So, here is the other book that I picked up at the library the other day. Recent research seems to indicate that the Black Sea was originally a freshwater lake and that as the world sea levels rose at the end of the Ice Age, the Mediterranean suddenly and catastrophically flooded the region. Mr. Wilson points to this research and claims that this event is the real-life basis for the Noah tradition. He goes on to point out various cultural developments, such as domestication of animals, crop cultivation, metallurgy and religious beliefs that all seem to have originated in Turkey and spread from there. The arguments are well-researched and persuasive, although I do not find all of them convincing. The reading is a little dry in general, but if ancient history is your thing, you might enjoy reading this one.
I enjoy reading books that cover the intersection of science and faith. Although many authors today address such topics with an unspoken agenda of proving traditional Christian beliefs wrong, I really don’t mind the challenge. I find that my faith in God is strengthened in the process. That’s not to say that I read these works only to dismiss them out of hand. I believe that God gave us the ability to reason and a free will to decide because He expects us to exercise them. Many books, although I do not agree with the argument they present, can still provide information that I find interesting and useful.
I went to the library the other day with Elizabeth and Ben. I was in a weird mood and couldn’t decide what type of book I wanted to check out. Now, our library isn’t very big, but occasionally I’ll find something that will pique my interest. I wandered over to the non-fiction section and discovered a rather large (comparatively) section on religion. I saw several books that looked promising but I only ended up taking two home. One of the books I checked out was 10 Things Your Minister Wants To Tell You (But Can’t Because He Needs the Job) by Oliver “Buzz” Thomas. I picked it up because a friend of mine had recommended it. It’s a small, short book, weighing in at just over 100 pages, so I’d finished it within a couple hours time. The issues addressed are:
1. How did it all begin? (Creation)
2. Why are we here?
3. What is the Bible?
4. Is there really such a thing as a Miracle?
5. How do I please God?
6. What about women?
7. What about homosexuality?
8. Other religions
9. Death and Beyond
10. How it all ends
I was pleasantly surprised with the book. Although I did not agree with everything the author said, there was much that resonated with my own beliefs. He presents his thoughts on the various subjects in plain, everyday language and supports those views without coming off preachy or cherry-picking “prooftexts.” I think that the title makes the work seem a bit more provocative than it actually is, but then I have a degree in theology, so most of these ideas weren’t new to me. I realize that I’m not the target audience, and perhaps if I were the book might have seemed more risqué.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick read that will at least make you consider your beliefs, I recommend this one. I probably wouldn’t pay full price for it, but definitely worth consideration.