OK So Maybe We Don’t Have Incarnational Down As Much As We Think We Do {Book Club}

If there’s any chapter in  An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor I thought we might have nailed as a community, it was this one. Incarnation.

Check. And check.

{Good thing she doesn’t have a practice on Not Being Competitive because I do not have that one nailed down.}

If there is anything this community believes in, it’s not a stretch to say it’s about being incarnational. I once did the math on how much money people have given just for me alone to be on the field and as the years added up, so did the amount. I was honored and horrified.

I have “voted” with my life, time, relationship, finances, and distance on being incarnational. And so have you. I wondered what I’d say here before I read the chapter. I pictured this space today maybe being a small corner of high-fiving in the best sense. Not “We rock!” more of a “Well done!” And then I read the chapter and golly, Barbara went and changed the parameters from being in a place to being in a body and those two phrases can be worlds apart.

This chapter has me a bit all over. Willing to jump around with me?

*****

From An Altar in the World

“[Self-loathing] can only go on so long, especially for someone who officially believes that God loves flesh and blood, no matter what kind of shape it is in. Whether you are sick or well, lovely or irregular, there comes a time when it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.’

“One of the truer things about bodies is that it is just about impossible to increase the reverence I show mine without also increasing the reverence I show yours.”

“In far more pungent language, Daniel Berrigan once said, ‘It all comes down to this: Whose flesh are you touching and why? Whose flesh are you recoiling from and why? Whose flesh are you burning and why?’

“Such questions strike below the radar screen of the intellect, where far too many questions of faith are both argued and answered… We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned as dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more of God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.”

*****

Last week I heard Glennon Doyle Melton say, “We are told to be selfless then given a self.” This week our theme here at Velvet Ashes is shame and I think of how much potential shame can be reflected in these bodies:

Weight — like you, I’ve heard some doozies when it comes to weight — and though in my context it’s more about how much I weigh, your context may be about how little you weigh. “With a face that thin, I had no idea you could be so fat.” Uttered not once but THREE times after an outfit a local friend bought me wouldn’t fit. I had to put it on to prove to her it wouldn’t fit. It seemed like a Peter denying Jesus moment. Did she really have to say it three times? I got it :)!!

Hair — both on my head and other parts of my body. People, I don’t want to talk about it, but chin hairs.

Appetites — for food, for silence, for nature, for touch, for love, for companionship, for privacy, for sex, for children, for stimulating conversation. Sometimes they come packaged in neat, socially appropriate sizes, and others it’s the foraging beast I try to tame so as not to belie how unlady like my body and desires can be. What recoils and delights us can be some of the most shameful parts of having bodies that have had both experiences and messages/teachings that leave us wanting to hide.

And yet I love having a body. The feeling of stretching it in the early morning. Getting to share a meal or a walk or a long conversation with someone. Having my hair brushed by little girls playing beauty parlor. Smelling the broth of hot pot boiling. Laughing so hard it hurts.

****

In an effort to distact Niece #1 from pestering her sisters, I handed her my camera and told her to look at pictures I’d taken of her at a marching band performance. As she looked, her comment caught my attention.

“I need to square my shoulders more.”

She didn’t say this in an overly critical or self-loathing way, but there was an awareness of her body and what it is capable of doing. I flashed to years before when I’d watched her or her sisters at gymnastic class and in particular to the look of pride and “watch me” on their faces. One of her sisters had a favorite outfit that one season she was in the process of out growing. She loved it so much she didn’t care it gave her a wedgie and was a bit tight over her stomach. She felt fantastic in it.

“I need to square my shoulders more” may be true and at her age it may not be sweet to dance with abandon in a too-tight outfit, but my prayer for my nieces as they grow is that body awareness will focus on the marvel and wonder of their bodies. That the shame the enemy wants to sow in their young and tender hearts may be thwarted by the truth of their value. And as they grow they will be rooted in the God who gave them mind, body, and soul (and crazy family :))!

****

As you can see, this chapter stirred a lot in me. I’d love to hear what stood out to you. What passages did you mark? What thoughts have you been tossing around? What questions can we discuss? Pour a warm drink or a cool glass and I’ll see you in the comments!

Amy

P.S. Next week we’ll looking at the practice of Walking on the Earth 

Disclosure : Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site. 

