Reading Without End

Two verses come to mind when I think of reading – one from Ecclesiastes, the other from Proverbs:

“To the making of books there is no end, and too much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecc. 12:12)

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7)

Needless to say, I’m very obedient to the second verse and I think I don’t mind the weariness that much study entails. “Though it cost you all you have, get understanding!” That’s what the Bible says so that’s what I’ll keep on doing – spend a fortune on books. So here are the latest additions to my library:

I forgot to mention last time that I also bought Petersen and Petersen’s 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. I was glad to find out I had most of what they listed. Some of what they listed I think weren’t all that great so I don’t mind not having them. They admitted this much by implying at the end of the book that this wasn’t a list of best books.

Yesterday, I was at Book Sale again (SM-Bacolod) and bought more 2nd hand books, namely:

1. Debra Dean Murphy’s Teaching That Transforms (Worship as the Heart of Christian Education)

2. Bart. D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus (The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why)

3. Paul J. Griffiths’ Lying (An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity)

4. Rethinking the Synoptic Problem, edited by Black and Beck

5. Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways

6. Lee Strobel’s Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary

After this morning’s worship service I went to Robinson’s Place and bought the following from Book Shop (by the way, I only got to know that Book Shop is different from Book Sale when SM opened here in Bacolod):

1. John Dewey’s Democracy and Education

2. The Renaissance Philosophy of Man

3. Jean Genet’s Miracle of the Rose

4. Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son

5. Wilfred Cantwell Smith’s The Faith of Other Men

6. Emil L. Fackenheim’s What is Judaism?

7. Harold Hoffding’s A History of Modern Philosophy (vol. 1)

8. R. K. Narayan’s The Guide (A Novel of A Reluctant Holy Man)

9. John E. Smith’s The Spirit of American Philosophy

10. Creators of the Jewish Experience in the Modern World, edited by Simon Noveck

11. Edward Schillebeeckx’ Jesus (An Experiment in Christology)

12. The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan

And to top it all my sister-in-law and her husband sent me the following all the way from Canada!

1. J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines

2. The English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament, English Standard Version

All I can say is I just feel so blessed! I’m reminded of something Virginia Woolf wrote in her essay, How Should One Read A Book? I don’t think what she had to say is theologically sound, but for purposes of communicating a sense of the joy I have in reading it will have to do! Here’s what she wrote:

I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards – their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble – the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.”

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