Hi Everyone! My wife and I arrived back in the USA at 8 p.m. last night after our 12-day trip to Germany and Switzerland. Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful visit with our German family and for getting us home safely! I returned to work this morning but I’m dealing with a SEVERE bout of jet lag. Ach!
I had brought along a fair amount of reading material with me on the trip and it came in very handy during those 8-hour transatlantic flights. Here’s some brief summaries of the three books I read.
God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life
By David VanDrunen
Zondervan, 2015, 192 pages
In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, Zondervan is publishing its 5 Solas Series. Faith Alone, the first book, was published in September of last year and God’s Glory Alone followed a couple of months later. Whereas Faith Alone did a very good job comparing Protestant and Catholic perspectives on Sola Fide, this book makes absolutely no attempt to contrast the opposing viewpoints of the two groups regarding Soli Deo Gloria. While there’s some good material here regarding the glory of God, with references to Scripture and the writings of the Reformers, VanDrunen’s and editor Matthew Barrett’s decision to exclude any mention of Catholicism’s defiance of Soli Deo Gloria with its veneration of the pope, Mary, and the saints is an absolutely stunning “oversight” given the theme of this series. Save your money.
The Borgia Apocalypse: The Screenplay
By Neal Jordan
Amazon Digital Services, 2013, 160 pages
The Borgias television series aired on Showtime channel for three years from 2011 to 2013. I recently viewed all three seasons via Netflix. The show focused on ruthless Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, and his equally ruthless offspring, Cesare and Lucrezia, and the utter corruption of the Roman Catholic church a few years prior to the Reformation. The show was cancelled in 2013, so series creator, Jordan, wrote this screenplay for a never-produced, two-hour finale. Viewers were left dangling at the end of season three and Jordan attempts to tie up the loose ends. The family’s enemy, Caterina Sforza, is finally disposed of, Cesare deals with the treacherous band of rogue princes known as “The Wild Bunch,” while Lucrezia surprisingly betrays her father and brother in a deadly alliance with Rodrigo’s arch-rival, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere. Jordan has his hands full trying to cram a 10-episode season’s worth of material into a two-hour screenplay and it shows. Strictly for fans of The Borgias cable series.
Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty
By Angela Hunt
Bethany House, 2015, 384 pages
Ms. Hunt does a decent job of filling in the gaps with this novelization of the biblical account of King David and Bathsheba. I really needed a long, easy-reading novel for the 8-hour plane ride back to the USA and this book fit the bill to a tee. It’s entertaining, informative, and even quite inspirational. Hunt definitely did her homework. Good stuff!