Archive for July 22nd, 2010

The call to discipleship – 1

I date all my books when I start reading partly to mark them as mine and partly to help me remember when I read them the first time round.
I read the call to discipleship back in dec 08, I’d read bonhoeffers cost of discipleship a few months before which makes sense.
Barth writes densely argued sentences, the kind where you need to take careful note of the last comma to know which part of the argument the current section refers to. This always baffles me. I was never good with my use of punctuation. And I do things like start sentences with ‘and’. Liz would he ashamed of me.
I skimmed it too quick. I do that a lot with a lot of books. Read quickly with the intent of getting the book done so I can start a new tantalisingly exiting book that’s calling me from the shelf. I’m too impatient to enjoy being present. I suspect that spills over into life too
Anyhow. Reading it again, slowly, a chapter a day, I begin to get a bit more of the depth of what he says.
in the call of Jesus one is met by the fulfilled promise of god as valid for him or her. In and with the command of Jesus, solid ground is placed under their feet when they are on the point of falling into the abyss. What the command requires if them is simply, but comprehensively, that in practice as well as in theory they should regard it as able to bear him, and stand on it, and no longer leave it.
We do not trust in “an idea of Christ, or a christology, or a christocentric system of thought…”┬áThe call to “follow me” is the call to accept and pursue and stand firm on an actuality.
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A man without a country

This guy put me onto Vonnegut just after he dies. Vonnegut that is not Jason. I am eternally grateful for that.

The guy who made this give me this book:

So I figured I’d give you a bunch of quotes to chew over:

On Karl Marx

When Marx wrote those words we hadn’t even freed our slaves yet. Who do you imagine was more pleasing in the eyes of God back then, Karl Marx, or the USA?

On career choice

if you really want to hurt your parents and you haven’t the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts

On taking Pall Mall to court

i have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall-malls (since I was 12) and for many years they have promised to kill me. But I am now 82, thanks a lot you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon. [Vonnegut died from a head injury in the end]

On marriage and community

when a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think it’s about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. But what they’re really saying to each other, though without realising it is this: “you are not enough people!”

On Jesus

how do humanists feel about jesus? I say of jesus, as all humanists do, “if what he said is good, and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?”

But if Christ hadn’t delivered the sermon on the mount with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being.

Most of the time I think we have more in common with the humanists than almost anyone else but the sermon on the mount falls flat for me without the divinity.

Anyhow, read more Vonnegut, it’ll do you good.


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