Through New Eyes

Through New Eyes is the quintessence of James Jordan. Jordan always takes his readers by the hand and whirls them through a wonderland of symbols, connections, ideas, and paradigms. It's always a fun ride, and he always challenges his readers to think more deeply about the Bible. For that reason alone, Jordan is always worth a read.

In this book Jordan is trying to reawaken readers to the rich depth of symbolism in the world God created, especially as that world is described in Scripture. After taking time to talk about man, the animals, the structure of creation, plants, trees, stars, planets, rocks, and gems, Jordan specifically focuses on the repeated pattern of covenants in the Bible. He shows how with each new covenant there is a new heaven and new earth, better and more glorious than the one before. I had already read Peter Leithart's A House For My Name, but in Jordan I see the seed from which many of Leithart's ideas germinated.

The downside of Jordan is that he go…

2016 Book Awards and Reading List

Happy 2017 everyone! Looking through the archives, I just realized that this is the eighth year in a row that I will be continuing my tradition of doing an awards list for the books I've read in the past year. I do this partly for myself so that I can look back and remember what books especially stood out for me each year and partly for any readers as a source of book recommendations.

This was a particularly big reading year for me. I don't know how that happened, as I didn't set out to read more books than usual. I guess it was just a good year for reading. In any case, here's how the awards work. I have a set of categories, which are usually pretty standard, but fluctuate over time. For each category, I pick the book I read in the past year that I enjoyed the most. The only books in the running are books I'm reading for the first time this year, so it's possible that I may have a really good book on my reading list that doesn't get picked because I've read it before.

With all that in mind, allow me to present the awards for 2016!

Best Fiction Book I Read This Year:
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller

Best History Book I Read This Year:
Lost Worlds by Leonard Cottrell
This book is a bit on the dated side with some of its information, but it was just so much fun to read.

Best Theology Book I Read This Year:
The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Vol. 9 (J. F. Shaw and S. D. Salmond, trans.)

This volume of Augustine's writings contains four works: On Christian Doctrine and The Enchiridion, translated by J. F. Shaw, and On Catechising and On Faith and the Creed, translated by S. D. Salmond.

Best Math/Science Book I Read This Year: TIE
The Universe and Dr. Einstein by Lincoln Barnett
Fermat's Enigma by Simon Singh

Best Nonfiction Book (Other) That I Read This Year:
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

 Best Book I Read Out Loud to My Kids This Year: 
Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater

And, of course, here is the list of books I read in 2016:

