Our second meeting was, in the words of Lloyd G. “real”. We were missing a member, and another was tardy, and all was duly noted.
To business: Andrew P has been working through Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy. We noted the immense sub structure of myth Tolkien invented as a context for the trilogy. Andrew will have more to say next meeting regarding the books…..
I presented one of my favourites, a book, nay, more of a mediation on fishing and what it means to be human. Its called “A River Never Sleeps” by Roderick Haig Brown. Brown was British Columbia’s top writer, in my opinion. This book is fashioned more as a memoir and mediation than a how to. He chronicles the fishing year giving anecdotes and opinions month by month. A highlight for me is his rendition of his ‘apprenticeship’ with his relative, a man named Greenhill. Haig-Brown had lost his father in the first world war and that British culture valued outdoorsmanship so much they commissioned this Greenhill to instruct him in rod and gun. The strictness of the tutelage, and the intimacy of the relationship, are worth reflecting on. Our contemporary culture sees teaching mostly as the imparting of information, and perhaps some skill. This example of learning almost has a discipleship overtone to it, as Haig Brown learns from a master. A quote: “I still don’t know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel. But i do know that if it were not for the strong, quick life of rivers, for their sparkle in the sunshine, for the cold grayness of them under rain and the feel of them about my legs as I set my feet hard down on rocks or sand or gravel, I should fish less often.”
Lloyd G. sobered up our evening with “The Reason For God” by Tim Keller. It is a book which tackles many of the questions moderns ask of the Christian Faith, such as why a good and loving God condemns sinners to eternal damnation. Good question. The nature of hell is a frightening topic. Lloyd related how Keller’s view is somewhat different with what he grew up with and how he was working through his thoughts on the matter. Essentially Keller views hell as the state of being you die in if you reject Christ. Keller points out that sinners stay rebellious against God and there is no reason to think anything would change after physical death. He uses the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to show that the rich man wants relief from the suffering in hell, but does not want to himself repent and worship God instead of self. Keller says that in hell God removes all his goodness from us and leaves us to our sinful selves. An existence without God’s grace in creation, his grace in fellowship with other humans, and with only our lusts and sins to keep us company would be truly horrible. We concluded that Keller’s view is an important nuance, seeing as how God gives us over to our sins. But we also noted that Jesus says to fear him who destroys both body and soul in hell. Whatever combination of selfish isolation and burning punishment hell ends up being, the fact that it is terrible should motivate us to speak truth to our neighbours so that some might be saved.
Another great evening of thought-provoking discussion, and we are looking forward to the next evening, scheduled for
Monday Sept 14, at 8 pm. My place