Petrus van Mastricht's Theoretical-Practical Theology presents one of the most comprehensive methods of treating Christian doctrine. In it, Mastricht treats every theological topic according to a four-part approach: exegetical, dogmatic, elenctic, and practical. As a body of divinity, it combines a rigorous, scholastic treatment of doctrine with the pastoral aim of preparing people to live for God through Christ. Students and pastors will find it a valuable model for moving from the text of Scripture to doctrinal formulation that will edify the people of God. Volume 1, Prolegomena, provides an introduction to doing systematic theology. Mastricht begins by addressing the nature of theology, wherein he lays out the proper method, subject matter, and definition of theology. He then discusses Scripture as the rule of doing theology, as it is the only infallible source and foundation for knowing God. Finally, Mastricht gives his rationale for the best distribution of theological topics. This volume also includes Mastricht's homiletical aid "The Best Method of Preaching" as well as a biographical sketch by Adriaan Neele to help readers understand the significance of Mastricht's life and ministry.
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Thomas L. Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times and is the author of six bestselling books, including The World Is Flat.
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She walks down the street with a swing in her step and a lift to her head. She radiates allure as if followed by a personal spotlight. She may be tall or short, slim or pneumatically curvaceous, dressed discreetly or ostentatiously—it matters not. Her gait, her composure, the very tilt of her head is an ode to grace and self-possession that makes her beautiful whatever her actual features reveal. She is Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Bellucci. She is the Italian woman glorified on celluloid and on the nightly passeggiata you see on your Italian vacations—but she is no figment of the adman’s imagination. She is real and gracing the streets of every city, town, and village in Italy right now. She is the embodiment of bella figura and she cuts an elegant dash through our mundane modern world.
When I arrived in Florence, I could not have been further from this ideal. Decades of working at the computer had rounded my shoulders, years of looking down into a laptop or phone had slackened my jawline and compressed my neck. The stress of a demanding job and big-city life had hardened my features. My eyes were fixed to the ground as I hurried through life, with no time to throw anyone a smile let alone a kind word. Single for years, my loneliness had calcified. I didn’t so much strut with confidence as cringe down the street.
A year in Florence—and discovering bella figura—changed my life.
The concept of bella figura is about making every aspect of life as beautiful as it can be, whether in Rome, London, New York, or Vancouver. It is a notion at once romantic and practical. It encompasses everything we do, from what we eat to how we get to work in the mornings. It’s about sensuality and sexuality. It’s about banishing the stress that, no matter how few carbs we eat and how vigorously we exercise, means our bodies are so shut down we can only ever look harrowed and pinched. Bella figura is about generosity and abundance, not meanness or deprivation. The Italian woman who lives the bella figura knows the importance of beautiful manners and a graceful demeanor, not as a nod to a bygone era, but as a means of “making the face” until it fits—it’s a proven fact that if we smile genuinely often enough, we release the happy hormone serotonin. All of this improves not only our quality of life but also the quantity of years we have.
While this book will touch on details about already well-documented benefits of the Mediterranean diet, what follows in these pages is, instead, the story of a journey. Ten years ago I moved to Florence quite by accident, and that first year I spent there changed my life, my body, and the shape of my heart. I believe that what I learned can change yours too.
Chapter 1 - Festina lente or How to Slow Down
It all began with rain. It fell in heavy sheets as I was lined up waiting for a taxi at Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. The line was not under cover and I didn’t have an umbrella. By the time I got into the cab, I was soaking wet.
I was in a city where I didn’t know a soul, unanchored from work, friends and family, a piece of human flotsam washed up in its Renaissance gutters. All I had, clutched in my damp hand, was the address of the apartment where I was to stay. As I reached the top of the line, I uncrumpled it, showed it to the cab driver, and got in. He grunted and pulled out, frowning at the thought of a puddle forming at my feet behind him.
We swept through the slick cobbled streets. The heating was on full blast and my sodden coat was fogging up the cab. I peered through steamed-up windows at the stone walls of ancient buildings rising up on either side of the road, water dripping off their deep eaves. The streets were deserted—it was January 2 and the city was still sleeping off its hangover. My own New Year’s Eve had been spent stuffing boxes into corners in my parents’ apartment under the beady eye of my mother, who said nothing but whose every breath asked me what on earth I thought I was doing, giving up a good apartment and a job so prestigious it came with embossed business cards to move my possessions into her already overcrowded apartment and flit off to Florence to play at being a writer. I may as well have announced I was going to Italy to run a brothel.
The cab driver slowed down, gestured to the left and grunted. I turned around to take in the majestic proportions of a colonnaded piazza, a cathedral looming up at the end of the square, its white façade reflected in the glistening ground. My mouth fell open.
