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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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87 Responses to 595

  1. Robb says:

    You can never have too many books!!

    [yay – first – only had to stay up until tomorrow….]

  2. Robb says:

    Bed time……….

  3. Becky says:

    You can have too many crappy books … and there can also be too many books by one author coming out too quickly …

  4. John says:

    No Doubt. Too many books can muddy the waters.

    And there’s a lot of echoing going on in Christian literature. In a way that is good, but why repeat what has already been repeated what has already been repeated what has already been repeated…

  5. Will says:

    would have been great to see the bible in the middle here. I have heard people talk about it in the same way as a christian self help book. Also gets read less often that the opinions of people with money to make.

  6. AnneDroid says:

    Got to confess I haven’t the mental energy to read these sorts of books any more. On top of work and kids I can only cope with reading blogs and reading fiction – have to admit I’m currently re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! And next will be “The Shack” by William Young.

    Sometimes I think with Christian books you can get the general message from the title, e.g. “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg, which I have read, or “Too busy not to pray” by someone or other, which I’m too busy to read…

  7. rebecca says:

    At Greenbelt in 2006 I bought four books, and it took me all year to read them — in fact one of them, God’s Politics, I never finished. Since then I’ve limited myself to two.

    How many of those book titles are real?

  8. Kim says:

    Man, there seems to be one here I haven’t read, do they have it on Amazon??

    This is a great point – I heard a guy say we have become a generation of really skilled Christian hearers, but not do-ers. We consume knowledge and learning but it doesn’t get tried out, tested, refined cos we’re too busy reading and going to conferences to do any of it!

    A great Argentinian lady I know, with YWAM in London, said they were really surprised when they moved here how many books everyone had on these topics – in their culture they learn by doing and the older people disciple the younger ones and they go and do stuff together. Sounds good I think.

  9. Caroline Too says:

    oh sigh, I’ve got to put up some new shelves for all mine… can
    any of you guys help me with a virtual bit of drilling and

    afraid anything technical banishes my feminism to the back shelf, I
    sit and look helpless and wish a ‘man’ would turn up to help…
    feel very ashamed :-(

  10. Caroline Too says:

    Kim (#9) really good point about learning.

    ask “what should I do?”

    work out whether you’ll get away with it

    try it (or modified ‘it’) out

    look around for any evidence that ‘it’ was beneficial

    check out with friends

    (and God) {possibly not in that order but…}

    whether you’re kidding yourself.

    there we are, you can all throw your books away…

    err, can I have some of them?

    sigh :roll:

  11. Stumpy says:

    virtual books…
    if only we had virtual readers to read them for us…..

    though I do agree that you only need to read the title of some of these to know what the content is.
    I bought a book that was part of the Greenbelt Files Series (remember them?) in about 1987 or something. Still havent finished it.

  12. Robb says:

    The problem with virtual reading is that if it hasn’t been said in the first few lines people wont read it. Now we all have wide screen monitors, we have developed an even shorter attention span.

    I remember finding Mission Shaped Church online. I couldn’t read it until I had a big papery version. If you can’t take it to the “special reading chair” it’s no use…

  13. Hayles says:

    My mum always says when I am struggling with something to do with my faith, ‘look how many books there are in Christian bookshops; apparently a lot of people are struggling!’


  14. Robb says:

    Hayles – that is a stroke of genius. Make sure you tell her!!

  15. youthworkerpete says:

    I don’t really get the issue here :(

    Even if there are too many books that are saying the same thing, or you don’t agree with the authors stand point, does that matter? Many a time I disagree with the sentiments on ASBO – but that’s what keeps me coming back! For the thought provoking debate.

    I’m quite happy to read a book I disagree with (God Delusion anyone?).

    Also I find some authors (Rob Bell or Jeff Lucas, for example) as easy to read as fiction.

  16. theseoldshades says:

    One of big books in CU/Christian student circles here at the moment is ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ by Joshua Harris. I have now heard people say, when for example considering whether as a boy and a girl they should go to the cinema together, ‘Would Josh Harris approve?’ This seems a far cry from ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ which was the buzzword a while back.

