03 April 2008

Something to munch on???

Let me briefly describe some of the tension I live in. I have a room downstairs that is packed with books. I would call it a library, but it's our spare bedroom. I would call it a spare bedroom, but it has our computer in it. I would call it a computer room, but...well, you get the picture.

Anyway, on the shelves in this room sit my collection of books. I consider myself a student of history, therefore, most books I own have some sort of historical theme. Among them are all my books on wars and conflicts. My collection is not near as big as I would like, but it is growing. I feel it is important to understand the context of each conflict and war in order to fully understand what it meant to fight in that war, and what the implications of action in that war were. We are inextricably linked to these conflicts, and they have indelibly shaped and molded our history. An example would be that we will never understand fully why the Great Depression happened, unless we understand how the Allied victory in World War I was followed by poor economic policies that drove the whole of Europe into depression, combined with the Wall Street practice of speculation. Further, we will never understand the rise of Adolf Hitler unless we understand the social and economic climate in Europe following the Great War.

So that, in a paragraph, is why I read war books.

Many of my other books are religious in nature, Christian living, Biblical study, Biblical history and archaeology, spirituality. I am constantly striving to be "covered with the dust from my Rabbi's feet." I want to follow and understand Christ as He was in His culture, so that I may therefore live out His best way in my culture. I am trying my best to take on His yoke, and then to live that out so that others may see it through me.

That is why I read religious books.

Am I the only one who sees the tension in this? The obviously non-violent teachings of my Rabbi, and the violent, bloodthirsty quest for power that is our history?

I could go on forever, I think, but for now, I would like to direct you to Tony Woodlief. He posted concerning bullies, and how to deal with them. He sees the tension as well. The last sentence, especially caught my eye. Any thoughts?


1 comment:

-Tim said...

I didn't get a chance to check out the link to Woodlief's post yet (but I will) But my thoughts on the disparity of your reading are this: The students of history, read such as to understand the causes. Those who understand history are less likey to repeat it, right? Who said that? I don't know. Anyway, it's not like you read the histories to feel the bloodlust and re-live the horror or at least I assume you don't. I imagine you read history, as I do (albeit on a much smaller scale) to understnad why things happened they way they did. Just my two cents.