Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Ten Best Books I've Read in 2018 (so far)

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read in 2018 (so far)

These are my favorite books I've read so far this year. But there are a lot so I split it into the top 10 non-fiction books that I read for the first time this year, and then a top 10 fiction list, where the first 6 were first time reads and the other 4 were re-reads.

Non-fiction, first time reads:



1. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans
2. A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals #1) by Madeleine L'Engle - Read my review.
3. Rescuing Jesus by Deborah Jian Lee (February's Theology Book Club selection.)
4. Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd (January's Theology Book Club selection.)
5. The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever by Jamie Wright - Read my review
6. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
7. Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son by Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo (May's Theology Book Club selection)
8. Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters by Charlotte Jones Voiklis,  Léna Roy
9. This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz
10. In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham

Fiction:

Fiction, first time reads:

1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
2. The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy #2) by Rysa Walker - free on Kindle Unlimited
3. Legion by Brandon Sanderson
4. Paper Girls, Volumes 1-4 (graphic novels) by Brian K Vaughan
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, volumes 1-3 (graphic novels) by Joss Whedon
6. Out of Spite, Out of Mind (Magic 2.0 #5) by Scott Meyer

Fiction, re-reads
7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
8. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
9. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
10. The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy #1)  by Rysa Walker free on Kindle Unlimited



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top Ten Series I’d Like to (maybe?) Finish Someday

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I'd Like to (maybe?) Finish Someday

The prompt for this week was either "Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish" or Series I’d Like to Finish Someday. But I'm drawing a blank after 8 that I want to finish so I will do a hybrid list. But the first list is 8 and the second list has 5, so I'm just breaking all the rules!

Here are 8 Series I’d like to (maybe?) finish someday:

1. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan (3 books, I've read the first one)

2. The Giver Series by Lois Lowry (I've only read The Giver)





3. Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke (I've only read the first one)




4. The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (4 books, I've read the first two)


5. Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore (I've read the first 2)


6. 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson - Once again, I've only read the first one...




7. The Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde - I've only read the first one, The Eyre Affair.




8. Discworld by Terry Pratchett (There's an insane number of these books, 41? I think? and I've only read the first two!)









5 Series I have stopped reading:

1. The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan - this one just didn't interest me as much as Riordan's other series. I might try again at some point, but I might not.

2. How to Train Your Dragon Series by Cressida Cowell - I might be willing to give this one another try, but it's not a priority

3. The Maze Runner series by James Dashner - I've read the first book and seen the first and second movie. When I realized they were doing a weird zombie thing I was done. I hate zombie stuff.

4. The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Holmberg - just boring, not interested

5. Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown - way too violent for me, and from the reviews I've read about the later books, it only gets worse.


Monday, June 25, 2018

2018 Movies

Since we are just about halfway through the year (what?), here is my ranking of the movies released in 2018 that I have seen. I will keep updating this list throughout the rest of the year. Most of these movie titles link to my very short mini-reviews on letterboxd.com. Feel free to add me on there if you are on there. (I highly recommend it if you like to watch a lot of movies. It's like Goodreads for movies.)

Favorite Movies of 2018 (definitely want to re-watch)

1. Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther (I'm sorry, I can't choose so they tie for first place!)
2. Ant-Man and the Wasp
3. Incredibles 2 (better than the first one!)
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
5. Ready Player One

Good Movies of 2018 (would probably re-watch):
6. Ocean’s 8
7. Life of the Party
8. Love, Simon
9. A Wrinkle in Time
10. Deadpool 2

Decent Movies of 2018 (might re-watch):
11. I Can Only Imagine
12. A Kid Like Jake
13. Overboard
14. Book Club
15. I Feel Pretty
16. Every Day
17. Tag
18. The Miracle Season
19. Midnight Sun

Meh (Probably won't re-watch):
20. Peter Rabbit


And here is this list on letterboxd.com

***

Movies I definitely want to see:
  • Fahrenheit 451 (5/19 on HBO)
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor? (6/22 for Louisville)
  • Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (7/20)
  • Christopher Robin (8/3)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (8/15)
  • The Bookshop (8/24) 
  • Little Women (9/28)
  • First Man (10/12)
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (11/2)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (11/2)
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (11/16)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (12/14)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (12/28)
Movies I might want to see: 
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure (1/26)
  • Mute (2/23) - Netflix
  • Red Sparrow (3/2)
  • Tomb Raider (3/16)
  • Rampage (4/13)
  • Tully (5/4)
  • Class Rank (5/11)
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties (5/25)
  • Adrift (6/1)
  • Upgrade (6/1)
  • Hearts Beat Loud (6/8)
  • Alex Strangelove (6/8) - Netflix
  • Set It Up (6/15) - Netflix
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/22)
  • The Hustle (6/29)
  • Leave No Trace (6/29? Limited Release)
  • Whitney (7/6)
  • Skyscraper (7/13)
  • Eighth Grade (7/13)
  • Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (7/13)
  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout (7/27)
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me (8/3)
  • The Darkest Minds (8/3)
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post (8/3)
  • Dog Days (8/10)
  • Skate Kitchen (8/10)
  • Replicas (8/24)
  • Kin (8/31)
  • Boy Erased (9/28)
  • Venom (10/5)
  • A Star is Born (10/5)
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? (10/19)
  • The Grinch (11/9)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (11/23)
  • Mortal Engines (12/14)
  • Aquaman (12/21)
  • Bumblebee (12/21)
  • Holmes and Watson (12/21)

