It is wonderful to see publishers who care about a book’s design and aesthetics. Baylor University Press consistently hits home runs in these areas.
John Swinton has written a terrific book that makes us look more honestly at our ideas of time and how they impinge on our treatment of those with disabilities. Non-spoiler alert: we don’t do very well at either!
There is much to like about this book. It helps us wrestle with issues of great consequence and yet maintains a gracious tone throughout.
Perhaps this quote by Scott Bader-Saye from page 57 well describes the tenor of this terrific book: “The ways we experience, name, and interpret time contribute to the kinds of communities we imagine and inhabit.”
I read things on a regular basis that trumpet the glories of the Stoic way of life. It got me thinking about three options when it comes to death:
SECULAR folks think death is something we should not think of. We need to get distracted with lesser things. Ernest Becker talked about these things in his Pulitzer winning book, The Denial of Death.
STOICS say we ought to face death bravely as it is so “natural.” Everyone has to experience it. Hunker down and face the music. Stop complaining you weak-willed soul!
SCRIPTURE tells us that death is our final enemy (I Cor. 15:26). Satan uses death to terrorize us (Heb. 2:14,15). Christ says he has abolished death (II Tim. 1:10). We long for eternity (Ecc. 3:11). Death is not the way it was suppose to be. We can face it (contra the SECULARIST), but we don’t face it in our own strength (contra the STOIC).
Professor John Swinton of Aberdeen University wrote the beautiful and insightful book, Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship. I will soon be interviewing John. In his book, John says how much he was taken by this video:
Pascal had much to say about diversions in his classic book, Pensées. Pascal wrote how diversions can be greatly multiplied if you are wealthy. More money equals more things to get distracted by. This is still true today, but there are plenty of things all of us Americans, irrespective of income, can get diverted by. For example, most of us have computers which can transport us to all kinds of worlds which then can keep us from thinking about the most important matters of life. We may not feel very rich, but from a global or historical vantage point we are fabulously well off. Most of us take things like air conditioning, quality water, and consistent electricity for granted. As Bill Ball told a Sunday school class I was teaching, “Kings of the past would have been thrilled by owning a used Vega car and having unlimited access to petrochemicals.”