Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TWOsday ~ books for two classes

How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee ~ by Bart D. Ehrman, 2014
Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.  The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God.  But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime — and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself.  How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.  Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee, who was crucified for crimes against the state, came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things.  But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God?  In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection.  Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death — alive again — did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God.  And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.
Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living, Revised Edition ~ by John McQuiston II, 2011
This book holds timeless appeal for readers who hunger for a meaningful and creatively balanced framework for life.  It offers a simple blueprint, based on the Rule of St. Benedict, to order one's time and create physical and inner space, to step back from the demands and pressures of the moment, and to step into a place of peace.
Once again, it's TWOsdays.  I'll be studying these TWO  books for seven weeks.  My Sunday morning class is viewing Bart Ehrman's video lectures on How Jesus Became God and then discussing it.  I bought the book and read the first chapter before our first session.  I'm not sure how many others in the class also plan to read the book, but I'm definitely a reader.

The church provided each of us a copy of the small revised edition of McQuiston's Always We Begin Again, and we were to read the first 20 pages before meeting tonight at the St. Louis Bread Company in the Loop near the church.  Others are meeting on Sunday mornings, but I can't be in two places at the same time, so I chose to meet with the Tuesday evening group for this one.  We were told that St. Benedict and McQuiston have wise, “middle way” practical suggestions for living, which we participants will discuss and practice.

1 comment:

maphead said...

Can't wait to read your review!