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Destinee posted this thread...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 12:53 am

Hey Collin!
 
So I just finished uni and got home today :) So I'll post a good list of books for you to read this summer soon!!! :) Super excited.
 
Also, Orthodoxy = great so far. Though I'm not really sure what he's getting at with the lunatic thing? I'm sure he'll explain it later on :)
 
Cheers and ttyl

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JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 1:12 am

Have either of you guys ever read The Screwtape Letters? I don't know if the style will be to your tastes, but I think the ideas/storyline might interest both of you.

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Destinee replied...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Collin definitely has, and I plan to :)

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CollinF replied...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Jubilex:
 
I've read it twice and have two copies, one of which is currently loaned to a friend. :D
 
If C.S. Lewis wrote it, I've read it. Probably. I still hafta get around to The Four Loves and Surprised By Joy, his autobiography. And I'd like to read his stuff purely about literature, as I hear it's almost as phenomenol as his other stuff. :D
 
Though I really wanna read Crime and Punishment because when I was reading a book by William Lane Craig recently he said he regretted that Evangelicals have focused their attention more on men like Lewis than men like Dostoyevsky. And I was like, "WLC, PLEASE. Let's be for real here." 

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CollinF replied...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Destinee:
 
YAY! Congrats. How did finals go? I've got mine fo my couple classes at the local college tomorrow. Pray for me por favor.
 
And I think the whole point is that humaity has its outlook backwards. The crazies aren't people who don't adhere to reason: they're people who always do. "The artist tries to stick his head into the Heavens and is enlightened, while the logician tries to fit the Heavens into his head, and it drives him mad." It's a repeating theme in his writings--that Moderns aren't dispelling foolish ancient myths but rather blinding themselves to the mystical way things really are.
 
And I look forward to that book list. Now that you're off you better eat through mine quick. :)

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CollinF replied...
May 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

Need . . . List. :(

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Destinee replied...
May 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

SORRY SORRY I've been busy! Expect it tonight :) God willing. 
 
But top of the list: The Theology of Unity by Muhammad Abduh. It's translated from Arabic, but it's good. Lacks Chesterton's humour :) 

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CollinF replied...
May 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Popularity nevuh ends, huh? :) That's alright. I'll be leaving every other weekend for the beach now that it's sunny. :D I forgive ya. 
 
And KK. I'll look into that one. It's not the one that's a series, is it? :/

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Destinee replied...
May 2, 2013 at 12:38 am

There's a book that's a series? Say whaaat?
 
Okay, going through the books I''ve read, I just realised that most of them aren't of interest to a Christian. Haha. But I'll recommend the ones I think you'd like (in no particular order, google em to see what they're about? :D):
 
1. The Theology of Unity by Muhammad Abduh. If you want good intellectual stuff. 
 
2. Islam and the Destiny of Man by Gai Eaton. I admit that I haven't read this :P (well besides the first few pages) but I've heard it's really good. What's more, it's written by a European, so the English won't suck. 
 
3. Even Angels Ask by Jeffrey Lang. Second half of this deals with Muslims in America, which you might not care about, but the first half is a nice story of his conversion. It's also really just an interesting read. 
 
4. The Qur'an. You're gonna have to read this sooner or later. :D I recommend Tarif Khalidi's translation (though there is one mistake). Or this one: 
 
amazon.ca/Al-Quran-Guidance-Mankind-English-Only/dp/0911119779/ref=sr_1_73?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367468815&sr=1-73&keywords=muhammad
 
5. You HAVE to read a biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There's a  really famous, comprehensive one called The Sealed Nectar, but again, since it's written in classical Arabic style and translated, it's not always an easy read. So I recommend.. ugh I can't find it right now! But I'll get it soon XD
 
6. Prologomena to Islam by Syed Naquib al-Attas (the PDF is online if you need a link). Kay, this is a heavy read, I admit it. I'm still trudging through it. But you can't get more intellectual than this, honestly. 
 
