Reading on a Sunday Afternoon

by Oak Hill Studio

I awoke to rain pounding the roof this morning; a most pleasant sound and needed respite from the dry weather we’ve had for several weeks.  Hopefully the tomatoes and raspberries will get a needed boost as we move towards the beginning of their harvest times in the next couple of weeks.  Actually, we are already enjoying some deep red, juicy slices of our early tomatoes at the dinner table, but the Romas (all 15 or so plants) are filling out and will be ready for canning by the end of the month, maybe sooner.

This afternoon, the sun peeked out, and after clearing away the lunch dishes, I had a few minutes to pick up a book before driving Michaela to meet a friend who is camping with her family nearby.  I have two newish books on my reading table.  The thicker one, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Histoiographical Approach, I have had since  Christmas.  I began reading it at that time, but I think I was rather burned out from reading some other “heavier” books and just needed a break so set it aside.  Lately it has been appealing to me, so perhaps now is the time to delve in.  Though one might consider it to be more intellectual fare, so far it is not dry; rather I’m finding it to be quite interesting.  The introduction that I have read thus far is laying the foundation for how we know anything from the past.  I left off in the middle of a section that addresses the fact that all historians tend to approach any topic of history with from a perspective that is heavily biased towards their own predispositions.  Mr. Licona (Research Professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary) calls this “Horizons” and says, “It is how historians view things as a result of their knowledge, experience, beliefs, education, cultural conditioning, preferences, presuppositions and worldview.”  He states, “When we read books about Jesus, we find ourselves in agreement with certain authors usually based on whether the Jesus they reconstruct is like the one we prefer.”  And, “They cannot look at the data devoid of biases, hopes, inclinations.  No historian is exempt.”

Mind you, I am only on page 39 in a 622 page book that apparently is going to move forward from a historiographical position to defend the resurrection of Christ.  But I think it will be quite interesting to see how it all unfolds, considering the influence of “horizons” on all historians, including the author.  It may take me another 12 months to make it through the book, but with pencil in hand, underlining and marking as I go, I hope to come to a better understanding of the resurrection from a rather scholarly point of view–even though I do not consider myself to be the scholarly type.  I happen to live with two very scholarly personalities which has prompted me to sit up straighter and take note from time to time.  I already know enough about myself to say with some confidence that my faith is just that….faith.  It rests mainly on more subjective criteria; mainly how the Lord has worked directly in my own life for so long, along with the fact that what I read in the Bible fits well with reality.  (I am thinking primarily of the effects of the fall and sin on people’s’ lives and redemption–as outlined in the book of Romans.)

Anyway, I didn’t plan to write quite so much about that first book but I guess it’s on my mind and I’m finding it rather intriguing.

The second book I came across at the Salvation Army last week.  (Every now and then I’ll peak in to see if I might come across some unique find.  The lamp in the above photo was purchased there; and most of my skirts, several of high quality come from SA.)  Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge was this week’s find.  To me, Ms. Goudge’s writing is so relaxing and refreshing, with the fragrance of real spiritual truths woven easily and naturally into her storylines.  Perhaps it will provide a perfect balance to my more academic reading.