·  A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas 12/16
·  The Story of Kullervo by. J. R. R. Tolkien 12/16
·  The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey 12/16
·  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 12/16
·  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 12/16
·  Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones 12/16
·  Travels in Hyper Reality by Umberto Eco 12/16
·  When I Don't Desire God by John Piper 11/16
·  Christianity and Liberalism J. Gresham Machen 11/16
·  The Fall of Arthur by J. R. R. Tolkien 11/16
·  Rules for Walking in Fellowship by John Owen 11/16
·  Lost Worlds by Leonard Cottrell 11/16
·  Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller 11/16
·  Masters of Greek Thought: Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle by Robert C. Bartlett 11/16
·  A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament by Peter Leithart 10/16
·  The Inner Voice of Love by John Henri Nouwen 10/16
·  Radicalism: When Reform Becomes Revolution: The Preface to Hooker's Laws: A Modernization by Richard Hooker (Brad Littlejohn and Brian Marr, trans.) 10/16
·  Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem by Simon Singh 10/16
·  Pages of History 1: Secrets of the Ancients by Bruce Etter 10/16
·  The World-Tilting Gospel: Embracing a Biblical Worldview & Hanging on Tight by Dan Phillips 10/16
·  The Anger of Achilles: Homer's Iliad (Robert Graves, trans.) 10/16
·  On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson 10/16
·  The Mold Survival Guide: For Your Home and for Your Health by Jeffrey May 9/16
·  Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody 9/16
·  Adam and His Kin: The Lost History of Their Lives and Times by Ruth Beechick 9/16
·  Declare by Tim Powers 9/16
·  How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem by Rod Dreher 9/16
·  The Cure of Melancholy and Overmuch Sorrow, by Faith by Richard Baxter 8/16
·  Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson 8/16
·  Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury 8/16
·  Popol Vuh (Dennis Tedlock, trans.) 8/16
·  Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Margin 8/16
·  The Law by Frédéic Bastiat 8/16
·  Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati 8/16
·  Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown 8/16
·  The Galileo Connection by Charles E. Hummel 8/16
·  Asterix and the Picts by Jean-Yves Ferrid 7/16
·  Asterix Omnibus vol. 1 by René Goscinny 7/16
·  Man in White by Johnny Cash 7/16
·  Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets by Robert Alter 7/16
·  Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed by Edwin Barnhart 7/16
·  Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel 7/16
·  The Haunted Mountain: A Story of Suspense by Mollie Hunter 7/16
·  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston 7/16
·  Ascent to Love by Peter Leithart 7/16
·  Did Adam Exist by Vern Poythress 6/16
·  A Beautiful Anarchy: How to Create Your Own Civilization in the Digital Age by Jeffrey Tucker 6/16
·  The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis 6/16
·  The Brother of Jesus by Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington, III 6/16 
·  Why God Won't Go Away: Engaging with the New Atheism by Alister McGrath 6/16
·  The Universe and Dr. Einstein by Lincoln Barnett 6/16
·  Paradiso by Dante Alighieri (Dorothy Sayers, trans.) 6/16
·  Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman 6/16
·  An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi 6/16
·  Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach by Vern Poythress 6/16
·  Doctor Who: The Forever Trap by Dan Abnett 6/16
·  The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark 6/16
·  By His Bootstraps by Robert Heinlein 5/16
·  Doctor Who: The Hounds of Artemis by James Goss 5/16
·  Doctor Who: The Day of the Troll by Simon Messingham 5/16
·  The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood 5/16
·  When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God--And Joy by John Piper 5/16
·  Theology Drives Methodology: Conversion in the Theology of Charles Finney and John Nevin by Karl Dahlfred 5/16
·  The Cruel Painter by George MacDonald 5/16
·  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 5/16
·  Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression by Zack Eswine
·  Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater 5/16
·  Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch 5/16
·  The High Divide  by Lin Enger 5/16
·  The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown 5/16
·  It's a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes by Jeffrey Tucker 5/16
·  Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron 5/16
·  What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do by Henry Cloud 5/16
·  Unnatural Creatures (Neil Gaimain, ed.) 5/16
·  The Legend of Sam Miracle by N. D. Wilson 5/16
·  Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1 by Vern Poythress 4/16
·  All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir by Brennan Manning 4/16
·  The Holy Bible (ESV) 4/16
·  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 4/16
·  Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg 4/16
·  Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig 4/16
·  Dante by R. W. B. Lewis 4/16
·  Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott 4/16
·  The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 4/16
·  The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe about Ourselves by Curt Thompson 4/16
·  The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers 4/16
·  The Gladiator: The Secret History of Rome's Warrior Slaves by Alan Baker 3/16
·  Martin Luther's Easter Book (Roland Bainton, ed.) 3/16
·  Hamlet's Blackberry by William Powers 3/16
·  Spartacus: Rebellion by Ben Kane 3/16
·  Knowing Christ by Mark Jones 3/16
·  Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch 3/16
·  The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Vol. 9 (J. F. Shaw and S. D. Salmond, trans.) 3/16
·  Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper 3/16
·  The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl 2/16
·  Esio Trot by Roald Dahl 2/16
·  My First Book (Jerome K. Jerome, editor) 2/16
·  Doctor Who FAQ by Dave Thompson 2/16
·  The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis 2/16
·  That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis 2/16
·  Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman 2/16
·  The Box of Delights by John Masefield 2/16
·  Coraline by Neil Gaiman 2/16
·  Medieval Combat by Hans Talhoffer (Mark Rector, trans.) 1/16
·  A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller 1/16
·  Rhetorica ad Herennium (Harry Caplan, trans.) 1/16
·  Clouds of Winess by Dorothy Sayers 1/16
·  Logic: A God Centered Approach by Vern Poythress 1/16
·  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Constance Garnett, trans.) 1/16
·  The Shocks of Adversity by William Leisner 1/16