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Is it pure sacrilegious? Or, are we missing something?

Written by: on November 25, 2019

Okay, I have to say this book title sounds just a bit tad more than ironic. The title actually sounds sacrilegious! But, quite the title. As far as a marketing scheme, it is genius. Since I am probably being groomed as a scruffy cultured individual, it’s probably a must-read. So, I read. What the title says it’s okay not read. Oh, my head hurts!

Psychoanalyst and University of Paris literature professor Pierre Bayard presents to us a compelling meditation on a subject that makes a substantive case for engaging literature in various ways. Literature becomes a flexible container instead of a fixed Dewey Decimal System of codes with no map to lead the way. Bayard sends us on a flexible way of seeing reading as a reorientation of seeing the word or words that are not objects on a page but relational objects to various contexts we bring to the book before us. One could say that Bayard has created a new type of highlighter, but with no colors.

UB book unknown to me

SB book I have skimmed

HB book I have heard about

FB book I have forgotten

Reading this morning from Farnam Street I was reminded of last week’s reading of Great Mental Models and Charlie Munger.

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.”

— Charlie Munger[1]

Is it always a good thing to read an entire book? As a graduate student, I am learning that this is not always the wisest thing to do! The dawn is slowly rising, but the dawn is coming that the probably the most intelligent thing to do is to read differently or read parts. Yet, this has not been the case till now. Truth be told, there was no way to, at least for me, to hold all the information within a book. Additionally, I ended up missing the transformational piece.

Now, this author is suggesting that there may be ways to bluff my way through a conversation about literature. To say that this lacks integrity is not quite true. It would hold far less integrity to say that I had read a book, at least in its entirety, without asking readers of the text great questions.

“Perhaps we need a little less guilt and one-upmanship in this enterprise of reading. Let’s openly acknowledge that there is a library of ways to read, and that, being humans, we are somewhat prone to forgetting, imagining, delaying, and even not doing. If we were a little more open and honest about what we haven’t read, and if our colleagues were a little less judgmental and sanctimonious, we might loosen the harness of guilt that holds us back from actually picking up some book we’ve forsaken in the past. Who knows? Admitting that we don’t read might actually help us to read again.”[2]

I want to try and address the issue of not reading, respectively to my research focus to date. We’ve discovered that the co-vocational pastor is such a unique role and we have an amazing opportunity to create thriving co-vocational pastors that considering additional mentoring and training tracks for the co-vocational pastor their research time can be maximized time with a newly defined portal. This opportunity has been created by changes in our culture and the need to increase our discussions between the traditional and non-traditional strategic pastoral leaders.

For the co-vocational pastor, I am hearing and sensing, partly because of my personal experience biases and having a sense of call that the co-vocational pastor needs to know how they are the modern-day heroes of the church! They, probably like no one else can emphasize with the volunteers in our congregations and struggle to volunteer a couple hours a week. With this, researchers and leaders like myself need to help our co-vocational pastors hear better, play the victimless, be isolated less, and invite help more.

Jeremiah 3:15, “And, I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” This is a role of the pastor, and, yet, this heart has to be revealed and because of the initial separation from what human beings were meant to be and to do it became like a book unread that had to be installed by One who knew the book from cover to cover. Let it be so as move forward in our ministry to all the others.

 

 

[1] https://fs.blog/reading/

[2] Lennard J. Davis, “Huckleberry Who?” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.nts.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rlh&AN=24499016&site=ehost-live, accessed November 25, 2019.

About the Author

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Steve Wingate

One response to “Is it pure sacrilegious? Or, are we missing something?”

  1. Simon Igesa Bulimo says:

    At a glance the title somehow was challenging the way you put it. However, Am impressed with your work in that the book is a must read to every scholar.

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