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More book recommendations

刊登日期: 2015.05.30
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

 

 I would recommend reading books by C. S. Lewis. The most famous for young people is his set of books “Chronicles of Narnia.” As you may recognize the title, they were made into movies. The background was set in World War II England and the adventures of three children. In their adventure, they encountered Jesus as Aslan, the Lion. The stories are filled with Catholic theology including the Passion, the Sacraments, etc. 

C.S. Lewis was Anglican and never converted to the Catholic Faith. He lived in England during the Second World War. He had great reservations the direction the Anglican Church was heading and the deteriorations of England society in his time. He wrote articles on issues of the time. They are published in the books “God in the Dock” and “Mere Christianity.” I recommend both books though “Mere Christianity” has lengthier chapters. 

In “God in the dock”, Lewis posed the situation where God was put on trial. The “dock” is the place where the accused stands during trial. 

A seller said it this way: 

“God in the Dock” contains forty-eight essays and twelve letters written by Lewis between 1940 and 1963 for a wide variety of publications. Ranging from popular newspaper pieces to learned defenses of the faith, these essays cover topics as varied as the logic of theism, good and evil, miracles and ethics and politics.” 

Screwtape Letters 

In this book, Lewis led us on an inside look at what the devil might say to his disciple in his endeavor to deceive us. The one thing to keep in mind, when reading this book, is that everything has to read backwards. The devil would refer to Satan as Father Below. The one to be deceived is called the patient. It is really fascinating. If you prefer to read this in Chinese, the translated title is 《魔鬼家書》

The next set of books is “A.D. Chroniclesby Brock and Bodie Thoene. The Thoene’s wrote this set of 12 books - I am not sure if the series has completed – based on the Gospels. They took the many unnamed characters in the Gospels and gave them names and background and fictionalized their encounter with Jesus. They did a great job of researching the social condition of the time and gave us a glimpse of the personal experience of these characters. Mel Gibson did a tremendous job with the movie Passion of the Christ.Thoene’s give us a different view. One note of caution: the Thoene’s are non-Catholic Christians. So they have some preconceived notions based on their own background. Unlike Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” which is misleading and filled with historical error, AD Chroniclesis very helpful with understanding the times and events in the life of Jesus. 

Another fictional book worth reading is James Michener’s The Source.” This is not an easy read for younger people. But for those interested in archeology, this is a great book. It centers on a well in the Holy Land. Michener, like all his historical novels, goes back to prehistoric times and recreates a sequence of events based in history and takes us through a journey in time and space. It would be like reading a book on how the terra cotta tomb of Qin Shi Huang or the Great Wall was built. This is a very good book to get a glimpse of archeology and historical background of the Middle East. 

 

Many of these books are available at the library. 

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