Summary: 45 Reflections on how the bible pushes us toward disquiet.
I am not a devotional guy. I rarely read devotionals and I even more rarely find them helpful. It is not that I am against them as a concept, but that they just don’t work well for me. I read too much and am too disorganized to find short devotional reading useful.
But every once in a while I try again. I have been occasionally using Disquiet Time as a devotional over the past three months. I have read a chapter two or three times a week most weeks before bed. This is one of the better devotional books I have read, in part because it is attempting to disquiet and not quiet.
The main focus of the book is to ask a WIDE variety of writers to reflect on what is disquieting about scripture. And the results are quite diverse and almost universally good. Amy Julia Becker (blogger at CT and author) talks about how we all cherry pick verses. Karen Swallow Prior (English Professor and author) writes about how our bibles tend to leave out or hide all of the sh*t in scripture. Caryn Rivadeneira (church staff and author) talks about the scandal of being made in God’s image.
The authors seem to have been given wide latitude on what to write. Some is very much biblical exegesis, some is memoir on the church or how they were taught scripture. Some is about spiritual practices or biblical character sketches. All of it is focused on helping the reader move away from a comfortable (and safe) reading of scripture. This is not a devotional I would recommend for someone that recently became a Christian. But for many of us that grew up in the church and have read scripture widely and experienced hundreds or thousands of sermons and sunday school lessons, sometime we need something to wake us up to the uncomfortable nature of our faith.