Friday, March 24, 2006

What are you currently reading and why?

What are you currently reading and why?

I’m reading one the few biographies of Philip Melanchthon- Clyde Leonard Manschreck, "Melanchthon The Quiet Reformer."

I’m reading this book because I realized that I don’t really know a lot about Melanchthon. Very few biographies exist, and very little of his written corpus is available in English. I had been searching for a context to Melanchthon’s alleged letter to John Calvin in which he said, “All the waters of the Elbe would not yield me tears sufficient to weep for the miseries caused by the Reformation.” I haven’t found the context yet, and I’m tempted to say this quote might not even be from Melanchthon’s letter to Calvin. I recently purchased a book of Catholic apologetics from the early 1800’s that uses this quote, but Calvin isn’t mentioned at all.

Melanchthon is a fairly controversial historical figure. He lived his life in constant battle- against his fellow Lutherans, with Roman Catholics, with the Reformed, and a host of others. The Lutherans accused him of being too much like a Calvinist, while the Reformed accused him of not being Calvinist enough.

What about you? What are you reading? Why are you reading it?

6 comments:

mark_5 said...

Hi James,

I'm currently reading a biography of Adoniram Judson, "To the Golden Shore" by Courtney Anderson.

I find biographies to be full of God's sovereignty in the mundane while also being thrilling, encouraging, and informative.

James Swan said...

I'm so sorry Mark-I don't know who that is!

But you are correct- there is indeed something thrilling about reading biographies and seeing God's hand of providence- the same hand that guides our lives.

blessings.

Gavin said...

I've started quite a few books. For my History course, I'm reading "Things Fall Apart" by Achebe (I think), which is about Nigeria in imperialist/missionary times.
I'm also reading "Knowing God" by Piper(Packer? I get them confused), which is a very good book and rather enlightening.
To a lesser degree I've been reading Augustine's "Confessions", and keeping a copy of Calvin's "Bondage and Liberation of the Will" nearby to flip through.

Churchmouse said...

I am currently reading through MacArthur's Commentary on 1 Corinthians, just started on Hans Kung's "Infallible?: An Inquiry", and am thumbing through J.N.D. Kelly's "The Oxford Dictionary of Popes." All are interesting reads and, hopefully, family life will allow me to finish them before the decade is over ;-)

Peace,
Ray

Churchmouse said...

I forgot to mention WHY I'm reading these books. I am reading MacArthur for self-explanatory reasons--he's "MacArthur"!!! I'm reading Hans Kung's book because I'm interested in his rationale considering he's a rescinded priest and theologian who has never recanted on this issue. I'm perusing J.N.D. Kelly's book just to get a non-biased, fair look at some of the popes (and antipopes) throughout history.

Peace,
Ray

James Swan said...

Gavin-

I greatly enjoyed Packer's brief review of the "point" of Ecclesiates in his book Knowing God. Good stuff.

Calvin's Bondage and Liberation of the Will is tough reading, but easier than Edwards.

Mr Churchmouse- Don't feel bad, I rarely finish an entire book these days.