After reading several blogs I wrote for posting this summer, Tanya, the editor of Inside Out, suggested I write something more personal—I should save the more academic posts for the fall.
Personal? I was puzzled at first, but then I had an idea—I have this blank-page book I carry with me all the time; I write in it. I thought perhaps some excerpts from this record of my most personal thoughts and feelings would be the sort of thing that might satisfy Tanya.
For Christmas 2012, my parents gave us Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. It’s full of great stuff. I wrote this in my book: “We must not confuse what we do naturally, such as ‘wishing, hoping, sighing, lamenting, rejoicing,’ with prayer, which is unnatural to us and which must be initiated outside us, by God. Prayer cannot come from us” (368).
In the spring of 2013 I attended a lecture at TWU. The speaker, John Behr, prompted this entry: The church fathers understood Philippians 4:8 as an injunction to “plunder the Egyptians.” In other words, culture is full of good things that Christians should take and enjoy. However, we are to plunder the Egyptians, but not make a Golden Calf.
I came across this idea that intrigued me as an English teacher: “Science fiction deals with improbable possibilities; fantasy deals with plausible impossibilities.” — Miriam Allen DeFord
Sometimes I write things in the book so that I can get them off my chest. One such rant followed the singing of a song in church: “Why this tendency to add new choruses to old hymns? Rarely do they add anything to the song and sometimes they actually do damage to the original; this morning we sang Amazing Grace. Even this great hymn has this has suffered the addition of a vestigial chorus. It now includes the line: ‘like a flood His mercy reigns.’ I stopped singing at this point because tried to understand in what way a flood might reign. And over what, or whom? What is the ‘poet’ trying to reveal about God’s mercy?”
Gerry Goertzen, the secondary principal, loaned me Darrel W. Johnson’s Discipleship on the Edge. It is a very good commentary on Revelation. I wrote: When God says, “I am making all things new,” he is not saying, “I am making all new things.” This has a significant effect on how we think about the world in which we live.
While listening to a sermon I wrote in my book: “In the past, a lot of Christians have really been Pro-Birth, rather than Pro-Life. I think this is changing. I hope this is changing.” I’m not really sure if this had anything to do with the sermon or not.
The last thing I wrote in my little brown book was: “It’s great that I can always be with my best friend and my wife at the same time.”
I hope this is personal enough for you, Tanya.