Photo Credit: -MRGT via Compfight cc

20 Comments

  1. Danielle Wheeler October 27, 2014

    Oh, my.  This chapter!!  I just got done reading it.  Stirring, yes! Talk about making you uncomfortable and awe-inspired.  I needed this chapter this week.  Just last week I weaned my youngest.  (He’s two years old, so way too long according to some, but I tossed that judgement aside because it was right for us.)  For the last 7 years, I have been either breastfeeding or pregnant, as ready as I am for the next chapter, there have been huge tears to think that this is the end of my season of baby.

    And now, I mourn the changes in my body.  Funny enough, I don’t mind the stretch marks. There’s even a part of me that’s glad birthing marked me forever.   It’s the shrinking of bra sizes that leaves an emptiness in me.  There was fullness and now there’s not  (if we’re going to get all vulnerable).

    So yes, I needed this: “…it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.’

    1. Elizabeth October 28, 2014

      Goodness Danielle, I so relate. I MOURNED the loss of nursing. I had to wean early (13 months, so not early but earlier than my preference) to go on our survey trip to Cambodia, and boy did I cry. I knew it was the last baby, and the last nursling, and I hated to say goodbye. Not so much to a larger bra size (because I’m handicapped in that area whether I’m nursing or not!) but the life giving nature of it, and the precious bonding that happens. I loved being pregnant, feeling my babies move. I loved the newborn stage, fresh out of the womb. None of that will never happen again, and though the decision to stop at 4 was right for us for many reasons, I still miss those early years with babies!

    2. Amy Young October 29, 2014

      Uncomfortable and Awe inspiring. That’s it exactly! And I love the line This is my soul’s address. I’m glad we’re talking about changes in bodies — it seems to be a bit taboo and often associated with bemoaning (and there’s a place for that :)), but pure — not so much “I hate thighs” — I miss this or that.  If we could do that, how much less baggage might we carry though life?

  2. Elizabeth October 28, 2014

    Incarnational. What does that even mean?? It was interesting to read this chapter, which was my favorite so far, and then have lunch with a lady who, out of the blue, started talking about incarnational ministry! Talked about how, when she had a back injury and had to be out of ministry for awhile, she learned all about what that means. What it means to enter into pain with someone. The only position that didn’t hurt was laying flat on her back, looking up.  People would come to visit her, while she laid flat on the floor, and they would sit on chairs and talk to her. But one lady, going through depression herself, got down on her back on the floor with her. She entered into her pain with her, into her world, to experience the same thing, where all they could see was the ceiling. That we have to enter people’s world to minister to them. In her case, it was obvious, a physical entering. But it’s not quite so obvious in all cases, and it still leaves me wondering, how do I do that?? And does it take our own suffering to be able to enter in to other people’s suffering?

    She told another story about having a kitty during this time, and learning from the kitty’s response to her love, how she can respond to God’s love. How we don’t deserve it but we can enjoy it, and we don’t have to hide our enjoyment, don’t even need to be ashamed to enjoy it. I loved that part. Because sometimes I do feel I don’t deserve to have a close relationship with God, because I have too many failings! I was just really touched by her stories.

    1. Amy Young October 29, 2014

      What rich images you’ve shared 🙂

      I can picture the two of them laying on their backs — and as you asked, what do that mean for me, for us? How can I “lay on my back” more instead of sitting in a  chair, being present but removed.

      And the joy of a kitten. I sometimes wonder if we down play our joy?

    2. Shelly October 30, 2014

      Elizabeth, your comment brings to mind the days I just spent with a friend who is now confined to a wheelchair because of a lung disease that makes it just too taxing to even walk around her apartment without needing several minutes to recover. And all the while she is hooked up to oxygen. She has an electric wheelchair at home to get her back and forth from bedroom to bath to kitchen to computer. I was still an outsider to all of this until I had to park the electric wheelchair inside the residence entrance while we were out running errands.  I had to sit in it and drive; it could not be pushed. I felt the limitations this friend now has and was all the more wowed by her joy in the midst of this disease.  She would have me catching my breath if she still had good lungs!  She is grateful for every day that she can stand up in the kitchen to cook herself a meal without needing to catch her breath.  She does not complain about how much time everything takes now.  And I felt that too as I took her out.  Oxygen tanks to move (multiple ones if we were going to be out for several hours), doors to open, a manual wheelchair to pull out from the trunk and then push with her in it. It all took so much more time and demanded a lot of my body.