It wasn’t just the beauty of the square, but the theatricality of it too; the way the eye was led to the façade of the church. “Si chiama Santa Croce,” the driver said. Then, indicating the statue of a scowling man, he said, “E quello li è Dante.” Dante looked as grumpy and bad-tempered as my cab driver, yet I was cheered. The man credited with inventing the modern Italian language in his Divine Comedy was standing right there, holding a book in his stony hands, looking at me with his basilisk stare. It was a good omen.
The basilica stood solidly behind Dante’s statue, the entire square constructed to induce awe in the insignificant human approaching it, as well as delight and marvel in the beauty. It was my first brush with the perfection of Italian presentation, the importance of the harmony of form, the genius of the impact on the onlooker, the moral weight given to beauty. It was bella figura embodied in stone and marble.
We crossed a nondescript bridge. This time the cabbie pointed to the right where the Ponte Vecchio squatted over the river on low arches. Lit up against the night, its row of matchbox shops hanging over the water, it shimmered like a dream. I took it in, wide-eyed, as we drove on, swinging into the Oltrarno, the other side of the River Arno from the historic center, winding through cobbled streets to pull up at my new front door.
“Eccoci,” the driver said as he heaved himself from his seat. I paid and stepped out straight into a puddle. I hurried into the entrance hall, taking in its cavernous proportions as I dripped onto the flagstone floor. A flight of wide stone stairs twisted off to the right and I lugged my bags up, stopping to rest on a narrow bench on what felt like the 108th floor, panting. It was still a long way from the top. The steps dipped in the middle, worn by centuries of feet: the building dated from the seventeenth century, the silence thick with ghosts. I resumed my climb and finally stood in front of a Tiffany-blue door, its paint cracked and curling. The lock was a massive iron box with a large keyhole—fortified, ancient. I pulled out an equally antiquated-looking key and opened the door.
A long corridor with a rough stone floor stretched away from me. It was freezing, my breath fogged into the air. Halfway down I found a dark bedroom with two single beds and an enormous wooden chest of drawers, and I dropped my bags before going back out into the corridor to find the heating, switching it on, shedding my wet coat, and grabbing a blanket and wrapping it tight around me.
The apartment, which would be my new home for who-knew-how-long, was stuffy as well as cold. The corridor opened into a chain of rooms linking one to the next, what interior-design magazines call a shotgun apartment: a sitting room with large, shuttered casement windows, a sofa bed and a rickety table with haphazard piles of books. A long and spacious kitchen led off the top of the sitting room. The sink, cupboards, and oven ranged along the right, while, on the left, a table sat under another set of double windows. At the far end of the kitchen, another sitting room was set at a right angle, with a long corner sofa, behind which a shelving unit was wobbly with stacks of books. In the far corner, the only door in the whole apartment apart from the front door closed off a small bathroom.
I regarded myself in the mirror above the sink: my hair was frizzy from the journey, there were shadows under my eyes, and I could see the glowing red mark of a new spot erupting on my chin. Or chins, I should say. My Big Job had made me hate my reflection. The years had been marked by inexplicable, distressing weight gain: rolls appearing not just around my middle but on my back, under my face, hanging from my upper arms; I tried every healthy diet going and eliminated every kind of bad food as identified by the latest fad, to no avail. Acne, which had given me a wide berth when I was a teenager, came to get me with gusto; my skin had broken out. I tried not to care, but the industry I worked in made that impossible—a glossy magazine company in which the daily elevator ride required nerves of steel, a pre-season designer wardrobe, and the insouciance of Kate Moss. I had draped myself in black shapeless clothes instead and avoided the elevator.
I sighed and turned away, going back to the windows in the kitchen. In spite of the cold and the rain, I threw them open and leaned forward, peering into the darkness.
Outside, a dark, silent courtyard was overlooked by windows, balconies, and terra-cotta roofs. On the far side watching over it all was the tower of the local church, a slim stone structure from the seventeenth century. Four green bells peeked through small arches, a jigsaw of brickwork around the top the only decoration. All around, the windows of the other apartments were dark. Rain fell into the silence.
Christobel’s tower, I thought, remembering the first time I had heard about it.
I had met Christobel when I accepted a last-minute invitation to vacation at a friend’s home in France. Christobel was another guest. She had white hair with a stripe of black running down the middle, and a diamond that glittered in the corner of her nose. An unlikely look for a fairy godmother, but then, Disney never dreamed up one as sassy and smart as Christobel.
