What I Read in February 2019

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson reveals da Vinci as a genius, not only a revolutionary in painting, but in several sciences (optics, hydrology, anatomy).  It can rightly be said that da Vinci, if he had ever published his notebooks, would be credited with many of the breakthrough “theories” that later were developed by others, such as Newton and Bernoulli.

Isaacson concludes his book by noting several principles of creativity we can learn from da Vinci’s life.  I’m just listing them without much explanation.  They are on pages 519-524.

  1. Be curious, relentlessly curious.

  2. Seek knowledge for its own sake.

  3. Retain a childlike sense of wonder.

  4. Observe.

  5. Start with the details.

  6. See things unseen.

  7. Go down rabbit holes.

  8. Get distracted.

  9. Respect facts.

  10. Procrastinate.

  11. Let the perfect be the enemy of the good (don’t settle).

  12. Think visually.

  13. Avoid silos (think across disciplines).

  14. Let your reach exceed your grasp (be a visionary).

  15. Indulge fantasy.

  16. Create for yourself, not just for patrons.

  17. Collaborate.

  18. Make lists.

  19. Take notes, on paper.

  20. Be open to mystery.

Christianity at the Crossroads by Michael Kruger

This book is about the second century, a significant century in which Christianity distinguished itself from Judaism (chap 1), faced both political and intellectual persecution (chap 2), began to develop a definite ecclesiology (chap 3), warded off heresies (chaps 4-5) by developing a “rule of faith” (a doctrinal summary), became a “bookish” movement with the beginnings of a common core canon even though the culture was still very oral and not very literate (chaps 6-7).

Published by

Lamar Austin

I've graduated from Citadel Bible College in Ozark, Arkansas, with a B. A. Then got my M. Div. and Th. M. at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. I finished with a D. Min. degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, but keep on learning. I pastored at Chinese Christian Church of Greater Washington, D. C., was on staff at East Evangelical Free Church in Wichita, KS, tried to plant an EFC in Little Rock, before moving back home to Mena, where I now pastor my home church, Grace Bible Church

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