Saturday, January 31, 2015


I have a confession to make.  I secretly enjoy sparring with my Christian friends over matters of religious belief.  At the same time I often find such discussions frustrating.  And I will also admit that I cannot think of a time when I convinced any of my “sparring partners” to change their beliefs.  So why do I have this love-hate relationship with these discussions?

Monday, January 5, 2015


By the time I was five—well before I learned to read—I understood that my mother’s Bible had special powers.  For one thing it was different from all the other books in our house.  Bound in soft black leather that was well worn but well cared for, its pages were of thin high quality paper that was wavy rather than flat. Moreover, my mother treated her Bible in a way that was totally different from how she treated any of our other books.  She always laid it out in its own special place on a living room table, never on a bookshelf with our other books.  She spent a great deal of time reading from it and always took it with her to church so she could look up any of the verses that the pastor quoted during his sermon. 

It was a King James Version, and that added to its power.  The words were English, but they often were so different from the contemporary vernacular that I heard every day that I assumed that the characters in the Bible actually spoke in “thee”s and “thou”s.  And I have the sense that everyone else in my family thought the same.