Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Balance: The Personal Example and the Practice in Recent Reading

--I have recently read two books, short but helpful books.  For those of us who have already spent some time reading about these subjects or better yet, practicing the spiritual disciplines described, the books won't tell us a lot that's new.  But it's good to be reminded.

--The first book was Scot McKnight's Praying with the Church:  Following Jesus Hourly, Daily, Today.  He gives interesting insight into how Jesus would have prayed.  What I liked the most is his exploration of the modern approaches to fixed hour prayer.  It's especially fascinating to read how McKnight, who describes himself as stubbornly low-church, approaches this ancient discipline.

--On Sunday, I zipped through much of Paula Huston's Forgiveness:  Following Jesus into Radical Loving.  Again, these ideas aren't new to me.  But it was so good to be reminded.  And I took comfort from reading of her struggles with forgiving others--and with being forgiven, which is often an element of forgiveness that we don't talk about.

--With both of these books, the personal stories are the most interesting parts to me.  I'm having a similar reaction to my friend's scholary work that she's writing.  Yet when I'm on retreat, if there's too much sharing, I start to feel frustrated.  What's up with that?

--These books do a great job of balance:  the personal examples are used to undergird the theory and exploration of the practices, and vice versa.  At the recent retreat, we had a lot of personal example, but not much theory or practice.

--As I work on my own writing, how can I practice what I've been preaching?

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