Saturday, March 24, 2007

Big Gift, Big Read

My friend, Tony Weedor, gave me a copy of the Durants' The Story of Civilization! This set was in terrific condition, even retaining the original dust jackets. Tony found it wonderfully underpriced at a garage sale. (Thank God for some kinds of ignorance.) He already had two sets, and he has read the entire set twice.

This brings to mind the idea of actually reading multi-volume sets. Who does this anymore? If I read 5-10 pages a day, I might be able to finish it in a few years--assuming I live that long. The specifics of timing require calculations not yet made. (The book mark is on page 31 of volume one for now.)

How many of you read or have read large sets of books? What do you you make of the idea? I read the first four volumes of Carl Henry's God, Revelation, and Authority in the summer of 1981. That was the last big conquest.

16 comments:

Kevin Stilley said...

I read all nine volumes of Coppleston a few years back. But, I have a life now so I try to avoid such undertakings.

Douglas Groothuis said...

Having that much time to read Coppleston is a good life!

Mark Pike said...

Successfully read Churchill on World War 2 and History of the English Speaking Peoples. Unsuccessful on Barth's Church Dogmatics. I had a professor who was big on Barth and thought I would be too . . . didn't happen.

Douglas Groothuis said...

Mark:

You are better served by reading the collected works of Francis Schaeffer and/or God, Revelation, and Authority (6 vols.) by Carl Henry.

Mr. Brooks said...

I'm looking to sink my teeth into N.T. Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God. I can't wait for his volume on Paul to come out to expand the series.

Keith Brooks

Timo_the_Osprey said...

Hmm, does Lord of the Rings trilogy count?

hobie said...

Shelby Foote's The Civil War; a great war (if there are great wars; recall Robert E Lee's comment that it is good that war is so terrible, lest we should grow fond of it) retold by one of the 20th century's underrated storytellers.

MJ said...

I began Pelikan and hope to add Barth and finish Schaeffer soon...after law school (come quickly, December!).

I had a remarkable history professor who instilled the love of reading primary works, especially the standard works of great thinkers. I'd rather hear their whole story and read fewer works than indulge in myriad staccato thoughts from shorter books.

Speaking of the Civil War, I watched my dad read all of D.S. Freeman's work on R.E. Lee as a child. It always impressed me how a man who never finished college soaked up 3,000 pp+ on the standard bio of a great war general. Perhaps that left a propensity read volumes as well.

Thank God for the people in our lives who make these inteleectual contributions.

MJ said...

...except my spelling errors do not appear quite so intellectual... :)

Davis said...

I would love to knock out the entire 'Summa Theologica' and 'Summa Contra Gentiles' by Saint Thomas.

D. A. Armstrong said...

I'm in the process of reading the 2 Volume Complete works of Aristotle. I've read over half of it now, although not all completely in order. A few times, when I had a short period of time and hadn't started a new book, I would read some of the shorter books in there. I would like to read all 9 volumes of Coppleston one day.

Brian said...

I hope to eventually read all of N.T. Wright's "Christian Origins and the Question of God" series. I currently only own The Resurrection of the Son of God, which is 700-some pages itself and I think the others are just as large.

Jon said...

I'm currently reading through Augustine's City of God, which is his collection of 22 "books" totaling about 1100 pages. It's a very interesting read; I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in early Christianity or the Roman Empire.

Jeremy said...

I own all nine volumes of Coppleston (it was my graduation gift to myself). Hopefully I get to start it this summer.

I'd also like to read Russell's autobiography (I think it's two volumes, of which I own the second).

Aslan Cheng said...

prof. DG, I would know how you estimate Prof. Alister E. McGrath's Book :A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism
He estimated Carl Henry's thought is not good.

Douglas Groothuis said...

I disagree strongly with McGrath on this. I deal with in my book, Truth Decay, the chapter on Postmodernist Theology.