      Though my body did things to come alongside my friend, I have to confess my spirit didn’t follow as willingly. I wish it had.

       

  3. Jenny October 29, 2014

    This chapter spoke to me in new ways because last month I became critically ill and was close to death.  As I lay there I was not in pain but felt my body failing me and there was nothing I could do.  While it seemed my life might be slipping away I began cloudily wondering what things do we enjoy on earth that we will not experience in heaven, and I came away with the question of being in skin compared to our ‘glorified bodies.’  I don’t really know what to expect for a heavenly body and I’m enjoying the many pleasures and being more intentional to experience those.

    I have not historically been very touchy-feely with my friends, but I’m branching out and learning what different hands feel like, giving hugs and appreciating the solid warmth of some friends or noticing the surprising strength of a lean back.  The loneliness of lying there in hospital was lessened by my family and sweet friends who would sit and place a hand on my leg, or comb my hair, or stroke my arm.  After I spent days lying unwashed in a hospital bed,  the joy of a hot shower and the power to scrub myself exhilarates me.   Now that I am well,  I’m devouring the knobby knees of my children and smell of their sweaty heads after playing hard.  Dare I even hint at the sexual beauty and fulfillment we can experience while on earth?  These are all gifts of God to enjoy while I’m in this soul tent.

    Last year I read Ruth Haley Barton’s book Spiritual Rhythms and began to learn mindfulness in my body, appreciating the strength of legs to run and bike, noticing the flush on my neck when I feel stressed or angry, the sweat on my brow from either hard work or nervousness.  I realized there are so many ways God can speak through our physical bodies that I have usually overlooked. I still don’t really know how to talk about this in real life and am thankful for this chapter and forum for it.

    1. T October 29, 2014

      Wow, Jenny!?!  What an experience you had!  I bet that you ‘were made so much older’ (to borrow a phrase from CS Lewis’ novel Perelandria, meaning you were made to understand a lot and mature) during your illness and since.  Maybe you can share more with us sometime?

      1. Amy Young October 29, 2014

        Agreed :). Whatever you’re comfortable sharing, Jenny, we’d be honored to hear.

    2. Amy Young October 29, 2014

      wow (even though it’s the beginning of a sentence, I don’t mean my “wow” to sound loud, instead a quiet “wow” when you want to respond and honor and be present in what you’re hearing) — what an experience. I’m wondering if you were on the field when you got sick or if you were in your home country. The reason I ask, is when I had an intense, nearly dying experience on the field, I was completely bowled over by how many people wanted to touch me when I returned to my home country a few months later. I had never been touched as much before or since. It made me wonder what is compulsion (many were strangers) to physically connect one body to another.

      I thought of all the passages in the gospels where touch was involved — many around physical ailment and healing. There is power in having these bodies — as image bearers, I’m not sure how bodies will play out in heaven, but they must be there in some way, eh?!

      I love how you root us in showers, sex, children, hair. The small mercies we swim in. And I love that Ruth Haley Barton book! Thanks for the shout out to it.

  4. Jenny k October 30, 2014

    This chapter was my favorite so far as well! I have been in a rut with all my books lately and this shook me out of it a bit. I read while visiting and talking with a friend in another country about how hard it is to have physical longings and be single women in countries where marriage seems impossible (she is a national but still feels that tension). How we struggle to live in that tension and to be fully human- reading this chapter was so affirming that having a body is not bad. I can fall into the trap of Platonism and want to just to be soul and forget that God has intentionally embodied our souls, that is what makes us human! So cool

    This idea of living in a body has been rolling around in my head for a while. I do not naturally gravitate towards physical contact- often in make me more uncomfortable than anything else (teammates have pointed out that I look terrified (who knew?!) when in surrounded and pushed by people bigger than me… which most everyone in my country is). And the foods I don’t like has to do more with their texture than with their taste. So like it or not, aware of it or not, my life is in so many ways affected by being embodied. To be completely honest, my body feels more often like it’s in the way- my first two years in country I was nauseous almost every day and nothing helped- not rest, not sleep, not food, not exercise. It was so frustrating to be forced to be so aware of my body. This chapter pushed me on a lot of half-baked thoughts and I am excited, and apprehensive, to see what God is doing with an area that is becoming a pattern in my life.

