Books

My thought for this Sunday (okay, not exactly “mine”)

You can think what you will about Bono, but I admire his honesty and outspokenness. His explanation of the difference between Karma and Grace is very clear (and I happen to totally agree with him).

Bono_on_Bono_Cover

Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics – in physical laws – every action is met by an equal or opposite one.  Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it.

And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “As you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.

That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.

The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled….its not our own good works that get through the gates of heaven…

If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed.  All I do is get up on the Cross of the Ego; the bad hangover, the bad review. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my shit and everybody else’s. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man?  And was He who He said He was, or was he just a religious nut?  And there it is, and that’s the question.  And no one can talk you into it or out of it.”

All text taken from Chapter 11 of Bono on Bono: conversations with Michka Assayas, 2005 (Hodder).

Categories: Articles, Bible, Books, Christian, Faith, Religion | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

“A Concise Theology of Voluntary, Principled Book Purging”

books

As a lover of books and coming from a family of avid book collectors (our respective homes are filled to overflowing with books of all kinds and genres) this article by Mark Nenadov made me laugh out loud. And yes, I will send it on to my beloved family members!

A Concise Theology of Voluntary, Principled Book Purging

I. Whereas God hath created books as a good gift and ordained from eternity past that they should be opened and that personal libraries should be full of them, books as such are made to be possessed, enjoyed, consumed, and stored, both for practical purposes and the pleasure such activities provide in and of themselves. (Revelation 20:12; Daniel 7:10;)

II. The pursuit of the knowledge contained in books is a good end, to be honoured and pursued. (Proverbs 18:15;)

III. Books are not created equally, some having lesser value, utility, sentimentality, accuracy, and usefulness. These variations appear both along objective and subjective lines and may wax and wane both in the lifecycle of the book and its owner also.

IV. The relationship between books and their owners since the fall, hath become like unto the relationship between the gardener and his garden. Libraries give many pleasures as well as many pains, thorns as well as fruits, and tares amongst the wheat so that book lovers labour by the sweat of their brow. Books, like mankind, are like grass and the flowers of the field, quickly passing away, getting lost, stolen, damaged, and otherwise brought to seasons of unfruitfulness. (Ecclesiastes 12:12; 2 Timothy 4:13; Psalm 103:15–16; Isaiah 40:6–7;)

V. Books, like all other possessions ought to be held with a loose hand. Due to the finitude of mankind, all libraries are inherently limited, with their proper bounds ordained by God beforehand, a state wherein they should be kept to. Due to these limitations and the tumultuous relations between books and their owners since the fall, like a garden, libraries must be pruned and maintained in order to attain unto a healthy and happy existence thereof.  Such tending will, at times, including book purging. Some branches must be broken so the wild olives can be grafted in. (Matthew 6:19-21; Romans 11:17)

VI.  Book purging is not meritorious, in and of itself, and hath no value if pursued on along the lines of a worldly asceticism, a desire to show off with acts of self-flagellation, and other fleshly motivations.  If, however, it be pursued with faith and a sense of duty towards God, ones self, or ones neighbour, it is a most honourable and useful pursuit. It is to be carried out solemnly and yet with a cheer, knowing the joy that is set before us if we tend our library well. (Colossians 2:16-23l Psalm 126:5)

VII. There be many honorable reasons for book purging, all under the overarching heading of dealing wisely with ones charge, including but not limited to: making room for other books or other needful things, focusing ones collection, sharing with others who may have need of a particular volume, selling to collect funds for other good and necessary purposes, eliminating them due to their lack of utility or purpose, realizing that one will never realistically read half the books one owns, teaching oneself to hold loosely to ones possessions. (Proverbs 17:2; II Corinthians 9:7; Luke 3:11; Hebrews 13:16)

VIII. In purging ones library, one ought to never give away book of which it could be justly said that, it will be useful, of immense interest, or otherwise valuable to, ones self, ones spouse, or ones progeny. In the like manner, one must never lightly throw away or destroy a book, but rather seek, as far as lieth within you, to find a new owner. (Luke 15:12)

IX. Every man stands or falls before his own master, and no man ought to pass judgement on your book purging, and neither ought you to fear men when you have determined that a book ought to be purged. (Colossians 2:16)

X. Book purging, when justifiable, like all other activities of the believer done in faith to the glory of God, ought to be done heartily, as unto God and not men. (Colossians 3:23)

XI. If you tire of your labours in purging, and such is common among fallen men, remember that the hard-working tender of books ought to have a first share of his crop. Do not be anxious about it, but proceed in faith and prayer. Much pain and travail is caused by getting rid of books, even those which are not valuable or useful, and yet, you will have your reward if you persevere. We are often reminded that our life is but a mist. However, your lack created by getting rid of a book, will be restored to you many fold, if not in this life, certainly in the life to come. (2 Timothy 2:6; Philippians 4:6–7; James 4:14; Philippians 4:19;)

(photo from Internet)

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