Choosing which books to read can really be a challenge (as I am sure you know). I am currently reading several good books, some in direct preparation for sermons, some on the recommendations of others, and some just on a hunch that they would be good. One such hunch book is proving to be even better than my hunch could have thought. The book is The Great Theologians by Gerald R. McDermott. McDermott briefly, yet interestingly, looks at the lives of a few influential theologians and the impact their life and work has had on the church.
He opens the book with Origen (AD 185-253). Though Origen preached nearly two millennia ago, from the following quote it seems as if he is familiar with many (if not most) of our present churches:
The Lord has entrusted me with the task of giving his household their allowance of food [Bible teaching] at the appointed time [Lk. 12:42]…. But how can I? Where and when can I find a time when you will listen to me? The greater part of our time, nearly all of it in fact, you spend on mundane things, in the market-place or the shops; some of you are busy in the country, others wrapped up in litigation. Nobody, or hardly anybody, bothers about God’s Word…. But why complain about those who are not here? Even those who are, those of you who have come to church, are paying no attention. You can take an interest in tales that have become worn out through repetition, but you turn your backs on God’s Word and the reading of Holy Scripture.