  17. Chris F says:

    The local vicar sold all his books at once and felt a free man – radical but I see where he’s at!

    I read few Christian books now, and nearly always ones I’ve read before, classics like awareness by de mello; George MacDonald; de Caussade.

    Why? because I know I haven’t fully understood and made mine, what is in these treasure houses – so why move on to yet more books??

  18. Steve Lancaster says:

    One of the wisest of wise things a friend, fellow English student, said to me was, “You are addicted to books.”

    She wasn’t joking.

    It’s great to see all these Christian books, but better to see Christians in the flesh. And it’s better to see Christian and non-Christian books on the same bookshelf, than Christian books alone; but even better still to see Christians and non-Christians together. :)

    I too love Kim’s comment (9), by the way.

  19. JF says:

    youthworkerpete (16) I keep dipping into The God Delusion. I find myself agreeing with most of it.

  20. Glory Be sounds like a good one. i’ll put it on my Amazon wish list.

  21. beatthedrum says:

    I read a great deal but usually only what is recommended by people i trust (and thats a broad spectrum of people not just in my ‘stream’)

    But the book i read the most is the bible. I would rather read THE BOOK than a book about the book anyday.

    Currently looking forward to a new study bible i am getting for xmas the ESV study bible it looks awesome


  22. dennis says:

    I really cannot stand books but I would love to read “and also up yours” sounds interesting.

  23. Ros says:

    That looks like my bedroom bookshelves and floor – only without the self help books.

    I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to books, but I spend a lot of time browsing bookshops and sales!

  24. Carole says:

    I was highly amused by the lone copy of Heidi on the right of the top shelf…then I realised it was Held. Must make an appointment at Vision Express.

    I have loads of unread books sitting on my bookshelves, many of which are popular (or not so) Christian books. Nobody told me you have to read them…I assumed that you absorbed all their wisdom by osmosis…simply by picking them up now and again. Seriously, if I’m honest, I tend to read books which which reinforce my own opinions. If I find one which makes me see things from a completely different angle and captures my attention in so doing, the author has done a good job.

    I love the materialistic side of book owning. Hardly read but love the look, feel and smell of a good book. No piece of snazzy technical kit will ever be able to replace the multi-sensory experience of a real book…I wonder what they taste like? ;)

  25. Kim says:

    Great point Carole, what is the point of us only reading what we already know we agree with? So we feel smug I suppose!

    Maybe we should ask friends who are totally different from us to recommend us books they think would be good for us to read?!!

    A friend said to me today “well I’m reading it but picking fault with it as I go so I don’t agree too much with the conclusions, or that would make me an old hippy!”

  26. Your Brother! says:

    Hi bro! Definitely too many books – but not many original ones. Unfortunately it seems that many ‘popular christian’ books are published to make a name for their author and a profit for their publisher. After a while you notice that ‘popular speakers’ have nothing new to say, and to use a controversial image might appear to be ‘prostituted’ by the ‘popular’ festivals, publishers, and speaking circuits who might be described as acting as their ‘pimps’. I suspect the problem is that there are too many bandwaggons that can’t really hold the weight of all the people trying to jump on them.

  27. Robb says:

    :lol: at the the concept of Christian pimps!! Brilliant imagery!

  28. Laura says:

    hayles, a brilliant mum you have!!
    tell her thanks for that insight!

  29. Carole says:

    Robb @ 27 – Vicars in Huggy Bear-esque vestments…or another disturbing idea – Pimp my Pulpit.

  30. gregwheeler says:

    Hmm. This is a tough one for me to take for two reasons.
    I love to read delve into what others are thinking about Christianity, but I get the point that in the Western world we have too much knowledge, not enough wisdom. We know what to do, we just don’t do it.
    And worse, I feel called to write a book… I promise not to be a pimp!

  31. AnneDroid says:

    Carole @ #24, I too thought it was Heidi. I must remember not to keep my specs in my handbag all the time but actually to put them on.

