Book Write-Up: Wheels of Wisdom

Tim and Debbie Bishop.  Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit.  Open Road Press, 2016.  See here to purchase the book.

Tim and Debbie Bishop married each other when they were in their early fifties, and that was the first time that either of them was ever married.  Both of them have bicycled across the country together, and this book is a collection of spiritual insights that they have gained through this experience.  They also work for the Hope Line, which offers help to teens and young adults who are suicidal, addicts, or coping with other problems.  Their cross-country bicycling has promoted this cause.

There are fifty-two reflections in this book, some of them written by Tim, and some written by Debbie.  They are written from an evangelical Christian perspective, which maintains that one receives forgiveness of sins by accepting the free gift of salvation that was made possible through Jesus’ death on the cross.  Each reflection ends with a Bible verse and a series of questions to inspire reflection.  The substitutionary atonement appears twice in this book: once in a chapter about hell, and another time in the epilogue, which is a Gospel invitation.  Most of the book focuses on other themes of Christian living, such as God’s providence and provision and finding God’s calling on one’s life.  There are lessons in the book that can resonate with secular-minded people, about facing worry, getting along with people, and moving on from the past.  Debbie brings in her experience in twelve-step recovery.  In some cases, their bicycling journey serves as an allegory for a life or spiritual truth concerning life’s journey.  At other points, people they meet along the way inspire them to consider a spiritual lesson.

One can probably read or hear the sorts of reflections that the book presents elsewhere.  While the book is not incredibly deep, it is still edifying.  It is evangelical Christian, but it has a friendly, inviting tone towards those who may believe differently.  The book has a positive, uplifting quality, but it still acknowledges the challenges and struggles of life.  Both Tim and Debbie talk about their challenges in being married, in light of their different backgrounds and temperaments, and all of the previous years that they were single and did what they wanted.  They also discuss medical injuries that they faced on their itinerary.  The book gave a taste of the challenges that cross-country cycling can present, including the threat of inclement weather, hills, wild animals, and nightfall.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bookcrash.  My review is honest.



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Helpful Collectivity

Clarissa's Blog

The plan also penalizes parents for each child by putting retirement further out of reach each time they take leave. Mr. Rubio has emphasized that his bill allows parents to “use their own money.” This perpetuates the idea that child rearing is an individual, not a collective, responsibility.

Yes, let’s stop perpetuating this egregious idea right now. Classes start next week and I uncharacteristically have no syllabi prepared. I need the child-rearing collectivity to fold Klara’s laundry, prepare her a snack and dinner, get her from school, and take her to the playground. But the collectivity needs to be prepared in case she chooses to go to the swimming pool instead.

Come on, collectivity, get to it and make it snappy.

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Antifa: A Case Study In The Ignorance Of History

Edge Induced Cohesion

Admittedly, I don’t write as much history as I intended to when I started this blog.  I write a fair amount of book reviews that relate to history, and a fair amount of music history as well, but not nearly as much in the way of historical analysis that I wish to, because it takes a while to think about and write and because the business of life gets in the way.  That said, there are definitely aspects about our contemporary sociopolitical context that greatly worry me as a student of history.  Among those is the rampant ignorance of history among those who attempt to use it against others.  As someone who lives on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, anytime I see or read the local news, there is almost always some reminder of some kind of Antifa outrage gone wrong, some sign of the leftist of the area going…

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Leuchter-the penknife and the sunken book — theoutwardquest

I apologize for interrupting the series on Leuchter’s book in the middle of a discussion of Jeremiah. The election last Tuesday had been my focus. When it was over, I woke up to the fact that I had places to go, because I had tickets to a rock concert and a ballgame. But today it […]

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Shalmaneser III’s Prayer to Mulissu

The Biblical Review

ShalmaneserIII.IstanbulArchaeologicalMuseum Statues of Shalmaneser III from Istanbul Archaeological Museums (Source: Wikipedia)

Shalmaneser III’s prayer to Mulissu provides insight as to how Mesopotamian kings functioned in the cosmos, especially their relationship to deities [1]. By function, I don’t simply mean how they ruled; rather, I mean how they fit into the world- and theological- view of ancient Mesopotamia more broadly.

This text may be summarized succinctly: the speaker requests Mulissu’s blessings for the king because he supports the deity’s particular temple [2]. Within this text, three aspect of the king’s role in the Mesopotamian worldview emerge: (a) his role in temple rites and rituals and (b) his role in maintaining the temple, (c) both of which point to his role to do the will of deities.

First, the king is portrayed as participating in rituals and rites within this text:

“… [the one] who guarantees your offering, who maintains [your] food offerings…

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Biblical Tongues and Modern Glossolalia: From Pentecost to Pentecostalism

Is That in the Bible?

Speaking in tongues is one of the strangest behaviours that is regularly practiced in modern Christianity. Is it the initial evidence of a believer’s salvation? A futile charade? A demonic manifestation? A tool for missionary work? All these views and more can be found in the official and unofficial doctrines taught by various churches. For better or worse, tongues and other gifts practiced by charismatics have radically reshaped the religious landscape over the last century. Both defenders and detractors cite the Bible to support their views of the nature and purpose of tongues without coming to agreement. The most extreme views on either side are held by Protestants, while Catholics tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Not surprisingly, the debate is often driven by theological agenda rather than a sober analysis of the Bible or — Heaven forbid — the considerable scientific literature on tongue-speaking. 

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