I’ve discovered that blogging is difficult. This will become more clear several blog posts from now, but it is difficult because I have been thinking that I have to write something that will impress anyone who reads it. As long as I maintain that expectation I’ll never write anything. I need to write because I think out loud. It doesn’t matter whether it is writing or talking. I think best when I am putting thoughts into words. So, I’m going to write more often. I’ve been writing thoughts in a journal for years, and now I’m going to try writing them in this blog. There are still things I’ll write in my journal that I won’t put here, but responses to what I’m hearing and reading will go here.
The first series of posts will be my responses to the book The Way of the Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen. It is a book written specifically to ministers that I think is applicable to anyone who is trying to follow Jesus. I’m rereading it trying to connect it with Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The Way of the Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen was recently recommended to a missionary friend of mine. I discovered that I had an unread copy on my bookshelf, so decided to read it. The book is written to people in professional ministry. The premise of the book is that we live in very dark times and that the best example of how to survive and minister in these times is by following the example of the desert fathers who withdrew to the desert to practice solitude, silence, and prayer. A lengthy critique of the book can be found here. My goal is to learn from the book while comparing it with a very different viewpoint. Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived during the darkest of times, before and during World War II in Germany. He believed that the Nazi persecution of the Jews was wrong and fought against it most of his adult life. He wrote Life Together as he was working out how to follow Jesus when surrounded by evil. Nouwen’s book recommends withdrawing from community for a time to develop disciplines that will make ministry more effective. Bonhoeffer’s book recommends a life of constant community to enhance ministry and spiritual growth.
I hope you’ll join me on the journey of discovery. Your comments will enrich the journey and are encouraged.