Yay for Aunties and Uncles!

Auntie Kendra and Uncle Jeremy visited for a few days. We love all our Aunties and Uncles!

Radical Womanhood

Can you tell I'm on a reading kick? This isn't one of the books I received from Thomas Nelson as part of the Book Review Bloggers program, but I loved it so much that I wrote a review anyway because I'd love to encourage more people to read it. (Thanks to my friend Elisa who initially recommended the book to me!)

Radical Womanhood, by Carolyn McCulley

I thoroughly appreciated this interesting and thought-provoking book. Radical Womanhood gives a great overview of the history of both Christian and feminist thinking regarding the identity and function of women, and how the various shifts in thought have affected modern thinking.

This is an extremely valuable resource for Christian women seeking a biblical understanding of the value and role of women within the home, the church, and society as a whole. Many books on biblical womanhood approach this subject with a practical-application or devotional approach. This book is different in that the bulk of the text concentrates on an historical overview of how our modern culture came to embrace the views of women that dominate much of our thinking.

Distinguishing between the three historical "waves" of feminism, the author draws from the writings of influential leaders of those movements, as well as the church's response. There is humble acknowledgment of the church's failure to respond biblically to some of the complaints brought by feminists seeking to end abuses against women, but careful delineation noting when the feminist cause veered into serious error and charted a course at odds with scripture.

Biblical principles like male headship in the home and the admonition for women to submit to their husbands make many women bristle – even women who do not consider themselves feminists. This book sheds light on both the reasons for this reaction, as well as explaining what those admonitions actually look like within a framework of biblical context. Clearly, christian women are the target audience of this book, and I heartily recommend it for any christian woman. But men also could find this book a valuable resource on understanding the influence of feminism on our culture. Even secular feminists interested in truly understanding the perspective of Christian women who embrace these ideas would greatly benefit from this book.

Me & God & Depression

I'm not comfortable in front of a camera, but wanted to share a little bit. Video was actually easier than writing for this one (although I had to cover up the computer screen with sticky notes so I didn't have to watch myself while I was recording :P )

Me & Depression & God from Sarah Caprye on Vimeo.

Picture update

Here are a few pictures from recent activities. A few more posted in the November web album.

Playing with Fuzzle with Grandpa Peter & Grandma Grace

Playing in the leaves, in the dark, with our good friends the Fa'agutu's

Roasting marshmellows and making s'mores (with 6 kids ages 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, & 5)

Sweet Lucia

The [expanded] Bible

I have agreed to review books for Thomas Nelson Publishers. As part of their Book Review Blogger program, I have agreed to post brief reviews on my blog in exchange for free books. To learn more, or to sign up to become a reviewer, click the icon in the sidebar.

The Expanded Bible: New Testament

“Study the Bible While You Read” is the tagline emblazoned on the front cover, spine, and back of this bible. It is promoted as a study tool that can make in-depth bible study easier and reveal the full richness and dimensions of meaning within the original text. It aims to accomplish this by incorporating study notes in-line with the biblical text, especially when the original language can be translated in multiple ways. It sounds like a great idea.

My current preferred method of bible study is slightly physically cumbersome. I love referencing the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words, but I have no formal training in either language. So, bible study for me usually involves lugging out my well-worn and very large, heavy copy of Strong’s Concordance with the best of Vine’s Dictionary. I wondered, “Could this bible incorporate the best elements of that study experience within one volume?”

Unfortunately, my experience with this bible has shown it to be an insufficient resource for in-depth study, while at the same time being too visually and textually awkward for meditative or devotional reading.

Other reviewers of this book have detailed the various ways that the text tends to result in a choppy, disjointed reading experience. (see other reviews here) so I won’t linger on that point.

For me, the issues with this bible start with the translation from which this bible draws its base text. The base text is a modified version of the New Century Version, which is described by Thomas Nelson Publishers as “maintaining the integrity of the biblical text without complex theological vocabulary” (source). Personally, I find the NCV to be lacking in much of the richness and depth that I find in other translations. (I most frequently use the NKJV and NASB.) Nevertheless, I understand the appeal of contemporary functional-equivalent translations. These translations are seen by many as making the bible accessible for individuals with limited English reading skills, or those who have no familiarity with biblical, theological, or doctrinal language. However, the stated goal of The [expanded] Bible is to give the reader “the full richness and variety of God’s message” and “all the dimensions of meaning in the original languages.” The attempt to achieve those aims on the basis of an interpretation that specifically aims to avoid complex theological language seems contradictory. Why not simply use a more robust translation in the first place?

While the in-line notes do provide some additional nuance to the selected text, they are no comparison to the breadth of information available in an actual concordance and Bible dictionary. Specifically, The [expanded] Bible provides notes for only selected words, phrases, or passages. In Acts 11:5, the notes clarify that the phrase “Peter saw something” could alternately read “Peter saw an object”, but they give no further definition to the phrase “I had a vision while in a trance”.

I can see potential value in this bible for those who are devoted to the New Century Version of the Bible and want a reference that will give more depth to that translation, but for other readers there are many other more fulfilling resources.

Barney's visit

Abigail's preschool class has a pet dog named Barney, and he's been staying at our house the last couple days. Here's a letter Barney wrote to tell Abigail's classmates all about his stay with us.

Abigail and I had a great couple of days together! I got to sit on Abigail’s lap on the way home after school. (All the other seats in the van were full because Abigail has three sisters.) After a snack we snuggled in bed and looked at books during her quiet reading time. Next we watched Jelly Telly while Abigail’s mommy got dinner ready. I learned about a guy name Anthony who lived a long time ago and gave away lots of money to poor people. After dinner Abigail and her sisters took baths, so I hung out on her bed with some of her stuffed animals. Before bed we read a book about how our bodies work (well, about how people’s bodies work. I’m a dog so mine’s a little different) and a Bible story about Jesus healing some people, then we went to sleep.
The next morning we had Abigail’s favorite breakfast – bread with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and cranberries! Yummy! We had plans to go to a kids prayer meeting later, but Abigail’s mommy had to get dinner in the crock pot, so we ran out of time. At lunch I got to help Abigail make Mac-n-cheese. Her mom did the part with the boiling water, but we did the rest by ourselves. After lunch we were going to try to visit Abigail’s Daddy at work, but baby Lucia had trouble taking her nap. So we stayed home and played with Abigail’s sisters Eliana and Joelle instead. Abigail likes to act out stories, so we pretended we were taking a trip on a train. Later we played dress up. Abigail was a princess, and I got to wear a crown, too!