Sunday, December 27, 2009

Living and loving out loud

In the car on our Christmas travels I read Cornel West's memoir, Brother West. I borrowed it from my wonderful thesis chair and professor, Dr. Beck, as I was dying to read it and figured that I could read at least 1 non thesis related book w/out feeling too guilty over the break. :-) It was an excellent read. I've read a few of West's more academic pursuits (Race Matters, Democracy Matter and Keeping Faith) however this book is more conversational in tone. West describes himself as "a Christian bluesman in the life of mind and a Christian jazzman in the world of ideas," and the book is both a creative and thoughtful reflection of his life thus far. Although West's personal life has had some tumultuous periods, it is clear that he is on a journey toward truth, and he knows the only way to live the abundant life described in John 10:10 is to love others as best he can. Here are a few of my favorite parts:

"For me and brother Walsh, following Jesus requires a radical child-like sense of faith and wonder, and a mature effort to pick up our cross and bear the cost....We vowed to love our crooked neighbors with our crooked hearts. We believe that if the kingdom of God is within us, then everywhere we go we should leave a little heaven behind."

"Justice is what love looks like in public, just as deep democracy is what justice looks like in practice. When you love people, you hate the fact that they're being treated unjustly."

"I believe that faith is that fiduciary dimension in the human condition where we admit we can't live on doubt. We can't survive on arguments. Logic won't do it. To get up in the morning and do the monumental tasks that face us, our labor is best fueled by love. That's the only way we can move forward..."

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