What group (denomination, organization, etc.), person, book, podcast, and/or video would you pick that comes closest to describing your own way of seeing reality?
I replied that the most influential non-biblical text in my life is The Call, by Os Guinness. It is. I gave my last annotated copy to a dear friend who was struggling with faith. I have another copy. I’ll read it again and write more, probably different notes in the margins. That book is probably why I’m here. I’m 42 years old and I still ask, “what should I be when I grow up?” The thesis of that book: be and do what you are. I think that my life calling may be to reach out to the skeptical in my generation and to reach in to my precious brothers and sisters in faith so that we don’t lose compassion or leave others behind.
But, despite sharing a part of my bliss with Howie, did I answer the question well? I tend to be less thorough in my answers than Russell. Did that book come closest to my own way of seeing reality, or did this?
Meet the Durants. Then, if you can spare 5 hours in aggregate (I listened for the third time in 6 months in the car), listen to this summary of their life work. Although I prefer hardback books with a pen in my hand, this is one experience where listening is superior. In the edition linked above, you’ll hear the delightful voices of Will and Ariel interviewed at the end of every chapter.
I bought the Story of Civilization in a yard sale for a dollar a book. It was on the top shelf, waiting for retirement. I’m not waiting any more. I just finished volume 2 and will begin volume 3 after an interlude with Sean Carroll.
Why does this work represent my way of seeing reality most closely? Probably because I am remediating a liberal arts education. My education in STEM and subsequent teaching career required reams of technical reading with little time for arts and history. That’s not true. I had the same amount of time that I have now – – 24 hours a day with an average of 6 off for sleep. My priorities on how to spend that time were different. That’s true.
I’ll discuss science to the best of my capability and honestly, my capability is higher than the average blog reader or writer in that space. Russell’s capacity in that domain surpasses mine. But there is more. That’s my argument. There are different kinds of evidence that should be considered in the search for truth. The integrated experience of billions over thousands of years seems a good place to start. I’m making the 11 volume journey with the Durants. If you’d like to meet them and understand how I think (it is plastic) then the digest above in Lessons is a great place to start.
Would other readers care to answer Howie’s question? It was a good one.
photo credit: SuSanA Secretariat [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons