In Common – September 2nd 2019

I’ve struggled to keep up with my reading plan over the summer but as we head into the fall, I am finally getting back on track! I have an ambitious reading schedule planned for September.

Just this week I finished reading Women of the Word. What a great book! Jen Wilkin encourages women to strive for biblical literacy, to put in the hard work required to understand Scripture.

Yes, the Holy Spirit opens the Word to us, but not without some effort on our part. (Women of the Word, p. 23)

On why bible literacy matters, Wilkin writes,

Bible literacy matters because it protects us from falling into error. Both the false teacher and the secular humanist rely on biblical ignorance for the messages to take root, and the modern church has proven fertile ground for those messages. Because we do not know our Bibles, we crumble at the most basic challenges to our worldview. (Women of the World, p. 45)

I am reading through How to Speak, How to Listen, Mortimer Adler’s companion to How to Read a Book. While he discusses in some depth more formal speaking instances, he also discusses conversations. Adler describes language as an imperfect medium, because words may have multiple meanings, and everyone wants to use words their own way, regardless of whether our audience understands the usage the speaker employs.

One thing Adler discusses as a remedy to language as an imperfect medium is…

a common general schooling that included intensive training in the liberal arts of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The other is a common tradition of learning, a background of common reading, an understanding of a relatively small number of basic ideas. (How to Speak, How to Listen, p. 137)

In previous generations, when people were better trained in the liberal arts,

generally education persons shared a common literary heritage that endowed them with a common vocabulary, not only of words but also of ideas. This made them members of the same intellectual community, sharing a common background of ideas, references and allusions. (How to Speak, How to Listen p. 138)

I’ve got several long reads in my September stack, but I have added a few new titles – notably Gaia’s Garden and Composting for a New Generation. My children are going to public school this year, and so I am hoping to tackle many projects around our property. Look for some project posts over the course of the fall!

Current Reads

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