Saturday, April 23, 2005

Whilst I am no expert, it seems to me that the new Pope Benedict XVI is not going to be beneficial to the church. He has been criticised for being anti-totalitarian in politics but totalitarian in terms of theology. Whilst someone who claims to be a humble christian could be of benefit I have doubts.
It seems to me that one of the biggest problems that afflicts all religions is the idea of complete self-certainty. This is one of the things that I was reading about in my book by Paul Tillich this morning and I think it is even more relevant today than at any other time.
Whilst some would respond to this by re-moulding themselves in the role of cunning wise religious philosopher,it is clear that this is a time when the majority of people have huge doubts, huge confusions and huge uncertainties. Fundamentalism and triumphalism in terms of theology only serves to dirty the reputation of the church.
Paul Tillich takes the text ' To the weak I have become weak myself in order to gain the weak' :
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
"This is the most profound of the three statements that Paul makes about himself, and the most important one for our existence as theologians. We must become as though weak, although grasped by the Divine Spirit, the basis of all theology, we are not weak. How can we become weak without being already weak? We can become weak by having the strength to acknowledg our weakness, by restraining ourselves from all fanaticism and theological self-certainty and by participating - not from the outside, but from the inside - in the weakness of all those to whom we speak as theologians. Our strength is our weakness; our strength is not our strength. We are strong, therefore, only in so far as we point, for our own sake and for the sake of others, to the truth which possesses us, but which we do not possess."
(notice he doesn't say, I have become weak even though I am strong)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I have figured out a way to show you all the books I have for sale on Amazon. Please note you need to have Java enabled on your browser to see this page properly. If it doesn't work, check the security settings on your browser.

On a sunny day like this I can’t help thinking about the first few lines of ‘The Last Summer’ by Boris Pasternak: “that last summer when life still appeared to pay heed to individuals, and when it was easier and more natural to love than to hate.” What he is talking about is the summer of 1914 but it still rings true today. I really think this book is one of the finest that I have read and I will have to get busy to read it again. This could be the start of something, I can see myself reading it over and over.

While the car is getting fixed I have been getting the bus and the great thing about the bus is that you can read and ‘drive’. I have been reading ‘Living to tell the tale’ by Marquez on the bus and it is getting better and better. As he grows up you learn how he thinks, how he looks at the world and how people have started to see him as a writer, even when he was still quite young. I am learning that through the eyes of a child the world is a very mysterious place. Marquez has very cleverly looked back and written about the things that happened to him, the way people treated him and you can really get a feel for how his books are the product of his life.

When his Grandfather died, a man he greatly admired, he watched on as they had a ceremonial burning of his Grandfathers uniform. He was a colonel and they had gone through his clothes and gathered all his uniform and hats. They mistakenly took the young Marquez’s Scottish plaid hat and burnt it along with his Grandfathers clothes - and when he saw that he realised that something of himself had been taken when his Grandfather died.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hi there, I'm back again and after a coupl of desperate months I am ready to get back to writing more on this site. I'm still trying to get back into the way of things at the moment, I'm trying to set up a method of showing all you people out there some of the books that I have for sale through Amazon. Your chance to pick up some great bargains and see some of the very embarassing books I have managed to pick up (along with some great reads).