Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Study report - Early Celtic Christianity

Good morning Boiler Room Bloggers...time for me to post some more thoughts.
This time a book report, as part of my developing rhythm of study.

I've been reading Early Celtic Christianity by Brendan Leharne (Constable, 1994). It jumped out at me from the shelves of Colchester library.

This book charts the rise of Irish cultural influence on Europe in the first seven centuries AD. This influence is achieved by the actions of the early Celtic missionaries - the book focuses on the lives of Brendan, Columba and Columbanus.

The book is written from a social history perspective. The author respects and admires the missionaries, but doesn't look at them from the perspective of building God's kingdom. He just sees them as cogs in the wheels of history. He is also a big fan of the Irish culture.

I was hoping for more detail about the prayers and rhythm of life of these Celtic missionaries, but this is lacking. Partly due to the lack of reliable historical sources from the time.

However, there's some inspiring description of the transformational impact that Columbanus had in France;

"Into an atmosphere of shift and deception walked bands of Irish with a clear and unequivocal sense of purpose. that purpose had nothing whatsoever to do with vendettas or luxury or making money or winning territory; little with emaciating themselves into scrawny and impotent worshippers of a far-removed god. Worship came first but good worship presupposed good health. They revived long term farming methods on the land they took over. With the product they fed themselves, gave free provisions to the needy and sold the rest to expand their activities. They were healthy in mind as well as body and gave no precedence to material things. They showed how to order things for the best in circumstances which were far from good. And in their dealings with people they showed little fear or favour to rich or poor; though some, other things being equal, to the latter, their need being greater."

I love it when I see people living out their love of Jesus in an effective, world changing rhythm. I want to find that rhythm as part of the Boiler Room Community.

I look forward to seeing people Sunday.

love Richard

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