What I'm Reading Now (or Not) -Tenth Month 2008

I miss writing every day. A week or so ago, I had a couple of hours to myself while waiting to pick one of my kids at a birthday party. As soon as I found parking, I went into a local doughnut shop and wrote in my journal for an hour. (Okay, I had a doughnut and some decaf too.) Afterwards, I felt physically lighter. Despite the doughnut. I just felt better for writing. I hope that, as I adjust to the new job and the new commute pattern, I will find time and energy for writing more often again.

And reading. I haven’t had much time or energy for reading anything that wasn’t about child care policy in California, or else written at the level of a fifth or first grader. (I highly recommend the books Guests by Michael Dorris and Triumph on Everest: A Photobiography of Sir Edmund Hillary by Broughton Coburn. I’m not so fond of the Akiko on the Planet Smoo series, but my kids love them.)

However, I made a commitment a few months ago to review books for The Ooze. Ahem. I am a little behind.

I should just admit now that I’m probably not going to read The Becoming of G-d by Ian Mobsby any time soon. Not that it’s not a good book. I’m just not that interested in “What the Trinitarian nature of God has to do with Church and a deep Spirituality for the Twenty First Century.” But if I was going to read a book with a real life interpretation of the Trinity, I would start with this. I think I met Ian Mobsby, sort of, at a Re-Imagine event a year or two ago. He's the Priest Missioner to a group called Moot which he describes as an Anglican Emerging & Fresh Expression of Church.

I am still working my way s-l-o-w-l-y through The Emerging Church by Bruce Sanguin. I was put off by the cheesy author photo and the fancy chart in the middle when I first picked it up, but then for some unknown reason I looked at it again and realized that it’s like a “how to help your existing congregation be more emergent” book of instructions. And interesting. But I got into just at the point when I have no real time to help anything or anyone be more emergent/convergent/religious. And I’m not sure how realistic it is. Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to try any of it. But it sounds nice.

And then today I got another package. A book and a CD. Hey, that’s cool.

The CD is called Evensong Rising. Or maybe that’s the name of the band, or both; I’m not sure.

The album is put together like a worship service. You know, Processional, Adoration, Offertory, Doxology, Preparation, Sermon, etc. I googled Stanwich Church, which is referenced in the liner notes, and it’s the Congregational Church in Greenwich, CT. I think this is the band for their evening service.

The sticker on the shrinkwrap says “Featuring the hit single Satisfied Evensong Rising ignites the Ancient/Future Worship Movement” Who knew? It’s way better than most of what passes as Christian rock. Good production quality. And it’s not all the same tempo, or same genre even. The lyrics are a mix of old hymns and modern twists. Mostly indie rock type stuff. I liked the song “Unto Him” more than “Satisfied.” But then I’m a sucker for a good fiddle line.

But the book. The book is A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren. His book from 2001 about the pastor and the science teacher. I’m not sure why it needs a new set of reviews from The Ooze Select Bloggers, but I’m glad to have a chance to read it. Maybe it will work as subway reading, better than some of these other more academic texts I’ve been reading.

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Blogger Tenzing Coburn said...

Hi Robin --

Thanks much for the endorsement of Triumph on Everest. Google Alerts directed me to your site, which is excellent. Regards, Broughton Coburn

10/09/2008 2:32 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Shame you can't be bothered to read a book which was sent to you at the cost of the author and the rather impoverished community who took a risk in sending it to you. Who also spent a lot of time preparing the book, where the money if it was sold, would have gone into the projects Moot oversees.

It's a bit sad when people have given you a gift, you do not honour it by 'being bothered' to read it.

Why say yes to receiving it if you are not interested. So what happened to respect and generosity?

10/09/2008 5:27 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Broughton, you are welcome. My six year old son and I very much liked it.

I'm sorry you are so offended. The book was actually sent to me by The Ooze, as part of a packet of books, not by the Moot community. I don't choose which books to receive, and I agreed to the arrangement in part because they have the explicit understanding that I will only review the ones I want to. I thought I was doing you a favor by mentioning it at all, favorably at that, perhaps intriguing other people enough to choose to buy it, maybe even to ask if they could borrow my copy. But if you think that this comment encourages me to read your book, you're dead wrong.

10/09/2008 10:31 PM  
Blogger Patrick Ruth said...

Hi Robin The Evensong CD sounds interesting. I played bass in a Methodist praise band what seems like a lifetime ago ( OK the early 90's) and have been absolutely appalled at the current state of what passes for" Christian music" (Thank God there's still Bruce Cockburn ) since then. Thanks for the heads up.(I wonder what a liberal Quaker praise band would look like?) Thanks and later Patrick

10/09/2008 11:25 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Hi Patrick - will you be at Quarterly meeting next week?

All the liberal Quaker bands I've heard are heavily folky or teenage guitar bands.

10/09/2008 11:55 PM  
Blogger Mike Morrell said...

My my, the ubiquity of the Web strikes again.

Well technically you're both right. Of course Robin received The Becoming of G-D from TheOoze. But yeah, Robin, all our books are sponsored by someone, and the Moot Community indeed provided this one. But Robin's right, Ian: Our bloggers (and Robin's one of our faves) don't sign in blood that they need to read/enjoy/review every one, and her mention is better than a kick in the head. Of course, Robin, authors are a touchy lot (as an aspiring one myself I can relate), and sometimes talking about disinterest in one of our tomes online is like casually kicking a baby in the middle of a busy sidewalk. It can feel painful, and is instantly noticeable in this Google Alert world of ours.

So...are we all friends? (No pun intended, Robin) Maybe not, but please, take my word for it - you're both really nice people, and we oughtn't place too much stock in blog posts or comments when weighing the potential for a future friendship, virtual or otherwise.

Amen and amen.

10/10/2008 1:21 AM  
Blogger Patrick Ruth said...

Hi Robin I will be at Quarterly. It's a good thing to read McLaren, he just tends to slip into "unconscious missionary " mode a little to often for my taste. I had forgotten one of my favorite praise/secular bands from the 90's was the Prayer Chain. They did youth worship at Yorba Linda Friends Church and then got a record contract. I wonder what happened to them? Thanks and later Patrick

10/10/2008 11:13 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Mike, thanks for clearing things up.

Patrick - the other band you should know about is Relient K - I know a guy who knew them back when they were in the middle school youth group at a Friends Church in Ohio, and now they're a full fledged rock band, Christians but not overbearing for the most part. They sound kind of like Green Day.

10/10/2008 11:57 PM  

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