Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Imitation of Christ

In my Classics of Christian Devotions class, I will be preparing a paper and report on Thomas a' Kempis and his The Imitation of Christ. I had read parts of it a long time ago. We got to choose from a long list of writers, theologians and mystics and I wanted to reintroduce myself to Kempis' writings.

I have read many of the books on that list and the main problem I have with some of them is the lack of scripture that is used or mentioned. Brother Lawrence, for example, does not even allude to scripture in Practice in the Presence of God. I have a problem with that. If someone is wanting to have such a close relationship with God, then God's word would be a big part of that spiritual journey.

That is why I like Kempis. He uses scripture in every section and acknowledges the need to study scripture. Here are some of his quotes concerning scripture:

Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought for in reading the holy scriptures.
Each word of the Scriptures must be read with the same spirit in which it was written.
We should search the Scriptures for those things that will give us spiritual benefits rather that superior speech.
If you desire to benefit from the Scriptures, read with humility, simplicity and faithfulness - never with a desire to become known as a Bible scholar.

In each case, he will quote or paraphrase a part of scripture then give a comment on that passage. I wonder how he would have been as a preacher. I guess each section of his books may be considered a sermon since each section is thematic.

Anyways, I am enjoying this reading and will be writing the paper next week and putting the presentation together (i.e. powerpoint, music, drama, whatever I decide to do). I am toying with the idea of presenting in the first person, acting out Thomas a' Kempis giving a presentation of his life and work to a modern audience.

No comments: