The Master & His Emissary (part ii)

Review by Samuel Johns

Part ii of a book review on the foundational work of Iain McGilchrist, Psychiatrist and Professor, who spent 20 years researching this work before publishing his book. He challenges the simplistic notions and 'popular dichotomies' of left and right brain - left for reason, right for emotion; left is logical, right is imaginative. McGilchrist suggests rather that both hemispheres of the brain are profoundly involved in both modes of thinking, or indeed all modes of thinking.

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The Master & His Emissary (part i)

Review by Samuel Johns

Iain McGilchrist, Psychiatrist and Professor, undertook 20 years of research before publishing this book. No wonder it charts the brain, then, along with a sweep of the making of the Western World, in a staggering 500-page treatise, which reads much like a thriller. He challenges the simplistic notions and 'popular dichotomies' of left and right brain - left for reason, right for emotion; left is logical, right is imaginative. McGilchrist suggests rather that both hemispheres of the brain are profoundly involved in both modes of thinking, or indeed all modes of thinking.

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A Little Manual for Knowing

Review by Samuel Johns

Esther Meek suggests that our first knowledge as human beings is the knowledge of being loved – in the wombs, at the breast, in the embraces of our mothers. This first knowledge, she suggests, is paradigmatic for all of our knowing. To know follows being known; being known is woven into being loved. “ According to Gideon Strauss, of Fuller Theological Seminary, quoted above, this is the heart of the ‘Little Manual for Knowing’ – to know, follows being known.

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Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

Review by Miriam Owen

The issue of idolatry has been with the human race for thousands of years; the subtle temptation is always to take what is good and turn it into the ultimate good, elevating it above all other things in the search for security and meaning. In this challenging book, New York pastor Timothy Keller uses classic Bible stories to look at the issue of idolatry. Keller cuts through our dependence on the glittering false idols of money, sex and power to uncover the path towards trust in the real ultimate - God.

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Dethroning Mammon by Justin Welby

Review by Samuel Johns

How are we to understand the ways of the mammon? In dethroning mammon, Justin Welby gets to the crux of the argument. He frames mammon in an economy of scarcity - where exchange and equivalence rule - where we are driven to acquire and come to value those things which are most easily measured. An economy of grace, however, is represented in the manna story - a narrative centred on abundance, generosity, and gift. This is a fantastic book - an easy recommendation - and a worthy read for us all

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Neither Poverty nor Riches by Craig Blomberg

Review by Miriam Owen

One of the most difficult questions facing Christians today is that of the proper attitude toward possessions. In wealthy nations such as Britain and the USA, individuals accumulate much and yet are daily exposed to the plight of the poor, whether the homeless on their own city streets or starving children on their TV screens. What action should we take on behalf of the poor? What should we do with our own possessions?

Neither Poverty Nor Riches is one book that all should read who are concerned with issues of poverty and wealth.

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Living Life Backward

Book Review by Samuel Johns

This is the refrain of Ecclesiastes. The preacher declaring vanity! All is vanity. Better to die than to be born, better to never be born at all than to die after all this living. Bleak? Pessimistic? Or perhaps realistic – in our age of euphoria and hyperbole. Ecclesiastes – though often dry and acerbic in wit - introduces us to the heart of faith. As Gibson writes (p.81) 'the ear is the Christian's primary sense organ. Listening to what God has said is our main spiritual discipline. We need someone to tell us to listen because we want to look and speak more than we want to listen'.

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