Tag s | Theology

How Are You Reading?

I collect books. I graze through them like I’m at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I sample this tidbit and that. Eventually, I get enough to eat or find the right morsel to consume until it is finished.

It makes me an eclectic sort. But there are days, even weeks, when I must discipline myself to become immersed in extraordinary writing. It is there where the soul can be fed and nourished.

I came across a quote from the great Charles Bridges, a well-respected pastor in the Church of England whose Exposition of Psalm 119 (published in 1827) is a masterpiece. A couple years later he wrote a book directed at people in the ministry. I found a selection that is particularly applicable to everyone who reads, especially in our modern era of content consumption without digestion.

Ardent minds wish, and seem almost to expect, to gain all at once. There is here, as in religion, “a zeal not according to knowledge.”— There is too great haste in decision, and too little time for weighing, for storing, or for wisely working out the treasure. Hence arises that most injurious habit of skimming over books, rather than perusing them. The mind has only hovered upon the surface, and gained but a confused remembrance of passing matter, and an acquaintance with first principles far too imperfect for practical utility. The ore of knowledge is purchased in the lump, but never separated, or applied to important objects.

Some again need discretion in the direction of their study. They study books more than themselves. They lose themselves in the multiplicity of books; and find to their cost, that in reading as well as “making books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” Bishop Wilkins observes, “There is as much art and benefit in the right choice of such books, with which we should be most familiar, as there is in the election of other friends or acquaintances, with whom we may most profitably converse.” No man can read everything; nor would our real store be increased by the capacity to do so. The digestive powers would be overloaded for want of time to act, and uncontrolled confusion would reign within. It is far more easy to furnish our library than our understanding.

May you be inspired to think about what you are reading and why you are reading it. If our recent crisis has helped you slow down, don’t forget those lessons and apply them to your next great book experience.

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Gray Saturday

I wrote this many years ago and read it every Easter weekend as a reminder. May it speak to you in some small way.

Gray Saturday
by Steve Laube

Holy weekend is such a study in contrasts.

Friday is dark. Somber. Frightening in its hopelessness and pain.
I do not like Dark Fridays.
The nails bury themselves deep into my soul.
They become a singular stake through the heart of this sinner.
Piercing. Rending. Bloody.
Vanquishing this creature of the night who dares to follow his own way.
Christ’s death becomes mine.
The death I deserve.

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Dark Friday

I wrote this piece a few years ago and thought it appropriate to post every year on Dark Friday.

Take Me, Break Me
(a prayer)
by Steve Laube

Take my eyes Lord.

Strike me blind.

* * *

Then heal me Lord
That I may see with Your eyes.

 

Take my hands Lord.
Crush every bone.

* * *

Then heal me Lord
That I may touch with Your tenderness.

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Problem Solved! — NOT!

Sometimes my office receives submissions for books that claim to solve a problem or provide the answer to a question that has been plaguing mankind since it was known to be an issue. To wit: Why the death penalty is Biblical. Why the death penalty is not Biblical. Why there …

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Be Careful Little Hands What You Type

Just as those involved in Christian ministry are committed to serving God as “his hands and feet” on this earth, Christian writers are similarly motivated, giving a voice to God’s work and communicating his grace and love to a hurting world. But just as some ministries can veer off the …

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Prayers for the Nation

 As we celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the United States this week, it is my privilege to offer prayers that are timeless yet needed today more than ever. These can apply to any country. I hope you will be blessed by these prayers from The 1928 edition of …

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Publishers and Theology

One of the more complex aspects of publishing Christian-themed books is the publisher theological position or “grid” which covers whatever products they seek to publish. Just like all churches are not alike, Christian publishers are definitely not alike. Some may have groups or “imprints” focusing on a specific theological perspective, …

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40 Days with One Composition

For the last few years I’ve used the forty days of Lent as an auditory discipline. I try to listen to one collection of music during the entire season. This year’s choice was Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of our Savior on the Cross.” I listened to the …

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Christmas Blessings

Gospel of St John: 1.1-14 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was …

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