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Fall Football Reading

September 10, 2013

At the onset of the fall college football season, it is my general practice to read a book on my favorite team The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. I am often asked why I pull for the Fighting Irish. Well, when it comes to rooting for Notre Dame, those who understand don’t need an explanation. And those who need an explanation, probably will never understand.

This year the offering is a good one. Written by a Notre Dame grad, Jerry Barca, the book is Unbeatable: Notre Dame’s 1988 Championship and the Last Great College Football Season. I remember well the 1988 season. Led by Coach Lou Holtz, the 1988 team went undefeated, including a dramatic victory against the seemingly invincible University of Miami Hurricanes. The names and faces are familiar as most of the players are the same age I am.  Yet, Barca’s behind the scene info and biographical sketches of the players and coaches give an added dimension to one of the greatest football teams in Notre Dame history. This is a book any true Notre Dame fan would not want to put down.

While Unbeatable is my favorite book right now, I am reading a couple of others. For example. I recently received the book Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration by Matthew Barrett.  It is a biblical, historical, and theological look at the doctrines of regeneration and calling and particularly how regeneration is the sovereign and gracious work of God in our lives. I find well written reformed theology a joy to read. I am enjoying reading this book with a young man in our church. We meet weekly to discuss it. If you are interested in joining us, get a copy and let me know.

I am always interested in manhood issues, and I have read my share of books on the subject. Still, I was made aware of one by a guy named Xan Hood (with a name like that, I had to look into it) titled, Sweat, Blood, and Tears: What God Uses to Make a Man. It is a book about Xan’s journey from privileged suburbanite in Nashville TN to outdoor adventure man discovering manhood and God along the way. It won’t make my top 5 books on manhood.  But, it has its moments.

Lastly, I have just begun listening to 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.  Soon to be released as a feature film, this is the autobiographical account of Northup and the twelve tortuous years he spent as a slave, though he was actually a freeman. Living in New York as a freeman, Northrup was deceived and taken captive while in Washington DC in 1841 and served as a slave on a plantation in Louisiana until his rescue in 1853.  From all accounts this movie promises to be a winner. I thought it would be good to learn of Northup from his book before I expose myself to Hollywood’s interpretation.

Well, that’s pretty much the current list of books I am reading. Unfortunately, Unbeatable will soon be rotating off the list, and I will need to find a replacement. However, I doubt it will be as unbeatable.

 

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