Saturday, February 9, 2008

Book meme

Tagged by JohnieB. .

The meme:

Pick up the first book (near you) of 123 pages or more.

Go to p. 123.

Read the first five sentences.

Post the next three sentences.

My answer:

Gustavo Gutiérrez, Essential Writings, ed. James B Nickoloff (Minneapolis: Fortress Press in collaboration with Orbis Books, (c) Orbis Books, 1996):

***"At the very thought" [that the wicked still live on]: Job recalls a fact of daily life, which anyone can verify. *The wicked prosper --that is, the very persons who neither serve God nor pray to God [Job 21:13-15, 17-18]...
***These cases show that the arguments of Job's friends in support of the theory of temporal retribution are in fact worthless; they also show the inadequacy of his friends' references to experience.

The stuff in brackets is part of the book.


FranIAm said...

Very interesting. I have a special place in my own heart for Job.

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...

Gutierrez' book on Job is the most head-turning book I have ever read. It came to me at a particularly horrid moment in my own life. It confirmed for me a bumper sticker: "Mean People Suck." Real meaning: We All Suck. All of us. Sometimes. We are all capable of meanness of spirit.

It took me a lifetime to understand via Gutierrez that Job's claimed sinlessness is mythologizing: taking it literally puts the story and its truths out of reach because NOBODY can be that good. Well, they are not. My guess is that many people (I am one) have on occasion cursed God in their hearts. And yet we are told that love and forgiveness are gratuitous: not because of what we do or think we are but because we exist.

If you can afflict the most righteous man in the world with death and illness, then who can escape? But who is so human that he cannot be forgiven? God loves Job. I am fighting one day at a time to believe he loves me. And some days it is still a struggle.

Gutierrez put in relation with the poor, for I was one and may be yet again. I served food, I was in a call center, I ran a cash register. I was the Invisible Man, an American Untouchable. There are many such. They work in MickeyD's, WalMart, KMart, and every sloppile box store in this country. They go mad because poverty will do that to you if it happens long enough.

"Too much of nothing turns a man into a liar." Who sang that??

I got lucky. Gutierrez made me see that social evil is my evil unless I can forcibly dissociate myself from it. He made me want to give I can, on a path about which I am not yet at all sure.

Incoherent as per usual....