open Theism.

Anonymous said...

Eldridge does hint at open theism in the book, particularly in his chapters that emphasize the risk-taking nature of God. In general, I thought it was interesting, but only that. Highly speculative and only loosely Biblical, if that. He's a a good writer and probably a fantastic counselor in many ways, but he needs to be the ghost writer for a theologian rather than trying to do it himself. Plus, I think the guy goes to movies.

dwilson said...

Hey Nate,
The reading list looks pretty good.
The Freakonomics sounds like an interesting read. What a great question to answer: "If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their moms?"

adam said...

I Love the "Blogan" terminology!!!! I will use it with (as Edwards would say)all my might while I do use it! Even the definition, as to how you arrived at it, I could not agree more.

Now on to the reading... I think that "wild at heart" looks...(how do I say it...hmmm...ok,...) gay. There I said it.

The Dictionary is awesome. I got it last semester and I have used it and read in it (a couple NT Wright) and it was certainly worth my time.

Chris Bruno said...

There is PhD student here at Southern doing atonement in Luke-Acts. I think it is going to be pretty good, so be in the look out for atonement in Luke-Acts by John Kimbell in a couple years

Luther's Stein said...


Are you gonna take that from Thomas?! He just called one of your pics gay!


You picked up the dictionary? I thought you didn't read anyone whose last name wasn't Piper!

NWMihelis said...

Bruno: Thanks for the heads up

Annalisa: I'm about 40 pages in so far and your assesment "Highly speculative and only loosely Biblical, if that..." seems to be on target. If you can confirm the movies accusation, I'll burn it and flush the ashes tomorrow :-)

Thomas: I hate to admit it, but you're right. I hesitated to be seen at the counter with it and asked for a bag to conceal it in as I walked out the door. The irony is that it is a book calling for a return to real masculinity for men. Apparently the publisher/marketer didn't read it before arranging the cover.

David: I haven't gotten far enough into the book to find the answer yet, but I too am intrigued.

And last but far from least...

Baylor: I think your brother is proabably on target with the false causes. I was thinking more in the category of non sequitar, but same idea. For such a brilliant guy with such sweet credentials (undergrad from Harvard, PhD from MIT and research fellow at Harvard at age 26, not to mention professor at U of Chicago) I'm surprised at his neglect of citations and documentation. He tells some crazy stories and throws out some amazing statistics but never documents them. So far, that's the biggest dissapointment, but its still a great read. I'll keep in mind the request for a book review of Waltke, though he's been temporarily displaced by Eldridge who I am intrigued with.

BTW, YOU went public with uncle butt butt. Let the record show, I never brought it up online. But now it's fair game. Also, I love "blogan idiot." Is it possible that "blogan" could become the next infinitely flexible explitive to replace Logan's "frick/fricker"? Only time will tell...


smlogan said...

annalisa -
(or as brother Davey prefers to address you in prayer: annaleah :-)
don't you go to movies?
are you also an open theist?
(guilt by association) ha.

all -
i wasn't the one who came up with frick(er); (baylor should be able to back me up on this, though i know he won't)
yarnell actually used it as a moniker for his roommate - Ricky Blaha. when we were yelling to each other during society football, i'd yell "rick" for short; of course, Yarnell just loved the thought of shouting "frick" at the top of his lungs, and the rest - as they say -is history.

moving on...
baylor -
nate only managed to squeeze in one letter of your name into his creative explitive; my entire last name made it in...ergo, the shout-out is entirely mine.

thomas -
you're a fag just for siding with nate. (btw, 'ergo' means
love it.

David Hayton said...

When are you going to squeeze in Edwards' "A History of the Work of Redemption"? It's even available free online in html format.

Purposely nagging for your own good

NWMihelis said...

And I appreciate that nagging. Soon. I also appreciate the "nagging" regarding the UPG's. I just got the pamphlet from you guys in my mailbox this morning!