The Past Knows What it’s Talking About

Hello dears,

First of all, I have been really enjoying reading to Feist’s new album Metals. It is romantic, eerie, and halting. It is also an album that isn’t overly disruptive or distracting. Here is one of her songs I really like listening to, with headphones on especially, it’s titled Anti-Pioneer.

Secondly, I have a full course load this semester, but lucky for me I seem to enjoy a lot of the classes I have been taking. I am in three solid classes which are: Suffering and Belief in God, History of Christianity and American Literature. At the moment I am doing some reading for History of Christianity and I thought I would share a little tidbit from Erasmus titled Paraclesis written in 1514. He says:

“If we want to learn something, why should any author be more agreeable than Christ himself? If we want a pattern for living, what model is more suitable than Christ the archetype? If we crave some medication against the foul lusts of the mind, why do we suppose a better remedy can be found somewhere else? If we want reading to stir up a soul grown torpid and weary, where, I ask you, will you find sparks so lively and vital? If you want to raise your mind above the vexations of this life, why should you suppose other delights will prove more alluring? Why have we regularly preferred to learn the lessons of Christ from the writings of men other than Christ himself? And because he promised to be with us even to the end of time,3 he is present most especially in these writings in which even now he lives, breathes, and speaks to us, more forcefully (I might almost say) than when he lived among men. The Jews saw less and heard less than you see and hear in these evangelical writings, if you will only bring to.them eyes to see and ears to hear him.”

This passage is so relevant to today’s culture. The new Rob Bell book comes out and we all rush to read it to hear another thought-provoking and seemingly button-pushing message. We look to intellectually brilliant authors like C.S. Lewis to answer our spiritual quandaries but where is the Bible amongst all of this? Shouldn’t that be our first source? Now, I am not writing this to say that you all have it wrong and I have been doing it right, I am among you who grab Bell and Lewis, and Erasmus’ words pointed out a flaw in my thinking. I merely suggest that you think about what he says.
Well I must continue reading but I will leave you with one last quote from this wise man. Have a great morning and maybe start your day off with the words of Christ himself.

“What sort of business is this, anyhow? We keep letters written by a friend, we kiss them, we carry them about with us, we read them over and over; and yet there are thousands of Christians who, though otherwise learned enough, have never read through the evangelists and the apostolic books even once in their lifetime. The Mohammedans hold to their tenets, the Jews even today study the books of Moses from t heir very cradles. Why don’t we in the same way devote ourselves to the study of Christ?”
-Erasmus, Paraclesis, 1514


One comment

  1. Questaaaa · · Reply

    I love this post. Even though I am not writing in capital letters. This is very humbling, Mare, thank you. You have made me think – yes, it is true – we should definitely look at Christ because we are called to be imitators of Him. Why that hasn’t really hit me till now is unknown, but I think I have a renewed outlook and thirst to go back and study, not only the Scriptures, but who this man was. If I get a glimpse, perhaps I can sneak a peek at who God is.

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