Monday, November 09, 2009

Retaining Somehow What I Read

I love to read. I monitor forty-one blogs via RSS feed, read a book or two per week, do research for my weekly sermons and Bible Study, and am using Princeton Theological’s nifty feed to read through Calvin’s Institutes in the course of a year. Sadly, the realization has sunk in that I retain only the tiniest fragment of what I read. My wife often asks what I’ve been reading, and while I can recall the sources for the most part, I struggle to retain the content.

Perhaps not surprisingly, though, I can remember what I actually use in my sermons and Bible studies.

So, in an attempt to actually hang on to some of what I’ve read, I’m going to attempt regularly posting interesting stuff here as a form of memory enhancement. (This was actually one of my reasons for blogging in the first place. I fell off the wagon. Here’s my attempt to drag myself back on.)

Recent nuggets:

John Calvin baptized by immersion—who knew? (Section: 4.15.13-18 of the Institutes—if you don’t believe me, you can read it here.)

David Ker, a field worker in Mozambique with Wycliffe Bible Translators writes sumptuous, evocative prose at his blog Lingamish, relating his path to Bible translatordom. (Obviously, I don’t write sumptuous prose.) Check out this paragraph about his learning Portuguese:

“After several months of battle, I successfully learned how to pronounce, eu the personal pronoun, “I.” It is not YO, like those crude Spaniards would have it. It’s not AY-YU like some robot might say it. Eu is in fact a four syllable word pronounced without either opening or closing your mouth. It is the sound of the tide among the rocks, and the sound of a seagull’s wings. Eu is a mixture of pain and delight and the sigh of isolation you can only feel among the ghosts of an old city.”

From Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ book Total Church:

“The role of rational apologetics is to demonstrate that unbelief is a problem of the heart rather than a problem of the head. People may claim that the obstacle to faith is the problem of suffering or the implausibility of miracles or the existence of other religions. The role of rational apologetics is to show that these are not the real causes of unbelief. It is to strop away the excuses and expose rebellious hearts.”

1 comment:

Boyd said...

Michael, I didn't know you had started blogging again. The Safari RSS server doesn't have a sidebar like Firefox did, where I could regularly see what I hadn't read.

Anyway, the quote about Portuguese was very funny - I sent it to a family whose mother is Brazilian, and the kids speak Portuguese as well as English, and they had a real laugh about it.