October was a heavy month for me, in terms of school. If I wasn’t in class, I was buried in my textbooks, or working on assignments. The time I did have to myself was spent taking care of more administrative, or not-as-fun personal things. I generally read the most at night, and therefore, I didn’t get the chance to read much because I was always tired.
However, given the theme of the blogs I have written recently (i.e. Christian Reflection, Dialog with Islam, and even Little Thoughts: Good and Evil), it should be apparent that I was involved in deep philosophical, and even theological, thoughts and discussions. October was a heavy, challenging month for me, in terms of ideas posed in my Religion class, and in the materials I read, and personally wanted to read.
Jesus Among Other God’s by Ravi Zacharias
I am greatly interested and inspired by Ravi Zacharias. I saw him speak a few years ago, and he has quickly become favorite theologians. This book is heavy, but it explores how Jesus stands against the gods of other religions.
At the time I was reading this book, my Religion professor had assigned a paper in which the class had to analyze their own religious identity. As I was reading this book, I began to recognize the incredibly exclusive claims of Christianity, and I began to experience tension between this book, and the pluralistic views I had developing while reading the textbooks for this class.
This book is difficult to read, simply because Ravi’s style is difficult. He writes theology as if it was simple math, and it often took my brain quite some time to adjust to his higher thinking and comprehending.
I underlined a lot. I wrote notes in the margins. This is a book I recommend to every Christian who leans towards pluralistic, and equal, views about every religion.
Night by Elie Weisel
I am taking a philosophy class structured towards death, dying, and the beyond. This small book was assigned as a reading, in order to have a discussion about the Holocaust and death.
This was another hard book to read. I have been to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany, and so I have a very emotional reaction to the Holocaust and concentration/ labor/ death camps.
Weisel is poignant in his descriptions of life before the ghetto, living in his “safe” Jewish community. As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but place me and my family in his shoes; seeing my family forced from me the way his family was. I couldn’t help but cry at the hardening of his Jewish faith, when he was faced with death and evil.
There was one moment where Weisel and his father chose to leave with the rest of the death camp when the Russian army was getting close. Two days after they left the camp, those left behind were liberated.
I cannot imagine.
At first, I couldn’t read this book in long sittings. I had to stop every few minutes and do something else. It hurt. But this is another book I believe every single person should read. By reading these atrocities, we keep the past from being forgotten.
So far this month, I am already almost finished with a book that has the potential to inspire multiple posts; there is so much in each chapter, and I have some much to say. This is another book I will be trusting at every Christian I know. (You are warned.)