Reading and Listening in 2008

09 Jan

So it is the second week of 2008 and I have yet to post a blog in this new year. Shame, shame… So here is a few snapshots of the last few weeks.

I have been working through NT Wright’s Simply Christian. I don’t know how simple this would be for people that do not have a philosophical, historical, and religious background. I listened to a lecture Wright gave as part of the Veritas Forum where he gave the impression that Simply Christian is somewhat of a primer for those who want to explore the Christian faith, somewhat of a contemporary Mere Christianity. (Note the similarity in the titles.) It is a primer of sorts, but only for the educated. I wouldn’t put this book in the hands of someone outside of the Faith who wanted to explore what Christians believe unless they had a background in philosophy and world history. With that said, I like Wright’s style a great deal. I have this irrational dislike for British authors, but I like Wright a great deal. He has a great poetic style to his writing. He is full of great metaphors. I particularly like his metaphor of searching for God through the classical arguments for the existence of God (ontological, teleological, etc.). Wright says it is like looking for the sun with a flashlight. He doesn’t spend enough time building on this great image of looking for God is like staring at the sun. It has great references back to Plato (see The Allegory of the Cave). The “echo of voices” is also a wonderful way of reflected on humanity’s common desire to pursue transcendence, spirituality, God. I have already added a second Wright book to my Amazon Wish List. So we will see. Maybe he will redeem my view of British writers.

Dylan, Dylan and more Dylan….
I added three albums to my growing Dylan collection. MTV Unplugged (1994),
Live 1975
, Oh Mercy (1989). I am thirteen months into my Dylan journey. I now have 14 albums. Dylan has released 44 in total, so I am not even half way through the journey! There is too much here to discuss, but a recently verse from Dylan has really stood out to me. It is from Desolation Row. DR was originally recorded on Highway 61 Revisited(1965), but for whatever reason I missed the song. I have really connected with it on this 1994 MTV Unplugged album. Here is the verse:

Now Ophelia, she’s ‘neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession’s her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row

Poor Ophelia. Her sin isn’t immorality or drunkenness. Her sin is lifelessness. She worships the idol of consumerism. Her work is her religion. She can see hope in God’s promise (Noah’s rainbow), but she remains lifeless because instead of turning to God…she spends her time on desolation row.

In the News
On Christmas Eve riots broke out in Orissa in North India. Radical Hindus formed mobs that turned violent, destroying churches, Christian homes, and shops owned by Christians. It is some of the worst violence towards Christians in India in recent history. [Read more here]

IET has a strong presence in Orissa and a number of IET believers were affected. Here are the stats we received from IET:

  • 15 IET churches were damaged/burned (over 200 total)
  • 100 IET believers are missing (more than 300 total)
  • About 200 homes of IET believers have been burned (more than 1200 total)
  • About 5 IET believers were killed (total dead unknown)
  • More than 100 believers were seriously injured
  • One motorbike and 10 bicycles of IET missionaries were burned
  • More than 100 believers were seriously injured
  • Thousands of people are staying in hiding in fear for their lives

We are receiving a special offering this Sunday at Cornerstone Church for Orissa. IET is preparing relief kits with blankets, food, and clothes for Christians in need. For more information on IET’s relief efforts go to

1 Comment

Posted by on January 9, 2008 in Ministry, Theology


Tags: , ,

One response to “Reading and Listening in 2008

  1. peri

    January 14, 2008 at 7:38 am

    yeah, i agree, simply christian is anything but!

    i like your thoughts on desolation row.


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