When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles #1)

by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Typical of the Thoenes' work, this novel gives a unique perspective to a familiar story. Bodie and Brock give depth to the man who was Lazarus, painting him as the owner of a successful vineyard and a man mourning the recent death of his wife and newborn son. Lazarus narrates the story, telling us of his journey back towards hope as he learns of--and eventually walks alongside--Jesus.

Although I don't think this book is quite up to par with the A.D. Chronicles, I did very much enjoy it. I especially appreciated the appearance of familiar characters who had been fleshed out in the A.D. Chronicles, such as Peniel and Marcus. Mary and Martha were portrayed in slightly different ways than I tend to view them in the Bible, serving as a reminder that we don't really have the full picture.

I definitely recommend this novel, and look forward to the next book in the Jerusalem Chronicles. Which, of course, isn't out yet.

4/5 leaves

When Jesus Wept


words borrowed from Robert Frost

...and happy Earth Day, by the way!

Spring Pools
These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods--
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.
--Robert Frost


words borrowed from Wendell Berry

The pasture, bleached and cold two weeks ago,
Begins to grow in the spring light and rain;
The new grass trembles under the wind's flow.
The flock, barn-weary, comes to it again,
New to the lambs, a place their mothers know,
Welcoming, bright, and savory in its green,
So fully does the time recover it.
Nibbles of pleasure go all over it.

--Wendell Berry


What's So Amazing About Grace?

by Philip Yancey

I had enormously high expectations for this book, having recently read Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew and absolutely loving it, but this one just wasn't up to par. The fact that I finished it says that What's So Amazing About Grace? isn't bad; it's just not as good as I'd hoped it would be.

Yancey begins by stating that he has no "desire to dissect grace and display its innards," and that as a result he "will rely more on stories than on syllogisms." I really liked the first part of that, but somehow missed the "stories" part, because that is what the book is mostly comprised of, and it caught me off-guard.

The stories and topics covered range from homosexuality to the holocaust, and everything in-between. Honestly, I got bored sometimes. World War II is not exactly my favorite thing to read about.

However, Yancey did get through to me in some respect, as I began to notice the theme of grace everywhere. I saw it in my daily devotions, in other books, at church. I would be reading (or listening) along, and suddenly my subconscious would pipe up and say, hey, that's just like what Yancey was saying about grace!

3/5 leaves

What's So Amazing about Grace?