The newest book in my reading stack looks to be the perfect chaser to Peter Enns’ The Bible Tells Me So. Check out this sample from Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright:
Latin for “by scripture alone.” Refers to the belief that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
Twenty-seven years ago today was my mother’s funeral. Simply put, I thought I was going to die, too. But I had a little one of my own that needed her mother, so I kept getting up and going on. Some days, that was the extent of it. But as time moved on, I discovered that I wasn’t quite so sad all the time. I found myself quoting some of my mother’s funniest sayings, cooking her old recipes, and telling some of her best stories. As soon as I was able to do all that without bawling, it seemed like she was back with me. After all these years, it’s still like she’s physically present at those moments when memory intersects with everyday life, and heaven is present on earth. I love you, Mom.
Biblical and related writings outside of the traditionally accepted canon.
This past Sunday morning, I experienced one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard. I know that sounds trite and hyperbolic, but seriously – this one moved me. While listening to our minister’s powerful exegesis of the second chapter of Galatians, my brain made a connection to a book I’m currently reading: Simply Christian by N.T. Wright, Anglican Bishop and New Testament scholar.
It’s not possible for me to do complete justice to the sermon, but I have permission to use some of my minister’s main points in writing this entry and will do my best to convey the Spirit with which they were made.
I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen…praising God before me. Whether or not they praised him then, for themselves, they must praise him now in me. When the sun rises, each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.
from Thomas Merton Journal
As I was finishing The Bible Tells Me So, one of the most moving parts I read was Peter Enns’s description of the unfathomable size of the universe:
The known universe is 13.7 billion years old. Traveling at the speed of light, it would take about 100 billion years to get from one end of the universe to the other. Light travels at about 5.87 trillion miles a year…[that means] the approximate total number of miles across the universe is 587 sextillion (587,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)….This is what God laughing looks like. (p233-34)
How self-important I think I am until I consider the minuscule amount of space I occupy.
The study of the methods of interpreting Biblical text so that we may understand and apply scripture.
“You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything…We don’t have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.”
Lewis B. Smedes
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer