Being Read

Went downtown to return a book and returned with some Borges. Need to read theology, really. Need to spend my money on some theological tomes, but other things keep calling. I don’t and I should, and now the reasoning–at least some of it–is clear. If you don’t read theology you will end up harping on your pet things more than you would if you did. I think there is a point in that.

Problem is: Borges’ style. One picks him up on anything and smiles. How wonderful, how free of anything ponderous, how urbane like few theologians that blind, charming infidel. Should be reading Charnock or some equivalent theological gravel and sand, but instead I read Borges on the bus. Fat lady got on and took up a seat beside me, and made me feel that perhaps it was discourteous to withhold my seat from her as well. Up against the side of the bus I read Borges.

Now I have to study, and there is Borges. And still Auden, but I deliberately left him at home. I’m going to have to get St. Thomas so I can do some theology regularly. Some Gregory Naziansen, I ween.

* * *
Have you listened to A.N. Martin on pastoral theology? It is worth doing. I do it when I have to work on stuff like the bulletin, etc. He tells them they should read on 8 things more or less constantly. On theology and devotional works the most, and then a bunch of other categories. What was interesting to me was what he said about history. He said a pastor should look at the era that most interests him and become an expert in it over the years. Not bad advice, I think. Having a degree that somehow involved history, I ought to see about becoming a master of some kind of era of church history myself.

What else he said that caught my attention was in the area of theology you should stick to the proven chaps, not the new stuff. He reads the new stuff to keep up on developments, but not for theology. Sound, I reckon.

* * *
I do remember lamenting one time that I’d read Revive Us Again three times and never once The Fairy Queen. You know, I still have that lament. My idea for my sermon on Genesis 5 this week comes straight out of Auden: crowd, society and community.

Still, I ought to see about getting the Aquinas.


One thought on “Being Read

  1. I share your debilities. Theology should read like poetry anyway. Athanasius is the proper foil for Borges, not Charnock. I have a book, a collection of Reformed prayers, called “The Valley of Vision”, compiled by Arthur Bennett, that has outlasted my allegiance to the Reformed faith. It is worth the whole opera of Owens and Manton.

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