Friday, October 08, 2004

My life is an open book

Actually it REALLY isn't but I do today have a small claim to fame in that Church House Publishing selected my suggestions list to be Affiliate List of the Month. So if you were thinkng of buying any churchy books do have a look and see what I recommend! Brother John of Taize's books really are a must buy for anyone who has never read anything by him.

I have had the privilege of hearing him speak in Taize on Paul's letter to the Philippians, on Genesis and at the Oxford University Pathways retreat on what it means to be a Christian. What has always impressed me most is John's modesty and his reluctance to receive any congratulation or commendation for his work. It makes it quite difficult to "big him up" to people as I know he would hate it. He usually gets a raucous round of applause at the last Bible introduction session each summer week at Taize and usually his response is to turn around, tell people to stop and then threaten to walk off! So apologies to John but I AM going to say good things about you and you'll just have to cope!

For me John's exegesis (his comments of the Bible) opens up the passage and relates it to life. This is what I am always seeking to do when I read the Bible. He comes from a position of great biblical knowledge and shows the deep wisdom of someone who has steeped himself in the passage and reflected deeply on it's meaning not only in terms of language but in terms of its meaning for us and for how we live our lives. His book God of the Unexpected is especially good at this as it presents the reader with short chapters focussing on the bible and on how that impacts on life. It's great for a daily study, for a short reatreat or for the occasional dip in.

So to Brother John, thank you for your work, your insight and your patience with me whilst I compliment you and to the rest of you, have a read.

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