7. Some time in your life, you ought to read The Road to Mecca by Muhammad Asad. (he's a convert. I think this was written in English but it might be German then translated)
 
8. Okay you need to read a good history of Islam, but I can't think of a good one right now... :S Hm. Get back to you on that? 
 
9. A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. It's very simplistic (for young Muslims, obviously), but it's a good introduction to Islam and its contributions to humanity. Talks quite a lot about modernity.
 
10. If you're interested in the history of the Qur'an and how it was compiled, I recommend: "A History of the Qur'anic Text" by Muhammaz Azami. It's online. 
 
11. Another book about modernity: "Islam, the West, and the Challenge of Modernity" by Tariq Ramadan. Like most books, I haven't completed this, but it's on my list. :P 
 
And yaaaa I gotta get through SO many books this summer. I'm reading like, 8 at the moment. So it's pretty bad. I think I'll finish Orthodoxy and then move on with the rest of my books, then get to The Everlasting Man. I just hate reading books on my phone, sigh. XD
 
This will be fun! I mean, I know lots of books that are good introduction to Islamic doctrine et al ("No god but God" by Reza Aslan, for instance), but I figured you wanted more 'intellectual' sort of stuff. If you want those other sorts of books, I know those as well.
 
Also, I don't agree with everything in those books, but they're really good regardless. 


Also, beach every other week? Seriously? :D Haha. 
 
Cheers XD Gimme a good list. So far I have:
 
- Orthodoxy
- Everlasting Man
- Screwtape Letters
- The Bible :P
- Case for Christ 
 
Thanks!

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Destinee replied...
May 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

12. "99 Names of A.llah" by al-Ghazali. This is a good book on the attributes of God. I think you'll hopefully enjoy it  :)

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May 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm

hey dess, when you read the Bible ignore everything in parenthesis and italics, these where added words by the translators:)
 
Shalom Alechiem and Barucha!-PB

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Destinee replied...
May 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hey PB, thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind :) Cheers.

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Destinee replied...
May 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Collin: 
 
I just read that Chesterton thought of Orthodoxy as a companion to his book, Heretics. Have you read that? Should I? {I know you'd probably recommend all of his books, but perhaps The Everlasting Man is more worth my time than Heretics}

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CollinF replied...
May 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Destinee:
 
Thanks for the list! I'll keep ya updated as I read em. I'm actually pretty excited about this. :)
 
Also, I think the whole parentheses deal is due to some manuscripts containing portions others do not. It's pretty rare, but it is in there. Mostly the OT, really. My study Bible tends to explain em if you ever come across any in particular that interest you.
 
And haha. Of course I've read it, Destinee. :) I bought it on Kindle as soon as I heard Orthodoxy was its companion. :) But here's the deal: Chesterton wrote Heretics as a critique of the thought of particular "modern" thinkers of his time. Then one critic said Chesterton was just taking cheep shots and didn't actually have any ideas of his own. So he wrote Orthodoxy to prove the haters wrong. :) 
 
So, I liked Heretics, but I didn't get a lot of the references because they're to popular figures in British intellectual culture of the late 19th/early 20th century. Everlasting Man doesn't have the confusing references and I think it's a better book overall. 

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Destinee replied...
May 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I gotcha, I gotcha. TBH, since the Bible was translated, I just assumed stuff in parentheses, italics, etc, was an elaboration on complex Hebrew words that do not translate into a single English one. That's the case with the Qur'an, lots of the time.
 
And I see. In Orthodoxy he references all these things and I'm like, "Eeeeep I don't know Latin ahhh!" :P But it's great fun. I'm really enjoying this book. :) 
 
And I have a study Bible too! My Christian friends gave me one! It's tje NIV one and its cover is green and I love it :D 

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Destinee replied...
May 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

13. Islam: A Way of Revival. 
 
Okay. This will sound creepy, BUT if you want a book, I can always mail it to you!!! :D If you're convinced I'm a real person and not a stalker, and if you wanna read something but have no way to access it, holler at me (i.e. email me your address) and I'll send it your way if I have it :)
 
/endcreepiness

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Destinee replied...
May 3, 2013 at 3:19 am

Alas, alas, came across some racism :(
 
"It is true that the ne.gro slave,being a debased barbarian, will probably have either a human affection of loyalty, or a human affection for liberty. " - GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy
 
Too bad indeed. Ah well. Otherwise it's been good so far, but one does wish that he had not absorbed the racism of his era.

