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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday 5: Cultural Edition

Name the following that have helped/ challenged you on your spiritual journey:

1. Book - Aside from the Bible, which is way too obvious an answer... I'd cite Kathleen Norris' Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and Philip Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace? Despite the similarities in the titles, they are both very different books. However, they both communicate some profound wisdom, and each did so for me at times in my life that needed precisely what they had to offer.

2. Piece of music - Oh, now this is a long, long list. But I remember being in college, and being in the process of considering and owning my faith practices for the first time as an independent adult. During that period, I discovered John Michael Talbot and his gift for contemplative, prayer-full music. It was balm to my soul.

3. Work of art - When I was in seminary, we had to do an in depth research journal focusing on a particular piece of scripture. I chose one of my favorites: Luke 7:36-50, "Jesus and the Sinful Woman." While I was working on that, I came across this painting, which took my breath away.

4. Film - "Dogma." Oh. My. Goodness. How something could be so violent, and in many ways profane, and at the same time carry some profoundly Christian theology...

5. Unusual engagement with popular culture - Hm. Well, I did take a belly dancing class for a while. It was fun, and great exercise.

Bonus: Is engagement essential to your Christian faith, how and why?
Engagement is essential, is it not? To be "in the world but not of it" is a dual imperative-- a both/and which sets us apart (or should) as Christian disciples.


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