Tuesday, April 26, 2011
If you read ONE book this year - make it this one !!
Canadian author, activist and theologian Tim Huff is no stranger to this blog ... I have used his previous books frequently in book in my preaching, and in my reflections on our call to social justice and social action.
Through the Advent Season, I had two sermons (December 5th and December 12th) that made mention of his reflections offered in his previous book "Bent Hope".
Earlier, while I worked for the Brandon Homelessness Committee in Brandon, I met Tim on two occassions. Once in Brandon when he came as keynote speaker at the Youth For Christ annual banquet, and the second time when he was one of participants and presenters at the StreetLevel conference in Ottawa. Both times I was struck by the earthiness of his reflections and the profound depth of his theology which is forged in the shadowy corners of the urban streets where Tim lives and embraces his ministry where angels and 'good' church people might fear to tread.
Tim says it like it is, and challenges his readers to re-consider some of our long held notions about society, poverty, church and everything that these entail.
By sharing the stories of those folks he has met along the way, Tim offers a Gospel-based reflection on how we can live our faith day to day beyond the comfort of our Churches and pews. Both 'Bent Hope' and this new book 'Dancing with Dynamite' are rich sources of material for preaching, reflection and more importantly spiritual meditation.
Tim's words offer simple, powerful and profound challenges to the reader. As I read his words through the journey of Holy Week, I couldn't help but smile at the thought that like Jesus himself, Tim is taking simple every day examples to illustrate and highlight the calling of faith we share. From the hard streets of Toronto Tim speaks a truth about living and sharing our faith beyond our familiar and comfortable pews ... Tim wants us to remember those who live and lurk in the shadowy places, and who need to hear the Gospel, and have their bellies, minds, hearts and souls fed physically and spiritually.
Like the prophets of old, who came down out of the mountains shouting "Thus says the Lord," Tim steps up and using the uncomfortable reality of streets we would otherwise ignore manages to proclaim the prophetic voice of old, while whispering a contemporary challenge: "What would Jesus do?"
If you read only ONE book this year, I recommend HIGHLY "Dancing with Dynamite" by Toronto author Tim Huff ... you won't be disappointed !