Status Update: 8AUG23

statusupdate Aug 08, 2023
Time for a status update!
  • Previous update: 12 days (13JUL23)
    • 240 books/33,007 pages
    • Currently Reading: 729 Books
    • Drops: French at Level 21; 1480 terms collected
    • Drops: Danish at Level 6; 136 terms collected
    • 7 books, ~1000 pages, -120 French terms???, 12 Danish terms
  • Current update: 26 days (8AUG23)
    • 265 books/34,872 pages
    • Currently Reading: 729 Books
    • Drops: Spanish (Mexican) at Level 14: 591
    • 25 books, ~1800 pages, switched to Spanish
..... Okay, okay, okay, I got bored with French and Danish. So I'm back to Spanish. *shrugs in more languages*
Okay, let's recap.... First of all... CIA was absolutely amazing!!!!!!
So, before I get into my review of it, let me summarize what makes it special. I do this around 2 questions: what is apologetics, and how can I use apologetics?
If you are asking what is apologetics, DO NOT GO TO CIA. It will be such a waste of time and money. Don't get me wrong, hopefully you'll still get a lot of out of it, but you'll be almost completely lost for all three days.
However, if you already know what apologetics is, and you're wanting to do something with apologetics, then CIA is for you, and it will 100% be worth your time. But, beware, it's going to be BUSY! I'm talking an average of  14 hour days for three days straight. Possibly 18 hours, depending on how late you stay on the patio.
So, my review.... This was my second time going, and I am so glad I went! It was about a 5-1 student-instructor ratio, which means you get plenty of face to face time with just about whoever you want, student or instructor. Frank Turek, Jorge Gil, Alisa Childers, Natasha Crain, Melissa Doughtery, both Ferrer's, Greg Koukl, Bobby Conway, Phoenix Hayes, Brett Kunkle, Allen Parr, Richard Howe.... Plus all of the students! Several of my friends went, and that was the first time I met most of them in person. Then I met some other people and made new friends!
Plus all the training! And getting to present! My first year, I had Frank and Sean McDowell as the instructors for my presentations; this year I had Greg Koukl and Natasha Crain. And then I hit the Q&A panel and got Allen Parr....
100% worth going! I hope I can go every year!!!!
If you want more personal details, please message me!
Okay, so, about the books. CIA threw me off, so I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, normally, but I'm still making good progress! Let's review.
[the below links are all Amazon affiliate]
Okay, some of the books I finished:
    • This was amazing! I binged it on audio, though I'll definitely be rereading it on Logos and diving into all the details. But Nancy did a great job highlighting both the greats of masculinity (without denigrating feminity) and the terrors when masculinity is corrupted. You should definitely make this a priority read!
  • Various Meditations
    • Not by Marcus Aurelius, just to be clear. The Authors included Agapi Stassinopoulos, The Big Quiet, Bram Barouh, Sara Auster, Gabrielle Bernstein, and others.
    • I normally wouldn't have included them, but StoryGraph had them in their records, so hey! That's also why it seems like I was reading only 80 page books, because I did a bunch of these.
    • These were... Interesting. I get why they might be calming, but I don't really get why they would be beneficial. But, in fairness, I didn't pay much attention to them. Manifestation and meditation stuff doesn't really hold my interest, so....
    • Okay, I binged this on audio as well. I will probably go back through and scrutinize it more on Kindle, but... Probably not. Why? Because:
    • I didn't hear any notable issues with it, but I also don't entirely see merit in it. I do see some danger with the principle, though, but not the work.
    • This would be great as a simple, direct introduction to the general historical record about Jesus, and for that, if you want to read it, go for it.
    • But, it's also not the Bible, and I don't mean that as a "not holy text", but specifically that there is great value to comparing the four Gospels against each other that makes it worth the effort, as opposed to just reading a harmonized version.
    • So, I would place this as about with The Message: great for just general reading and some review, but don't use it a study or primary source.
    • The danger comes from replacing the Bible with this, which some may do out of convenience.
    • But, overall, I'm not against it.
