Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wendell Berry on Christianity and Creation

Wendell Berry, "Christianity and the Survival of Creation":

I don't think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a "hypaethral book," such as Thoreau talked about - a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine - which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes. (in Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community, pg. 103)


Carmen Andres said...

oh, i do LOVE wendell berry! the honest simplicity with which berry sees the world always calls me out doors and windows, back to the earth between my toes and the warmth of God in the sunshine. thanks for this.

btw, have you read "hannah coulter"? it's a wonderful read. blessings.

Ken Brown said...

Actually this was the first of his books I've read. It was recommended to me for the sake of one article, but the whole book has been excellent. I've got about 20 pages left and I'm hooked (and more than a little convicted) by his perspective.

I'll definitely be reading more of his stuff; would Hannah Coulter be a good place to start?

Carmen Andres said...

well, personally i loathed to finish it, i enjoyed it that much. it has become one of my favorite novels of all time. it's a slim thing, quiet, moving and a call back to what life is about. one of the novels where you read slow to soak up the words. not everyone's cup of tea, but it i found it beautiful. heh, all this makes me want to go pick it up and read it again.