Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Unauthorized Advice from Scot McKnight

Virgin Birth

What follows is unauthorized advice from Scot McKnight... Lifted without guilt from his book The Jesus Creed. (A new personal favorite of mine, by the way, so prepare to receive posts.)

I heisted the advice from chapter 9, which I like to call the "chutzpah chapter" (because McKnight says that the Gospels "clearly show that [Mary] had a significant impact on [Jesus'] teachings," (p.88) ).

Anyway, here it is. McKnight has a whole chapter on Mary. And do you know what he did? Rather than leave her there in the chapter, he moved forward to write a whole book about her. Called The Real Mary. Which officially makes him the mega-chutzpah man (because Mary is not exactly a non-controversial figure in Christendom).

This also officially gives us some very sage advice: we writers needn't necessarily find radically new topics to pursue as we go along. We can just dig deeper into subjects we've already tackled. And maybe pray for a little chutzpah.

Virgin Birth photo, by L.L. Barkat. Corn Husk woman in photo, by Sara.

Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

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Blogger Craver Vii said...

Chutzpah. I don't use that word often enough. Chutzpah. Ah, what fun.

5:48 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sounds like a new path for you!

I had to laugh when I got further into TJC and encountered this very word. It was like the book was talking back. Or reading my mind. Something like that.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Sandy Carlson said...

Great idea! I have always been fascinated by the woman I call the Avon Lady. One such woman figures in each Gospel. She is the one who anoints Jesus before the men. It always strikes me as interesting and naive and profound that she survived all the early rewrites!

9:57 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I love the word chutzpah. I'm inspired to reread The Jesus Creed as well. I read it a couple years ago ... and forget. Thanks for the inspiration.

10:08 PM  
Blogger spaghettipie said...

Sounds like a book i need to add to the ole reading list...

10:51 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I love both of those books. We can learn alot from Mary and God's work in her life. Scot's thoughts on Mary derived from the Magnificat did break new ground for me. I see her different, but it ends up I just see her, period, maybe more fully. Before she was not a whole lot more than a godly kind of plastered saint who we're not to pray to for help (though I respect the practice of those who ask her to pray for them, even as I don't agree or practice that myself).

Yes, Chutzpah. Scot has that if you did into his posts on "Jesus Creed". Though if you see him through you'll realize that he really is not a radical, but just thinking through things.

5:51 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sandy... why, I never noticed an Avon lady in the gospels. Maybe because she wasn't really selling anything?

Christine... aren't some words simply delicious? I'm with Craver. It's a scrumptious one to funnel through the mouth. On TJC, for some reason I was never attracted to it by the cover. But I've become impressed with Scot as a person behind the scenes and it led me to read his book. I'm glad to have made the discovery.

Spaghetti... and the list grows longer! I must say that out of the whole stack I took from the library, I tossed a few aside only to get mesmerized by this one.

Ted... and isn't that the way it should be... that we begin to at least SEE the person. When we see somebody, this changes things. Maybe we stop worshiping them, or maybe we begin. (I don't necessarily mean God-deserved worship, just awe and admiration.) As for Scot being radical, he does have radical ideas, but they are seated in the texts themselves, which lends them strength, credibility, and delight. I feel like I am always searching for this kind of thinking and rarely finding it.

10:42 AM  
Blogger The Small Scribbler said...

As a former Catholic, I really enjoy studying Mary. What's in the Bible is so different than how tradition portrays her. I have enjoyed reading Scot's website and hearing what he has to say. I guess I will need to read his book.


1:29 PM  
Blogger Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

Mary had a little lamb

4:03 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., I hear you. The "radical" element is there, but we fail to see it since we read in a way that often misses that, and need people like Scot to help us see those things: like the radical nature or the Magnificat and what young woman in that historical setting would say such dangerous words put to poetry. Of course the Spirit was in that, but so was the human person.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I do think reading such writers can help us develop an eye for this as well.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

This is pretty much the key to good writing for me. Enough conflict to intrigue and challenge readers, but not so much that you lose them. Too little challenge produces candy. Too much produces self-destruction.

(Chutzpah is a little white ball of dough, right?)

5:01 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

I have never heard the word 'chutzpah'. I guess I will have to google it :)
The advice you have heisted is food for thought. Thank you for sharing.

Blessings to you and yours.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Inihtar said...

I had to look up Chutzpah as well:) And I've now added a new word to my vocab, thanks to you:)

I've found that in the news business too, the mark of a good journo is to take an old story and dig deeper or look at it in a completely different light and come up with a story that mo one thought of. The Mag, where I used to work, was really good at doing that. The Wire, where I am now, not so much:(

9:11 PM  
Blogger Real Live Preacher said...

Haven't read these. I wonder where he gets his information about Mary? Ancient church traditions?

The Bible is tough this way. It came out of so many oral and written traditions. It's an interesting game to try to find the historical figures behind the characters.

11:21 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Small Scribbler... I just ordered The Real Mary at my library and am looking forward to reading it. Though I must say I'm in no hurry to completely finish TJC. I'm savoring the thoughts, the expression, and I don't want it to end!

Lloyd... and so she did. A Lamb. Of God.

Ted... yes, hurray for the writers with chutzpah, who take us down these roads!

Mark... oh, I got a good laugh at that one. Now, son, eat your matzo with chutzpah.

Inihtar... indeed, there is nothing new under the sun! (Or should I say under the wire?)

Ephes28... I love words. Love sharing them. Love hearing about them from others.

RealLive... in TJC he presents Mary through the biblical text. Not sure what he might add in The Real Mary. But I'm looking forward to finding out. And I agree that the bible takes more than simple reading. For though it can certainly speak through a simple reading, study of the history and tradition is often quite illuminating!

1:28 PM  

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