Toward the end of his marvelous Things Hidden, Richard Rohr tells an equally marvelous story. Parents bring home a newly-born baby. Their 4-year-old daughter insists on speaking to her new sibling--alone, she insists. The amused parents leave, but stand at the doorway for easy eavesdropping. Their daughter gets close to the infant and urgently whispers: "Quick! Tell me where we came from and why we're here. I'm beginning to forget!"
This little parable is a nice encapsulation of what Rohr has to say about the spirit of scripture. For Rohr, following Rene Girard (whose influence, along with Nouwen's, is all over this book), the bible is a "text in travail," a fluid, living document that is often times messy and meandering, taking one step forward and two steps back. That's why it's important, insists Rohr, to be clear about the bible's trajectory and momentum, so that we won't get lost down a sidetrack and take the inessential as vital (the fundamentalist failing). The trajectory is the working out of the human recognition of God as a loving, nurturing parent who exhibits mercy, grace, faithfulness, forgiveness, and steadfast love; of recognition of ourselves as originally blessed, made in the image of a loving God and hence intrinsically lovable ourselves; and recognition that the bible encourages awakening, remembering, rather than accomplishing. (It's fascinating to reflect on the fact that the Greek word for truth used in the New Testament--aletheia--can be translated as "unforgetting.")
Readers familiar with Rohr's work won't necessarily find a great deal to surprise them in this lovely and wise book. But readers new to Rohr, as well as those (like myself) who have read and profited from him for years, will appreciate the insight and grace with which he puts scripture in a context that moves away from uninspired literalism on the one hand or academic textual crunching on the other. If spiritual knowing (cognition) is really, as Rohr argues, a re-cognition, an unforgetting of the soul, this book is as good a memory-jogger as one is likely to find.
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: SPCK Publishing (19 May 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0281075166
- ISBN-13: 978-0281075164
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)