I learned that she was a novelist, wife to a Cambridge academic and mother to five children. She told me how she had fallen in love with Italy when she had spent a year in Florence teaching English. She had traveled back regularly, and somewhere along the line had bought an apartment, talking dreamily of a courtyard and a church tower. She managed a visit most months—two days in which to be alone, no children tugging at her skirt, to wander the streets visiting her favorite haunts for cappuccinos, for designer frocks, and handmade shoes. She wrote it all into thrillers set in the city, her characters retracing the steps she took around town, her plots imagining the dark underbelly of the place she loved for its beauty but was compelled by for its mystery. She had published three novels and was working on her fourth. I couldn’t imagine how she fitted it all in. “I have a full-time job and a cat, and I still can’t figure out how to wash my hair during the week,” I had said, and, laughing, we had bonded.
Lying under an olive tree one hot day, Christobel had suggested that I retreat to her apartment in Florence to write the book I dreamed of undertaking. I had scoffed at the time—it was a lovely dream but as far from my reality as could be. After all, I had a Big Job anchoring me in London, I was far too busy to take off like that.
And then, in just a few months, I had lost my Big Job and been evicted from my apartment. Even my cat had deserted me, climbing out the window one day, never to be seen again. As if she had sniffed out my despair, Christobel rang me one winter night, as I sat among my boxes. At my news, she clapped her hands in delight. “So now there’s nothing to stop you going to Florence in January to write,” she said, and started making plans before I had agreed. So I had taken the hint life was emphatically giving me, drawn a deep breath, packed my book proposal, and stepped off the edge of the cliff. A cliff with a Renaissance face, but a cliff nonetheless.
Excerpted from "Bella Figura"
Copyright © 2018 Kamin Mohammadi.
Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Editor's Preface xi
Translator's Preface xvii
Petrus van Mastricht (1630-1706): Life and Work xxv
Funeral Oration for Petrus van Mastricht lxv
The Best Method of Preaching
I Preface 3
II The parts of preaching 5
III Twofold invention 5
IV The arrangement of a sermon and its laws 6
V An inquiry into the introduction 7
VI The content of the text 9
VII The analysis and the exposition of the text 9
VIII Five parts of the doctrinal argument 11
IX The informatory use 16
X The elenctic use 16
XI The consolatory use 18
XII The rebuking use 20
XIII The exploratory use 22
XIV The hortatory use 25
XV Some cautions 28
XVI How the more lengthy texts should be handled 29
XVII Delivery 29
XVIII The reasons why this is the best method 30
Part 1 Prolegomena and Faith
Book 1 Prolegomena of Theoretical-Practical Theology 1699 Dedication 39
1699 Preface 43
Methodical Arrangement of the Whole Work 47
Chapter 1 The Nature of Theology 63
I Introduction 63
The Exegetical Part
II Exegesis of 1 Timothy 6:2-3 64
First Theorem-The Method of Geology
The Dogmatic Part
III Theology must be taught in a certain order 67
IV The need for method in theology 68
V The sort of method that must be employed 69
The Elenctic Part
VI Must theology be taught according to a certain method? 70
The Practical Part
VII The first use is for censuring 71
VIII The second use is for exhortation 71
Second Theorem-The Definitum of Theology
The Dogmatic Part
IX Only a theoretical-practical Christian theology must be pursued 73
X It is proved from the Scriptures 73
XI It is confirmed by three reasons 73
XII That theology is given 74
XIII Its name 74
XIV Its synonyms 76
XV Homonyms 76
XVI Christian theology 77
XVII Natural theology: A. Its parts 77
XVIII B. Its fourfold use 78
XIX C. A threefold abuse 78
XX Theoretical-practical theology 78
XXI The distribution of false religions 79
The Elenctic Part
XXII 1. Is the theology of the pagans true? 80
XXIII 2. Is any kind of natural theology allowed? 82
XXIV 3. Is natural theology sufficient for salvation? 83
XXV 4. What should we think about scholastic theology? 85
The Practical Part
XXVI The first point of practice, examination 86
XXVII Second: shunning any false theology 88
XXVIII Third: the study of true theology 89
XXIX Motives for the study of Christian theology 90
XXX The means of obtaining theology 92
XXXI Eleven rules of academic study 94
XXXII Fourth: the study of practical theology 95
XXXIII Its marks 95
XXXIV Its motives 96
XXXV The means of obtaining a practical theology 97
Third Theorem-The Definition of Theology
The Dogmatic Part
XXXVI Theology is the doctrine of living for God through Christ 98
XXXVII It is confirmed by reasons 99
XXXVIII That it is termed doctrine, and why 100
XXXIX The object of theology is "living" 101
XL Living for God 101
XLI Different kinds of life 101
XLII Living for God through Christ 102
XLIII The first deduction, concerning the end of theology 103
XLIV Its object 104
XLV Its excellence 104
The Elenctic Part
XLVI Problems: 1. Is theology wisdom or prudence? 104
XLVII 2. What is its object? 105
XLVIII 3. Is it a theoretical or a practical habit? 106
The Practical Part
XLIX The first use, reproof 107
L The second use, examination 108
LI The third use, exhortation, that we live for God 109
LII Living for God demands specifically: 1. The threefold aim 109
