Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Grief and love (Book tag)

Benjamin tagged me in a game with the following rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five other people.
Here is my quote, see if you can guess the author:
"The person who mourns deeply has loved greatly. The person who cannot mourn has never loved. It is true that at the present time and in our present culture we are so conditioned that we want to have happiness without pain, and love without grief. We flee the grief and seek a painless happiness. What is on offer in modern society, culturally and medically, is designed to meet this personal wish. But if it is true that mourning is not the farewell to love but love's reverse side, then we can explore the mystery of mourning without fear, and surrender ourselves to mourning without being afraid of losing ourselves."
I included a few extra sentences at the start so that it made more sense, but I think it is quite a typical quote from this author, who is no stranger to this blog.

Having enjoyed that so much, I thought I'd try it again with the second closest book at hand. Again, I scored a very typical point from a much imitated and much parodied author.
"All this leads in conclusion to the area that, it seems to me, is just as vital a part of the contemporary christological task as learning to speak truly about the earthly Jesus and his sense of vocation. We must learn to speak biblically, in the light of this Jesus, about the identity of the one true God. There can be no more central task within our learning to follow Jesus and to transform our world with his gospel."
I was then about to try it with the third closest book, the Concise OED, but it came out at the entry on "behave", so I thought I'd better get back to work.

I tag Justin, Rory, Rev Sam, Meredith and æ (and you, if you feel like it).
Twelve points for the first to correctly guess either of the authors; twenty if you can pick the book.


Drew said...

Erm... C.S. Lewis and Karl Barth?

byron smith said...

No and no - good guesses though. I can see how each could have said by them (and they are both regular guests here).

Anthony Douglas said...

My semi-random guesses are Moltmann and Tom Wright. Someone has to rule them out, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Rowan Williams (for the second one)?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the last anonymous was Macrina ... that's not that much less anonymoust. I will one of these days get a blog.

Sam Charles Norton said...

I'd have said the first one was more like Rowan, but I don't really have a clue.

Thanks for the tag, which I've picked up.

lachlanb said...

My Guesses:
db hart- 'mystery' seems like his word
nt wright- 'vocation' is his word

byron smith said...

Sorry everyone, Anthony has done it again on both counts and gets twenty-four points. I'll now rule him out for also getting the books, which are worth twenty each.

Anthony: if there were a theological Sale of the Century you'd be a rich man! :-)

Justin said...

OK. The nearest book to me sitting here on the couch is my kid's "The BIG PICTURE Bible Story Book". Page 123 is the story of the Exodus. However, the page does not have 5 sentences in it!

So, sitting at my desk -- I have a number of contenders for closest, but the most interesting is the Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn describing interrogation in Soviet Russia. I'll write the first five sentences for context. The three sentences are in bold:

"Article 111: The interrogator is obliged to establish clearly all the relevant facts, both those tending towards acquittal and any which might lesson the accused's measure of guilt"

But it was I who helped establish Soviet Power in October! It was I who shot Kolchak! I took part in the dispossession of the kulaks! I saved the state tens million rubles in lowered production costs! I was wounded twice in war! I have three orders and decorations.

"You're not being tried for that!" History... the bared teeth of the interrogator: "Whatever good you may have done has nothing to do with this case."

Rory Shiner said...

Hi Byron,
I had just put up a post saying that I was going to be out of the blogging game for a few weeks, but then popped over your way and discovered your invitation. Cheers.

I will probably do this on my blog when I re-emerge (and play by the rules by tagging 5 others etc.) But in the meantime I dutifully grabbed the nearest book, and found this:

"It centred on the humanities, its guiding ethos being to transmit a general culture and develop mental excellent. As its full bourgeois form developed during the nineteenth century, the professional schools—notably, law, medicine, and engineering—gained in importance. Napoleon himself had already established the training of engineers for his own military purposes."

Should I leave it for a couple of days and see if people can guess? HInt: The author recently published a book on Mark's gospel.

Justin said...

Oops. I have misunderstood the rules of a meme...

Meredith said...

This is fun! I've replied.

peter j said...

I'll have a crack at the books.

The first was was:

In the End, the Beginning: The Life of Hope

The second one was:

Simply Christian

byron smith said...

Welcome back into the game!
And twenty points for the first book, though not the second.

byron smith said...

With that, you jump back into third place - though be warned, Moffitt has opened up quite a sizable gap over the last couple of days.

byron smith said...

And his guesses keep pouring in - another one just as I've been writing these...

Matthew Moffitt said...

The Challenge of Jesus?

byron smith said...

I'm fairly sure it was, though don't have a copy with me at the moment to check. I'm happy to give you the points based on my (slightly uncertain) memory.

Matthew Moffitt said...

It was actually on page 92 in my edition, but I've got the quote in front of me right now.