    (Secretly I’m very fond of Heidi – it’s the Alps, the cheese and the bare feet…)

  32. Chris Sharp says:

    When I’ve been at Christian Conferences and there’s been a giant Wesley Owen stand I’m depressed by two things, firstly the vast number of different Bibles (I’ve got 13 on the shelf behind me – why??) and secondly nearly all the rest of the books seem to be Christian self-help books – guides to having a more fulfilling life.

    If we read all the Bibles we buy then there may be a chance that we wouldn’t need the self-help books, if only because we’d not fall for the lie that once we’ve found Jesus then all our problems will be behind us.

  33. Hazel says:

    Ecclesiastes 12 verse 12 “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” I remember this being a favourite verse in university days!
    Also, I agree totally with comment 32!

  34. Hayles says:

    Rob and Laura, I’ll pass your comments on to my mum! She’ll be very pleased.

    My mum and I have both found ourselves searching for ‘that book’ which will just put things in a way we haven’t heard before and answer all of our questions, making us more ‘sure’ of God’s promise or his love for us.

    We have simultaneously come to the conclusion that we don’t think peace that passes all understanding comes at a price of £9.99!

    Maybe there’s a bit more to it than that.


  35. sarah says:

    Jon, I hear ya.

    There’s only one Book we really need.

    All the best


  36. Robb says:

    Carole – I have some gold lycra type stuff somewhere and a patter for a chassuble……

  37. Robb says:

    Where is “Every other day with Jesus”? I saw a sermon with that line in it two years running at Spring Harvest…

  38. Mimou says:

    hehe I like especially the “A, B, C of Faith” lol :D

  39. theseoldshades says:

    I just ordered a copy of ‘Why Men Hate Going To Church’, not because I think I’ll agree with it but because I have heard lots of people mention it and use it as a reason as to why women should run the crèche and make the coffee and men should pastor and preach and I feel like I should read it before I disagree with them! Has anyone read it?

  40. I am a complete bibliophile, so I feel a bit guilty with this cartoon. I don’t really go for the latest stuff, as I only like old second hand books. I only read Jesus books, but only three books stay by my bed: Bible (RV) BCP (1928) and New Commentary on Holy Scripture (1928). The other pile gradually changes according to study. To me, secondhand bookshopping is one of the great pleasures, along with second hand record shopping. I recognise it is a “habit” but it must be healthier than going to the pub, surely?

  41. Laura says:

    Christopher – I think the most healthy thing would be to buy a book at the secondhand store and then go to the pub to read it! ;-)

  42. youthworkerpete says:

    18 – Hmm, I would actually find that a little disconcerting. Is he searching for liberation, or is he saying that his interpretation of scripture is better than any of the authors on his shelf?

    20 – I really got into TGD because of the science (I saw no contradiction between that and Christianity), but the general arguements against faith I didn’t agree with (like the anthropological arguement – which seemed to simply say we exist therefore their is no God).

  43. Kim says:

    39. I tried to read Why Men.. recently but found it v hard going and didn’t finish it. I wonder if any men have read it?! Let us know if you make any headway with it.

  44. rebecca says:

    It’s a wonder nobody’s yet come out with: “So many books, so little time…”

  45. Caroline Too says:

    Hayles (#34)… could you get your mum to join this blog’s
    conversations, I think that we’ll enjoy her company!

    For me the key question is not which book will help us do (whatever’s the latest christianish fad.. walk on water…. get men to church… be in a cell etc etc)

    but how to have conversations that provoke new ways of going on the way (pilgrimage).

    now, surely this is Jon’s gift to us? his cartoons, provoke a whole
    array of differnt ideas and possibilities for action

    but there’s something more

    as we talk, not only does space open for doing new (disciply)
    things, but we seem to have the space to share other elements of
    our lives: the loss of a loved pet, illness of a relative…

    We often debate how to do church better on this blog; aren’t we
    also modelling a way of relating that generates space for pilgrimage in new ways and offer care for each other..

