Friday, 20 November 2015

Sofa Shelf of Faith

One new book this week:

The Case for Faith - Lee Strobel

My final Strobel read and one that I have read before. The first time I read this book I found it hard work, but in hindsight I'm wondering if that is because I tried to read it too fast. Anyway given how much I have appreciated Strobel's other books this year I thought I would give this one another go and see how I got on.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Sofa Spotlight - The Case for Easter, Lee Strobel

It didn't take long, but then at 90 pages it shouldn't take long. I read it over the course of a week, but I think you could comfortably read it in one sitting of about an hour and a half. There are three chapters, an Introduction and a Conclusion. As I mentioned previously it is an excerpt from The Case for Christ and the chapters have been slimmed down, but haven't lost their punch.

The three questions Strobel sets out to answer in this book are:
1. Was Jesus' death and resurrection a hoax?
2. Was the tomb really empty?
3. Was Jesus really seen alive after His resurrection?

For me the first chapter on Jesus' death and resurrection was the hardest hitting. There was no holding back from the details and from the evidence put forward, there can be no doubt that Jesus died on the cross. I think EG is right when she said that everyone should read this book regularly. For Christians who believe that Jesus did die and later rose from the dead it is important to be reminded what Jesus suffered and why. Thinking about that brings home how serious sin is and what the cost was to make us right with God. It's not something we should forget.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Sofa Shelf

Two books this time round:

The Case for Easter - Lee Strobel

It's sort of the wrong season, but then I read The Case for Christmas in the summer so I don't see a problem. A short one, so shouldn't take too long. EG has read it and thinks it's one that everyone should regularly and at 90 pages that's probably not an unreasonable ask. Like The Case for Christmas it is taken from The Case for Christ so it's not unfamiliar territory.

Sleeping Murder - Agatha Christie

The final Miss Marple case. And one that I remember the outcome of, so I will be interested to see if watching the TV adaptation and knowing the ending spoils the book in any way. I hope that it won't. My copy has the reproduction of the Crime Club's original cover from 1976 - it is an interesting purple colour.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Sofa Spotlight - They Do It With Mirrors, Agatha Christie

Another Miss Marple adventure, and as expected it is brilliant. This one has Miss Marple going undercover at a house that has an institution for juvenile delinquents attached to it. So when murder happens there are about two hundred obvious suspects.

This was one that I couldn’t remember the ending but it wasn’t hard to work out who was behind it. There were still parts that I couldn’t work out so that it kept it interesting, but there is something nice about the story that it doesn’t matter whether you work it out or not. What I find more interesting are the characters that Christie creates. You know that there will always be one character that will work out too much and end up becoming a victim. In this case it was a character I really liked so I was rather sad when they met their end. I took comfort from the fact that I could know that they weren’t the murderer.

It took me a little while to cotton on that the title didn’t mean that the murder was done with mirrors. (Apologies if that is a plot spoiler or if you are just appalled by how slow I can be.) Because a murder actually done with mirrors would be tricky. But apparently it is to do with theatrical stuff that is rather clever. And it was with the clever theatre stuff that the murder was done.

If you want to know what on earth I am talking about you should just read the book. And if you have read it, what did you think?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sofa Shelf - The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. First published in 2004 this is the most recent understandable sciencey book that I’ve read. In fairness I do try and stay away from science books because I find them quite dull. (Sorry to all science people everywhere.) But it’s not my subject, English and History are way more interesting, on the whole.

So what I was doing with a book that is clearly about science? Well apart from being on a bit of a mission to work my way through Lee Strobel’s book this is one that stood out for me. Like most children I was taught in school that evolution was correct, and although I didn’t buy the evolution theory I didn’t know how to give a valid reason for why I believed the Bible’s creation account. Other than that it was in the Bible.

Early on in The Case for a Creator Strobel outlines how he started in the evolution camp but has come to firmly believe in the existence of a creator. What I find shocking is the lack of evidence for evolution and how many scientists no long think that it is a valid theory.

Not every chapter was of great use to me because some of it was beyond me (not into science you see). But there were some chapters that I found astounding. Chapter 7 was called The Evidence of Astronomy and was all about how the universe and the position of our planet show that there must be a creator. I find looking at the vast array of stars fascinating and reading this chapter was just like spending an hour stargazing.

I would recommend this book if you want to find out what evidence there is for a creator and why evolution maybe isn’t the valid theory that we were taught it was.