Well, it’s the first day of 2014 which means I should probably get any 2013 posts out of my system. Most of my reading last year was scattered and distracted, but here are five pieces that stirred deep down things.*
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Nothing in the world moved before his eyes, and he could depict to himself without hindrance the sudden swing upwards of the dark sky-line, the sudden tilt up of the vast plain of the sea, the swift still rise, the brutal fling, the grasp of the abyss, the struggle without hope, the starlight closing over his head for ever like the vault of a tomb–the revolt of his young life–the black end.
My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman
God exists apart from our notions of what it means to exist, and there is a sense in which our most pressing existential question has to be outgrown before it can be answered. (81)
“A Divine and Supernatural Light” by Jonathan Edwards
It is rational to suppose, that there is a really such an excellency in divine things–so transcendent and exceedingly different from what is in other things–that if it were to be seen, would most evidently distinguish them.
Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision by N.T. Wright
This lawcourt verdict, implementing God’s covenant plan, and all based on Jesus Christ himself, is announced both in the present with the verdict issued on the basis of faith and faith alone, and also in the future, on the day when God raises from the dead all those who are already indwelt by the Spirit. The present verdict gives the assurance that the future verdict will match it; the Spirit gives the power through which that future verdict, when given, will be seen in accordance with the life that the believer has then lived. (251)
“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The road grew wilder and drearier, and more faintly traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness, still rushing onward, with the instinct that guides mortal men. The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds; the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes, the wind tolled like a distant church-bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors.
Here’s to a new year filled with meaningful words, lofty thoughts, and true stories.*Thanks to G.M. Hopkins for the last three words.