I began some time ago to write up a tentative theology of books, bookish theonerd that I am. I hit a rut, however, because things weren’t satisfactorily coming together for me. The post was sparked by a debate I had with someone over whether real books were superior to e-books, but I realised that my dislike of e-books had less to do with e-books themselves, than with the broader question of the place of technology in the lives of human beings, and my intensely realist philosophical outlook. Hence, it is these thoughts that I will present to you today, before I narrow in on books specifically.
Not my house, but Joel Hollier’s. He wrote this heartrending reflection on Facebook, and it was subsequently published on the Bible Society’s website. The following is a snippet, but you should read it all.
“Over the past 72 hours I have been forced to come to terms with the immensity of what it means to lose one’s home. Standing in the smouldering rubble of violently twisted metal and blackened walls which only the other day provided such unappreciated security is a sobering reality check, the likes of which one never imagines would happen to them. The barrage of well-meaning pop grief psychology is a constant reminder that what we have lost is just stuff- my canon camera is replaceable, as are the library and laptops. But no amount of reassurance can disguise the fact that that house was full of ‘stuff’ that I loved.”
During times of disaster, when a piece of positive news is heard- for example a property was spared- a Christian will often automatically (and rightly so) exclaim that God is good. However I can’t help now but ponder the implications of this statement. Had that property been taken in the blaze, would that in some way render God ‘less good’?
If it is a fundamentally true statement that God is good as the Bible claims, then his goodness is true no matter what my personal circumstances may be. I may be on the brink of losing all, but God is still good.
Nick from Nick’s Catholic Blog has written something that needed to be written. About the problems that our overly mobile global society is having in family and parish life as a result of this ridiculous ease with which we uproot ourselves from our family.
Food for thought.