Collins is a theologian, not a scientist, so the book is heavy on theology and light on science – the science minded folks among us will mind, but for most Christians, this is the sort of book they need. I was impressed: Collins was even-handed, thoughtful, and serious, and he dealt with a variety of positions (including those of people who gleefully smear his own position) with considerable respect and care. Collins traces the theological argument throughout Scripture arguing for a historical Adam and Eve, and he does so with careful attention paid not only to the strong New Testament and philosophical arguments for their historicity and the authority of Scripture, but also with regard to ANE literary context and genre. In short, Collins' treatment was thorough and excellent. His final didactic chapter, examining which proposed options are allowed by the text, is and will remain an excellent resource and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Highly recommended.
Tolkien's genius is not to be underestimated. Though vastly different from its successor, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is a magnificent, marvelous book—one that will be enjoyed by children (and adults) for generations to come.
Perhaps the saddest of all Tolkien's stories: men and women cursed for defying a dark power far beyond them. Also perhaps one of his most moving, as those men fight on, knowing fate is unavoidable and courageously meeting it head-on nonetheless.
McLaren really made his course clear here: headed down the lane of pluralism and an abandonment of Biblical authority. So why two stars? Because his opening picture of the different Jesuses he sees in the different streams of Christianity was very good.