    1. Amy Young October 31, 2014

      Jenny K, don’t you love it when I book comes along at the right time to jump start our thinking? And we probably all have more “half-baked thoughts” than we realize 🙂 … if we knew, they’d be fully baked. Right?! I’m running late, and will write more later! Sorry to start and dash, but trust you’ll understand!

    2. Amy Young October 31, 2014

      I’m back :). I think it’s fine to not be all that into touch (meaning a person can not be that into touch and it doesn’t mean there’s guaranteed any big secret lurking!). Yet we all have some touch needs and you raise good questions as to how singles can get them met. My back problems lead me to become a massage person (not giving, receiving) and thankfully I”ve been teamed with folks in recent years that had kids. As I’m typing this, I remember years ago I was hugged by someone and commented to my teammate how nice it was. It was just the two of us, and we weren’t the hugging kind of teammates. I didn’t really feel anything was lacking in my life until I was hugged. I became quite aware, as a single and in a society that didn’t have much touching at that time, I was rarely touched.

  5. Jenny October 30, 2014

    A little of my recent story, I don’t want to hijack this book club (my soul has longed for something like THIS for years!)…my husband and I and our 4 children (ages 12, 10, 7, 5)  have spent most of the past 13 years living in India, the past few years in a very remote rural location.  We loved many things about our life and have enjoyed cross cultural living very much.  The beginning of this year we came to the US for 6 months and began sensing that God was leading our family out of India for the foreseeable future and we wrestled with God and all the implications of that.

    We returned to India in July, with the intention of handing over the clinic my husband had started and transitioning out of our life there to return to the US in October.  In September our plans were disrupted when I became strangely ill, collapsed with exhaustion, spent days in bed barely able to think, having strange hallucination-like thought, not able to speak much, too weak to even go from my bed to the bathroom alone.  I had none of the ‘normal’ symptoms, no stomach issues, no respiratory infection.  I was like this for several days and becoming less responsive, so my husband (he is a Nurse Practitioner) and our friend who is a doctor thought I should be transported to a hospital where further testing could be done, a two day journey from Delhi on very rough, windy mountain roads, which we were all concerned could cause serious problems. So our friends arranged a helicopter to transport me out of our place to Delhi.

    Once we knew the helicopter was on its way we only had about 2 more hours in our home, and our friends helped us pack up some things to take and began preparing our children to leave our home.  Although our family knew this departure was coming, this was a traumatic way to leave.  My memory is fuzzy, but I was carried up the path from our home on a stretcher, driven to the helipad, and my husband and I got on the helicopter to get to Delhi to try to figure out what was wrong with me. Our children stayed with our friends that night in our home, and our friends took them down the mountain on the 2 day road trip starting the next day.

    In Delhi I went to one of the best hospitals, was in the ICU for 3 days and had a full workup and then was kept another 5 days for more tests and IV meds.  There were definite indications of infection/inflammation, my heart rate was all over the place, but no clear diagnosis.   Friends in Delhi carried our family for those weeks, rarely leaving my side, and caring for our children in their home.  Three days after I was discharged our family flew to the USA and I saw a specialist here whose best guess is that I had some type of encephalitis (brain infection). Recovery has been slow, with my brain often foggy and not able to multi task very well, exhaustion, sometimes confusion.

    All of that has also given me new awareness of this body and how in some ways I have so much power and so little in others.  I can choose nourishing foods and strengthening activities that make my muscles and heart work and get healthier.  I can aim for hours of sleep to recharge connections in my brain and restore things.  But I cannot actually do a thing to get my brain to work any better, to remember what I just meant to do, to think through a problem more clearly.  That is mysterious to me.

    Thanks for listening to my story.  Most of our years in India we lived a very isolated from other expats life and something like Velvet Ashes would have been so helpful for me.  Even now in our transition to life in the US I am looking forward to being part of this community.

    1. Stacey October 31, 2014

      Jenny, thank you for sharing your story. I don’t feel like I have appropriate words to respond, except to say that you have invited us to read a part of something mysterious, holy, terrifying and life-giving that He has done and is doing. I am honored, and I will reflect and rejoice and grieve and wonder with you in it.

