Sunday, March 14, 2004

12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee conclusion

12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me): Finding Grace to Live Unmasked by John Fischer on Amazon

*Concluding Remarks!* tangie | *

12 steps for the recovering pharisee book coverJust as whenever I read any Christian or biblically-based literature by someone who lives and navigates within a free church rather than a sacramental tradition, I need to adjust my thinking likewise. However, being typically me I'll begin by saying I'd've written this book differently because I'd've kept referencing the sacraments throughout. Now that I'm partially out of the way...

Overall impressions and responses to the discussion moderator's suggestions:

Things you particularly liked.

It's sort of about the same reason I enjoy school! Structures, expectations and the necessity of going along with the assignments other people give me rather than free-spiriting it on my own, and, of course, the mutual ideas exchange. Then, I was proud of myself for not forcing an opinion, idea or agreement with everything! As I've said several times, some of John Fischer's supposedly *universally applicable* remarks applied scarily well to me and just as many didn't.

Things you didn't.

First, see my statement about the sacraments. I need to be aware how highly sacramental my theology has become and I need equally to be aware what a long (strange?), privileged journey (trip? Yes!!!:D :D :D) it's been from my undergrad days at First Citified American Baptist through a slew of permutations and even a few re formations to where I am now. Then, I'd also be interested in some of John Fischer's answers to the questions he posed; however, he may have been intentional about this. If I'm in a listening/counseling situation where someone else is the primary subject, I've discovered at times opening about my experiences and viewpoints can be very helpful, and at other times I'll say almost nothing about myself.

Did it help you? Produce any changes in your life and faith walk?

The book did help me some. Many times John Fischer was so close to where I am and know I shouldn't remain, while other times he didn't describe me or my experience remotely. And yes, it produced some changes and gave me the potential for more change, because as usual with any spiritual/practical endeavor, it made me both more self-conscious and less self-conscious, both of those in positive ways and in negative ones.

Would you recommend this book to a friend?

Yes, with the same cautions I've posted. I may have mentioned here that during Lent 2004 I was in a weekly discussion of Lauren Winner's recent book sensation, mudhouse sabbath. Almost the first comment from one of the other participants was how sick and tired she'd become of all the "12 Step" everythings! At the time I sort of agreed, but then I told her about our online discussion of this book and mentioned in this case the 12-step format definitely was helping me some.


None right now, but after my week more-or-less just reading and not writing much on these boards, I'll be back to read and maybe comment on what everyone else posts.

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