Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Reading 2011 (Part 2)

Though my life is a bit busier in the midst of summer than it was right after I moved home, I am still finding time for a few books of my choosing. Here are some thoughts on the latest picks.

C.S. Lewis: Perelandra (1943)

I came across a C.S. Lewis anthology at my local library earlier this month, and have been browsing through it for a few weeks. It contains the complete text of Perelandra, and since it has been some time since I have read any of the space trilogy (at least five years, probably more), I decided to reread it.
Perelandra is the second volume, both in terms of publication and internal chronology, in Lewis’ space trilogy. Dr. Elwin Ransom, the protagonist of both this novel and its predecessor, Out of the Silent Planet, travels to Perelandra (the planet Venus). He finds an unfallen world and meets that world’s equivalent of Eve. Ransom is instrumental in preventing the Perelandran equivalent of the Fall. Through the narrative, Lewis offers some of his characteristically unique insights into major topics such as evil and its source, the nature of God and His relationship to creation, and the role humans play in redemptive history. It is a very deep work, though – I shall need more than one re-reading to fully grasp all of its ideas.

Tim Pawlenty: Courage to Stand (2010)

Tim Pawlenty was Governor of Minnesota from 2003-2011 and, as of last month, is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in the upcoming election. I had heard some good things about him from Minnesota friends at Wheaton, and decided to learn about him myself.
Courage to Stand is, for all practical purposes, an autobiography written in the author’s midlife. Pawlenty outlines his family’s history before chronicling with some detail his childhood, focusing primarily on the close relationships he enjoyed with his parents and the plethora of lessons he learned from them. The middle third of the book covers his college and law school years, his marriage and children, and the beginnings of his career in public service as a stage legislator. The final third is devoted to his governorship and the many challenges and successes of his two terms.
Pawlenty is a politician, and thus skilled in the art of self-presentation, but I could not detect any overt self-marketing in this book. He seemed to simply be relating the story of his life and work, and giving the credit for it to Jesus. He seems a pragmatic yet committed and quietly visionary leader. And he seems to have a solid biblical understanding of the relationship between God, the state, and the individual. The national stage has unfortunately been a bit rough on him over the last month, but after reading this book I can tell that he is a genuine, godly man. I highly recommend Courage to Stand for anyone interested in learning more about Tim Pawlenty.


What is on your reading list these days? Please share any recommendations.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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