What I'm reading?


I'm in the process of of reading 3 books right now. By "in the process" I mean I read one book every day and a little of the others either every day or less frequently. Somehow they all come together.

I decided to start my year after vacation. . . I was like an automaton prior to vacation--could not think, could not reason, just going through the motions of life, not participating.

After vacation I decided I needed to make some changes. My daily reading is The Message: Remix 2.0. This is a contemporary language reading of the Bible. I first liked this style when I read John and found it true to the feeling of the New International Version, but easy to read and insightful. So this is it for this new year starting in the fall. I am currently reading through and experiencing the freeing of the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Something like the freeing we go through when we turn our lives over to Jesus or when we see a part of our life that is less than desireable and give it to him to take care of. It requires a whole change in the way of seeing and doing. New forms, new activities, new environment. . .

I am also sporadically reading the book Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf. I am about 2/3 of the way through and the thing that really struck me was the statement I have known since college or before, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. . ." When we become followers of Jesus, true followers, in some way it turns out that we have actually been crucified WITH Christ. He was killed in that extremely cruel way and we were too. I don't quite understand this. . . it still has to gel, but Volf explains that we are permeated with sin--its' like ink in water. You can't remove the ink without removing the water. We are the water, sin is the ink. We are not actually removed from the ink, but in some way we were crucified with Christ, so in a way, as Christ fills us, there is less and less sin, or (and this is all my reasoning), the more we are filled with Christ, sin is pushed to a smaller but more concentrated area, so instead of filling us, it's now just popping up in more subtle areas, like, for some of us, pride. But there it is: I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live. Yet, not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.

The other book I am reading is Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination by Eugene Peterson. This is a topical look at the last book of the Bible. It is both refreshing and compelling. Refreshing because it makes me excited to reread it (Revelation) and compelling because it compels me to read it after I've read a chapter of the book. The title comes from a poem by George Herbert from the book Major Poets of the Early 18th Century. In part, the poem reads:

Prayer [is] . .

Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing speare,

The six-dayes world transposing in an houre.

I really liked the beginning of chapter 3.

In the opening words of the Apocalypse, "the revelation of Jesus Christ," the preposition "of" carries a double meaning: the revelation is about Jesus Christ; the revelation comes "by means of" Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is both the content of the revelation and the agent of the revelation. Jesus Christ is the way in which God reveals himself to us; Jesus Christ is also God himself being revealed to us.

And I might add, Jesus Christ is also God himself being revealed through us, perhaps as he pushes away the ink. . . a somewhat scary thought!smile_sad

So I recommend all three of these books, but who knows when I will come to the end of any of them!smile_wink

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