LIII 2. The threefold norm 110
LIV 3. The order 110
LV Nine motives to live for God 111
LVI The manner of living for God, in three things 112
LVII Finally six means 112
Chapter 2 Holy Scripture 113
I Introduction 113
The Exegetical Part
II Exegesis of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 113
The Dogmatic Part
III Scripture is the perfect rule of living for God 117
IV It is confirmed by reasons: The first reason, from hypotheses 117
V The second reason, from the five requirements of a rule 118
VI Holy Scripture is explained: 1. The term Scripture 119
VII Synonyms of Scripture 120
VIII 2. The canonical parts of Scripture 120
IX The apocryphal books are rejected 121
X The authentic edition of Scripture 123
XI Editions in the vernacular 124
XII 3. The origin of Scripture 125
XIII The method of composing Holy Scripture 126
XIV 4. The properties of Scripture: (1) Authority 126
XV (2) Truth 127
XVI (3) Integrity 127
XVII (4) Sanctity 127
XVIII (5) Perspicuity 128
XIX (6) Perfection 128
XX (7) Necessity 129
XXI (8) Efficacy 130
The Elenctic Part
XXII 1. Is there any written Word of God? 131
XXIII The divine authority of Scripture is demonstrated by testimonies and seven reasons 133
XXIV 2. Has our Scripture been so corrupted that it was necessary to substitute the Quran for it? (1) Scripture has not been corrupted 137
XXV (2) Muhammad is not a true prophet 139
XXVI (3) The Quran is not a divine writing 140
XXVII With the Jews it is asked: 1. Has the oral law been given in addition to the written law? 141
XXVIII 2. Does the Talmud have divine authority? 144
XXIX 3. Does the kabbalah have divine authority? 146
XXX 4. Does the New Testament have divine authority? 147
XXXI Our eleven arguments for the divine authority of the New Testament 149
XXXII Other objections 152
XXXIII Do believers possess inspirations from the Holy Spirit? 153
XXXIV Is human reason the infallible norm of interpreting Scripture? 155
XXXV Is the Old Testament now abrogated or less necessary to read than the New Testament? 157
XXXVI Objections 158
XXXVII With the papists it is disputed: Does the authority of Scripture depend on the church? 159
XXXVIII Objections 160
XXXIX Should the books that we call the Apocrypha be numbered with the canonical books? 161
XL Are any non-original editions authentic? 162
XLI Are the Hebrew and Greek sources corrupted? 164
XLII Objections 165
XLIII Should Scripture be translated into the vernacular languages? 166
XLIV The reasons of the papists 166
XLV Should Scripture be read by the common people? 167
XLVI Is Scripture obscure? 167
XLVII Does Scripture allow more than one sense? 168
XLVIII Objections 169
XLIX Is there, besides and beyond Scripture, any infallible norm for interpreting it? 170
L The affirmative position 171
LI Is there some infallible judge of controversies on earth? 172
LII What the papists claim 173
LIII Should the judgment of controversies be relinquished to some sort of private judgment? 174
LV Is Scripture the perfect norm of faith and life? 175
LVI Are sacred traditions besides Scripture necessary? 177
LVII What the papists claim 177
LVIII Is Scripture necessary now for the church? 178
LIX Did Scripture arise only by fortuitous circumstances, and not by divine command? 180
LX Is Scripture not so much the perfect rule of believing and living as it is a useful kind of reminder? 181
The Practical Part
LXI The first use, impressing the authority of Scripture upon its hearers 182
LXII The way to assert and urge the divine authority of Scripture 183
LXIII The second use, the love of the divine Word 1. The parts of this love 185
LXIV 2. Seven motives for loving Scripture 185
LXV 3. The manner of loving Scripture 187
LXVI 4. The means to kindle love for Scripture 188
LXVII The third use, concerning contempt or hatred of the divine Word 188
LXVIII The fourth use, the study of the divine Word 188
LXIX The fifth use, the reading of the divine Word 190
LXX The sixth use, the hearing of the Word 191
LXXI The seventh use, the interpretation of Scripture 193
LXXII The means of interpreting Scripture: For those educated in letters 193
LXXIII The means of interpreting for everyone 194
LXXIV The eighth use, meditation: 1. What is meditation? 195
LXXV 2. That we should meditate 196
LXXVI 3. Why should we meditate? 197
LXXVII 4. How must we meditate? 197
LXXVIII The ninth use, conversations about the Scriptures 199
LXXIX Motives 199
LXXX Those obliged to this duty 199
LXXXI Impediments 200
LXXXII Aids 200
LXXXIII The manner 200
LXXXIV The tenth use, the observance or practice of the Word 201
Chapter 3 The Distribution of Theology 203
I Introduction 203
The Exegetical Part
II Exegesis of 2 Timothy 1:13 203
The Dogmatic Part
III The parts of theology are faith and love 204
IV It is confirmed by four reasons 206
V It is explained in three parts 206
The Elenctic Part
VI Theologians' contrary or different distributions are examined 207
VII It is asked whether the Socinian and Arminian distributions are genuine 207
The Practical Part
VIII The first use, rebuke 208
IX The second use, exhortation 209
X The delineation of this whole theology text 210
Board of the Dutch Reformed Theological Society 213
Scripture Index 215
Subject Index 229
Reading Group Guide
1. Do you see a relationship between the kind of work Marian does in consumer research with the particular way her life begins to disintegrate?