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Discussing "Evolution of the Word" by Marcus Borg

In Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written, scholar Marcus J. Borg presents the books of the New Testament in chronological order. Borg attempts to show the development of the concepts of Jesus as the Word of God and the words of God (as in the writings that became the New Testament). Borg places the books and letters of the NT in the order he thinks they were originally written:
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • Galatians
  • 1 Corinthians
  • Philemon
  • Philippians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Romans
  • Mark
  • James
  • Colossians
  • Matthew
  • Hebrews
  • John
  • Ephesians
  • Revelation
  • Jude
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Luke
  • Acts
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Peter
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • 2 Peter
Personally, I'm a bit skeptical of some of his dating here, though I will grant that I need to do further research. I know that scholars are divided over these details just like they are over everything else. My biggest complaint with this book is how Borg will present his opinion as fact, and doesn't provide footnotes or references of any kind in order to fact check him.

I did stumble across this resource while doing some preliminary digging: Dating the Books of the New Testament: A Chronological Order of the New Testament 

But anyway, you can listen to me discuss Borg's book on the Reclaiming Christianity podcast with John Weldy and Jason M. Armold. We are doing a 6 part series and we have recorded the first two so far.

Listen to part 1 episode here.

Listen to "35: Evolution of the Word, part 1" on Spreaker.


Listen to part 2 episode here.

Listen to "39: Evolution of the Word, pt2" on Spreaker.
(Subscribe on iTunes)

Panelists: Jennifer Neyhart, Jason M. Armold

The Panel gives their book recommendations:
2 Corinthians
  • Borg says this was not a single letter, but rather a combination of at least 3 (101) 1-7, 8-9, 10-13
  • I note that Luke Timothy Johnson seems to agree…“No manuscript evidence supports this hypothesis, but a number of seams in the letter appear to some readers incompatible with its being a unitary composition.”
  • Important to remember that these letters were not written directly to us in our 21st century time and place. They were written to a specific audience back then located in their specific time and place.
Romans
  • “For Paul, “salvation” was not primarily about an afterlife, but about transformation this side of death—the transformation of ourselves and of “this world.” Justification by grace through faith is not about how we get to heaven, but how we are transformed here and now.” (122)
  • “Faith for Paul was about loyalty to and trust in Christ, not about believing a set of statements to be true.” (123)
  • “Even more striking is the number of women’s names. Of the twenty-eight individuals mentioned, ten are women. Of the eleven singled out for special praise, five are women. Paul uses the Greek verb for dedicated apostolic activity to refer to four of these women. One, Junia, is spoken of as “prominent among the apostles.” Leadership by women was a fact in early Christ-communities. Not only did Paul not challenge it; he obviously approved of it.” (125)
Mark
  • The majority of scholars think the gospel did originally end with 16:8 (p153)
  • “Is imminent eschatology an extension of what Jesus taught? Or is it the product of early Christian testimony, enthusiasm, and conviction?”

James
  • “The majority of scholars do not think the author was the brother of Jesus.” (p193)
  • Martin Luther tried to remove it from the NT
  • “James echoes more sayings of Jesus than any document in the NT other than the gospels themselves.” (195)
Panelist Goodbye - Where can people find you?

Jennifer: JenniferNeyhart.com
Jason M. Armold:
Closing:

Theology Book Club:
June: Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
July: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

If you would like to join the Facebook Group you can click here to email me. Or click over to the Theology Book Club page and submit the contact form you will find there.

This is a link to an Amazon list of the books we have been reading/will be reading in the book club.


Previous episodes that I have been on:
36. Two Views of Jesus (Why I Left, Why I Stayed by Tony and Bart Campolo)
35: Evolution of the Word by Marcus Borg, part 1
30. Axioms of Faith (Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue)
29. The Cosmic Christ (Love Wins by Rob Bell)
27. Women and Evangelicalism (Rescuing Jesus by Deborah Jian Lee)
20. Living Through a Faith Shift (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)
19. God and the American Empire (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)
18. Anakephalaiossathai (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Leaning Tower of Books (May 2018)

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature that fantasybookcafe.com does where she discusses recent book acquisitions and I have been meaning to do something like that myself for awhile, so here are a bunch of the books I picked up on Kindle and audiobook this month.

