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Archive for books

Thomas L Friedman: Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and CrowdedThe subtitle of Friedman’s latest exposition on globalization is ‘Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it can Renew America’.  In the context of what Friedman calls the Energy-Climate era, Hot, Flat, and Crowded presents the state of what is, how it became that way and what it could become.  He traveled the world speaking to leaders and witnessing first-hand the effect that what he calls global weirding (because CO2 emmissions don’t just make the temperature hotter, they make the weather weirder) is having on our environment, especially when coupled with the forces of globalization.  As typical with any Friedman work the book is very entertaining and full of pithy, attention grabbing stories that pull from publications that span the globe and quotes from leaders like GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt to Barnabus Suebu, the governor of Indonesia’s forest-rich province of Papua.

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Timothy Keller: The Reason for God

I finished reading Timothy Keller’s book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism over a month ago but have put off posting my thoughts on it because I did not think I could articulate them in a coherent post. (this disjointed post confirms my worry).

A day after I finished the book on a flight home from Chicago I coincidentally listened to an NPR Fresh Air podcast which analyzed the arguably dichotomous relationship between science and religion. Within this framework evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion Richard Dawkins presented an argument for atheism while geneticist-physicist Francis Collins, leader of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and evangelical Christian, presented a scientist’s case for God. Listening to the brilliant scientists talk about God and Christianity in particular gave me the opportunity to reconsider, or reexamine what I had just read. It was serendipitous timing for sure.

While reading Keller’s book I often thought about a powerful scene from ER that I strongly identify with that beautifully illustrates a reason for the Christian God. The pervasive relativistic, post-modern ideals of modern western culture can be so convenient. As the video clip illustrates, the ideals are impractical in real-life situations: we need more. In fact it was only after a friend posted the video on facebook that I was moved to write this post.

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