2. Peter is afraid of being captured by a woman, of losing his freedom; Marian begins to feel hunted, caught in his gaze; eventually she even confuses his camera with a gun. In what ways can all the characters seem at once to be hunter then predator, master then slave, subject then object?
3. Two parties take place in the book, the office party and the engagement party. Discuss what these parties do for the structure and development of the novel.
4. Sexual identity lies at the heart of much of the story. Discuss the role Marian's roommate Ainsley, her friend Claire, and finally the "office Virgins" play in helping define Marian's dilemma. Discuss the men: Why is Marian drawn to Duncan? Contrast him with Peter.
5. The novel is narrated in first person in parts one and three, third person in part two. What is the effect on the reader of the change in voice?
6. Margaret Atwood has described The Edible Woman, her first novel, as an "anti-comedy," with themes many now see as proto-feminist. Give examples of Atwood's clever use of food images throughout the book.
7. First Marian drops meat from her diet, then, eggs, vegetables, even pumpkin seeds. Can you point to the incidents that precede each elimination from her diet? How does her lack of appetite compare or contrast with Duncan's unnatural thinness, his stated desire to become "an amoeba?"
8. What is the meaning of the cake Marian serves Peter at the novel's end? What is the significance of her eating the cake?
9. Margaret Atwood is a writer who often plays with fair-tale images in her work. "The Robber Bridegroom" (which she much later turns on its head with The Robber Bride) was likely an inspiration for The Edible Woman: the old crone warns the bride-to-be " . . . the only marriage you'll celebrate will be with death. . . . When they have you in their power they'll chop you up in pieces . . . then they'll cook you and eat you, because they are cannibals." What images of cannibalism does Atwood use? Do you see traces of other fairy tales in this novel?
10. At the time The Edible Woman was written in 1965, food, eating, and weight issues had not yet attracted wide attention as feminist concerns. Three decades later, in The Beauty Myth, author Naomi Wolf observes that the obsession with thinness began to become a serious national problem for women America around 1920, coinciding with women's right to vote; studies indicate that today nearly half of American young women have had at one time or other had an eating disorder. What are the symbolic meanings of food, and why does it become the focus for so much anxiety?
Discussion questions provided courtesy of Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Physician and author, Dr. Allen Spreen, serves as a panelist for the Health Sciences Institute, an organization dedicated to uncovering and researching advances in underground medicine.According to the author "we are Not winning the war on cancer" and the rates are rising world wide.Thru the authors research, he has gathered twenty five of the worlds most promising therapies that have be shown to cure, not treat, but cure cancer. Listed is some of the wonderful discoveries....Max Gersons Cancer Detox Diet....Dr Budwig's Cancer Defying Diet...The Graviola fruit found in Haiti, Jamaica, Brazil, and Mexico,... Curaderm...Peels of Citrus Fruits...Vitamin C in IV form....and many more plus a list of alkalizing foods you can eat while you are on your way to fixing what ailes you. Also listed are where you can get information for these wonderful therapies. If you are fortunate enough to purchase the book, pass the word on....And for more Afrikan Centered modalites, in addition to the above, Afrikan Americans, might want to look at the therapies of Dr.Salle, Queen Afua, Dr. Laila Afrika, and these are but a few......
