Arts & Culture

Books We Like: Finding God in Dylan, Fighting Free Speech, and an Overlooked C.S. Lewis Classic

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Books We Like” is our chance as an IFWE staff to share with you the books we’ve found meaningful in our lives. We hope some of these reads become same for you!

Here are three books I’ve been reading recently that are still sitting with me long after I finished the last page.

Seeds of the Word: Finding God in Culture by Father Robert Barron

If the evangelist exercises his analogical imagination, he can see images of Jesus in Superman, Spider-Man, and Andy Dufresne; …he can hear an echo of Augustine’s anthropology in the protagonist of Eat, Pray, Love;…and he can appreciate one of the most textured presentations of Christian soteriology in Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Are any of these adequate presentations of the Word as such? Hardly. But are they all semina verbi, seeds of the Word? Absolutely.

In today’s culture, God can seem difficult to detect at times. Father Barron lifts up fragments of truth in film, books, politics, and culture.

Where is God in the Hunger Games script and Bob Dylan lyrics?

What does the hookup culture teach us about God?

Why is everyone crazy about vampires?

Barron answers these questions and more in a compilation of short thought-provoking essays to help Christians appreciate how present God really is in culture.

Seeds of the Word reminds us that God penetrates every corner of culture in subtle ways because the human heart, whether it knows it or not, universally longs for God.

The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech by Kirsten Powers

Debate and persuasion should be the default response when someone encounters a person who does not share their view, not demands that the other person change their position or be pushed to the margins of polite society.

Through well-documented examples, Kirsten Powers proves the “illiberal left” is killing free speech and dialogue in the public square. Though she herself is a life-long liberal, Powers calls out radical liberalism for absurd “microagression” complaints on campus, over-the-top political correctness, and for treating liberal social positions as universal dogma in public discourse. No longer are conservatives allowed to participate in discussions about feminism, same-sex marriage, racial equality, or even health care.

The Silencing serves as a spotlight over the deep hypocrisy and intolerance of the left and reminds readers how precious and fleeting our freedom truly is. The threat to free speech may be deeper than we ever imagined, but Powers inspires a return to true tolerance in the public square by calling people of all political convictions to champion free speech once again.

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer…Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?

While I generally prefer to read non-fiction books like the two listed above, every now and then I try to read a novel. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and when I heard many consider Till We Have Faces one of his best works, my next fiction read was an easy choice.

In this novel, Lewis retells the story of Cupid and Psyche told through Psyche’s sister, Orual, focusing on Orual’s struggle to find love and her own identity. This spiritual odyssey explores the soul in a way his apologetics work does not. If you long for the wonder The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe brought you in your childhood, Lewis will give it to you again tenfold in Till We Have Faces.

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