    So what would help start and maintain these kinds of
    conversations in our local, physical world? Might we then be
    creating a new kind of local church?

  46. JF says:

    youthworkerpete (42): I think it just means that the fact that we exist in an environment which supports our existence does not demonstrate/require the existence of a creator. The probability of such a life-supporting environment existing is of course infinitessimally small, but there are potentially an infinitessimal number of planets, so the fact that one exists (and that we are the result of that environment) does not require a supernatural explanation. I find it harder to believe that a creator would create so many millions of uninhabitable planets each one of equal complexity to our own… purely to populate our night sky?! Is the universe really all about us!?

  47. linus says:

    christopher @ 40: From one Bibliophile to another, i’d say it depends on who you’d be chatting to in the pub and whether or not the stuff you’re reading is having any transformative effect on your life.

    Carole @ 24: absolutely – bookshelves full of books are supposed to make you look learned, intelligent, sophisticated… maybe a bit of a dangerous radical depending on what you have up there. Whether you have actually read any of the books is entirely irrelevant, surely?

    CT @45 i like what you are saying here. Yes – this community has helped me to vent, to share, to challenge my prejudices and to feel a sense of belonging. That’s all good… i think i want to know if this community can do more than that tho – can we help one another to grow and to transform our behaviour to be more Christlike? Can we move beyond debate and into action on behalf of causes we support (like the stepping stones nigeria project?) Can we really be the kingdom of God through this community, or do we just talk about it?

    How do we allow one another to find that in our local church communities? I think its all about allowing trust to develop – giving people permission not to say the “right” answers, but actually how we really think and feel. Not trying to fix or prayermug people when they share their struggles and weaknesses and doubts, but at the same time genuinely praying for each other and offering to help, but on the reciever’s own terms. Acknowledgeing others’ rights to think differently to us about stuff.

    That’s what i think anyway =/

  48. darrin says:

    Too many books….not enough cartoons

  49. rebecca says:

    This is absolutely flying off at a tangent, but so what? The comments by JF (#46) and youthworkerpete (#42) have caught my imagination.

    I admit I haven’t read The God Delusion (I’ve read some of Dawkins’ stuff, and have no desire to read any more), but this is the way I understand the anthropomorphic principle — the probability that the universe could evolve by chance in such a way as to contain intelligent life may be one in a zillion (that is not meant to be a very scientific statement, but one figure that I have heard quoted is that the probability that the force of the big bang and the strength of gravity have the right balance is one in 10 to the 60th power) BUT the probability that that the universe could evolve by chance in such a way as to contain intelligent life GIVEN THAT SOMEONE WITHIN THE UNIVERSE IS ASKING THE QUESTION is certainty. Or to put it more simply, if we didn’t exist, these questions wouldn’t arise.

    This is not an argument in favour of evolution, or any other “-tion”; all it says is that the possibility that the universe could have arisen by chance is not completely implausible. If Dawkins is using it as an argument against the existence of God, it’s just another example of him writing badly. (I’ve mentioned one in a previous posting).

    I’ll carry on… There are not an infinitesimal number of planets, but I’m assuming that you meant to write “infinite”. But there are not an infinite number of planets either — the steady state hypothesis has long since been discredited. However there are rather a lot of stars (and potentially planets as well — the thing about planets is that they are quite difficult to detect) — “millions” is a massive understatement. “Hundreds of billions” would be more appropriate — and that’s just the stars in our galaxy.

    I don’t regard this as an argument against the existence of God either, but rather as an argument that if there is a God, that God must be an amazingly lavish and prolific creator.

    So many numbers…

  50. JF says:

    Rebecca… (yes, sorry, I did mean ‘infinite’)… I can’t disagree with your last statement. Just shows though how we draw different conclusions from the same info. I suppose, to return to the main theme, if the Bible was the only book we ever needed, my inquisitive mind would be unsatisfied in terms of wanting to know what the rest of creation (beyond the visible sun, moon and stars) was all about.

  51. Caroline Too says:

    Linus (#47) I tried to explore how we might create such a learning community in this post


  52. Ben says:

    Just saw ‘The Shack’ on sale in Tescos….

    not sure what to think of that

  53. Kim says:

    51. Ben – surely its a good thing in terms of opening up thought and dialogue among a wider group of people than usually frequent Wesley Owen? (Not that I am usually supporting Tesco very effusively)

    I agree with Caroline Too and Linus that we are oepning up spaces for each other which must be a great model for taking back to physical church/life situations.

  54. join bookcrossing and give some away :)

  55. Joe says:

    Hey, to take a bit of a tangent…

    Anyone else here read “The Shack”? I’m about 3/4 of the way through it and feeling a bit disappointed…

    Ben and Kim, I don’t know what Tescos is, but I bought The Shack at Walmart — so I’m doing what I can to support “The Man.”

  56. Kim says:

    Joe – Tesco is a large supermarket chain here in the UK. (Some of us tend against their expansionist agenda!)

    Hmm, I admit I did find the Shack quite a bizarre read, and for me it was very “American” in its style of writing, but I guess thats not an issue for you!

    The thing I took away from it was -theres a whole lot more to the ways in which God would communicate his love with us than we look for or expect. He wants to be involved, invited in, close by -more than we realise.

    A friend of mine took the idea of it and wrote her own piece of writing based on what she thought he would say to her about issues and events in her past.

    What do you make of it so far?

  57. Robb says:

    Joe and Kim – We’re all supporting “the man” then :D

    I want to read it if I have time but it is waaaay down the list. Perhaps when I am into my second millenia!!

  58. subo says:

    isn’t it the tone and outlook of your ‘pot-boiling religious paperback’, that frosty grasping voice from ‘critical/controlling parent’ that we need freedom from?

  59. Kim says:

    Interesting subo. I always think of self directed reading and searching as my expression of freedom from that ‘controlling parent’!

  60. Joe says:

    I hope you don’t find all American literature to be on the level of The Shack! I think I know what you mean though…

    There were moments for me when I couldn’t put the book down. Young gives some images and metaphors for God that are helpful and interesting.

    Honestly, though, a lot of the time I wanted to throw the book across the room. It seemed arrogant to me to put words in the mouth of God and pass it off as something other than metaphor or flat-out fiction.

    Young blurs the lines between solid Christian scholarship, popular theology (Max Lucado comes to mind), and secular psychology (not that I have a huge problem with any of those three). It seems dangerous to me to have a best-selling book about God that spends so little time talking about God’s primary revelation of himself in Scripture.

    Interestingly, the biggest controversy I’ve heard about the book is about picturing God as a black woman, which didn’t bother me at all!

    Hope I didn’t say too much…

  61. CT (45), Linus (47),

    There’s a vicar down our way who is modelling his church along the lines of – ‘Come here when you need/want to, and we as a community will do all in our power to enable you to fulfil God’s calling to you when you’re not here.’

    In other words, church becomes about what the congregation does when it is not congregating…

    I like that, and find it a lot like Asbo. And look, maybe this will tread on toes but, Asbo to me is Church.

    Joe (59), Americans write some of the best English out! Can you recommend me a good up-and-coming novelist? Not just a tried and tested one…

  62. Robb says:

    You know there is no Jewish concept of secular…..

  63. matybigfro says:

    The thing that makes me laugh about the Why Men Hate Church book is that its written by men who go to/lead churches and is allways read by men involved in leading churchs. I think it should be written about why men like to complain about their churches more than women

    I suppose i should read it really cos i tell people that i think its just some guy’s deperatly trying to justify their macho and chauvonistic orientation. I do have these horrible images in my head of a church service with men all squated round a fire belching, grunting and beating their chest’s for worship. A bit like mark driscols mars hill church.

    What I struggle with is that it suggest’s that all men hate church, those that don’t are obviosly not real men or “Pansies” and that all women love church and doing flower arrangements.

    Jenny Baker had some great things to say about it at greenbelt, i should probably buy that talk.