I have to be honest about the cover on this - the Amazon picture on the left really doesn't do it justice at all. The colour of the hard backed cover of the case is an antique yellow, with very intricate and eye catching illustrations on both sides, and mini illustrations of a couple of the storytelling cards on the middle of the cover. This review is for the starter storytelling pack. Additional Storyworld cards are available, (reviews to follow on a couple).This was a pure delight to open. Both of the Young Reviewers were in awe from the moment they opened the package, which is always a fantastic start! The top opens like a book; the first half contains a book within it's dvd type cardboard holder, whilst the bottom half contains the 40 gorgeous Storyworld cards. This is a total work of art from start to finish, and is exceptionally well presented.The idea behind this is so simple, and very worthwhile. Beautifully illustrated cards are used as prompts to aid in storytelling. The included storytelling book details how the 40 cards could be used, along with more in depth ideas for each of them. On the reverse of each card is a brief description, along with three questions to help storytellers to use them as an aid in their stories. Each card is stunning. That's the only word that describes them for me.The cards have enough detail to help even the most shyest storyteller want to have a go. I can say this confidently as a parent. Our youngest reviewer who's 4, loves stories. He loves listening to them and preempting what is coming - as long as he knows the story. Since these arrived, every night he's not just wanted stories. He's wanted to *make* stories and rushes upstairs in anticipation of it! I love it. Whilst I'm not suggesting all children will behave in this way, Storyworld is becoming a fantastic part of our evening, and has brought everything from fairies to knights and rainbows into our childrens imagination and storytelling. It's giving them the confidence to think about how a story is made up, to learn from each other, and to share, whilst encouraging them to expand on their skills.I haven't used the book that came with the cards much at the moment, I didn't want to be too rigid. It's worked well so far and the cards are so detailed we've all found a new story to tell (and yes, us adults take part too each evening). For usability these are great. As a parent I always look for value for money in things we use regularly...this has by far exceeded my expectations, and there's a lot more stories to come yet!In summary, this is truly stunning, with beautiful illustrations on each and every of the 40 tell your own story cards, presented in a book presentation format and ready to use, alongside a storytelling book. Storyworld provides the inspiration. The only thing needed is a tiny bit of imagination and you're away.A few words from Harry, 4:I like all of it! A few words from Shaun, 8:Very, very, very good. I like being able to make up my own stories using the cards.
Five slight but enjoyable fairy tales are presented with a post modernist commentary ostensibly by Dumbledore. The commentary provides a vehicle for knowing mockery of Rowling's characters and the world of Hogwarts by their creator. I am not convinced that the jokes bear repetition, however, and the core tales do not merit a second reading by me.
Reminded me how much I love JK Rowling's writing - Dumbledore's wry asides and playful humour made me laugh out loud more than once. The strong female characters - so rare in fairy tales - are a bonus.
Rowling... What can I say, really? The woman knows how to write, and does it well. Reading this collection of fabricated fairy tales/fables was just like picking up an old Grimm collection, or an old edition of Aesop. Rowling clearly did her research before putting this together, and paid close attention to how the old tales were formulated for tone, plot, characters, setting, and delivery. She manages to deliver her own short tales with exquisite precision, crafted carefully to resemble an ancient tome of traditional stories. In short? I loved it. I greatly admire Rowling for her ability to research and then turn her acquired knowledge into entertaining fiction.
Nice little adjunct to the Harry Potter canon, the stories are good, the commentary and footnotes amusing and I now have the urge to go back and read Deathly Hallows to remember how it all fits together. Also all the profit is going to charity so there is not hint of the author desparately trying to spin out their theme.
This is a collection of five stories (The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump, The Tale of the Three Brothers) set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. They are short fairy tales as told by the fictional Beedle the Bard, with notes by Dumbledore and J.K. Rowling.An extremely quick and entertaining read, Rowling gives a modern take on the fairy tale genre. These are tales of folly, of ignorance and of tolerance and wisdom. Each is totally original, yet rings true in the tradition of old tales. A must for Harry Potter fans, recommended for anyone with a penchant for the whimsical.
Fairy tales from the world of Harry Potter ¿ with commentary from Dumbledore. What I liked about this light and readable little book was the way in which the `themes¿ of the stories were explored in this commentary. I thought it was an interesting exercise to transplant the genre of the fairy tale or fable to another (known but fantastical) world, and to explore the way in which fairy tales might still be used to convey universal messages.
This a charming little book that will be loved by child and adult alike. Like all fairy-tales, these stories all have a moral to the story but the morals are aimed at the unique challenges faced by wizards as opposed to us Muggles. I especially like Dumbledore's notes on each tale where we learn the history and other interesting titbits about the story or its author. My favourite story in this volume is The Wizard and the Hopping Pot. This tale about helping people and not being selfish will have your kids in fits of laughter. The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a definite must-read, even if you aren't a Potter fan.
Cleverly written with commentaries about the stories and how they relate to reality and what lessons are to be learned from the story. This is an interesting set of stories, written as if they were fairy tales for wizardling children, along with some quite humourous interpretations and discussions of the bowderdisations that occured, quite as if they had been written in the real world and the changes that would have happened to a story over time.The stories vary in quality. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot is probably my least favourite a story about sharing with others. The Fountain of Fair Fortune is all about learning to deal with life and that nothing is easy - one of my favourites. The Warlock's Hairy Heart is a bit gruesome, but would probably appeal to those who like their tales to end in nastyness.Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump is a clever tale of persecution and how a Witch evaded capture and changed some minds.The Tale of the Three Brothers is a wizardly warped story about the proverbial three brothers and tricking death.Overall not a bad set of stories. A nice look into the world of Harry Potter.
