Monday, October 28, 2013

theology of reading

Why do you read?  How do you read?

I listened to a brief talk by Tony Reinke who called reading "a difficult pleasure."  He also wrote a book called Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books.

I think difficult pleasure is a good way to describe it.  For me I enjoy reading, but often it is hard to regularly make the time to do it.  And if I don't make the time, then infrequent reading becomes difficult.  Soon I find it's hard to get back into books, and they become items on a to-do list - which is not where they belong.

One could argue that every Christian who is capable should be reading regularly.  Their Bibles, yes, but also much more.

What do you think?  Do find reading to be a "difficult pleasure"?  Is reading a significant part of your life?  What patterns of reading have you found helpful?

p.s. If you're looking for some ideas of things to read, check out some of these posts.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"community" vs "individual salvation"?

We in the church are fond of talking about "community".   (My undergraduate years at Houghton certainly taught me this: if there was one common theme to our discussions and chapel talks, this was it. ) Clearly Christian community is important.  Yet when we pause to consider why, do we find that our theology points in a different direction?  Too often I fear we preach both - community and individual salvation -  and manage to undermine each.
individual or community
photo courtesy of
Have you been there?  During announcements at church we are told of the important "community" building things in the church - small groups, outreach, service, joint prayer.  But then the sermon or even the first worship song is all about what I call "me-and-Jesus" Christianity.  Personally, I find such situations a bit jarring.  Which is it?  Can it be both?

Yes, and no.