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My Year in Books

Andrew Moody

The next instalment in our end-of-year series in which we ask some of our regular contributors what they've been reading, listening to and watching in 2016. Here's a short-and-sweet top ten from Andrew Moody's year in books.




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1. C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves

‘Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divine authority. Its voice tends to sound as if it were the will of God Himself. It tells us not to count the cost, it demands of us a total commitment, it attempts to over-ride all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done “for love’s sake” is thereby lawful and even meritorious … natural loves make this blasphemous claim not when they are in their worst, but when they are in their best, natural condition; when they are what our grandfathers called “pure” or “noble”.’

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2. James Hannam – God's Philosophers

‘To understand why science was attractive even before it could demonstrate its remarkable success in explaining the universe, it is necessary to look at things from a medieval point of view. The starting point for all natural philosophy in the Middle Ages was that nature had been created by God. This made it a legitimate area of study because through nature, man could learn about its creator.’

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3. Mark Sayers -  Disappearing Church

‘The post-Christian society, which denies its own Christian underpinnings, falls into the trap of religiosity. Because it is religious and yet denies its own sinfulness, it must blame the other. The ight blames the “illegal immigrant”, the left the “uneducated working class” or “unsophisticated rural folk.’

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4. Alain de Botton – Religion for Atheists

‘The benefits of a philosophy of neo-religious pessimism are nowhere more apparent than in relation to marriage, one of modern society’s most grief-stricken arrangements, which has been rendered unnecessarily hellish by the astonishing secular supposition that it should be entered into principally for the sake of happiness. Christianity and Judaism present marriage not as a union inspired and governed by subjective enthusiasm but rather, and more modestly, as a mechanism by which individuals can assume an adult position in society … friction, disputes and boredom are signs not of error, but of life proceeding according to plan.’

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5. Mary Karr - The Art of Memoir

‘No matter how much you’re gunning for the truth, the human ego is also a stealthy, low-crawling b*#!d, and for pretty much everybody, getting used to who you are is a lifelong spiritual struggle. Start trying to bring yourself to the page and fear of how you’ll come off besets even the most forthright. The best you can hope for is to rip off each mask as you find it blotting out your vision.’

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6. Dave McDonald - Hope Beyond a Cure

‘The Christian hope is not that people will somehow avoid dying. The hope is, rather, that if we trust in Jesus then God will raise us, beyond death, to a new life.’

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7. Art Spiegelman - Maus

‘To die, it’s easy … but you have to struggle for life! Until the last moment we must struggle together! I need you! And you’ll see that together we’ll survive.’

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8. Mark Jones - Knowing Christ

‘Christ’s obedience in our place needed to be real obedience from a man. Jesus did not cheat by relying on his divine nature while he acted as the second Adam.’

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9. Victor Hugo - Toilers of the Sea

‘Man is at the mercy of events. Life is a perpetual succession of events, and we must submit to it. We never know from what quarter the sudden blow of chance will come. Catastrophe and good fortune come upon us and then depart, like unexpected visitors. They have their own laws, their own orbits, their own gravitational force, all independent of man.’

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10. Ben Winters - The Last Policeman

‘There is an aspect of my character that tends to latch on to one difficult but potentially solvable problem, rather than grapple with the vast and unsolvable problem that would be all I could see, if I were to look up, figuratively speaking, from my small blue notebooks.’

Andrew Moody is a lay theologian and adjunct lecturer at several colleges in Melbourne. His area of particular interest is the relationships between the persons of the Trinity and what this has to do with salvation history. He is author of In Light of the Son (Matthias Media), The Will of Him Who Sent Me (Paternoster). Andrew and his wife Jenny have two children. Andrew serves as Editorial Director of the TGCA Editorial Panel and manages the Bible and Theology Channel. 

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