More analogous to sneaking a late-night snack than feeling replete from a satisfying meal ¿ though to many Harry Potter fans it will be eminently scrumptious fare ¿ The Tales of Beedle the Bard really was, at best to me, an insufficient tasty treat, albeit with a concession to the underlying charity in regards to the brevity of the work.Merely five original tales penned by Beedle, translated by Hermione Granger, with distinctive annotation and discernment from the eminent Professor Albus Dumbledore, this book is, if somewhat brief, a sweet companion to the Potter saga. The messages within these handful of fairy tales, while slanted towards the wizarding world, are however, considerably pertinent to all: the destructiveness in the abuse of power; the benefits of working together, of using one¿s innate natural ability rather than reliance on special forces (read magic); and the necessity to believe in oneself ¿ warts and all!The elucidations and musings by Dumbledore, as footnotes to the tales, along with his mildly acerbic commentary - on the history and the differing past responses to each, are as amusing and entertaining as the fables themselves; though I consider this more an avenue for Ms Rowling¿s analysis, if not censure. And the illustrations by the author are a nice addition to the feel of the volume. Undoubtedly this book is conceived as a magical version to resemble classic Muggle fairy tales ¿ and as a companion to previous Potter books. Notwithstanding the philanthropic purpose in the marketing of the book, and regardless of the definite enjoyment it held, overall I was left feeling somewhat incomplete ¿ it was of no great import whether I had read this book or not. I¿m glad I did, but it is no matter if you don¿t. (May 17, 2009)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is another of those wee books J.K. Rowling writes for charities, bless her, and it¿s quite charming. Not because of the stories themselves ¿ nothing wrong with them, it¿s just tricky to write a wonderful fairy tale, and even trickier when you¿re not operating within traditional fairy tale conventions, and even trickier yet still when you are writing fairy tales purportedly for an audience comprised of witches and wizards. The stories are enjoyable enough, but what¿s really fun is Dumbledore¿s commentary on them. Dumbledore makes me smile. I miss Dumbledore. Why are there not more Harry Potter books than there are? I miss them all actually. And waiting for new ones to come out. That was fun. Why can¿t we have that bit over again?Anyway, Dumbledore¿s commentary ¿ he spends some time telling amusing stories about the stories (ah, metafiction, I love you when you do not disappoint and crush me), and even talks about a woman who supposedly rewrote these stories in dreadful twee ways. She reminded me of Enid Blyton.
Slim, sweet hardback with stylised illustrations by J.K. Rowling herself. It's made up of five little fairy tales, each with a magical moral, with each tale followed by a short discourse by Albus Dumbledore. The tales are traditionally styled and each quite different, while 'Dumbledore's' commentary is amusing and gives new insights into the world we already know from the Harry Potter series. Rowling makes the wizarding world so plausible, it makes for a magical little read. A nice accompaniment to the series, and benefits the Children's High Level Group to boot, which is just the icing on the cake!
The latest from J.K. Rowling is a collection of children stories of Beedle the Bard for wizards and muggles alike.Thought to have been lost to the Wizarding World, Hermione Granger translated the copy left by Hogwarts former headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. The translated copy now comes with commentaries by the headmaster himself before his untimely demise.I loved reading this book. It took me a month before I got a copy and less than hour to read through it. Haha! Reading through it was enjoyable and sparked again the mixed emotion of missing the wizarding world and rewarding feeling that it's over. The commentaries by Dumbledore was both insightful and hilarious at the same time. He had a great personality and wisdom. It made me miss him. *sigh*My personal favorites are The Fountain of Fair Fortune and of course, The Tale of Three Brothers. The Tale of Hairy Heart is a bit serious, considering that the nature of the stories are for "children". Maybe this one is really for the not so young anymore.I missed reading Rowling stuffs. Honestly, she really has a flair for writing and her wits are amazing. Haha! Maybe she really can tap into the child in you. I know she somehow tapped into mine. ^o^ How I wish she could write more.ü
Five 'fairytales' for witches and wizards. All are equally short (sometimes the notes from Dumbledore are longer than the story itself). The book contains 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot', 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune', 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart', 'Babbitty Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump' and the tale that was used in the Harry Potter series: 'The Tale of the Three Brothers'.
