December 4th, 2003


(no subject)

Everyone should read the book of Job, Judeo-Christian or not. It is a beautiful and very thought-provoking book about the nature of human suffering. So many famous theologians--Calvin, Leibniz, Edwards--all they do is rip off this book, rather blatantly, because no one reads it. Oh, sure, everyone's heard about it in sermons, but it's really not the same--I've heard sermons quoting this book out of context that say exactly the opposite of what the book is trying to say. A fascinating read.

Do the whole thing, though. If you just read the beginning and the end, you'll have a complete but inaccurate and simplistic view of human suffering, one that is refuted in the middle chapters. Read the whole thing. Don't skim. You will miss much of the book's wisdom (or, in some places, the whole point of the book!) if you do.

Oh, and even if all the philosophy turns you off, read it for the poetry. The lamentations of Job are incredible. Job's speech in 3:11-19 is on par, if not better, than the slings and arrows speech from Hamlet:

Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?
Why were there knees to receive me, or breasts for me to suck?
Now I would be lying down and quiet; I would be asleep; then I would be at rest
with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuild ruins for themselves,
or with prices who have gold, who fill their houses with silver.
Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like an infant that never sees the light?
There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
There the prisoners are at ease together; they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
The small and the great are there, and the slaves are free from their masters.

Too bad God doesn't like them very much. I guess He's not very fond of whiners.

Chapter 10 reminds me of Joan Osborne's "One of Us". *whistles* What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on a bus? Just a slob like one of us, trying to make His way home...
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    Joan Osborne - One Of Us