Theology and The Black Company

Cover Template 9.2

The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace: More Than a Memory
By Richard C. Barcellos

In this book you will find a comprehensive study of the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace and encouragement to view it with a past, present, and future perspective. (Though I tend to want to yell “The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future” every time I think about this. My problem, not yours.)
While this book was a fairly quick read, I think large portions of it went over my head especially in the middle. Even with that it was a valuable and encouraging read. I have felt convicted for a while now about my lack of understanding of the Lord’s Supper and the practical chapters at the end were very helpful to me. I plan on re-reading this book again in the future and recommend it even for the layman. If you are struggling to understand the Lord’s Supper, or the means of grace, you need to add this to your list.


The Black Company

By Glen Cook

I’ve read this book twice and absolutely loved it both times. I love the writing style, though you should be warned, it takes some getting used to. I tend to get into an author’s cadence pretty quickly, but even the second time through, it took me almost half the book to feel in the flow. Cook writes with a very clipped vocabulary which does turn some people off of the story.
The Black Company is basically a military book in a fantasy setting. It’s gritty, bloody, rough, ragged, and wonderful all at the same time. The characters are fun and interesting. The world is well developed. I really enjoyed this story. I loved seeing the hardened men softened by a little girl. I love how the mercenaries try to find the lines of right and wrong. I love how Cook breaks so many of the fantasy rules, even rules I love, to make a very down to earth story.
I think this is one of my favorites in the fantasy genre. I would put it next to Starship Troopers as far as military fantasy goes.
Rated R: war, adult situations, language


Shadows Linger

By Glen Cook

This is one of those books I read in one day… granted I was sick and had nothing better to do. Cook’s voice seemed to change quite a bit from book 1 to book 2. All the force of the story was there, but the clipped nature of his writing seems to have mellowed. Many who struggled through book 1 will enjoy book 2 more.
I really like how the pace didn’t slow down from one book to the next even though the events are very different.
I spent most of the book screaming about Raven and his lack of life or death. He’s my favorite character.
Ultimately this is a redemption story and I enjoy that element of it quite a bit. It wasn’t a “Christian” redemption, but a very human redemption which I always view as a shadow of what God did even when an unbeliever expresses it. Even they can’t escape this beautiful element of story telling. I really enjoyed the villain in this story. It was very creepy and unique. (I’m being vague for spoilers sake.) And I enjoyed the violent, redemptive, resentful end as well, though I was sad for all that happened to the Black Company.
I did feel like this book was a bit earthier than the last one, still very good.

Last, the cover is just so bad. They really really need to re-design it. Please don’t judge this book by it’s horrible cover art.
Rated R: violence, language, earthiness.


Living in the Hope of Glory: A New Translation of a Spiritual Classic
By Adolph Monod

I think out of all the books I’ve read this year, this one is my favorite. Mike Gaydosh over at Solid Ground Publishing suggested it at our church’s conference this fall and I knew I wanted to read it right away. It is a collection of sermons preached by Monod a few months before he passed away. Every Sunday as he lay dying he would have a handful of fellow Christians over and they would enjoy the Lord’s Supper together and he would preach a small sermon. What a blessing to get to see this dear brother’s heart only months before he met the Lord. What riches and truth we can share in due to the hard work of the translator.
I was blessed over and over again by this brother who has gone before me. His perspective on life was convicting. His thoughts on affliction were so encouraging, and his last sermon on God’s love brought tears to my eyes as I thought of it being the last sermon he preached.
I can’t put into words how thankful I am for this book. It’s going to be hard not to just start it right over again. If you are looking for something to feed your soul and compliment what your pastors preach on Sunday, this is my suggestion. Read this book!

(If you click on the links, it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase the book. Bonus! I get a tiny kickback. 🙂 Thank you!)



Quote of the Weekend

“Am I sick? Health is mine, strength is mine, well-being is mine, a perfect enjoyment of all the good things of life is mine, because all that is Christ’s, who is God’s and who dispenses them according to his pleasure. And to whom would he dispense them if not to me, his child? If then he refuses them to me today, for a fleeting moment that passes like a ship of the mist, he has his reasons. It is because there are in those pains and this bitterness hidden blessing that are worth more to me than that health which is so precious or that well-being which is so sweet. He will never deprive me of any good except to give me some other, better one. That is my consolation; it is all in his love.” – Living in the Hope of Glory by Adolph Monod

(I think this may be my most favorite religious books. They are sermons preached by Monod from his sick bed during the last few months of his life, and I have found them rich.)