In his book, “Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World,” Kyle David Bennett calls out our daily activities and imagines what it would look like to perform them Biblically with our neighbor in view.
Ultimately, it wasn’t the collision of the plane that kept me turning pages, but the collision of characters—both with each other and with the wildness of the world.
The Shallows and The Next Story do an excellent job of motivating the reader to consider their use of media, but it seems to me that the different approaches taken by these authors are rooted in fundamentally different pictures of what it means to be a human being.
Lila tells the story of a young woman, Lila Dahl—of her abandonment at birth, her wild upbringing among vagrants, and her eventual arrival in the small town of Gilead, Iowa, where she begins a relationship with the gentle pastor who would one day become her husband. It is a story of grace – divine and human – and of unconditional love.
The only tough part of a virtual roundtable like this book club series is figuring out how to either respond to all of the good points made or to pick from among them in a way that doesn’t neglect something valuable.
Dreher’s plan is an “option” for certain people, but certainly not for all. I wonder if, after some of the criticism he has received, Dreher would edit anything from the book. I’d be curious to see what changes he would make if he were ever to rewrite it for a second edition.
Much of evangelical culture has been and remains banal. How do we expect adults who grew up in churches to create culture rather than creating a “Christianized” copy of the surrounding culture?
Is this an option for everyone? Dreher calls his idea “the Benedict Option”, but is it really an option for all people? Or is this available only for those with privilege?
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
Dreher’s choice of the Rule of St. Benedict as the tool to frame his essay on Christian community seems to me a major reason for interpretive misunderstandings of how radically separated he intends this community to be. What he is actually proposing is no different from the basic strategies Christians have employed to create and influence local communities for centuries.
As I, like the narrators of his albums, work out the big questions, Springsteen’s music has been both a puzzle and provocation. Not every album was a home run, but for him, that wasn’t really the point as much as it was a true chronicle of his own questions and pursuit of better answers.
Like many of the writers in the collection, it took leaving the church I grew up in to find my way to a new understanding of God. But in fact, this “faith journey” was a kind of return—to something my childhood church community had once known, but forgotten.