>I’ve been quite the little bookworm lately. I’ve just recently finished Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and I then moved onto Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell. I finished Rob Bell’s manifesto in a week and decided to tackle Anthem, another novel written by Ayn Rand. Below is my little synopsis of what I thought of each book, mainly Anthem though. This is nowhere near a book review, so don’t expect anything fancy.
If anyone has read any of Rand’s novels, it would come to be very surprising that I would even read a Christian book after. I suppose I didn’t realize this until I finished reading Anthem. It was then that my curiosity was piqued and I wanted to know if Rand was an atheist. Funny, right? I ended up visiting her website for more information on the background of the very deceased Rand – Anthem was released in 1938; Atlas Shrugged was released in 1957, putting Rand’s birth date in the 1900’s – and found it very enlightening.
Her response in an interview with Playboy (how convenient) on her view of religion went like so:
Qua religion, no—in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man’s life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy.
Oh, boy. Well, I suppose I could have gathered that outlook from Anthem and its strict moral code of man being restricted by man and/or gods, and Rand writing how no one should ever have these restrictions. However, I did not get the same feel from Atlas Shrugged, although she did throw out a few choice point-of-views on God throughout the book. As far as Atlas Shrugged, I took the book to be more directed at man being on his own and making his own, therefore, earning his own. Understandable. 1,168 pages of understanding. What ever novel, it is painfully obvious that Rand is against the effort of helping out anyone beyond herself; just read any of her novels and her focus of being anti-social.
It almost makes you wonder the type of person Rand was. Did she ever have friends or a social life for that matter? I don’t even want to question the act of her even being a mother figure. Anyway, outside of her anti-everything, she is a great writer. I would definitely recommend Atlas Shrugged to any bookworm, and Anthem to anyone whose ego suits them well – there’s irony in that statement.
For the manifesto by Rob Bell, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, I would recommend this to any new Christian who would like to get a better understanding of the Old Testament. The book truly helped me out when it came to finding the compassion within myself and do-something mentality to help out others. The only disagreement I had with the book was the liberal agenda that Bell pressed. He was a mere two words from saying “I really dislike George W. Bush” but you can’t really do that as a Christian author, so he chose to beat around the bush. Clever.
All-in-all, I’m a bookworm and if you’re bookworm, I’d love to hear your recommendations for any novels that you’ve read lately. Insert smiley face.