Kindle:
I haven't read any of these books yet and I'm really excited to read pretty much all of them!

Audiobooks:
Of these eight audiobooks, I have previously read Uprooted and Fahrenheit 451, but I would like to re-read them and I do love listening to audiobooks, so there you go.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Discussing Why I Left, Why I Stayed by Tony and Bart Campolo




If you've seen many of my posts this year you probably know that at the end of 2017 I started an online Theology Book Club by creating a Facebook group and inviting people I thought might be interested. And that led to opportunities to be on John Weldy's podcast, Reclaiming Christianity, where we talk about the books we are reading in the book club. So our book for this month is Why I Left, Why I Stayed by humanist Bart Campolo and his father, evangelist Tony Campolo. And last night John Weldy, Thad Crews and I discussed the book and our own faith journeys.

Listen to this episode here.


(Subscribe on iTunes)

Panelists: Jennifer Neyhart, Thad Crews

The Panel gives their book recommendations:
Book review of Why I Left, Why I Stayed by Tony and Bart Campolo:

Thad and I both felt like Tony and Bart talked past each other a bit. Thad doesn't think Tony understands what Bart's real issue is: that he just doesn't/can't believe that stuff anymore.

When I was reading Bart's chapters I kept thinking that I agreed with him on a lot of his criticisms of evangelical theology, but I wanted to say what about this? What about these other interpretations? These other options? Contrary to what some of them (conservative evangelicals) may say, it's not their interpretation or nothing.

John asked me and Thad to give our responses to the following questions:
  • Tell us a bit about your background.
  • What does leaving/staying mean to you?
  • Why did you leave/stay?
  • How have you responded to pressure to stay/leave?
Then John read one of Bart's chapters in the book (p89-95) and we discussed it.

I really liked something Tony said in the next chapter, responding to Bart's issues with the errors and contradictions in the Bible:
"Sure, if you try to read it literally, the Bible contains some mistakes and inaccuracies, but that is not how its ancient authors expected it to be read, and that is not how it has been read by Christians for hundreds and hundreds of years. In fact, the idea that the Bible is literally and inerrantly true is a relatively new one, introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century by a small group of American Protestants in a series of tracts called “The Fundamentals.” Unfortunately, those fundamentalists and their followers have led lots of people—including lots of skeptics—into reading the Bible the wrong way. 
As I see it, the Gospel writers were not as interested in the details of Jesus’s life as they were in the truth of it. Like their Old Testament counterparts, they carefully constructed their stories to give their readers insights about the meaning and purpose of life. To ask if this or that really happened the way it’s described is to miss the point. What matters isn’t whether each of those accounts is scrupulously accurate and consistent with all the others. What matters is what they collectively reveal about the nature of God." (137)
I also agreed with this quote from Tony:
"the penal substitutionary doctrine of the atonement is only one explanation of how our salvation was accomplished by Jesus on the cross, and [...] none of them alone can contain the whole story. What happened at Calvary is far too profound to be reduced to a simple formula." (131) 
Panelist Goodbye - Where can people find you?

Jennifer: JenniferNeyhart.com
Thad Crews:
Closing:

Theology Book Club:
June: Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
July: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

If you would like to join the Facebook Group you can click here to email me. Or click over to the Theology Book Club page and submit the contact form you will find there.

This is a link to an Amazon list of the books we have been reading/will be reading in the book club.


Previous episodes that I have been on:
35: Evolution of the Word by Marcus Borg, part 1
30. Axioms of Faith (Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue)
29. The Cosmic Christ (Love Wins by Rob Bell)
27. Women and Evangelicalism (Rescuing Jesus by Deborah Jian Lee)
20. Living Through a Faith Shift (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)
19. God and the American Empire (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)
18. Anakephalaiossathai (What is the Bible? by Rob Bell)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

What I'm Into (March and April 2018)

This is the stuff I've been into over the past two months: the movies, the tv shows, and the books, along with some highlights of the IRL stuff too. =)

Movies


Ranking of the 2018 movies I've seen so far (and yes, first place is a tie):

1. Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (so many thoughts and feelings!!!!)
2. Ready Player One
3. Love, Simon
4. A Wrinkle in Time
5. I Can Only Imagine
6. The Miracle Season
7. Peter Rabbit

TV



These are the shows I am caught up on at the moment:

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Young Sheldon
  • The Flash
  • Supergirl
  • Krypton
  • Rise
  • Modern Family
  • The Middle
  • Will and Grace (season has ended)
  • This is Us (season has ended)

And if you saw my last post you know I've started watching Battlestar Galactica (2004). I've only watched season one and the first two episodes of season two as of right now, so no spoilers, please!

