Books

21 07 2008
I just read a great book online called So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by “Jake Colsen” (actually a pseudonym for two authors). It’s about a man who grows increasingly frustrated with the church that he is an associate pastor at and his eventual departure from it. He only does so after he meets a man named John who helps him learn how to love and live in the freedom that only God can offer. He slowly learns how to break away from religion, organizations, and what is normally called “church”, and how to be free to love as Jesus did instead of trying to coerce people into behaving the way Christian society deems acceptable. My description is woefully failing at this point, so I suggest you go to http://www.jakecolsen.com and read the book for yourself. It’s really changed the way I look at church and is a terrific read. I found it very difficult to only read a chapter at a time.

Another book I’m currently reading is called A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, which is his personal memoirs after the death of his beloved wife, Joy. He asks difficult questions about God and even appears to lose his faith. The basic premise (from what I’ve read so far) of the book is that one can never know how much faith one has until it is tried by a tragic event in one’s life. An amazing quote from the book:
“If God’s goodness is inconsistent with hurting us, then either God is not good or there is no God: for in the only life we know He hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine. If it is consistent with hurting us, then He may hurt us after death as unendurably as before it.
Sometimes it is hard not to say, ‘God forgive God.’ Sometimes it is hard to say so much. Buf if our faith is true, He didn’t. He crucified Him.”

And another:

“You could say we are fallen and depraved. We are so depraved that our ideas of goodness count for nothing; or worse than nothing—the very fact that we think something good is presumptive evidence that it is really bad. Now God has in fact—our worst fears come true—all the characteristics we regard as bad: unreasonableness, vanity, vindictiveness, injustice, cruelty. But all these blacks (as they seem to us) are really whites. It’s only our depravity that make them look black to us.”

It gets even better from there.

Read these books. I command you. Do it now. Don’t hesitate. DO IT! Use your abilities! Reading is a superpower! Be a superhero! Hurrah!

blah.

(originally written 5/23/08 )
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