Saturday, 24 January 2009

A Very Good Read!

Just finished "The Bible Jesus Read" by Philip Yancey. I really enjoyed it. Confession - this is the first book by PY I have ever read! I am afraid that there was a spell when people kept raving about his work and it really put me off! However, I saw this in the local library and decided to give it a try.

IM003200 Yancey begins by admitting that like many Christians, he usually avoided the Old Testament, but once he started reading it, he made some great discoveries.

I confess that I got a little frustrated at the beginning - I grew up in a home where the OT was seen as a vital part of scripture, and "the Scarlet Thread of Redemption runs through every book, to point us to Christ" etc etc. So I have always loved reading it [not to mention all the stories and poetry and history...] I wasn't sure how someone who was a scholar, from a strong Christian family grew up without being encouraged into a love of the OT.

But Yancey's book is interesting and informative - and very accessible - you do not need to be a theology student to enjoy it. I kept quoting bits to Bob as I read [he's very patient with me - he was trying to read a different book at the time!] Like this bit...

...The old Jewish story of the little boy who went to the prophet and said "Prophet, don't you see? You have been prophesying now for fifteen years, and things are all the same. Why do you keep on?" And the prophet said "Don't you know, little boy, I'm not prophesying to change the world, but to prevent the world from changing me"

Two other unrelated comments - the picture shows my library book, with the place marked by my bead&ribbon bookmark. It was exactly the right colour to go with the cover and I had to photograph them together. The bookmark was a Christmas gift from Adrian and Marion two years ago, and it is SO good.It doesn't slip out, and when I am reading, I can slip it over my wrist like a bracelet, and then slide it on to the book when I want to mark my place. It definitely fulfils Wm Morris' rules about being both beautiful and useful.

speaking volumes Secondly, I have been known to mutter occasionally about the limited range of books in our little village library. One thing they do have is a splendid collection of Christian Books. That's because our Churches Together gave a whole set, which we purchased through the Speaking Volumes scheme. I can really recommend this arrangement as a way of getting good books into schools/libraries/hospitals whatever. The SV organisation has done all the hard work, selecting good packages, and negotiating incredibly good prices . You get a set of printed labels to put inside the books - detailing who gave them, and when, and details of the SV website [which is an initiative of the Christian Book Promotion Trust]

Oh - a final word from Yancey. He writes about Moses, and the Hebrews in Egypt, and the slang word 'Hapiru' - the name the Egyptians gave the Hebrews. It means 'dusty ones'! Yancey says this...

Dust,"hapiru","the dusty ones", the old Egyptian slang word for the Hebrews-God remembers that we are dust. As Moses taught so clearly, evil is unpreventable and punishment inevitable. But we have a God who consciously forgets our sins and consciously remembers our frailty. We have a God who travels by our side, who "tabernacles" among us through the vast and dreadful wilderness. We have a God of grace, who loves even the dusty ones - especially the dusty ones.

Now I really must go and use the vacuum cleaner, as Bob, the dog and I are in danger of becoming Hapiru!

No comments:

Post a comment

Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!