The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Thursday’s Three Theological Things

  1. As a person who trained as a theologian, I can’t help but see the numinous in all parts of life. Some days this is like an infestation of termites, chewing away at me. I call this the dark night of my soul. Those days where the Holy Whatever breaks through and I want to pull the shades and tell it to go away. Fortunately, those days are few.
  2. About the Holy Whatever. I believe in something some people call God and other people call by a huge variety of other names. I have no presumption that I know what that thing is, hence the Whatever. Yes, I do call it God at times, but I don’t ascribe it gender or human characteristics. But I think God with a big G is taken way too seriously by people of all faiths in ways that are not life-giving. I like to keep my humility by reminding myself that I don’t have the “true” God by the tail anymore than anyone else does.
  3. When I started seminary, someone told me that by the time I finished I would have lost my faith. In some ways, that’s true. I no longer am as limited in my perceptions as I was back then. This larger perspective informs my life (and my writing) but it sure makes it hard to admit that I am a follower of Christ. People interpret that so narrowly sometimes, and put me in a box. Being a liberal Christian is not easy in 21st Century America.

If you want to know what I really believe, here are some sermons. Here or here. If you need proof that I can find something theological in everything, check out this post on football here.

Three things I learned today:

  1. I worry too much, sometimes senselessly, and there are good people in my life who can help me calm down.
  2. How to use Networked Blogs
  3. That hot peanut butter on apples is really good.

Three Theological Things: The Funniest Profound Books Ever

I heard Christopher Moore on NPR the other day, talking about his new book. The commentator, who I should know but don’t because I have terminal CRS disease, asked him about his earlier book Lamb, the story of Jesus’ missing years told from the point of view of his best friend, Biff. Right there you know it’s going to be funny. And if you are a fan of Moore, the man who brought us some of the most bizarre vampire stories, carnivorous mobile homes, and stupidest angels ever, you know you are right. Lamb is laugh-out-loud funny, and I find out, now required reading in many seminaries. Now that is cool!

Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt is a cross between Christopher Moore, Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, and the Three Stooges. A romp across three continents, in search of a newly discovered Gospel, the book is both theologically imaginative and totally bizarre. And God, played by Himself, is a main character, one who will have you laughing out loud.

Right now I’m reading A.J. Jacob’s The Year of Living Biblically. While the other two books are fiction, this is brutally honest non-fiction at its best. If you’ve read Jacob’s first book, The Know-it-All, his chronicle of the year he spent reading his way through the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, you know what I’m talking about.  Jacobs, a secular Jew and writer for the Atlantic Monthly, sets out to follow all the laws in the Bible as faithfully as possible.  His long-suffering wife has to endure a booth, for the Feast of Booths, built in their Manhattan apartment, her husband’s attempt to avoid all contact with her and anything she has touched during her menses, and a full-year’s worth of beard, increasingly odd clothing, attempts to keep holy the Sabbath, and generally strange events, all while trying to raise a young son. During the course of the year, with regular visits with pastors and rabbis who serve as a motley crew of advisors on all things religious, Jacobs has mulitple epiphanies about the life of faith.

Read them if you need a good laugh or if you just want to get a new perspective on your own faith.

Five things I’m grateful for today:

  • Sun. Finally. Sun.
  • A friend who took me to lunch to cheer me up
  • A comfy bed for a much-needed catch-up nap
  • Jenny’s promise to let me get a motorcycle if I lose some weight
  • A cat that says I misunderstand her

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