I feel like the past two months have flown by. I've been CRAZY busy with homework for the past month and will continue to be for the next three weeks. Then I will have a glorious three-month break. Here is a list of all of the TV shows I would love to watch or re-watch this summer:



  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Legends of Tomorrow (finish season 3)
  • Will and Grace (finish seasons 6, 7 and 8)
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: Discovery (re-watch)
  • The Good Place
  • Doctor Who (re-watch)
  • Black Mirror
  • Lost in Space
  • Smallville (re-watch)
  • The Orville
  • Black Lightning
  • Timeless
  • Schitt's Creek
  • Parenthood
  • Arrow (catch up from s5e8)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Boy Meets World (re-watch)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (re-watch)
  • Angel
But realistically, at least Battlestar Galactica, Legends of Tomorrow, and The Handmaid's Tale. And maybe Star Trek and Star Trek: TNG =) (and maybe Doctor Who, ;-)

Books - Read and Reading

Favorites from March:
Favorites from April:

Currently Reading:
Connect with me on Goodreads to see what I am currently reading and keep track of the books you are reading, have read, and want to read: Jennifer's Goodreads Profile

Podcasts

As usual, I'm way behind on listening to podcasts. But I am on these podcast episodes of Reclaiming Christianity from March and April:

Axioms of Faith (Episode 30)
John Weldy, Jennifer Neyhart, and Beckett Hanan discuss “Science” Mike McHargue’s Axioms of Faith as presented in his book Finding God in the Waves. Can God and science coexist? Can God be experienced without certainty? Is there a framework by which a rational person can believe in God?

Evolution of the Word, part 1 (Episode 35)
John Weldy, Jennifer Neyhart, and Jason Armold discuss how the New Testament and Christianity evolved during its first century through the lens of Evolution of the Word by Marcus Borg. This episode we introduce the concept of studying the NT in the order the books were written, look through Borg’s timeline, and discuss the first five books: I Thessalonians, Galatians, I Corinthians, Philemon, and Philippians.


BSG1: Season 1
As I mentioned in my last post, I had never watched Battlestar Galactica until now. But it sounded like something I would enjoy, so when I was asked to watch it and discuss it on the podcast, I said yes!

Our first episode covers the miniseries and season one, so if you haven't watched those episodes yet, you probably want to do that first to avoid spoilers!

Some of the things we discuss:

• When humanity can create life in their image, how does this affect theology?
• Do Cylons have souls?
• How is Battlestar Galactica influenced by Mormonism?
• Is Cylon theology essentially Calvinism?
• Who are the fundamentalists and who are the mystics in the show?

You can check out the other podcasts related to the Theology Book Club by clicking here.

Theology Book Club:
In November of 2017, I started an online Theology Book Club. These are the books for the next three months:

May: Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son by Tony Campolo and‎ Bart Campolo
June: Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
July: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans
(I am REALLY excited to read Rachel's new book!)

If you want to join the Facebook Group you can click here to email me. Or click over to the Theology Book Club page and fill out the contact form at the bottom. In addition to the online discussion within the group, we also have monthly (and weekly for those who are interested) chats where people can participate by talking over the voice channel (using Discord), or they can choose to just listen and engage via text if they so wish.

Instagram
You can follow me on Instagram @jenniferneyhart.

Bookish friends are the best!!! I just had the loveliest time with a group of people who love books/reading as much as I do. We did a book exchange party where everyone brought a copy of a book they love, to give away. We randomly picked a wrapped book and then the person who brought it told us a little bit about it and why they chose that book. Super fun! Afterward, we played "Ex Libris" (think Balderdash with a literary twist).


Happy Spring? #kentuckyweather
I got a new toy/decoration for myself! Justice League nesting dolls!!! So then I had to set them up on my shelf and take pictures of some of the other fun decorations on my shelves!
At this time I also realized that every time my brother comes over to play board games, he moves some of the minifigs around. So in this instance h,e moved Hagrid from the Hogwarts castle to the shelf with lots of superheroes. Also, do you see the Weeping Angel in front of the Hogwarts castle? @bneyhart strikes again...
celebrating Ema's 9th birthday!
This is my brother. He is a high school history teacher and this is what he wore to work today. It was Spirit Week and today was "thrift day". I love it! So did his students! #mightymorphinpowerrangers #powerrangers #throwbackthursday
Megan's baby shower!!!! So exciting!!!!





Painting with Julie! "Starry Night over Churchill Downs". #pinotspalette #starrynight
Celebrating my Dad's birthday on Sunday!
On the Blog

This post is linked up with What I'm Into at Leigh Kramer.