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Maxelon (Romford, UK)

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The Veil
The Veil
by Blake K Healy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and challenging, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: The Veil (Paperback)
This is an unusual book, about a guy with an unusual gift of being able to physically see what is going on on the spiritual realm. This book could so easily have gone over the edge into a wrong focus. However, it does not. The focus is always on Jesus, and a God who is in control. This makes the book far more challenging, and it is not always easy to know what to make of it. But as a well written book that poses a challenge, it is to be recommended.


Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God)
Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God)
by N. T. Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £36.62

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long, but worth the effort, 14 Dec 2013
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I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that this book feels too long, and would have benefited from some more radical pruning. That said, pruning a book this size would, I would have thought, take some time, and given the choice between what we have, and what we perhaps could have had in a years time, I would still go with what we have. Warts and all, it is certainly good enough.

I liked the overall structure of the book, and it is mercifully well written. Perhaps too `chatty' in places, but that is a very minor quibble.

The broad sweep of his argument I found utterly compellingly. I didn't hear any new themes from his other writings, but this book did bring them together for me in a way they had not been before.

Some of his more detailed exegesis I struggled with. I kept wondering if someone in the first century would really have seen things that way. It just felt a little too convoluted at times. That said, NT Wright is fighting a lot of preconceived notions about what words and passages mean, so I was never sure whether the difficulty is with my preconceptions, or NT Wright's impositions.

Overall, this is a good book, with lots of insights - big and small. It feels like a major step forward, but I doubt if it will be the last word on the subject. I could probably do with a simpler version (by his alter ego Tom Wright), but I managed well enough and I certainly plan to read this again - although probably not for another year or so, to allow me to recover from this reading!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2013 1:30 PM GMT


The Cambridge Introduction to Biblical Hebrew with CD-ROM
The Cambridge Introduction to Biblical Hebrew with CD-ROM
by Brian L. Webster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £28.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hebrew with understanding, 24 Dec 2011
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There is no getting away from the fact that Hebrew is hard work, and I have to confess that I am not that good with languages to start with. At several points I nearly gave up with this text and tried one of the many other texts - only to realise that I was better off sticking with this one! In the end I made it to the end, and am continuing with my studies.

The more I read this (and other texts) the greater my appreciation for this text grows. Different people have different learning styles. Mine suits understanding over rote memory, and this book definitely scores in this area over just about every other text I have seen. You still need to memorise lots of verbs and things. Something that can't be avoided. But it does help you to understand how the verbs change and why.

So, if you want to learn Biblical Hebrew, and you have a learning style that prefers understanding, this is the book to get. I'd give it five stars, but the excellent TekScroll software that comes with it is based on an old version of Flash and I do not think it will work on the latest Mac Lion for that reason. (I found I had to extract the underlying data file and then run it through an alternative Flash player when I upgraded to Lion.)


Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications
Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications
by D. A. Carson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.22

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very mixed bag, 1 Sep 2011
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It is difficult to know exactly what to make of Don Carson's book on the Emergent church - other than that his is profoundly discomforted by them. His analysis seems fairly straightforward. They are good at understanding the times we live in, and to a large extent they accept a post-modern critique of modernity. His main issue seems to be that they are not clear on which bits of modernity they accept and which they reject, nor which bits of post-modernity they accept and which they reject. But given this lack of clarity I don't really see the point of lengthy discussions defending aspects of modernity (that nobody is openly objecting to) nor long discussions attacking aspects of post-modernity (that nobody is explicitly advocating).

When it comes to his more specific critique of some of the writings of Brian McLarren there is a similar concern over Brain McLarren's lack of academic rigour in terms of what is left unsaid, but given that Brian McLarren never claims to be writing for academics the criticism does seem weak and leave the impression of being more pedantic than anything else.

Don Carson appears to be looking for something to criticise, but is finding it difficult to do so, because the Emergent church seems to be refusing to define itself in black and white terms that would enable this. Perhaps that is the heart of the issue he sees with the Emergent church - that there is a worrying lack of rigour that he sees potential dangers in, but, overall, I did not find this a helpful book. Certainly it is less an introduction to the Emergent church than a polemic against.


Java in Two Semesters
Java in Two Semesters
by Quentin Charatan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very mixed bag, 17 Dec 2006
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This review is from: Java in Two Semesters (Paperback)
I have not programmed for more years than I care to remember and for various reasons wanted to get into Java. I bought this book thinking it would give a stronger theoretical understanding than many of the other books around. I like to understand why I am doing things, but that is not a strenght of this book. It spends a long time explaining very basic stuff (fair enough on an introductory book, and easy to skim over), but then in later sections skims over things with barely a mention as to what is going on.

Bottom lin is this is just another 'cookbook' type of tutorial: Here is an example, repeat it and it will work for you. No real explanations. Sections on Swing very poor indeed. Given that Swing is supposed to support multi-platform it would also be nice if they worked properly on OS-X. Still, figuring out the problems was a good way to learn things.

I can't recommend this book, but I can now programme in Java (more-or-less), so I probably should not slate it too much.


The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God)
The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God)
by N. T. Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £28.10

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection, 2 Jun 2003
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Like the previous two books in the series this is not a light read, but worth the effort. In spite of NT Wright's obvious learning it remains approachable to more 'normal' readers. Section 2 (Resurrection and Paul) left my head particularly spinning, but the problem is excess of detail - sight of the larger picture is always firmly in view. While the size of the book is a bit of an obstacle it has meant that the idea of resurrection has been with me long enough to have had its impact on my worldview. In short: if you want light entertainment, buy a novel; if you are serious about Christian beliefs and want to have your worldview changed, buy this book.


Jesus and the Victory of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God: v. 2 (Christian Origins & the Question of God)
Jesus and the Victory of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God: v. 2 (Christian Origins & the Question of God)
by N T Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.75

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus and the Victory of God, 28 April 2003
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Another excellent book in this series. Like his earlier book in the series it is not a light read, but quite approachable for us mere mortals. If you have genuine questions about the historical Jesus this has got to be a good place to come. It has turned much of my thinking on its head (and I am probably still a little dizzy).
I can't help believeing this series to be significant, although I think much of that significance is still to be worked out.


The New Testament and the People of God: 1 (Christian Origins & Ques God 1)
The New Testament and the People of God: 1 (Christian Origins & Ques God 1)
by N. T. Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.00

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Testament People of God, 28 April 2003
This is an excellent book. It is not a light read, but as neither a historian nor a theologian, I found this book perfectly approachable. As the first book in a series I approached it as a 'necessary evil' towards the rest of the series, but I was very quickly hooked. If you have serious questions about the new testament period this is the place to come. NT Wright seems to neatly plot a course between those who are not prepared to think and those who are not prepared to believe.
I believe that this series will make its mark on the church.


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