    2. Amy Young October 31, 2014

      Jenny! This isn’t hijacking book club at all — this IS book club :). We read things to engage — with ideas, with God, with each other! And, if we’re fortunate enough, to hear a bit of each other’s stories. Seeing how very integral “body” has been in the recent chapter of your life, it’s no surprise this chapter (and maybe next’s?) resonated with you. I enjoyed reading it and can guess other’s did too. The part that makes me saddest is not that you got ill, but that you had to leave your home in such a hurry up way after it being your home for so long (and in a state of illness, near death, and not the mental state you wanted). Really and truly, I am saddened and I’ll admit, a bit confused why God allows such traumatic events. But God is OK with my confusion 🙂

      On another note, I personally want to thank you for the note on book club — this was birthed out of me wanting something like this for years too :). But I have, at times, wondered if this space on Tuesday’s would be better suited to another form of engagement/connection than through books. But your comment encourages me this is vital and life giving.

  6. Stacey October 31, 2014

    First, I want to say thank you to VelvetAshes for letting me win this book! I am sorry that I’ve been such a poor book club participant so far, but I am happily reading along. I just haven’t made the time to sit and write here. Tonight’s the night for the late entrance, I guess!

    So far, in every chapter, there have been things that resonate deeply, and things that raise up a sort of “I’m not sure I agree with the way she said that; what exactly does she mean?” It reminds me of conversations I’ve had with many friends, where we’re “getting” one another really well and feeling mutually encouraged, but then I all of the sudden have that feeling that something was just said that doesn’t quite represent the truth as I understand it, and that I might need to address it. Conflict makes me squirm, but so do half-truths, whether they are mine or the other person’s – and I figure if I’m feeling a red flag then at least one of us is probably working with something skewed, and deep down I want to find out what that is. But I’m not an apologetics type or a black and white type, so the thrill of a good debate and the triumph of drawing the lines in the correct places elude me. I just feel a gut-twist, and groan with a bit of timidity when I realize that I might need to engage it instead of ignore it. I know there is growth in addressing the questions, it can just be exhausting!

    Well all that was a bit more negative sounding than I intended, so let me go to where I resonated in this chapter. P.41/L 209: “[Our bodies] know when things are out of whack and they say so” and “We would rather lock up our bodies than listen to what they have to say. . . this leaves us in the peculiar position of being followers of the Word Made Flesh who neglect our own flesh…” I don’t make it a priority to get enough sleep or exercise regularly. My physical health and my mental health are not mutually exclusive. This spoke to me.

    So did this: “The daily practice of incarnation — of being in the body with full confidence that God speaks the language of flesh — is to discover a pedagogy that is as old as the gospels. Why else did Jesus spend his last night on earth teaching his disciples to wash feet and share supper? With all the conceptual truths in the universe at his disposal, he did not give them something to think about together when he was gone. Instead, he gave them concrete things to do– specific ways of being together in their bodies — that would go on teaching them what they needed to know when He was no longer around to teach them himself.” (p.42-42/L 724-25).  I’ve never thought of this before! I have nothing more to add, just “Yes!”

    Someone above (or Amy in the post) also quoted this “We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned as dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.” (p. 44-5, L 759-60). This describes how I’ve been feeling lately. Crying out to God for awareness of His presence, more knowing Him. More being sustained by the bread of life. “Perhaps,” my soul flickered, “perhaps she’s onto something with this idea of pursuing Him through the life He’s breathed into this flesh, and not so much in the head and the emotions.” And then the whole explanation about her prayer life just pinged in me, that perhaps this is a gift God has for me now. “This is good work, this prayer. This is good prayer, this work.” (p. 46/L 773)

    That hymn struck a chord. (ha.) I remembered that God saw what he had made and said that it was very good. I forget that sometimes. It’s a bit tricky, because there’s a whole lot of New Testament (symbolism? language?) used to explain the sinful desires we have, called the flesh. So that’s obviously not good. I’m ok with the paradox. I just need to be reminded that the body was Created by a good Creator and that He was very pleased. That is a very honorable and good truth to live with.

