Book review

Rector's Reading: "Acquiring the Mind of Christ"

Last week I finished reading "Acquiring the Mind of Christ: Embracing the Vision of the Orthodox Church" by Sergius Bowyer.  It was another recommendation, this time from a member of Ascension.  Theological reading has been a favorite for me since seminary, as opposed liturgy or church history, although I enjoy those too. 

This book offered a look at Christian theology through the lens of the Orthodox Church.  We, in the Episcopal Church, enjoy some common framework with the Orthodox Church (as well as the Roman Catholic Church).  Indeed, our reliance on our liturgy to inform our theology and general understanding is central to our way of being.  I have tried to also reinforce the notion that we are 'to be Christ' to the world through my preaching and teaching.  So, I found this concept of working to 'acquire' the mind of Christ quite fitting.  

I enjoyed the general work of the book.  It concludes with a series of sermons and prayers.  I thought this was particularly helpful.  I have not always enjoyed reading sermons, like reading plays, it is sometimes difficult to make them come to life in this secondary format.  Although, in this instance I quite enjoyed them.  The book is a relatively short read, if you are looking for something theological, that can touch on how our liturgy can help you acquire the mind of Christ, I suggest it.  Perhaps it will even help as you seek to be Christ to the world.

Rector's Reading: "Option B"

My dad sent me a copy of "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" a few months back.  This isn't unusual, my dad sending me books.  He knows that I tend toward those things that have been recommended, giving even higher priority to books that he recommends (maybe because he also sends me copies).

I finished it last night.  As I began, I wondered what I'd really get from it.  I have read other accounts of people overcoming hardships and loss.  I have read other works meant to build our pastoral understanding and response.  However, the further I got into the book the more I found it helpful.  It is personal and touching.  It is helpful to anyone who wants to be supportive of others who have suffered loss, particularly the loss of a spouse, maybe even more so the loss of a spouse "before their time".

I found myself telling Sarah (my beloved) that she needs to read it, particularly if I die.  That may have been what I said, "When I die, you should read this..." she is accustomed to odd instructions at this point.  I do believe the book offers a great deal for anyone who wants to support their friends and family.  It steers us away from those things that aren't helpful and toward both practical and emotional supportive means.  If you need a copy, mine is available for lending.