Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

Reading As Companionship — A Personal History

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, Archetypes, Ash Wednesday, At-One-Ment, Atheism, awareness, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, Comfort, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, courage, Creator, creator senses, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discernment, doubt, Education, Enlightenment, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Hope, Human Condition, Imagination, Intelligence, Jim Cowles, Lent/Ash Wednesday, Literature, Longing, Mystery, Myth, Mythology, Nihilism, Numinous, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Secularity, solidarity, T. S. Eliot, Uncategorized, Wholeness
In Shadowlands, the movie about the courtship and marriage of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham, C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying “We read to know we are not alone”.  I have found multitudes of citations  where people quote Lewis as having said this in those very words, but have so far found no specific source, no book, no article, no lecture, for this remark. But even if Lewis did not say it, he should have.  For in my own personal experience, there have been instances too abundant to count where this proved to be the case with uncanny timeliness.  The following examples do not even scratch the surface. But in virtually all cases of where I have been reminded that I am not alone, this reminder also amounted to a revelation of what I myself thought even at times when I was not aware
Mass Murder and the Incredible Shrinking God

Mass Murder and the Incredible Shrinking God

Atheism, Christianity, citizenship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God, Grief, Guns, hate, Islam, nonviolence, Pain and Suffering, peace and justice, Politics, prayer, Rationality, Religion, secularism, sorrow, Theology, violence
OK … full disclosure … I don’t get it. I mean … I.   Just.   Don’t.   Get.   It.  I am writing this on 3 December the day after 14 people were shot and killed in San Bernardino, CA, by two people whose motivation, as of this writing, is as yet unclear. Well … life is full of mysteries, isn’t it? But here is one more. In the wake of the shooting, various members of Congress – all Republican, as far as I know, though party affiliation is utterly beside the point, so please … save yourself the trouble of providing partisan counter-examples – various members of Congress issued public statements … actually publicity statements … piously assuring the victims’ families and friends that their (the Congress members’) “prayers are with you in this difficult time” (or words to that effect). To
Saints Without God

Saints Without God

activism, Albert Camus, community, Compassion, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discernment, entering into suffering, Ethics, God, Gospel of Matthew, homeless, justice, parable, secularism, solidarity, Spirituality, Theology
The first “You Can Be Good Without God” placard was placed on the side of a city bus by Jesus Christ sometime during the first quarter of the first century CE. Well … OK … technically speaking, that is not true: there were neither placards nor city buses to put them on in the first century CE. But everything else about the first sentence is true. What Jesus actually did, according to the Gospel of Matthew, was to teach “You Can Be Good Without God” in the famous Parable of the Sheep and the Goats … which  around a hundred generations of preachers and homilists then proceeded to misinterpret by getting the story exactly, precisely 180 degrees “bass-ackwards”. It is this mis-reading of the Sheep / Goats parable that renders the bus-placard sign, and the sentiment behind it, so scandalous. Li