Friday, January 03, 2014

It's All In Girard, Man

I am rereading I See Satan Fall Like Lightning. I have heard the phrase somewhere in the past, "It's all in Girard, man," and now have used it many times myself. Its true. Girard captures the heart of conflict. Understanding this is very helpful for a pastor, particularly, but would be equally helpful in every area of Christian endeavor; marriage, family, vocation, church relationships. I highly recommend this book and suggest you do a quick read through of the general concepts every few years.

On New Year's Eve, each member of our family answered the question, "Other than the Bible, what is the most influential book you have read?" Different members of the family answered the question for different reasons.

My answers were two.

1. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, which I read as a senior in college. I was a philosophy major but not really a reader. I read what I had to read when I had to read it. The Hobbit was one of the first fiction books I remember reading that I really, really enjoyed. After that, the Trilogy and a march through all the classics of Western literature. It was the beginning of my education.

2. I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Rene Girard. I first read the book four or five years ago. His explanation of mimesis and then mimetic rivalry will answer many questions you have about why people act the way that they do. Instead of being constantly puzzled and frustrated by the behavior of folks, you will gain a grounded understanding in the meaning of fallen man. What's more, Girard points to the answer of fallen man, the man Jesus, in whom Satan, the accuser of the brethren, is toppled and the end of mimetic rivalry becomes a reality. I have got a few of my friends to read the book and some have said that it is tough sledding. I think it is worth your while. At the very least, get the book and read the excellent summary and introduction by James G. Williams.

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