Gleanings – April 30, 2019

Gleanings are some items I’ve found lying around the web that I’ve found helpful this week.

All (Some) Things Gilead

There are very few times I’ll put a book down, exhale, and simply say, “Wow.” But this is exactly what happened when I read Marilynne Robison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead. While reading it, my wife asked me, “How’s that book?” Uncharacteristically, I answered, “Amazing.” “Really?” she replied in disbelief? Then she read it…and said the same thing. (The other book we’ve both read with the same response in the past few years is Peace Like a River…perhaps I’ll feature that one some other time.) Written in the first person, from an aging father to a young son, Gilead takes place in a small rural Midwestern town in the 1950s. I cannot recommend it enough, and I’ve been reminded of my need to re-read it again this week by these first two resources:

Russell Moore Interview with Marilynn Robinson  The President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission had the opportunity to interview Robinson on his podcast recently. This is an interesting conversation with her that gives some insight into her take on the world and her emphasis on grace. For those interested, you might also check out Barack Obama’s interview (in two parts) with Marilynn Robinson, from The New York Times Review of Books.

Close Reads: Gilead  One of my favorite podcasts, from the CiRCE Institute. You will be surprised at some of the books they tackle, which is part of the reason it’s such an intriguing Podcast. The three participants (David Kern, Angelina Stanford, and Tim McIntosh) are thoughtful, well-read, insightful classical educators who approach literature from a Christian Classical perspective. They tend to go on a lot of tangents, but it would be worth your time to read Gilead along with them. They give a good example of how to have thoughtful, rich discussions around the Great Books.

A Bit Late on the Resurrection

Practicing Resurrection: In light of Easter, I recently wrote an article, featured over at Gospel-Centered Discipleship, about the surprise of resurrection and reasons why we don’t (but should) live out the resurrection every day.

Dead Men Live: As always, Plough doesn’t disappoint with this article from Daniel Stulac, which will press on some modern “conservative” understandings of Scripture, but it’s worth a critical and thoughtful read:  “The resurrection, more than any other of the church’s claims, has had a way of distinguishing Christians from their cultural surroundings. And so it is not surprising that the church has wrestled with the problem and meaning of the resurrection so profoundly in the modern scientific age, when common sense seems to rule out the idea that dead men live…But once the church consigns its ‘sight’ to anything other than Christ’s risenness, its missional engine stalls.”

And what about Judas? Thought-provoking article, meditating on how the greatest betrayer in history might be a lot more like us than we ever thought. From one of my favorites, Joshua Gibbs over at CiRCE: “Judas simply regarded his sin very lightly. He did not think a minor betrayal of Christ to be of much consequence. When Judas saw that Christ was condemned to die, though, ‘he was seized with remorse’ (Matthew 27:3), which suggests that Judas never thought things would go as far as they did. After all, he agreed to tell the chief priests where Christ was, but he never agreed to kill Christ or to testify against Him.”

Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

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