  64. youthworkerpete says:

    Jf #46 – I have no idea whether there are other planets with life on! It wouldn’t bother me if their was (I would be interested to know if they had an understanding of a God incarnate though). But the massiveness of the universe is not for us, it is for God – i.e. to reflect his glory.

    If I did believe the we are the only ‘rational’ beings in the universe it would not be egotistical, it would be once again reaffirming how huge God is and how small we are.

  65. jonbirch says:

    hey brother! love the comment! couldn’t agree more! :-) :-) :-)

  66. jonbirch says:

    ‘if the Bible was the only book we ever needed, my inquisitive mind would be unsatisfied in terms of wanting to know what the rest of creation (beyond the visible sun, moon and stars) was all about.’
    me too… btw. can i borrow your copy of the god delusion? i think i’ll read it. hopefully you’ve marked the key bits with a yellow pen so i can read those bits! :-)

    btw… great comments here. very interesting thread. :-)

  67. Robb says:

    Matybigfro – that’s about right…

    YWP – that is pretty much where we ended up at in a tent at greenbelt… 11/12 years ago. Do aliens destroy our faith…. no…. but what is there understanding of God.

    Interestingly, one of the more convincing arguments I have heard for the non existence of aliens is that we are quite a young planet in comparison to the universe – so why aren’t they here yet?

    DS9 was a doumentary sent from the future BTW.

  68. Kim says:

    61 Joe – I agree, the blurring of the lines was an issue for me.I couldn’t understand why he didn’t position it as allegory/fiction from the outset. However it did raise some interesting thoughts and might help someone.

    Steve Lancaster – interesting idea from the vicar. Practically how does he do that I wonder?

    I agree that this community does fulfil some functions of church spectacularly well. There seem so many nice, kind, genuine people here compared to real church!!

    But I guess that could be due to the limitations of virtual relationships – lack of accountability / truthfulness that could lead us to be deluded. I’m probably never as grumpy on here as I am some Sunday mornings.

    Surely we need to really be with people to learn to love each other inspite of all the irritations & issues that arise?

  69. Pat says:

    Er…but why shouldn’t aliens (if they exist) have an understanding of God? Maybe the story of incarnation is played out in some way or other wherever sentient life evolves and becomes estranged from the Creator.

    Re the books vs community/conversation mentioned in several places above, I think we need both – the one informs the other surely? I read quite a few books (ok, so as a research student, it’s ‘what I do’ :) ) but hopefully these inform the conversations I have with people, just as their comments and experiences feed into my analytical and reflecting processes as I read. Whether it’s always entirely succesful though I’m not sure; and I’m mindful of your comments on the ‘emerging church’ thread below Robb, about the way academics can become rather disconnected from the ‘real world’ – in their language and reference points if nothing else :( In fact it’s something my children have been known to take me to task about on more than one occaision!

    Carole (24) and AnneDroid(32) – it wouldn’t be Heidi on Jon’s shelf, it would be Anne of Green Gables surely :)

  70. jonbirch says:

    kim… i guess one could ask the question, ‘why are you grumpy on sunday mornings?’ :-)

    i guess ‘where two or three meet together’ applies to the internet too steve l. :-)

    ‘DS9 was a doumentary sent from the future BTW.’ :lol:

  71. Kim says:

    My initial response to that is ‘for obvious reasons’ but you’re right it shouldn’t be that way. I am struggling at present at church and sometimes it shows.

  72. Joe says:

    Kim – it did raise some good thoughts, but I wonder if it is really helpful to someone who thinks that the book is not a work of fiction? It seems more likely to harm someones faith by presenting as real a God seperate from the Bible…

    64 Matybigfro — ha ha! I quite enjoyed your Mars Hill comment!

    62 Steve — Up and coming writers from the US? Hmmm… recently I’ve enjoyed “Then We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris and “The Book of Joby” by Mark J. Ferrari. “Joby” is a sort of retelling of the story of Job, with a good dose of King Arthur thrown in. I found it entertaining and thought provoking. They’ve been mentioned on ASBO before, but I really appreciate Shane Claiborne and Donald Miller.