I'd hoped to read this to my kids for bedtime stories, just as Mrs. Weasley did with her children. I guess wizarding children are made of stronger stuff than human kids, because I find the stories a bit too violent to share right before bedtime :) I loved Dumbldore's commentary. I enjoyed reading a bit of his scholarly research as we've heard over and over again what a brilliant scholar he was. Fun stuff!
This was not quite the awesome Harry Potter followup I was hoping for. Though it was cute, I'm sure I would not have read it had I not read the Harry Potter books. What J.K. Rowling needs to write is a sequel - the kind with a sequential plot. I guess this is sort of akin to how JRR Tolkien wrote four awesome books, and then approximately 100 million "Unfinished Tales" tangentially related to his work. While both Beedle the Bard, and Tolkien's Tales are interesting background material, they are not a new story, and I think that's what I, at least, continue to hope for. From Rowling at least. It is unfortunately too late for the other, due to a problem with, as a favorite website of mine would put it, author existence failure.
Synopsis: A collection of both heartwarming and thrilling magical fairy tales from the wizarding world. The famous Albus Dumbledore has also added additional notes on each fairy tale.My Opinion: A delightful collection of fairy tales which provides a closer look into the magical realm.
The only good reason to buy this book is that the profits go to charity. The tales themselves are just okay, and Dumbledore's commentary doesn't really ring true.
So apparently, this book is what Dumbledore left Hermione as stated in his will, to help the trio destroy Lord Voldemort once and for all. I like all stories. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a Potterhead, but I do like them all. I especially enjoyed The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of The Three Brothers. It's definitely a must-have for Harry Potter fans. It's so cute.
Genre: FantasyAge Appropriateness: Primary/ IntermediateReview: This book is a good example of fantasy because the story includes talking and flying reindeer and dogs. The story is believable but would not occur in reality. In this story a dog, Olive, believes he is a reindeer and travels to the North Pole to fly with Santa on Christmas Eve. He ends up saving Christmas because he can perform things reindeer cannot, such as fetching falling flutes. Media: This book is a good example of mixed media because the pages contain various art mediums. All the elements compliment each other and create a great illustration on each page.
First off, this book is really on another level when it comes to entertainment through illustrations and detail. Even if there were no words this book would still be enjoyable. The story is broken up into small parts, but each part finds its way into the next. The narrator turns out to be a main character of the story which is really clever and the table of contents even has a story leading up to it. The font size correlates with the story and makes a statement itself. Puts a funny spin on most stories kids were probably already familiar with such and the Princess and the Frog, and Little Red Riding Hood, great modern fantasy.
This is possibly my all-time favorite picture book. I was first introduced to it when my third grade teacher read parts of it aloud as a treat for the class. I thought it was the greatest thing ever back then. I still do!The appeal in the book is the reworking of well-known fairy tales and the comic interruptions by other characters. (Seriously, is the hen the funniest thing ever or what?) I think this book is probably one of the greatest influences on my sense of humor, and I can see how my enjoyment of The Stinky Cheese Man has turned into a love for Discworld and John Hodgman.(My favorite joke ever when I was eight years old was the screaming by the hen on the back cover with regards to the ISBN code. It still makes me laugh, seventeen years later!)Oh, also, because I almost forgot: this book is fantastic as an example of how with picture books, the experience starts with the cover and goes through every page to the back. I could easily see this being used in a university level literary theory course to show how paratextual information can be part of and change a reading.PS: The illustrations are pretty snazzy, too.
The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid talesThis book starts with a dialogue between an annoying red hen and Jack the narrator, followed by mocking the value of endpaper and title of books. It starts in a way that is very absorbing. The book has 9 stories, written in a humorous language. The old tales ended in a different way passes along educating information to both children and adults, while they also bring you laughter. It is a good book to read with your children. The stories in the book remind the readers about the world they are living in and how fairy tales could end in another way. The language is funny and absorbing. However, the illustration in the book could be too abstract for young children. Highly recommended for children above age 4 and adults.
From the table of contents falling from the sky to Little Red Running Shorts (a spin on Little Red Riding Hood), Jack the narrator takes you on a journey of fairly stupid tales. The stories are comical spins on traditional fantasy tales. An element of the book consists of a page left blank. This is an attempt by narrator Jack to allow the giant to continue is nap and ultimately trying to avoid being part of his afternoon snack.I enjoyed the interruptions of the hen and Jack, the narrator's rants about his need for book organization, but showing us (the readers) everything but an organized book. It turned into comedy. If a book starts out with the table of contents falling from the sky and reveals the true life of a very ugly duckling, not much more could be expected, but other fairly stupid tales.In the classroom, I would give the students string cheese as a teaser to produce anticipation for the Stinky Cheese Man story. I would use this opportunity for a creative writing exercise by instructing the students to create his/her own fairly stupid tale.