    • Dallas' behavior online, though.... (looking at you, word salad poppycock)
    • Early remarks: The next of Keith's books that I'm working through. I agree with a number of things he says and disagree wtih some other things. One question I'd ask him, though: he condemns all war and he explicitly condemns Israel for attacking Palestine, but doesn't also condemn Palestine for their attacks. Will he be consistent and apply his condemnation equally?
    • Concluding remarks: he didn't. He appears to have no problem with violence from the groups that are popular within his circles. I'd have much higher respect for the book if he had called out both Israel and Palenstine, rather than only Israel.
    • So, overall, I don't regret reading this, but there wasn't a lot of meat to actually chew on. Whether this is good or bad, it definitely didn't leave a lasting impression on me.
    • I'm going to review both together, because they are both LGBTQ graphic novels.
    • As far as book quality goes, both were pretty good. While the graphic styles were very different, they fit each book. The stories were good, even a bit compelling. I believe Flamer was based on a true story, I'm not sure about Bingo Love.
    • However, they are definitely evangelistic in nature, trying to convince you to agree with them about LGBTQ. Now, to be clear, much of how they portray reactions to homosexuality I vehemently disagree with. I don't agree with throwing slurs (and I'll boot people out of my groups if they use them). I don't agree with public shaming for private offenses, or making a bigger scene than necessary. If you go up on stage and do something, you don't get to complain if someone calls you out on stage; but if you're in relative privacy, I don't generally condone broadcasting that to everyone, especially not to just shame someone.
    • However, that doesn't mean I agree with their thesis, which Bingo Love sums up quite nicely: "There are so many various love equations and none of them are wrong. Love is love is love is love."
    • Okay.... What about evangelical complementarianism? Is that an acceptable "equation"?
    • Just because people get what they want, no matter how good (from a human perspective) they are, doesn't magically make the thing right. We actually have to work through the morality of it, which includes identifying the ultimate moral standard.
Some of my currently reading:
    • This is just entertaining. The creativity in Amazon reviews is well worth your laughs!
    • Yeah, I'm still in the "this is hard for me to get into" mode. I don't think it's the quality of the book, just... It isn't catching me.
    • This is book three of the Dust Lands series that I'm working through for a reading challenge. Yeah, like the other two books, it simply isn't catching me. So, I'm not knocking it as a bad book, and it's not hard/difficult to read, just... I don't *want* to go back and read it, but I don't not want to, if that makes sense?
    • Okay, I want to go eat at their restaurant! Just their story makes their food sound delicious!
    • Anyways, I want to expand my cooking knowledge (not that I'm ever going to use it?), and I love mac'n'cheese, so... Yeah, kind of obvious here.
    • I don't remember whether this was free or really cheap on Kindle, but hey, learn new things!
    • I've seen all the movies (all 8+3?), and I had read four(?) of the books many years ago. I'm finally going back through and reading them again, but will actually finish the series this time. They are enjoyable, and fairly close to the movies, though I'm noticing some decent differences. I'm not ready to judge yet, though, because different mediums require different presentations.
    • I am not that far in here yet, so I'm reserving most comments, but given the last two books... Well, we'll see.
    • I read Jeremy's book a few weeks ago and enjoyed it; I'm looking forward to enjoying this, too. I might finish it this week.
    • This is the big one, figuratively. Universalism is a big piece of Progressive Christianity, and this is seemingly the next big work on the subject.
    • I'm barely working through the introduction, but right off the bat: it's endorsed by Randal Rauser. Knowing Randal's penchance for making things up, that is NOT a good look, for him to endorse something. And that's not even getting in Randal's mansplaining... well, I'll be getting into that in a future video. :)
Some books I'm hoping to start soon:
    • One of my good friends recommended this a few weeks ago, so I'm bumping it back up to the top of my list.
    • I just learned about this (it is/was on sale on Logos), and it looks great, especially how it incorporates apologetics from Scripture and how to live as an apologist. So I'm really looking forward to this.
    • While helping Holly Pivec and Doug Geivett launch their book Counterfeit Kingdom, one of my friends challenged me to read this to fact check them. So... it's been on my list for a while, and I'm re-prioritizing it to make sure I get to it.