    Then on p. 48/L 808, I ran into one of those pesky gut-turns, and I’m really not sure what I think about it. I say this with humility, there’s a good chance I just don’t “get it” yet. Or maybe she’s missing a bit, don’t know. But these are the words I stumbled over: “Yet this is the central claim of the incarnation — that God trusted flesh and blood to bring divine love to earth.” My first response: sort of. He created flesh and blood, so it’s strange for me to say He trusts it. He creates, breaths life into, and sustains flesh and blood. It’s not the flesh and blood that conquered death and conquered sin, it was God breathing life into those bones once again that conquered it. So to me, this statement just doesn’t quite sit right. It’s not quite all the way wrong in my eyes, but I’m wary of embracing it. It seems to me that flesh and blood were failing as all people fall short, and here my mind goes to depths that I can’t explore; the mysteries and realities of sacrifice, death of flesh and pouring out of blood to atone for sin. There’s a connection here to be had, but it’s out of my reach right now and I’m content to be awe-struck in the mystery. But for now my bent is toward seeing the incarnation more in a redemptive light than in a trusting light. Jesus was tempted, was it not because he was “wearing skin” that He could be tempted? If He is our Great High Priest who experienced what we experienced and yet remained sinless, isn’t the remarkable thing about that that he was flesh and bones, in the world of the fall, and yet He did not sin. I suppose here I’m indisputably influenced by New Testament language that associates our ungodly yearnings with a flesh that thinks there is life outside of God. All this language could be metaphorical, I guess, and it could be truly that the flesh doesn’t actually yearn for self-rule but the wayward soul.  Yep, and it’s 11 pm so I’m just not going to go any further with that right now. 🙂

    I can say that though I struggled with that sentence, I can embrace the last phrase of the chapter: “It is God’s will that these bones live.” This is true. And it is a truth I need to hear. I’m very sensitive to death and suffering in this world, and the Tempter twists and connives and whispers lies that God isn’t a life-giver, a life-lover, a healer. I hate those lies. I love hearing this truth and want it on replay. It is God’s will that these bones live.

    Overall, with this chapter and the first half of the next chapter, I felt encouraged to go “all in” mentally the next time I needed to do something physical. Not to flit around mentally like I am inclined to do. But to go all in, aware that the Creator might speak to me on a conscious level, but also aware that He might want to skip my mind and go straight to the flesh, where restoration can happen beyond my analytical gaze. Clearing my mind to make it empty and calm is never within reach. Focusing and meditating on one big deep meditative thing rarely works, either. My mind and emotions are a web of connections and ideas and questions and my conscious thoughts are always running, especially if I’m trying to get them to slow down. But there is something about physical work that can fill my mind and give me rest. So today, when the most important part of homeschooling was done, instead of trying to tackle a cluttered room that has recently been re-purposed and not yet found its calm, I went outside and tackled a huge mound of rainy-season weeds that had taken over our modest little plant area. (Because for me, a room of clutter is mental work, pulling the weeds is physical.)  I swept up dirt and mud. I marveled timidly at the red ants that did not like what I was doing. My daughter joined me. And then my sons joined me. We worked together and made it look nicer. I thought about nothing except the work we were doing, and it gave my bones life. I didn’t reflect (too much) on the stares I was getting from the neighbors who would’ve hired someone to do this job; I didn’t reflect (too much) on the joys and connections I was having with my children. I just enjoyed the moment, got hot and dirty, cleared the weeds, and smelled like warm dirt (like real dirt, I love that smell!). And tonight my mind is restful.

    “This is good work, this prayer. This is good prayer, this work.” “It is God’s will that these bones live.”

     

  7. Amy Young October 31, 2014

    Stacey! Thanks for commenting :). So much to respond too — let me think on your comments some more before responding! You’ve reminded me that with other books I’ve done a better job of reminding folks I don’t think the best book clubs are those where we all agree — as you said, a healthy level of debate is good for me to really think through what it is I believe and WHY. And to know we’re not all going to agree on everything without it getting in the way of discussing and engagement. As you know from last book club I rolled my eyes at her saying rocks had souls :). Barbara is good about pushing me to use my brain as I read! And you have the same gift! I’ll be back more with other ideas!

    And others, please feel free to chime in!! 🙂

    1. Amy Young November 6, 2014

      Thanks Jenny! I enjoyed reading it … I LOVE listening to NT Wright speak 🙂

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