I always have several books on the go at any one time - I just could not imagine life without reading! So, what I am reading at the moment?
I am also reading two of Wright’s ‘Everyone’ series – by the bed ‘Matthew for Everyone’ and on the breakfast table ‘Revelation for Everyone.’ I have worked through ‘Matthew’ before but ‘Revelation’ is a fairly new addition to the very fulsome library of books Wright has written. Again Wright seeks first of all to understand the historical context into which the Letters were written. As difficult as it is we have to try initially to look though the eyes of a 1st century Jew/Christian hearing these words. Perhaps one of the most helpful insights that Wright has brought with his musical background and interest is that we must ‘hear’ Revelation as a symphony, layers of music laid on top of layers of music. As written words they have to follow each other and we can then think we are reading something that is happening or is to happen sequentially. I also remember some years ago working through a Local Methodist Preachers Course looking at Revelation and we were encouraged to think of it as a Greek play with various Acts and Scenes, that again I found very helpful. What I am picking up is the big picture of God allowing evil to have full rein for a period so that having being brought out in full view it can then be dealt with – finally! And then, very importantly heaven will come down to earth – note, not that we will go to heaven!
I have also recently read Stephen Kuhrt’s book ‘Tom Wright for Everyone.’ Stephen is a vicar in New Malden and has ‘allowed’ Wright’s theology to inform and influence their church life in very practical ways. It was great to hear of how Wright’s theology can shape pastoral practise and mission.
And for balance because reading all of the above I am in serious danger of becoming ‘narrow’ I have a Christmass present book ready for holiday reading (holiday in February) ‘The Etymologicon’ by Mark Forsyth. This is a random reading on the origins of words beginning with one word that then leads into the explanation of another and so on and so forth and so on and so forth - you get the idea! I have always loved words and discovering their origins. For example just the other day whilst shopping with Jane in Sainsbury’s I looked at the oranges and wondered which came first – the fruit or the name! And whichever came first just where did the word orange come from – and orange is of course one of the few words for which there is no other word that rhymes.