Much Ado About Nothing (and Book Reviews)

Reading.
I do a bunch of it and I readily admit that I don’t do enough of it. I’m often
upset when I don’t get to read my Bible or if a book sits on my computer or if
I finally do invest some time in reading a book it winds up severely stinking.
Can’t stand that. I need a poll-site for books.

Speaking of polls, I’m closing the Star Wars polls and
tallying the results of two different polls. The first poll, suggested by
Brother Doug from Coffeeswirls questioned how would Darth Vader look if the
movies were to be released for the first time…today. Well, it was no surprise
that most of us thought the character would be unimaginable and likely CGI
animated. In today’s sci-fi movies we are completely cheesed out if we don’t
see some form of computer animated monstrosity. What was fairly interesting was
that many also thought the character would be a woman. Only 11 of you thought
that Darth would look exactly the same as he does now.

The second poll asked what you thought of Episode III. Most
of you thought it was amazing but this was a close match to those of you who
have no plans of seeing the movie. More’s the pity.

My Son was speaking on the phone to my sister last night and
he decided to let her know all about Yoda and Darth Vader. As I’ve said before,
he’s never seen the movies…merely the Lego Star Wars video game and that only
to have the characters jump up and down in some location. Oh he knows Jango
Fett’s name but it means nothing if all he knows is that he’s the little blue
and white guy with the thing that makes him fly.

My daughter got her second set shots, the jedi-trooper, she
hardly cried. Thankfully she didn’t have the reaction my son had when he had
these same shots. Usually, vaccinations are given in bulk. So a first visit may
man 4 different vaccination cocktails in both legs. When my son got this at 2
months we went home where he proceeded to scream for over 3 hours straight
before passing out from exhaustion. He would power nap and then scream every
moment he was awake for the next day. That would be defined at as moderately
bad reaction. Apparently the worst reaction that could happen with this
specific vaccination is brain damage.

Never comforting reading that on the paper-work they give
you.

Personally I’ve wondered at the long term effects of
vaccinations. I know, I’m not the first. Studies have been done trying to see
if vaccinations are linked to autism at all but (as far as I know) they have
been inconclusive. After all, it is kinda’ hard to pin down causality when
there are so many different things affecting children before and after birth.
One could try to reverse the process of causality by eliminating things that
are no co-related but I imagine that would be a lifetime of data. Where does
the kid live, did the mother have mercury in her food, how many pollutants in
the air and food, did the parents eat non-organic foods, is there a history of
mental illness in the family, etc. The list goes on.

Innoculating ourselves from certain diseases is a viable
defense but I just wonder what it does to us, you know? I’ve wondered about
hormones in cow’s milk and how does that affect us? I mean, are girls really
developing earlier
and if so is this attributed to hormones in food or is there
also a component in physical maturing that is directly attributed to mental
facilities. I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud.

Where was I? Oh yeah, reading and book polls. I’ve been
looking around for a trustworthy source for book reviews. Mostly I wanted
something that I can rely on since I don’t subscribe to magazines that do that
sort of thing for me (and even then, there’s a bias—honestly, I’m in the
industry). I want to be able to get honest commentary on a book without being
an advertisement for some reviewer’s bias.

Amazon would work if so many reviewers weren’t viewing the
thing as their own blog space. Epinions would work if people were more
committed. I was hoping Diet of Bookworms would be fill the void, and maybe
someday it will, but right now it seems openly Reformed in leaning and that is
completely useless to me for recommendations.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good reviewers on there but
most of the time all you have to do is ask “is the writer Reformed? Yes…okay,
everyone loves it” or “does the writer have problems with Reformed theology?
Prepare to see many not-recommended”. Some reviwer, pushing the reformed view
said something about reviewing a book to make sure that the author presented
his points and got the message across. I wish they all reviewed books like this
because so far, I haven’t seen much evidence of it.

Guys, if I want to read a book on Open Theism I want to know
what is the best book to read not why it doesn’t fit with your Theology.  So I need some sort of book poll place with
real reviews and star ratings. A star of “Good Theology” is useless if what you
mean is “Good with My Theology”.

So that is all an intro for me saying that I plan to
start reviewing books with this in mind. Normally I just jot a quick
note in
the back flap so I can remember author’s key points but now I will
devote a day
per week to a, God willing, honest book review. That means you may
notice that
I think Sproul does a horrid job of presenting his case whereas some
others may
do a better job. This will be posted by a non-intellectual (I guess the
anti-anti-intellectuals will say) heretic (everyone who is
super-orthodox would say?) so be warned. Rey’s Reviews coming to a post
near you.

-r- 

[Update: Doug makes
some really good points about skewed reviews that I failed to consider.
After reading that I gotta say that his presentation of DoB really
makes a whole bunch of sense. I still think there’s room for un-skewed
reviews (nice name, practical near-impossibility) but david and his
points are great.]

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