Sacred Texts

This, from James Ford who writes on the Bhuddist Channel of Patheos, speaks deeply to me — a person who loves the Bible yet does not believe it is an unerring direct transmission from God. But it is the sacred book I was born to and cannot get away from. Because even if God did not write the books of the Bible except through imperfect human tools who could not help but wheedle their own tribal and vengeful feelings into it, He IS there. It is foolish to think that our spiritual texts are not human, equally foolish to ignore them for doing so. As Ford states:

Witnessing such fundamentalisms as such an affront to common sense can lead to people to think we’re really on our own here, that there are no worthy guides. This is a tragedy because we are in fact, surrounded by great clouds of witnesses, who are constantly singing wisdom into our hearts. People have walked on this planet, have opened their hearts and their minds and have found what is necessary to heal our wounds, and even the great wound. And books of their guidance abound. And we should be respectful, and grateful.

In other words, God is in us, and therefore in our books, though some reveal Her more than others. Dostoevsky’s The Brother’s Karmazov, as the author mentions, is one such book for me. But also J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarilion, especially the opening song of creation, the Ainulindale (don’t scoff until you’ve read it). There are few books that have moved me like C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, unless it is T.H. White’s heartbreaking and funny masterpiece, The Once And Future King. And, of course, there’s Moby Dick. And Steinbeck’s The Winter of our Discontent. And Art Spiegelman’s Maus.

And, with that a question: What might that be that special book for you? Or, books. Your scripture. What is your thread, your sutra, what is your sacred book?

Read “Finding Your Sacred Book” on Patheos.com here

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