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CollinF replied...
May 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

It's a darn shame, ain't it? :(

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Destinee replied...
May 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm

^ It is interesting, because this sort of outright ra.cism has never, on a widespread scale, existed in Muslim societies. In fact, that is why Malcolm X converted to Islam. 
 
Anyways. I'm almost done. Just read this:
 
"The complex God of the Athanasian Creed may be an enigma for the intellect; but He is far less likely to gather the mystery and cruelty of a Sultan than the lonely god of Omar or Mahomet. The god who is a mere awful unity is not only a king but an Eastern king. The HEART of humanity, especially of European humanity, is certainly much more satisfied by the strange hints and symbols that gather round the Trinitarian idea, the image of a council at which mercy pleads as well as justice, the conception of a sort of liberty and variety existing even in the inmost chamber of the world. For Western religion has always felt keenly the idea "it is not well for man to be alone." The social instinct asserted itself everywhere as when the Eastern idea of hermits was practically expelled by the Western idea of monks. So even asceticism became brotherly; and the Trappists were sociable even when they were silent. If this love of a living complexity be our test, it is certainly healthier to have the Trinitarian religion than the Unitarian. For to us Trinitarians (if I may say it with reverence)--to us God Himself is a society. It is indeed a fathomless mystery of theology, and even if I were theologian enough to deal with it directly, it would not be relevant to do so here. Suffice it to say here that this triple enigma is as comforting as wine and open as an English fireside; that this thing that bewilders the intellect utterly quiets the heart: but out of the desert, from the dry places and the dreadful suns, come the cruel children of the lonely God; the real Unitarians who with scimitar in hand have laid waste the world. For it is not well for God to be alone."
 
I've disagreed with some things he has said previously, but this I most strongly disagree with. It is demonstrably wrong on several accounts: 
 
1. Though he does not outrightly say it, he is using "Western religion" to mean Christianity (by contrasting it to Omar and Mohamet's religion -- as if Umar founded a religion). By all accounts, Islam is a Western religion. He just randomly places it as an Eastern religion because its founder came from the Middle East, when it is certainly closer to Christianity than to, say, Buddhism. Also, the other major Western religion, Judaism, is monotheistic. 
 
2. He's used appeals to emotion before, and most of his language is pretty emotionally loaded (which is great writing, just so we're clear). But never so much as here. "Mere awful unity" -- what? I can do that too. "Mere awful trinity." Makes it sound pretty bad, eh? The last two sentences in particular are just full of emotionally charged phrases particular to his experience. 
 
3. "Is not only a king, but an Eastern king". Again, Judaism and Islam, two Western religions, are being ruled by an Eastern king. 
 
4. Unfortunately, again, he is being very Eurocentric. The "heart" of humanity does not lie in his experiences of Europe, I'm afraid. Describing the unity of God as coming out of a desert, dreadful suns, etc, compared to the Trinity which is comfortingly "English", is just pretty racist. 
 
6. And since tawheed, or the unity of God, is the central principle around which all of Islam revolves, indeed, it has inspired a lot of poetry and theology, as well as admiration, I doubt that his portrayal, well-written though it may be, of unitarianism as some sort of lonely version of God is at all a reflection of reality. 
 
*Sigh* 
 
I did find his breakdown of Buddhism vs Christianity quite enjoyable though :D 

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Destinee replied...
May 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

"This would explain why the mass of men always look backwards; and why the only corner where they in any sense look forwards is the little continent where Christ has His Church."
 
This is quite silly, and an argument far more applicable to Islam for the 800 or so years that it was spread across Eurasia. As [I hope] you'll read in The Young Muslim's Guide by Nasr, progress -- if that is to mean intellectual freedom, scientific advancement, and churning out an enormous number of quality books -- progress was best seen in the Islamic Empire during its glory days. 

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