Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Always the Nerd

I never used to see myself as nerdy. Now I think it totally describes me. On one hand, I was told by this prophetic type one time, with his finger sticking in my face, "You think too much." And yes, that's true. Sometimes you can think a thing to death. I've been doing that for several years about writing a book but that's not the topic this week.

I rarely read for pleasure - the last book I read for "pleasure" was The Glass Castle by Janette Walls. I had been told by a friend that this woman's life had been so messy but it was nothing compared to mine. Seriously, I am not sure about that but I did enjoy the book a lot. I think that was about four or five years ago that I read it.

Actually right now I am reading three books that aren't for school. To say it is pleasure reading might be a stretch. They are Miraslov Volf's Allah: A Christian Response, Lodahl's Claiming Abraham: Reading the Bible and the Qur'an Side by Side and Rob Bell's Love Wins. Not exactly easy reading. I recommend all of these books for their ability to enlighten and cause one to think. Volf gives you much to chew on from a theological perspective but is not an easy read for the less theologically minded. Lodahl is not as challenging but equally enlightening and thought-provoking.

In our world, with the conflicts we see every day, it is good to get the right information rather than the political hype and lies. Both Lodahl and Volf are solid CHRISTIAN theologians. Volf, currently at Yale Divinity, is from the former Yugoslavia, and is the son of a Pentecostal preacher. Lodahl, currently at Point Loma University (a Church of the Nazarene school) is a leading theologian in the Wesleyan Holiness movement. Both attempt to bring some sanity to the lies and distortions we find abundant as we come to grips with the challenges of a post 911 world.

Then there is Rob Bell.

I love Bell's Nooma videos. I had heard so much about his book - mostly criticism that I wanted to read it for myself. So far, it has made me think and remember, I like that.

If you want to know my all time favorite author - at least from a theological perspective it is Walter Brueggemann - again, he isn't for the faint of heart. He challenges me constantly. Amazon has 71 books listed by Brueggeman; I've read maybe 10 plus I have his commentary on Genesis (EXCELLENT). I have a long way to go on my Brueggemann reading list. Most recently I read Journey to the Common Good.

Yes, my reading list is heavy - Bell is the easiest read. But this is what I love. This is what makes Joyce tick. These are the things that God has been using to feed my mind and my soul and transform me.


Andrea York said...

I love Brueggemann too but I can only handle him in small doses - it's too meaty for large portions.

Linda Maynard said...

I had to look up nerd because I was sure that doesn't totally describe you. It seems like a put down...so here's what I found... "An unstylish (no), unattractive(no) or socially inept person ( I don't think so); especially slavishly ( that sounds harsh) devoted ( YES for sure!) to intellectual pursuits ( Yep!)
So maybe you could be called a semi nerd??? lol
Also the origin of nerd seems to have come from a character of Dr Suess' book..." If I Ran the Zoo" ( I'll have to check that one out too)
I've read one of the books, the one by Rob Bell...I started the Glass Castle ( wan't for me) and the others...?
Thanks for your insights

James Clouse said...

I prefer the term "geek" to nerd. LOL, great post. Look forward to reading more in the future. Mine is http://humblelibertystudent.blogspot.com.

Followed your blog.