Saturday, March 31

Quiet by Susan Cain

We often pride ourselves on being able to identify certain types of people.  This is especially true of extroversion and introversion.  We use terms like ‘shy’, ‘quiet,’ ‘a people person,’ ‘outgoing,’ and ‘talkative’ to describe them, usually knowing that these terms point to introverts and extroverts.  What we’re not as good at is recognize why people react certain ways and when it is better to act introverted or when it is better to act extroverted.

Susan Cain subtitled her book, “The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”  An introvert herself, her main focus is introversion.   One of the key factors in determining what someone is, is their level of sensitivity.  Introverts, she writes, are more sensitive to stimuli and more easily overwhelmed.  She explains that this is why introverts prefer interacting with smaller groups of people, tend to not enjoy public speaking as much, and tend to prefer working in environments with less external noise.  An important thing to note here: When Susan writes about qualities typically embodied in introverts they are often generalization.  In many people they may be true, but it others it will be false.  Some introverts are perfectly fine with public speaking while some extroverts have terrible stage fright.

Friday, March 23

Blue Like Jazz - the Movie review

Blue Like Jazz opens with the basics of story structure: Setting, Crisis, Climax, and Resolution. This underlying theme of storytelling seems to be inspired by the accounts told in Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, were we learn about the process of writing Blue Like Jazz.

In the film, Don works at a plant which makes pre-ready communion cups.  He plans to attend a Baptist college not far from home.  His dad, described, as ‘the Hobo,’ encourages attendance at Reed, a school which has been called one of the most godless campuses in America. Of course Don refuses.  However, at his church Don is confronted with a hypocrisy which seriously shakes his faith.

Confused and angry, Don decides to take up his dad’s idea.  At Reed he meets Lauryn (in the men’s room) and she introduces him to Reed.  When she discovers his religious background she warns him, “Get in the closet, Baptist boy.”  Don also meet social-activist, Penny, who he quickly falls for, as well as connecting to a character referred to as ‘The Pope,’ an atheist who is designated to be ‘God’s voice’ for the campus. 

Saturday, March 17

You Lost Me by David Kinnaman

Churches across America have noticed an alarming trend: young adults leaving the church. Where are they going? Why are they leaving? David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and co-author of the book UnChristian, seeks an answer. Kinnaman and the Barna Group performed a study of young adults to figure out what is causing this exodus.

Most of You Lost Me is an analysis of the results of this study. While suggestions and commentary are offered, the first focus of the book is find an answer. Kinnaman hopes the results in his book can provoke discussions and possible changes.

One of his key points early in the book is that our world tends to think in terms of mass production. Unfortunately, this mindset has seeped into the church. Kinnaman writes, “…disciples cannot be mass-produced. Disciples are handmade, one relationship at a time.” While You Lost Me looks at an entire generation, Kinnaman doesn’t lose sight of the fact that there is no one right answer. As he continually writes throughout the book, “Every story matters.”

Tuesday, March 13

Blue Like Jazz trailer

I'm really hopeful for this movie. It's official release date in April 13th. Christian based movies always get a bad reputation, and I'm hoping Blue Like Jazz can show otherwise. Check it out.

Thursday, March 1

My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

Have you ever wanted to talk with Jesus?  Like, sitting down with him for lunch and having a casual face to face conversation?  That’s what Matt Mikalatos does at the beginning of My Imaginary Jesus, a sort-of true story.  Only this guy Matt’s having chili with isn’t Jesus.  He’s an Imaginary Jesus, but Matt isn’t aware of this until the apostle Peter joins them and punches Jesus – the imaginary one.

Matt then goes on a journey with Peter (Pete) and they join up with Daisy, a talking donkey who is going to help Matt on his journey to discover the real Jesus.  Along the way they meet Testosterone Jesus, Magic 8 Ball Jesus, Free Will Jesus, Political Jesus, Catholic Jesus, Protestant Jesus, some Mormons, and a bunch more imaginary Jesus’s.  I was expecting a book similar to Philip Yancey’s, The Jesus I Never Knew.  What I got was…completely different from anything I can ever remember reading.