Thursday, January 3, 2008

Book #1 For The Life of the World

Well one of my goals was to read 4 "spiritually challenging" books this next year. One down and 3 to go.
Here is my Book Report.(of sorts)

Here is a thought from the 1st chapter: "The fall is not that he preferred world to God, distorted the balance between the spiritual and material, but that he made the world material, whereas he was to have transformed it into "life in God," filled with meaning and spirit."

Ch2 "For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy" - thus begins the Gospel, and its end is: "And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." (Lk. 2:10, 24:52). And we must recover the meaning of this great joy.
Then he goes into experiencing that great joy by describing the beautiful liturgy of the Eucharist. This was really cool.

All things must be transformed to glorify Christ. And the first gift he says we have been given is Time. So along with all things material we also must take time and give it real meaning - redeem it.

Flipping through these pages again... he talks alot about JOY.

Then he goes on to talk about Baptism and the use of water(not talking about how much is needed to make baptism work) then marriage,

My 2nd favorite chapter was on Death. How we have done everything to remove ourselves from the reality of death. We make Funeral homes look so lovely and do everything we can to remove ourselves from the images of death. instead of looking in the face and acknowledging Christ's defeating death. And even Christianity has "adjusted" its thinking in how it deals with death. If Christ came that we might have abundant joy, why do we at a funeral so ofter hear the thoughts of death being a release from a life that is all valleys, pain and suffering. "To comfort people and reconcile them with death by making this world a meaningless scene of an individual preparation for death is".... a tragedy

Then he talks about missions... "Christian mission is not to preach Christ, but to be Christians in life.

Then to close- "... to live in the world seeing everything in it as a revelation of God, a sign of His presence, the joy of His coming, the call to communion with Him, the hope for fulfillment in Him. Since the day of Pentecost there is a seal, a ray, a sign of the Holy Spirit on everything for those who believe in Christ and know that He is the life of the world - and that in Him the world in its totality has become again a liturgy, a communion, an ascension."

"A Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, finds Christ and rejoices in Him, And this joy transforms all his human plans and programs, decisions and actions, making all his mission the sacrament of the world's return to Him who is the LIFE OF THE WORLD."

This was a great book(and this was a late night quickie review I hope it made some sense) - and now on to "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer


wess said...

Thanks for the book report, Steve. Happy New Year!

(by the way, check out twitter - my feed is at - twitter's cool)

Benjamin said...

Great job completing the first book! Sounds like it was a doozie. I especially like your comments about death. Mel and I have been talking about the escapist mentality of evangelical Christians for years, and how that just doesn't gel with the gospel Jesus came to reveal.

You didn't talk much about the Eucharist, though. Can you flesh out what was said about the Eucharist. What parts really struck you?

SteveM said...

I knew I shouldn't have given that book back to Joey just yet (I need to not be so cheap and buy it).
Well I was having a hard time organizing my thought on that one so I just put the one sentence about it. But what it seems like he did was describe the worship service and the Eucharist specifically as a moment of truly being ushered into the presence of God and partaking in the true LIFE OF THE WORLD. His description breathed life into any of my experiences with communion that was a "high liturgy" experience - or just how I perceive communion or worship even. I took away from it as almost a literal earthly experience of participating in the Heavenly banquet.

Actually even just writing that - it just feels like words. He drew a picture of communion and worship that was just beautiful and I still have a hard time expressing it, other than partaking in it sure seems to mean more.