closest book meme

saw this on jeff greathouse’s blog

The rules are:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

sitting here in my hotel room in charlotte, about to pack up and fly to grand rapids, having just finished a completely non-vegan and non-low-fat comfort lunch of room-service-delivered cheeseburger and fries with a.1. sauce, the book closest to my computer is mary.jpgscot mcknight’s newest, the real mary: why evangelical christians can embrace the mother of jesus. he kindly sent me a pre-release copy, and i haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. so i brought it with me as advent reading (but haven’t begun yet!).

page 123, 5th – 8th sentences…

in essence, the argument is this: as eve disobeyed, so mary obeyed. as eve’s sin led to the unmaking of others, so mary’s choice not to sin led to the remaking of others. accordingly, as adam disobeyed, so jesus obeyed. thus: if there is a second adam (christ), there is also a second eve (mary). again, for some evangelicals this is tantamount to blasphemy, for it virtually places mary alongside jesus in the redemptive work of god. however grating such an idea might be, the analogy was made within a century of jesus, and it has shaped roman catholic theology.

ok, i included more than 4 sentences. seemed like i should just finish the paragraph. and, wow, talk about the potential to take a few sentences out of context! i have NO idea what point mcknight is making here — but i’m that much more interested in reading the book now.

13 thoughts on “closest book meme”

  1. I never thought that this could be a good “illustration” on taking information out of context.

    However, that read makes me wanna grab the book and explore. I have not read that book.

    Hope Charlotte ended well.

  2. Hey Marko..
    This is off topic, but you subscribe to the catalyst podcast? If so, what are your thoughts on the latest george barna interview?

  3. I just posted my response to this on my blog. I’ve been re-reading through Mike Yaconelli’s “Messy Spirituality”…and this is what I ended up with:”It’s a conga drum! Isn’t it beautiful?” I was very proud. His harshness continued.
    I love it!
    By the way, how did the last session go in Charlotte?

  4. kevin — no, i don’t subscribe; so i have no response, since i have no idea what you’re referring to!

    bethany — thanks for asking. we re-shuffled the schedule, since we didn’t have a sunday night concert come together. so we did general session 7 last night, and then had a short communion service at the end of the morning today to wrap up the event. things went well last night.

  5. You’ve gotta subscribe… it’s free on itunes and it has interviews of people like louie giglio, rob bell, donald miller, and chris seay. I highly recommend it! Anyway, Barna gives a startling statistic of where the church will be in 20 years. Right now 65% of the population experience and express their faith in and through the local church. He estimates that in 20 years that will be cut in half. Only about 30%-35% will be going to the local church to meet that need. About 30%-35% will now be going to alternative forms of church(house churches, cyberchurches, etc…) another 1/3 will be through the media, arts, and cultural mechanisms. If this is true, then a whole reshaping and restructuring of “church” has to take place. I wonder what this implies for youth ministry? Professional pastors and youth pastors? The trend he is seeing is that people are leaving the “church” to BE the Church. Seems like a new reformation and enlightenment. What do you think?

  6. MARKO!!!! When is the book coming out!!!! Just from that paragraph, I’m hooked. And I don’t read nearly as much as I should. This sounds like one great book. AND!!! A good book to discuss over coffee. When’s it supposed to be available?

  7. wow, kevin. pretty strong and angry words, bro.

    i do have many things to do in life, as you may guess, other than respond to blog comments — though i enjoy doing that also.

    ah, yes, i think the stuff you mention (that there will likely be a sharp decrease in traditional church attendance) will have a HUGE impact on many issues — i’ve blogged about this before. and it was the issue i brought up in my post about the christianity today piece on the future of youth ministry. i think churches will not be able to afford paid youth workers in the future (at least not as many churches will), and that will really force our collective hand to re-think some things. i’m not sure i’d call it the next reformation yet – but i do think the implications will be huge. and many of them will be good!

  8. so i tried this experiment – and the book i have sitting next to me doesn’t even have 123 pages. it’s ‘life of the beloved’ by henri m. nouwen. guess that says something.

  9. Well, I’m new at this whole blogging thing, but I definitely enjoy your insights, Marko. The baptismal cannon-ball made me roll on the floor; that’s the kind of stuff that helps youth workers survive. Great convention this year in Cincy; I came with my whole team from my church in collaboration with Bethel College. Also wanted to say that I appreciated your honesty in the opening statements of the last general session. Keep up the fantastic work, and I will be at least celebrating Christmas in-directly with you in sunny southern California. Blessings!

  10. I started this over at the YS Forums (God Rest their Soul…) and it’s good to see that it’s still going around. One thing that changed, however, is the page number. It was originally page 23, probably for the very fact that some books are fairly short. Heck, if I was at home, I’d bet dollars to donuts I’d grab a book with merely ten pages. (Huzzah for toddlers!) So here’s mine:

    “While he did this, I retained my seat by the fire, for I was still chilly. When the design was complete, he handed it to me without rising. As I received, a low growl was heard, succeeded by a scratching at the door. Jupiter opened it, and a large Newfoundland, belonging to Legrand, rushed in, leaped upon my shoulders, and loaded me with caresses; for I had shown him much attention during previous visits.”

    From a 1907 edition of “Selections from Poe”, which was sitting immediately to my left on my desk at work.

    Also, the original meme only had the poster writing one sentence…. much easier to do quickly, much better for taking things out of context, but perhaps less interesting? Regardless, great to see it passed around again!

Leave a Reply