    63 Robb — I knew as I typed it that someone would get me on that. I only used the word “secular” to distinguish it from the “christian” psychology that says the only head problems you might have are because you’re a sinner. Which helped me SO MUCH during my 8 year battle with depression!

  73. Kim says:

    Joe – intercept response on yr comment to Robb – surely that sort of psychology whould be known as “barking”, not Christian.

    I agree entirely with you about the Shack. Better to just be up front about it. I was about halfway through before I twigged it was a fiction – but then, I am a bit dim.

  74. subo says:

    Hi Kim, have found some great books recently, but at one time Christian books started with that chapter about ‘all thats wrong with the world’, I couldn’t get through the first chunk.

    Sadly I do find many christian books promoting outdated and non-christian ideas

    – like (a)’we can’t help what happened to us’, (b) instead of ‘we are made in the image of God’, ((a) is non-christian, controlling gobbeldegook, (b) is liberation theology

    and then theres …..
    maybe we should compile a list of wonderful books

  75. Robb says:

    Kim – intercept response before Dr Ruth sees it!! :D

    Jon – ‘why are you grumpy on sunday mornings?’ – because I have to be there at 7:30AM. I am pretty sure that God is having a lie in….

  76. Kim says:

    Hi Robb, I’m not familiar with Dr Ruth so I don’t get that!?

    Why do you have to be there so early – need all that time to practice before we get there??

    Its funny though that when I’m not finding the sunday gathering an experience I can relate to easily, the real relationships and friendships become more precious and I work harder to sustain them. Hmm…

  77. doctor ruth says:

    77 – Kim, he was talking about me (his wife) cos I’m a psychologist. I absolutely agree, anyone who says that someone’s emotional difficulties are simply a product of sin is ‘barking’ (to use a technical term!!!).

    63 – Joe – don’t know if you’re still battling with depression but there’s a reasonably good book called ‘I’m not supposed to feel like this’ which is written by a Christian psychiatrist and I think two ministers, and it emphasises the additional struggle christians have with depression because of attitudes like the one about sin and depression, whilst also providing a good self-help framework that draws on both the bible and cognitive therapy.

  78. theseoldshades says:

    matybigfro: Those are exactly my thoughts on ‘Why Men…’. I’m really interested in gender constructions (thinking of doing my dissertation on it-eeek!) so I find myself very conscious of male/female stereotypes and I think it is very hard for both men and women to be told or to feel that they are not ‘real’ or ‘true’ to their gender because they don’t conform to the norm.

    Pat: Don’t forget your public speaking voice!xx

  79. Robb says:

    Hello dear ;)

  80. Kim says:

    Hi Dr Ruth, great to meet you! And thanks for the info,the book you referenced for Joe sounds really useful.

  81. subo says:

    thats one comprehensive list of titles,

  82. jonbirch says:

    hey subo… i thought this cartoon would be a real quicky to do… but it took a while to come up with all those titles. i was at one point going to put a joke title on every book… there weren’t enough hours! :lol:

  83. Becky says:

    Re: The Shack – what I love about the book (though I haven’t read it) is that I met the people who knew the author before this book went big time and I love how the story started – the guy wanted to write a story for his children. They self-published it and then it started selling, and selling, and selling primarily by word of mouth. I love the organic way this grew.

    As a writer, I fully agree there are too many crappy books out there – the difference as i see it (which you see in any creative endeavor) is the Q that should be asked — is your goal to be a writer or to be published? Major difference and you can see it in the output.

  84. subo says:

    am slowly readin’ The Shack, is pretty cool, there’s some potent imagery in there

  85. Joe says:

    dr ruth — thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve been feeling quite a bit better for the last two years… but who knows what the future holds. sounds like a good read!

  86. Hazel says:

    I meant to say in comment 34 that it is comment 33 that I am in total agreement with! All these books about how to be a better Christian, (and I can’t even find time to read my bible!)

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