I didn't finish this collection of essays but I read most of this book while on a 9 week roadtrip through the American west in 2017.
While we've been tI didn't finish this collection of essays but I read most of this book while on a 9 week roadtrip through the American west in 2017.
While we've been traveling I've been reading a collection of essays by Wallace Stegner, an award-winning and distinguished western writer, historian and novelist of the 20th century. I am thoroughly enjoying his non-fiction writing about wilderness, aridity (the defining feature of the American west), and western history.
His insight's have given some language and context to my personal experiences of migration (the impetus for my questions about home and belonging). And they also help explain, at some level, the root of some of the homelessness I've observed in California....more
Books like Heather's Word Made Art:Lent help the religiously weary, like myself, re-engage with the Bible in fresh ways. ......
I found Heather's blog hBooks like Heather's Word Made Art:Lent help the religiously weary, like myself, re-engage with the Bible in fresh ways. ......
I found Heather's blog http://www.heathercaliri.com/ at a time when I needed and wanted people's honest and raw experiences about how to be a follower of Jesus while questioning everything else associated with the word "Christian".
I could not stomach saccharine and the last thing I wanted was any type of devotional style blog posts with tidy conclusions or thinly (or not so thinly) veiled messages of "do more for the Kingdom, do more for Jesus, do more for your relationship with God". Do and More. I couldn't manage either.
One of Heather's experiences, shared in her writing, that resonated strongly with me was the distance she experienced, at one point in her journey, with the Bible.
I too have had a fraught relationship with the Bible. I have self-identified as a follower of Jesus since my early childhood. In the tradition I grew up in, I was saved at the age of seven, when I invited Jesus into my heart. And in the intervening 35 years I have experienced the Bible as wisdom, obligation, truth, heavy-handedness, life giving words, and confusing messages. All of it.
Growing up in the 80's, and coming into adulthood in the 90's in the Evangelical tradition I wasn't given a lot of options in how to read the Bible.
In my thirties I reached a point where the cognitive dissonance produced by reading the Bible through the lens of inerrancy, literal interpretations, and exclusivity (and all the confusing questions that were not answered, and all the ways that doubt and intellectual rigor were either not valued or not discussed by my tribe) made me throw up my hands in the air and decide to give the Bible a break.
I hoped I could find some clarity and come back to it, eventually, with an open heart and open mind. Without the sense of obligation or that my conclusions had to reflect those of my tradition.
My own wrestling and evolving conclusions about the Bible are not the point of this short review, but they are the backdrop to my engagement with Heather's book.
Books like Heather's Word Made Art:Lent help the religiously weary, like myself, re-engage with the Bible in fresh ways.
This is a guidebook for engaging with the Bible through the Lenten period. But engaging with the Bible in unexpected and unconventional ways.
This book is an eight-week non-saccharine devotional. I don't like the word "devotional" because it reminds me of all the devotionals of my youth with tidy conclusions, admonishing me to "do more for Jesus". So from this point on in the review I'll substitute the phrase Heather uses Scriptural Encounter.
Each week, starting Ash Wednesday through to post-Easter there are Bible readings, an art project, questions for personal reflection/journaling, and group discussion prompts.
But here's where Heather's Scriptural Encounter deviates from lots of devotional readings.
First there's art. Art is such a great aperture for entering into Divine mystery and revelation. But most of us feel unable or unqualified to use this medium to have encounters with God. Heather invites us to try. We use our hands, creating something, to open the heart.
Secondly, there's destruction, of pages in a Bible. And rooting through garbage. At first glance it could appear sacrilegious. But it's not, at all.
It's not destruction for destruction sake. Yes, you cut, burn, draw on, and color over sections of the Bible but for the purpose of re-creation, resurrection, new life and new meaning. The medium speaks the message of Lent itself. It's genius.
It's an unexpected and somewhat risky idea, to engage with the Bible this way (are we allowed to do this?), but the application is gentle and inviting. And draws you in to meditating on the Word. The Word written and the Word made flesh.
I love the premise, message, and hands-on activities. When's the last time you did arts & crafts with a Bible?
I do have a couple recommendations in case Heather does a reprint. I find some of the project prompts (the part where you are encouraged to make art out of a Bible) a little skimpy on details. I think Heather wants to encourage us to be open minded and open ended but I'd like a little more how-to directions for the actual projects.
And I would love to see samples of people's work. I'm so visual. I want to see what other's have done. How they've done the projects with each chapter.
Heather writes from experience to the anxious and the over-achiever. And if you've felt burnt-out, confused, frustrated, alienated, tired and like you just can't "do more" when it comes to Bible reading - this is the Scriptural Encounter for you.
As part of the launch team, I received a review copy in exchange for my opinion....more
My first significant introduction to Keirkegaard. I read most of this book but didn't read all the appendix, which gives an overview of each of KierkeMy first significant introduction to Keirkegaard. I read most of this book but didn't read all the appendix, which gives an overview of each of Kierkegaard’s works.
I borrowed this book but I would like to own it, digitally at least, so I could go back and remind myself of K's contributions to major thinkers of the 20th Century.
I would like to deeper familiarize myself with Kierkegaard’s ideas. This was a very accessible (not too academic) place to start. ...more