I read or completed a number of books this month so I believe I'll post about some of them now even though it's not quite the end of the month. Close enough though! I can't believe September is just a few days away....wow!
They Like Jesus But Not the Church by Dan Kimball is a book containing "insights from emerging generations." I've written previous posts about this, but one thing I wanted to take note of was from the excellent chapter on the church being full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally. I was challenged by the author's suggestion that we know why we believe what we do, why we take some things literally and some figuratively. He said that "The Bible says it, I believe it" theme from year's past doesn't work or impress emerging generations who want real answers. Also from this chapter, I like this quote:
"How sad that in our culture the Bible is known more as a weapon for beating, bashing, and shooting people than for being sweet like honey (Ps.19:9-11), for reviving the soul (Ps. 19:7), for giving light for direction (Ps. 119:105), for providing guidelines for walking in freedom (Ps. 119:45) and for its wisdom (Ps. 119:98)." (pg. 208)
The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra (the nom de plume of an Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul); this book makes me glad once again to not live in a place ruled by the Taliban and also makes me appreciate men who don't have such a careless and offensive view of women and wives; I got this at the library
The Attack by Yasmina Khadra is a story about an Arab Israeli citizen who is a successful surgeon in Tel Aviv. His world is turned upside down when his wife does something so surprising and, well, permanent. I found this at the library and greatly enjoyed it.
A militant Palestinian's response to Amin concerning the resistance -- "When dreams are turned away, death becomes the ultimate salvation." (pg. 220) and another who said, "There's no worse cataclysm than humiliation. It's an evil beyond measure, Doctor. It takes away your taste for life." (pg. 219). And another, "There's no happiness without dignity and no dream is possible without freedom." (pg. 227)
About his life as a surgeon, Dr. Amin says, "the only battle I believe in, the only one that really deserves bleeding for, is the battle the surgeon fights, which consists of re-creating life in the place where death has chosen to conduct its maneuvers." (pg. 234) and also as he surveys the Jenin area, "I hate wars and revolutions and these dramas of redemptive violence that turn upon themselves like endlessly long screws and haul entire generations through the same murderous absurdities, apparently without ERROR signals going off in anybody's head. I'm a surgeon: In my view, there's enough suffering inherent in human flesh, and no need for healthy people to inflict more on one another every chance they get." (pg. 167)
The Sirens of Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra takes place during the Iraq War. It follows the story of a young man in a small desert village as the American forces come through, disgrace his family and he seeks to restore dignity and honor. See previous posts for excerpts from this book.
The Blue Manuscript by Sabiha Al Khemir -- Eastern and western cultures mix and experience life together on this archaeological dig in a remote area in Egypt. I think my favorite part was around page 136 where the translator Zohra is discussing how her Tunisian father said she was "too English" when she showed reservation and planning and her mom accused her of being "too Arab" when "emotions gushed out unexpectedly." It amused me when someone asked her which language (English or Arabic) she thought in because Samer and I have had discussions like this before. "I can't believe you think in English!" or "You mean you think in Arabic, but have to translate your thoughts into English so I can read them?" Ha, ha!
I'll post the rest of the books later.