Further Adventures of a Hopeless Bookworm

So, in case you didn’t know, I’m a bookworm. I love books, bookstores, the smell of libraries, and getting swept into the mental castle an author builds with words and style and plot and character.

My latest bookwormy adventure has an embarrassing ending for me, but a happy one for you! I was at the bookstore last week replacing a missing book from my collection. But wait: let me tell you this first!

The Gospel of Luke is one of my favorite books ever. You cannot pigeonhole Jesus in Luke. As soon as you think you’ve got him figured out, he says something or does something that makes your hair stand on end, or gives you goosebumps, or makes you laugh out loud. I know all of the Gospel writers do this in their own way, but Luke stands out for me. Right now. Next year, I will probably be gushing about how Matthew or John have flipped my lid, but Luke’s my current favorite.

Luke for Everyone, by Tom Wright, is my single favorite book about the Gospel of Luke. I’m sure there are more scholarly commentaries, deeper historical investigations, but Tom Wright brings together three gifts that no other writer brings to Luke in such abundance:

  • beautiful Christ-centered theology
  • favorite-pair-of-jeans comfort and familiarity with ancient history and language
  • best of all – the gift of a true story-teller – Tom’s writing truly helps the life in the story burst forth

So – there I was at the bookstore, buying a copy of Luke for Everyone. My third copy of Luke for Everyone. Yes, third. Why three, you might ask? Oh, let me tell you! I bought a copy a while back when I was teaching The Life of Christ. Then I joined the Tom Wright …for Everyone Book Club, which was an awesome idea but too low-tech (no EFT, so I kept forgetting to mail my monthly check, and not surprisingly the stream of books petered out around Romans), and received a second copy of Luke For Everyone. Thrilled I was! What an wonderful opportunity to start a back-up collection of my favorite books!

No, I didn’t. I gave that copy to one of my best friends, who doesn’t like to read very much. I told him that since he doesn’t like to read very much, he needs to have a few really great books around so that he doesn’t waste the few times when the urge to read really strikes him! So I gave him a copy of JA Turner’s book on raising kids with a Christian worldview, and I gave him Luke for Everyone.

You’re starting to wonder if the happy ending I promised will ever arrive? Hold your horses, we’re almost there.

So, now I’m back down to one copy of Luke for Everyone. Right up until I get a real craving to blog through it. Then, it is gone. Office shelves? Nope. Living room shelves? Nope. Dining room shelves? (don’t you judge me, Earl!!!) Nope. Church classroom? Nope. Laptop bag? Nope. It is well and truly gone. I perform a variety of searches through my house over the next couple of weeks, hoping it will show up.

Then, while Carly and the Queen and I are at Fayette Mall, I get the brilliant idea to make a joke. I say, “I bet if I buy a third copy of Luke For Everyone, we will find the first one!” Brilliant excuse to be sent into a bookstore with freedom to buy, right? SURE!

So I bought it (along with Living God’s Love: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality, by a couple of professors from one of my previous lives), ate a BBQ chicken pizza from Smashing Tomato, and went home happy.

And stayed happy, until I was getting ready for work on Monday, and the joke became reality. Carly bangs on the bedroom door and says, “Look at this!” I turn around to see my dog-eared original copy of, yup – Luke for Everyone. I had shelved it on the floor – and then a box and a storage bin of summer clothes had been shelved on top of it!

So, now I have a brand-new copy of Luke for Everyone that needs a home – and here’s the happy ending for you! ’bout time, right?

YOU can have this new copy – just share one fact you know about Luke (the author or the Gospel) in the comments section here at Fumbling Towards Eternity (I will try and pay attention to Facebook comments as well, but no promises!). Beware, though! If you repeat a fact that someone else has already shared, your fact doesn’t count! So in order to be entered into the drawing, you’ve got to read the other comments – if there are any! – before adding your own entry!

Good luck! I can’t wait to read what you like about Luke!

in HIS love,
nick

PS – Ray and Alicia, I promise that I haven’t forgotten about you! I did forget, but I remembered – so I’m putting your certificates in the mail this week!

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About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 8 April, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Luke was a physician

  2. Shoot, Jonathan took mine. (o;

    Luke talked with Jesus’ Mama about her memories of him!! I love that.

  3. bethany cummins

    Luke was written to Theophilus (sp) as a factual account of the life of Jesus. (Early investigative journalism?)

  4. Good stuff, everybody! I love it! Keep them coming!

  5. Luke is basically ignored, while Matthew and John are favored … thus the need for the book!

    • Yup – Matthew has so many things that sound temptingly like new laws, and John says Jesus is God so you have to follow all those laws! Luke shakes things up, so let’s not let him in the room, right?

  6. Luke was one of Paul’s traveling companions and was mentioned by name by Paul in three letters (Colossians, 2 Timothy, Philemon).

  7. If you don’t attribute authorship of Hebrews to Paul, which is very reasonable, then Luke, a gentile doctor, wrote more words than any other New Testament author. What makes this interesting isn’t just the statistics, but the theological implications.

    • Ooh – now somebody’s done gone to meddlin’! πŸ™‚ That’s a strong comment, Andy!

      I’ve got William Willimon’s Acts Commentary in the Interpretation series – he asserts that Luke was not actually a Gentile. I can’t remember why – I got it as a gift and haven’t gotten around to reading it in my book queue.

  8. My emphasis was more on the fact that Luke is never identified as an Apostle or Prophet, so even though he was Paul’s travel partner, the work is clearly Luke’s own and not scribe-like like Mark may have been for Peter. When Jesus told the 12 that they would be guided into “all truth” in John, some interpret this as Jesus predicting the giving of the New Covenant scriptures as if it was the giving of the new law. But that is simply not what Jesus was saying and Luke as major author flies in the face of such interpretations. The Spirit of Truth lives in all born again believers, including Luke the doctor. πŸ™‚ 1 Corinthians 2 (portions used to define traditional views of “inspiration”) then begins to also have serious implications. Good implications I believe.

  9. Luke also wrote the book of Acts – nothing profound, but no one had said it yet. (and if my name is drawn, the book goes in the church library)

  10. Here are a few interesting tidbits:

    Following the execution of the apostle Paul in the city of Rome early in 67 A.D., with the beloved physician Luke there to comfort and minister to him in the weeks preceding his death, history (both biblical and secular) grows silent with regard to Luke. He is never mentioned again, although a number of traditions developed to fill in these gaps. Some say he went to Bithynia to live. Other traditions claim he resided in Alexandria and Achaia. He was said to be a fabulous painter, and that he was especially known for his seven portraits of the Virgin Mary. Some say he died a natural death in Bithynia at the age of 84. Others declare he was crucified on an olive tree by the Emperor Domitian. His bones are said to have been brought by Emperor Constantine to Constantinople, where they were placed in the Church of the Apostles. Epiphanius (310-403 A.D.), bishop of Salamis and metropolitan of Cyprus, wrote that Luke traveled widely prior to his death; that he preached the good news in places such as Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia and Macedonia. Luke is referred to by some as “the first university-trained medical missionary” [Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. 3, p. 999].

    Some people have told me that my writing style is quite similar to Al Maxey’s! πŸ™‚ Yes, I lifted this from one of his essays.

    Here is a link to more on his study of Luke: http://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx431.htm

    I found the part about the paintings to be most interesting.

  11. Luke’s account is a second hand account – not an eye witness account.

  1. Pingback: Luke for Everyone Winner! « Fumbling Towards Eternity

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