Two books left a deep mark on my soul and mind in the last few months: The Prodigal God by Tim Keller and The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield.
Some of the ideas from The Prodigal God really stayed with me, and I'm thinking about making a little 'speech' out of it for our ladies' Christmas meeting. I hope I'll be able to write it down here when the time comes. I especially cherished the notion that Christianity had always been 'nešto treće' or 'tertium quid' - something third, something entirely different. "To most people in our society, Christianity is religion and moralism. The only alternative to it (besides some other world religion) is pluralistic secularism. But from the beginning it was not so. Christianity was recognized as a tertium quid, something else entirely." ( Tim Keller, The Prodigal God) And it's for both: 'younger' and 'older brothers' of this world.
The Secret Thoughts... is another great book, the kind that you just can't stop highlighting lines in. The lady who wrote it encouraged me so much in many respects. I admire her courage and clear voice, her non people-pleasing descriptions of Christian life and struggles. However, I admire her also for her writing.
She holds a PhD in English. Her "historical field in English studies was 19th century literature and culture." Before her conversion, she was very much like a professor of mine, who also specialized in Victorian, Feminist and Queer studies. I loved Critical Theory and writing papers; in a way it resembled hermeneutics. My knowledge of the Bible gave me a sometimes surprisingly strong and powerful basis for everything I studied in my Literature courses. My final paper was on Victoriana - historiographic metafiction. For that paper I read me some Genette, which was so satisfying. Anyway, what struck me as playful and 'highly textual' was Mrs. Butterfield's use of different genres in her book: the covenant membership vows of the RPC, her address to all graduate students, as well as the entire sermon from her wedding. I'd love to hear her talk about her "weave".
As I said, one cannot stop highlighting in The Secret Thoughts... Here are some of my personal favourites:
"Christians still scare me when they reduce Christianity to a lifestyle and claim that God is on the side of those who attend to the rules of the lifestyle they have invented or claim to find in the Bible."
"When you die to yourself, you have nothing from your past to use as clay out of which to shape your future."
"Faith is not a feeling. Faith rides the waves of the treachery of life on the Christian worldview that you own. Faith and worldview are intimately intertwined." WOW!
I am currently reading I quit by Geri Scazzero, Natasha's Dance by Orlando Figes and The Drowned Vault: The Ashtown Burials#2 by N. D. Wilson. I hope to write more about it soon.