February 2015 Pastor’s Desk

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Dear Friends,

“What are you reading?” is a prevailing question by C-SPAN TV staff to every worthy person they interview or report on. It’s instructional and very often inspirational to hear what some of our congress folk and current authors read; I’m sure I never would have guessed! “What are you reading?” is a question that I and some of my colleagues ask one another. It’s often the stuff of our conversations, together. We agreed to share with our congregations what we are reading during these wintry days and evenings.

  I usually have two or three books “in process”. Here in the office I have Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel, by David Limbaugh (brother of Rush Limbaugh). He tries to demonstrate the truthfulness of evidence that the Bible is the most historically reliable text among all ancient writings; that archaeological evidence increasingly affirms the biblical account of history; that Christianity is compatible with scientific methods and ‘in fact’ was instrumental in the birth of modern science. As to whether he makes the case for historical facts and evidences, my jury is still out. After all, what is truth?

At home, I’ve been trying my best to plow through Word and Spirit by Ronald Hall, professor of philosophy at Francis Marion, an explication of Soren Kierkegaard’s treatise on speech-act and the Christian witness. The first chapter opens with SK’s note:
  “A human being is spirit. What is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation’s relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relating itself to itself.” Obviously, if I’m ever to finish this, I’m going to have to renew it at the library—again.

  For fun, I found Designa: Technical Secrets of the Traditional Visual Arts, which is more like it! It reminds me of the books I studied as an art major in college—each page full of pictures, patterns and diagrams of every conceivable design element (natural, scientific, mechanical) in our visual world that relates to artistic endeavor.

Still on the side table—and yet to be read—are Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong.

Here at the church, we have three ‘periodicals’ for your reading, available in Asbury Hall: The Christian Century, an ecumenical bi-weekly that takes on just about every religious issue and conversation going, critically, thoughtfully, theologically, and often artistically. Sojourners, another ecumenical journal, takes on the issues of racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship. Lastly the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, our conference (award-winning) monthly newsletter, in which Main Street occasionally appears! 

Please help yourself to any of these current and back issues. You may take them home to read, but please return them when you’ve finished.

Categories: Pastor's Desk