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Birds and Books


Today I sat outside to do some work, and as I sat, I saw a beautiful blue bird. This bird has visted the backyard on several occasions, so I was not surprised at its boldness in coming so near to me. However, on this occasion, this bird's sheer beauty shocked me. It had a large seed of some sort in its beak. Upon landing, the bird used its beak to dig a small hole in the soil (Steve had just planted some trees, so the soil was soft). After this, it dropped the item into the hole and used its beak as a hammer to drive the seed deep down into the hole. Finally, the bird picked up small twigs and pebbles with its beak and gingerly placed them over the hole. All the while it was doing this, I sat completely still and watched it pause from its work and look around momentarily to make sure no other bird was watching. A strange feeling of awe came over me during this entire process. It's the kind of feeling that makes me want to go write a poem, or paint a picture or something. Inspiring, I suppose it was.

I recently finished two more books.

A Generous Orthodoxy: despite the warnings I recieved from many people about this book, I found it to be quite agreeable. While there are not a few instances where I believe McLaren is guilty of oversimplification (I think he is aware of this, and possibly even intended it to be so), each chapter spoke to me and challenged me. This is a book aimed at everybody - Christians, non-Christian seekers, and emergent skeptics. What he says is very relevant to the church today. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everybody (it's a rather easy read, too).
A Generous Orthodoxy: A

A book I've been wanting to read for a while is Amusing Ourselves to Death by Postman. I was less thrilled with this book. It starts off very fascinating, when he talks about the epistemology of media, the trivialization of information via the telegraph, etc. Later in the book, when he claims that television is ruining our country... I don't think so. Mr. Postman wrote this book in 1985, and at that time, he believed that shows like Sesame Street were going to destroy the intellectual reputation of the country. I do not think he realized the potential television has to teach. He also wrote before the age of the internet - it would be interesting to see if he would change his mind if he were writing today. However, Postman's writing style is top notch, and his voice is passionate. I just do not find his conclusion very persuasive.
Amusing Ourselves to Death: C

I took the above picture in the park near my living quarters.
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