2008 Faculty Favorite Recommendations
Comments by Dr. Lee: "Prothero, professor of religious studies, presents a compelling case for Americans learning about world religions, and particularly the Christian religion. He echoes the voices of many when he suggests that a lack of knowledge about Christianity and its history creates a gap in knowledge of the arts, history, politics, and literature.
For example, Prothero offers evidence that in some cases a majority of people cannot offer even one name of a gospel account. His research with his own students suggests that most of them are clueless about religion including Christianity.
As an educator and student of constitutional law, I find it appalling that so many operate out of ignorance when it comes to the concept of separation of church and state. This ignorance, unfortunately, lends itself to misappropriating or completely omitting content from religion, particularly the Christian religion in the classroom. While teachers certainly should not proselytize or indoctrinate students, the pall of orthodoxy that seems to be present in today’s classroom is one of secularism or naturalism.
This book offers insight into the history of religion and religious instruction the United States, a description of the present, and a prescription for the future. While this text is intended for a wide audience and avoids a scholarly tone, it offers a substantial foundation to make its case. As a Christian educator and law professor, I find it provocative and informative, and I recommend it to all Christians and those interested in a liberal arts education."
Comments by Mrs Frye: "In my experience in children’s theatre, I’ve always had an awareness and appreciation for literature for children and young readers. From the youngest to the oldest, it is the written word that stirs the imagination. Characters become real, adventures become our own, and we are transported to galaxies and far away places without ever leaving our couch, cubby, or favorite reading spot. The Giver touches the heart and the mind, reminding us that memories need to be shared."
Comments by Dr. Frye:"There is a joy in reading a classic for pleasure and not out of obligation. You become aware of why they are classics. It allows you to join the great conversation of what it means to be human. As Tennyson says through the character of Ulysses, “I am a part of all I have met.” It is empowering to meet with greatness."
Comments by Dr. Larry Long: "I received the book as a review copy, read it only with the idea of writing my review, but quickly found myself excited again by reading about classical literature, an area that I have not studied very much. Markos discusses the Iliad, the Odyssey, Antigone, Oedipus, and the Aeneid, among other works. Markos has a real knack for making the stories and characters come alive, and, more importantly, to communicate the biblical values and themes that were “anticipated” in these pre-Christian era texts. As a Christian and a student of literature, I always make those connections in novels, stories, and poems; Markos has pointed out connections in material with which I am less familiar and in somewhat surprising and interesting ways. I think Christians who like to read and especially those who already enjoy the classical texts would find this book interesting, even if, like me, they may sometimes question a particular argument Markos presents. Though very scholarly, the book is easy to read."
Comments by Ann Dixon: "Same Kind of Different as Me is a book that reminds us how much alike we are despite our circumstances. Two men from very different backgrounds and economic levels become friends for life due to the influence of one woman who encourages their relationship. The true life story is told by both men, allowing the reader insight into each man's perception of the event. The book will change the way you view others."
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Recommended by Dr. Michael Claxton
Comments by Dr. Michael Claxton: "One of the enduring classics in the English language, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, an orphan who comes into a surprise inheritance that changes his life. The story features escaped convicts, mysterious lawyers, and a woman who hasn’t changed clothes in 20 years. It is a beautifully plotted and richly symbolic novel, which is all the more amazing because Dickens wrote it as a weekly serial, publishing one installment before he had written the next one. He managed to keep a complex plot, huge cast of wonderfully eccentric characters, and interwoven patterns of imagery all going at once, without being able to go back and revise the chapters that had already been published. It’s a tour de force and a must read.”
The Agony and Glory of the Cross by Charles B. Hodge Jr.
Recommended by Chancellor Ganus
Comments by Chancellor Ganus: "The death and resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in human history. Through the shedding of His blood on the cross at Calvary He made possible our salvation. The author, Harding's first graduate Bible major, describes the events leading to the crucifixion as well as the scene itself. He includes the people who were present, the words that were spoken, the miracles that occurred and the meaning of the cross in our lives today."
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Recommended by Ben Wimberly
Comments by Ben Wimberly: "Where the Red Fern Grows is a gut-wrenching tale of a boy's adventurous childhood in the Ozarks. This book compels children to believe that dreams are worth pursuing and that they are obtainable. But this also ignites the hearts of "grown children" as well. Any dog lover can be sucked into the excitement and suspense involved with a boy's journey with his coonhounds."
The Shack by William P. Young
Recommended by Dr. David Burks
Comments from President Burks: "This books really causes one to think about the relationship between the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son. It is written with a very fresh perspective. It speaks to the question of 'Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?' But it also causes you to examine your faith as you talk about your relationship with God in every day life."