Awhile ago my friend Jared (also developer of Wi-Fam) started pursuing the idea that highest quality should not always be completely separate from "Christian." Actually, he came to a quite opposite conclusion. Like others before him (among them Lewis and Schaeffer), Jared is convinced that Christians should be able to use their gifts at the highest level without compromising their love for God.
Jared did not have a vision for this idea to make ripples within Christian circles... no, Jared's vision was way bigger than even himself. He wanted talented artists and intellectuals to have a space to bring God the highest glory by doing the best work. This space became the Renascence Project.
I say all that as an introduction, because just about a month ago I had an idea about what I could contribute to this space called the Renascence Project. Now, I get ideas a lot, but this idea seemed bigger than most. I guess it came two-fold: 1. creating a website with my sister to bring together art and intellect and 2. to create a book club
I'm jumping to number 2. The vision... the really big vision may not make a whole lot of sense right now. So, here's the important part: I love books. A perfect day is curled up with a big, fat novel, a hot cup of tea, and any kind of weather.
I find myself drawn consistently to 'classic' literature (though I never took any courses), but I can't quite shake the thought that I am missing out on a most essential part. I just finished the book "The Idiot" awhile back and was sad to see such a brilliant book given so little of my time. I really believe that so much about understanding literature is processing it with others.
So, to fill the post-college void of discussion groups and challenging conversations, I (with the help of an enthused handful of Austinites) have formed classically inclined, a book club! This club will be many things, but first we will be a group of people who want to read and discover together.
This isn't a class, nor is it highly structured. The main goal is to use the minds God gave us and challenge ourselves through literature. We will read several books from classic authors to give us an understanding of both the writer's perspective and common themes. We also hope to vary the books with short stories and films.
We are beginning with George Orwell and his book "Animal Farm." Here is a tidbit:
"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself."I realize 'classically inclined' sounds ridiculous, but I'm severely ordinary when it comes to these matters and so I choose to be absurdly so. We'll see how it goes over.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 1