Friday, November 05, 2004

I’m going to take a break from reading theology for a week or so. In the last six months, I’ve read more books on Christian theology than I think I have ever. If I tried to remember them, it would be too many for me to think about. Probably eight or nine (A New Kind of Christian, The Story We Find Ourselves In, Blue Like Jazz, A Generous Orthodoxy, Mere Discipleship, Adventures in Missing the Point, Stories of Emergence,and The Original Jesus, so eight [I’d link to them, but you can probably go to Amazon yourself).

One of the main reasons for doing this is that I can feel the reading starting to become a hobby. When reading becomes a hobby for me, I stop thinking about what I’m reading and I almost get to a point where I turn page just to turn them. I’m not really reading and absorbing the material itself. I find myself having to “reread” things that I had read before. Almost like when I was in high school and being forced to read. I fell into the same issue in high school when I was really into Christian music. I found a subculture that I could slip into and delved in. I listened to Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Petra, and a variety of other artists, some of whom are still around and some who were Christian macarenas (anyone heard of Rhythm House?)

I think the other issue is that I can forget why I’m reading what I’m reading. I get so caught up in the minutiae that I forget that the purpose of this is to develop a deeper level of spirituality. I don’t want to read them because they’re the cool thing for Christians to be reading right now. I want to read them because they offer something to me. But I find myself slipping into reading just to read, reading because others are.

I’ve decided that I’m going to read Scripture. For the week, in those times when I would pick up one of the books, I’m going to read from Scripture. Where you ask? I’m going to the Prophets and the Gospels. In thinking about who Jesus was, I realize how strongly he was affected by the Prophets in his life. He really resonated with their calls for justice and the Day of the Lord, so I think it would help me to gain his vision. I don’t know if I’ll read more or less than I would have before, but I’m interested to see if my perspective will change as a result.

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