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FridayFive: Reading

Last week's FridayFive is about reading, specifically about childhood reading. I was out of town on Friday, so I didn't answer the questions then. Instead, we get a Monday update. As much as I love reading, I am embarrassed to admit that these questions posed difficulty for me. Mostly, because of my terrible memory.

1. What were your favorite childhood stories? I don't really remember many stories, certainly not in the vein of "children's books" from when I was a child. We had some Dr. Seuss and some other of the typical "children's books," I just don't remember what they were. I do remember Bible stories from my childhood. I enjoyed them (and still do), especially Noah's Ark.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children? Well, I really enjoyed having that "Children's" Bible. Or a basic book of Bible stories. Dr. Seuss is quite cool, too.

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything? Not really, not that I can think of anyway.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read? Pretty young, I think. Again, my memory isn't all that great, but I can't remember a time when I couldn't read. I remember a time when I couldn't read cursive.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you? Nope, I don't remember.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2003 10:58 am (UTC)
You're gonna laugh, but we had the huge Illustrated Children's Bible too, and my favorite story was about the plague of the frogs on Egypt. :) I just loved the pictures of the frogs everywhere.
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:06 am (UTC)
I chuckled, not laughed.

And you're right -- I forgot about the plague stories! They're way cool. I still enjoy watching "Prince Of Egypt" on DVD!
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:03 am (UTC)
I also had The Children's Bible. Lord only knows how one found its way into my hands, the conclusion of my parents (who would have never bought me such a thing) and my grandparents (who would have bought me such a thing if they didn't disapprove of the condensed retellings) is that it was a gift from my godparents. I actually enjoyed having it, and found it more useful when I decided to read the Bible for the first time in middle school and needed a little help figuring out the basic gist of some of the stories amongst all the thous and begats and red lettering.

HEY! I can comment on this post! I haven't been able to comment on or view your Friday Five posts for months. :)
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:11 am (UTC)
Yay! Welcome back to my comment pages!

I guess either you're not using Mozilla anymore (or you got an upgrade), or perhaps LiveJournal fixed something that may have been broken in S2 with Mozilla.

Or maybe I should just do FridayFive posts on Mondays from here on out. ;-)

I definitely agree that it's often a lot easier to understand what's going on in the Bible if you've got some sort of guide to help you the first time you go through it. That guide can be a commentary, good notes that are in some Bibles, a real person who you can bounce questions off, etc. But the more I think about it, the more I think having a children's Bible is probably a good supplement for that sort of thing.

Great, now that I've somewhat convinced Mrs. Mellow that I have probably bought all of the Bibles I "need" for a while now, I'm beginning to convince myself that I need to get a Children's Bible now! Thanks a bunch! ;-)
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:20 am (UTC)
Chronicles of Narnia!
Did you ever read CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia? Easily my favorite collection of books from when I was a child. I still have my set, with the book in the order written, not the order the story unfolds (all of the sets that I've seen for sale today start with "The Magician's Nephew", not "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe").

I knew about the Christological references (IIRC, when we read "Lion/Witch/Wardrobe" in 3rd grade in NYC public schools, this was discussed. There's nothing like talking about Jesus references in a class with a Jewish teacher and half the students being Jewish. I'd be surprised if LWW would be allowed in school today), and even though I'm not a Christian, they're still wonderful books that I plan on sharing with my children. They might have to get their own set, though ;-)
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:31 am (UTC)
Chronicles of Narnia!
As a non-Christian who normally avoids Christian propaganda (the term sounds unkind, I don't mean it to), I've always appreciated the Chronicles of Narnia for teaching plain ol' good values, be they Christian or not. They were also a great starting point for discussing religion with my little sister, who came to me of her own accord after reading the Chronicles for the first time and asked, "So Aslan's like God, isn't he?" My whole family has always been a little surprised (and pleased) that one of the messages is one that the churchgoing folk in our community would consider quite anti-Christian: That if you do good, it matters not whose name you do it in.

They're also just extremely wonderful and delightful stories.
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:49 am (UTC)
Chronicles of Narnia!
Three Mellow Points to Misty for correct use of the term "propaganda" accompanied by a disclaimer that its use was not intended to be unkind. Save your points up for valuable prizes at the end of the game.

I also like the Chronicles because they can be used as a non-threatening starting point for discussions about Christianity (and/or other religions). So they can be enjoyed on a theological plane -- that's the bonus. Like you mentioned, too, they can be enjoyed as just great stories in their own right. That's a rare combination.

Take, for example, "Left Behind" -- the current fad in Christian fiction. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed the series. But I wouldn't dream of recommending anything beyond the first book (and maybe not even the first book) to my non-Christian friends. I just can't see how the series could be enjoyable to someone who didn't accept a lot of Christian beliefs -- especially related to end-of-the-world prophesy -- as truth. Narnia, on the other hand, doesn't require you to "drink the Kool-Aid" or "swallow the pill" in order to enjoy it.

The list of literature that is designed to be enjoyable and (as a bonus) can be easily used as Christian propaganda is small. It includes things like Lewis and Tolkein. It's not too much of a stretch to get it out of Harry Potter, but I don't that that was intentional on the author's part like it was with Lewis and probably Tolkein. On the other hand, the list of literature that was designed primarily as Christian propaganda and turned out to be not as enjoyable in its own right is rather large.

All of these thoughts coming to you from a dyed-in-the-wool born-again Christian, and one who is saddened by the lack of good "Christian" literature that is also good literature in its own right.
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:33 am (UTC)
Chronicles of Narnia!
Yeah! I read LWW, but not the rest of the Chronicles. I'm fairly familiar with the whole epic, though.

Lewis is a great writer. It's fun to read his fiction, and it's fun to read his non-fiction. Argh. Now you've planted the Lewis bug back in my head again. I've got a stack of Lewis books that I want to read (and re-read in some cases).

It's like when working on my Job lessons for Sunday School, I came across the following Lewis quote: "Why should the righteous suffer? Why not? They're the only ones who can handle it!" I really dig his writing style.

And, yeah, I agree. LWW would probably have a difficult time getting tought in public school nowadays. It would certainly have a difficult time getting a complete discussion. And that's just plain wrong. Whether you're a Christian or not, it requires a basic understanding of the Christian faith in order to appreciate a lot of literature. And you should be able to discuss that in public schools. It's not like you need to teach something along the lines of "Lewis was correct when he based these parts of his story on Christianaty because Christianity is the correct way to view the world." However, it is important to say things like "If you understand these aspects of Christianity, you can better understand where Lewis was coming from when he wrote this." There need not be anything "religious" about it.

All that on top of the fact that the so-called "separation of Church and State" is a made-up sham anyway.

Congratulations, you just earned 4 Mellow Points. Save your points for valuable prizes at the end of the game. You have brought out the ire in me that can only be brought out when discussing religion. And politics. And history. At the same time. :-D
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:43 am (UTC)
Chronicles of Narnia!
One of the great things about my highschool was that there were very few people who kicked up a fuss about that separation of church and state stuff, so we were able to do things like discuss Christianity and other religions in appropriate contexts.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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