6/25/23 A Note From Pastor Ben

Friends and Family,

Named after the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis (Lewis and Clark), The Meriwether Society is a First Baptist book club of sorts that exists for the purpose of exploring ideas from a Christian worldview. It is open to anyone in our church who will read a pastor-selected book and meet to discuss it. This is a great opportunity for us to wrestle with some deep issues in community with one another. After all, we’re called to be “mature in our thinking”. (1 Corinthians 14:20).

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a Meriwether Society meeting, so I’m excited about diving into a book together. Our next meeting will be July 19, and the book we will explore is called Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry into the News by Jeffery Bilbro.
G.W.F. Hegel said, “Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer.” We live in confusing times and suffer from an epidemic of distrust, increasingly suspicious and discouraged with the news we read and hear. My desire is that this book and discussion will help us apply critical thinking and encourage us to encounter our current news and events from a Christian worldview.

Here is an abstract from the book:

Jeffrey Bilbro invites readers to take a step back and gain some theological and historical perspective on the nature and very purpose of news. In Reading the Times he reflects on how we pay attention, how we discern the nature of time and history, and how we form communities through what we read and discuss. Drawing on writers from Thoreau and Dante to Merton and Berry, along with activist-journalists such as Frederick Douglass and Dorothy Day, Bilbro offers an alternative vision of the rhythms of life, one in which we understand our times in light of what is timeless. Throughout, he suggests practices to counteract common maladies tied to media consumption in order to cultivate healthier ways of reading and being.

When the news sets itself up as the light of the world, it usurps the role of the living Word. But when it helps us attend together to the work of Christ―down through history and within our daily contexts―it can play a vital part in enabling us to love our neighbors. Reading the Times is a refreshing and humane call to put the news in its place.

I hope that you will pick up this book and read it and join us on the evening of July 19 for the Meriwether Society meeting. Most of all, I pray you’re encouraged by it so that we may interact with the daily news the way Christians ought.

-Pastor Ben

You can purchase the book online here.

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