Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Kingship’

My top five favorite books of all time, in alphabetical order by author:

1. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes: A dark carnival comes to a fictionalized Waukegan in a timeless October, bringing nightmares. It is a story about childhood and growing up, fathers and sons, friendship, and the good and evil in every one of us.

2. William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!: Unimaginably rich and mythic, a magnum opus about the South, chronicling Thomas Sutpen’s obsessive but doomed struggle to found–“tore violently a plantation”–an aristocratic dynasty in Mississippi before, during and after the Civil War, and about the destruction brought down on his bloodline and the land they inhabit as judgment that ripples through place and generations as a result. In the end, it is relentlessly a book about the dark places we should not go but that we ultimately cannot resist.

3. C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: Lewis’s re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche is the most true book about God that I have ever read. It is the story of an ugly queen whose beautiful sister is taken from her by a god, and who unintentionally enacts her revenge on everyone around her by taking just as ruthlessly, until at last she is finally forced to come to terms with the true nature of herself and the Divine.

4. Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove: An epic, episodic novel about a pair of grizzled ex-Texas Rangers and the men and boys they lead on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, for no reason at all, more or less, other than to be the first to be there. It is a powerful and poignant story about manhood, friendship, obligation, women, cattle and death. Uva uvam vivendo varia fit.

5. Jack Schaefer, Shane: A short but intense novel from a young boy’s perspective about a dark gunfighter who drifts into a Wyoming range war between farmers and an unscrupulous cattle baron. Shane is a cracking, fast-paced novel about courage, love, commitment, manhood and true strength.

6. T. H. White, The Once And Future King: A lush and quirky but immensely powerful retelling of the entire Arthurian legend. In a sense, there is nothing that this book is not about. If I had to give a boy only one book to live their life after, it would not be the Bible. It would be this book.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I would like Christianity to be true. I’m just not really sure if I believe it. I decided last year, after reading C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, that I believe in God. The exact nature and extent of that belief is properly the subject of another post, but it is sufficient here to say that it isn’t rock-solid, and it isn’t even enough to be what I call faith.

This summer, in the midst of reading most everything C. S. Lewis ever wrote, I decided that I wanted to be a Christian. As a Christian, I strongly identify with 1) everything C. S. Lewis ever wrote, 2) the Episcopal Church, and 3) Christmas. I find Christianity compelling. I find the liturgy of the Episcopal Church meaningful and compelling. I find the traditions and the institutions of Christianity compelling. And I find Christmas in its sacred aspect so compelling as to be almost hypnotic. I like the ideas of Christianity. But I have no faith, I have very little belief, and I don’t know what to do about that. I realize that “faith in Jesus Christ” is nowhere on my list of Christian assets. I’m not sure what to do with that. I tried to rationalize and make do with a hybrid kind of faith that had more to do with 1) an intellectual conclusion that the Resurrection probably happened and 2) a decision to recognize Jesus as the King of Kings, and thus to pledge loyalty and fealty to Him. But those don’t seem to be doing the trick. They’re not generating anything I can recognize as faith.  I’m no sure I even know what faith means, or what faith looks like.  I’m certainly not sure I know what it means to have faith in Jesus, or how to get it.

I have been struggling with how to move forward as a Christian, how to progress spiritually, even what I actually have to do to be a Christian (it’s so much easier in a religion like Mormonism where there is essentially a program laid out for you to follow). I’ve felt like a car with wheels stuck in snow or mud, spinning and getting nowhere, because I’m not even sure where I’m going.

Now, surprise, surprise, I find myself wondering what I’m even doing here. I find myself questioning again whether Christianity is the right thing for me, or if it even makes sense, and I find myself once again attracted by things like Ásatrú, Druidry, and Paganism. But then if Christianity isn’t the way for me, then I don’t know what do do with things like Christmas, C. S. Lewis, and the Episcopal Church, all of which are still so compelling, even if I really have no faith in Jesus whatsoever.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: