When the rain comes...

Today was going to include some weeding and gardening, but when the rain comes (as my boys used to say in that great psychedelic B side) "they run and hide their heads" - and that includes me, too.

Some fascinating new books have arrived on my desk/bedside that point to an eclectic summer of study:

+ Insurrection by Peter Rollins.  I LOVE this cat who is a creative philosopher, Christian man of faith and doubt, and an excellent story teller.  At the heart of this book is the following insight: To believe is human, to doubt is divine. Therefore, the heart of the Christian faith is not about life after death but with the possibility of a vibrant life before death.

+ The Writing on the Wall by Maggi Dawn.  This just arrived from the UK - an exploration of high art, popular culture and the Bible - and mirrors my own quest for the Top Seven Stories of the Old and New Testaments!  And in an introduction that would suggest Ms. Dawn has been reading my emails, she writes:  The inspiration for this book came from hundreds of conversations with students at the University of Cambridge who, in the course of reading various Arts subjects, have knocked on my door to ask what the significance of this or that biblical or theological allusion might be: who is the King of Glory in the Messiah, why do the characters in Hamlet suffer such anxieties over death and hell... and just who were the cheesemakers?  Looks like another winner from
a favorite writer.

+ What Matters by Wendell Berry. This is Berry's clearest critique of our current moral, political and economic crisis from his agrarian Christian wisdom.  He is all over sustainability and the pursuit of integrity for the land, the soul, our food and how we use out resources.  Given the on-going exhaustion of our so-called economy, Berry's wisdom resonates:  Ours, is not, in fact, in any respectable sense an economy," he writes, "but rather a financial system based on easy credit, cheap energy, over-consumption, unsupportable "development," waste, fantasy, bubbles and sometimes nothing at all. It is now undeniable - though some will attempt to deny it - that we are involved deeply and intricately in an economic disaster..."

+ The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins.  From the founder of the Transition movement in the UK, this volume of practical insights shows local communities how to organize a broad-based grassroots "green agenda" that gets results.

+ Moving to Higher Ground by Wynton Marsalis.  The great one's guide to "how jazz can change your life" is a fun and insightful read.  His goal is to demystify jazz so that people beyond the elite can access the beauty embodied in jazz improvisation, cooperation, listening and responding to movement of the spirit.

+ Deep Waters by Barbara Nadel.  Part of her on-going series of mysteries set in Istanbul, Turkey.

+ The Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler.  Every night I read one of the essays at the end of this volume and wonder, "Why didn't I know that?"  Not only is this an important contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue, but helps preachers and pastors truly ground Christ in his Jewish context while breaking down unhealthy stereotypes.  Brilliant.

And I'm still working my way through Wendell Berry's sabbath poems, A Timbered Choir, as well as rereading Gertud Mueller-Nelson's take on Christian formation for the whole family, To Dance with GodSo let the rain keep coming...


Black Pete said…
And The Great Code, by Northrop Fry?

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