Interrupted by Books

So much to read! I have been immersed in the Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss and I want the next one so badly. He’s got to get it published soon! The writing is luminous, the characters are good (they are young — it’s a big long saga so I anticipate some maturity happening but nothing really so annoying that it makes you want to hit them over the head, except for this one thing that I can’t spoil and anyway it is mostly my speculation). The world is fantastic. If fantasy saga’s are not your thing, never mind. If you like Harry Potter, this is for grown ups and really really good.

But I’m also reading Or-di-nary-y by Michael Horton. His premise, I think, is that nearly all Christianity, whichever your particular church, has been swept up with the cultural modern idea of New! Big! Exciting! Programs! Change! He is calling for not just an appreciation of ancient traditions, but for an appreciation of how most of us, however Spirit-filled, will be living ordinary lives. Wonderful blessed gifted lives: spouse, family, children, neighbor (the actual people next door to you), a church, a job, a pattern of ordinary life. It’s not quite “have a simple beautiful life” because only the rich get to have that. The rest of us have to keep spinning the wheels and cleaning crumbs off the counter and hanging up clean towels, yes? But isn’t it beautiful to be able to do that, to do the best we can with what we have? To maybe have a church that doesn’t want to launch some new program year after year but maybe dig deep, celebrate the pattern of worship that seems so ordinary: worship God, read scripture, practice communion, bible study, songs, community. I don’t necessary agree with everything in it, but it’s a very compelling read and a very strong “call” to not have a “special call” but trust that God is with you always, right there helping you connect with each other in the coffee hour.

I’ve just started N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Scripture. He’s writing is as wonderful as always, frankly it is like this book is a box of chocolates and I’m eating them slowly to make the magic last. There’s no other reason for me to be reading it so slowly! However, I am more used to reading about scripture in the sense of studying the story, the background, the links to other stories, etc. He’s taking big topics and going to scripture to see what to learn about them (or maybe vice versa). Stuff like “Do we need a Historical Adam?”, “Healing the Divide between Science and Religion” and big topics like that. This is something very different from anything I am used to reading. I doubt that I will necessarily agree with everything — this is hard stuff. But his writing is so clear and accessible and a pleasure to read. So far it is very interesting that this Scot is pretty much making fun of us Americans for having such trouble with Darwin/evolution/science. He just doesn’t see the problem.

I have not yet been able to start Timothy Keller’s book “Prayer“, but my thoughts lately turn to prayer a lot and I suspect this book will help with questions I’m barely able to figure out how to ask.

I borrowed from the library the new Anne Lamot’s Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. It ranges from laugh out loud funny to tears. She gives me hope. She helps me breath.

Finally, for the class I’m taking I have just ordered the next two required books:

Peter R. Rodgers, Exploring the Old Testament in the New (Resource Publications, 2012) Amazon.com

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth (4th edition; Zondervan, 2014) Amazon.com

So — don’t just sit there, read! For the Glory of God!

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