Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 230s

239: The Culting of America by Ron Rhodes

DDC_239

239.9: Rhodes, Ron. The Culting of America. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1994. 224 pp. ISBN 1-56507-186-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christianity and Christian theology
  • 239: Apologetics and polemics
  • 239.9: Polemics against other groups in postapostolic times

For more than 2,000 years, Christianity has been shaped and reshaped by both its believers and its leaders. Sometimes, change happens in reaction to other faiths and sometimes, that change comes from within. Much like the other major world religions, Christianity and Christians can be categorized and subcategorized based on how they interpret their holy text or texts. There are Baptists, Adventists, Calvinists, Jesuits, and so on. Ron Rhodes’s The Culting of America is a polemical look at differing new sects of religion and how they can either shape or threaten modern Christianity.

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234: One With Christ by Marcus P. Johnson

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234: Johnson, Marcus Peter. One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013. 240 pp. ISBN 978-1-4335-3149-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christianity and Christian theology
  • 234: Salvation, soteriology, and grace

Marcus Johnson’s One with Christ is a philosophical text on how the life, deeds, works, and belief in Jesus Christ the Savior intermingle with the believer’s salvation. Soteriology—a subject completely new to me before this—is the study of salvation in a religious context. Johnson’s discussions of salvation exist in the Calvinist tradition and deals with the manner in which the Christian is spiritually joined with the Christ. This is not a easy or fun book to get through, but the author’s arguments offer a new perspective on an old dilemma. Johnson discusses the nuances of transubstantiation, the sacraments, church mysteries, and theology all under the context of personal salvation. It’s a religious philosophy book, so it’s a bit dense. The prose is scholarly but not overly righteous. I don’t see this one having a lot of mainstream popularity, but those looking for a deeper understanding of salvation and sin can give it a go. It will definitely get you thinking.

232: Zealot by Reza Aslan

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232: Aslan, Reza. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. New York: Random House, 2013. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1-4000-6922-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christian theology
  • 232: Jesus Christ and his family (Christology)

There is a curious line in Josephus’ The Antiquities of the Jews. It reads: “…so he [Ananus, high priest of Judea] assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others…” This is one of the few non-Biblical passages that give credence to the existence of an historical Jesus, and indeed, most historians are on board with the existence of a person named Jesus who lived and preached to Jews in Galilee and Judea. But what else can be gleaned from the historical record? And does this information change the way historians should view the life of Jesus? Reza Aslan’s believes so, and traces the life, teachings, and even his political agenda in Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Read the rest of this entry »

233: God, Desire, and Theology of Human Sexuality by David H. Jensen

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233.5: Jensen, David H. God, Desire, and a Theology of Human Sexuality. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 139 pp. ISBN 978-0-664-23368-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christianity
  • 233: Humankind
  • 233.5: Nature

David Jensen’s God, Desire, and a Theology of Human Sexuality is a genuine breath of fresh air in the discussion of how human sexuality, Christianity, ethics, and morality all intertwine. After years as a theologian and professor, he comes to a unique understanding on the matter. On the whole, his belief is that consensual, positive sex is a continual affirmation of one’s faith and relationship. His theology dismisses the old vilification of homosexual acts, but rather seeks to make the reader understand that is context, and not individual acts, that determines whether each act is honorable.

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230: When Donkeys Talk by Tyler Blanski

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230: Blanski, Tyler. When Donkeys Talk: A Quest to Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013. 195 pp. ISBN 0-3103-3498-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 230: Christianity and Christian theology

I don’t really know where to begin talking about this one. There’s no broad lede I can start from to introduce a writer who’s prepared to talk about everything in the cosmos as it relates to the Christian God. Poet and theologian Tyler Blanski has a fundamentally different way of approaching his faith and his religion. When Donkeys Talk chronicles his journey through the field of theology as he comes to understand it. Along the way, we meet a few friends that help to clarify matters and few who muddy the waters.

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231: God by Jack Miles

231: Miles, Jack. God: A Biography. New York: Vintage, 1996. 408 pp. ISBN 0-679-74368-5.

Christianity has the 200s pretty much locked down. Every nuance of the Christian religion is elevated to section status in the Dewey Decimal Classification. But…it is what it is. Books on God are all located at DDC 231.

THE REPORT

Jack Miles, in God: A Biography, takes a completely view of the Lord. His aim is to read the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament—known as the Tanakh—and understand the character of God through the reading. But only through the reading. Miles treats God as a character in a play, with an agenda, a psyche, and underlying motivation.

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