Recent Reading

Recently completed books…

Real Presences by George Steiner
Sabbath as Resistance by Walter Brueggemann
Prayer by Timothy Keller
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
The President is a Sick Man by Matthew Algeo

In the works…

Remythologizing Theology by Kevin Vanhoozer
The Actuality of Atonement by Colin Gunton
Hero of the Empire by Candace Millard
Gerard Manley Hopkins by Paul Mariani

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Daily Office Lectionary

I have on and off found the reading schedule offered by the Daily Office Lectionary from the Book of Common Prayer to be a fruitful guide for daily Scripture intake (available here). Each day offers several Psalms, readings from both Old and New Testaments, and a passage from the Gospels. It is a two year cycle which begins on the first Sunday of Advent

One of the things I particularly enjoy is seeing links between the daily passages, though they were not really set together with such connections in mind.

Today is a good example. The readings were: Psalm 119:1-24; Psalm 12, 13, and 14; Isaiah 2:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20; and Luke 20:19-26. I was struck by the following interconnections.

  • Psalm 119, of course, is an extended meditation on the Word of God, his law, statutes, testimonies, etc. Since the Word is such a central biblical theme, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that it is a significant feature in other of the passages.
    • And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
    • “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
      to the house of the God of Jacob,
      that he may teach us his ways
      and that we may walk in his paths.
      For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
      and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

    • In Luke 20:21 some of Jesus’ listeners say of him, “You speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.”
  • Psalm 119:17 – Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. ==> Psalm 13:6 – I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
  • Psalm 14 speaks of the atheism and corruption of the nations. Isaiah 2 speaks of rich, godless nations.
  • Given that those quoted above were trying to catch Jesus out, Psalm 12:2 is apposite: “Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.”
  • The following verse’s wish–“May the Lord cut off all flattering lips”–seems to be fulfilled in Luke 20:26 – “And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.”