Membrana Christian Books
The ancients used a word called fellowship to explain the gathering together of like-minded people. Fellowship occured in various ways and across many walks of life. As a matter of fact the idea of fellowship has a rich history. Here is an overview of the idea of fellowship (Greek: ????????):
???????? is a word that occurs in many of the Ancient writers such as Strabo, Thuclydides, Plato, Jospehus and Aristotle. As a matter of fact both Plato's Republic and Josephus' Antiquities of Jews contain exactly as many references to ???????? as the New Testament. The writers vary in their usage and apply ???????? to such matters as politics, family, friendships, virtue lists, hermitism, sorrow, etc. It seems though that these ideas of ???????? are limited in their scope as they appeal only to the physical/human aspect of ????????. Yet, the New Testament idea of fellowship shares some similarities with the Ancient writers but adds a Spiritual dimension. One New Testament account ties fellowship inextricably to the Godhead (1 John 1:3). In Philemon 1:6 ???????? is synonymous with spiritual growth... "that the fellowship of your faith may become effective, in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus." This is virtually only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
...To be continued
The pages of the calendar conjure two conflicting stories as each day, week, month and year are marked out. The next page is flipped at the advent of a new month. The purpose of calendars is to make our existence in time and space more fixed or concrete.
The first story the calendar conjures up is one of a terminally insufferable dawdling. In the days of youth tomorrow never comes quickly enough. Sometimes there are good reasons to wish the abrasive sands of time would erase the events of any given day, week, month or year. Other times we are just in a hurry to grow up without any particular reason. Surely we can all remember a time, distant or near, in which time passed so slowly.
The second story the calendar pages conjure up is one of unrelenting rapidity. The days seem to pile one upon the the other and in a flash months, years and decades march before your eyes in rapid sucession. Sometimes there are good reasons to wish the sandy waves of time usher you nearer to the ultimate shore. Other times we longinly gaze upon the days of our youth when time was somewhat meaningless and irrelevent.
Regardless of which calendrical theshold we stand upon or once stood upon we all have sought to find a sense of belonging. We all have longed to be inextricably tied to something, some place, somewhere or some one greater than ourselves. We have surrounded ourselves with people that share our hopes, dreams, ideals, morals, goals, occupations and satisfactions. This longing to belong has many shapes, forms and manners and can be morally benevolent or corrupt but rarely neutral. This is true of life now as it has always been.
Today the calendar reads 11-11-11. In my book just another day. I suppose for those who revel in fruitless practices such as numerology 11-11-11 has a special significance. While some may think that mystical manifestations abound on such calendrical anomalies today is really 11-11-2011. It has been 2000 years since last 11-11-11 took place. A mere twenty-two years before the last 11-11-11 the original 11-11-11 came and passed. Surely next year 12-12-12 will be all the rage but remember that 2000 years before 12-12-2012 the final 12-12-12 took place. It takes a certain amount of numerical manipulation to even pretend that 12-12-(20)12 actually means anything of significance. Every day is a gift of God and we should learn to appreciate it instead of calendrical anomalies.
Why does this blank page scowl at us as we try to think of what to post in this premier post of the Membrana Christian Books blog? Racing through our minds are at least ten if not twenty different topics to post about. By tonight we probably could easily approach a hundred potential verbal suitors.
Should we start with a simple and direct but all too generic welcome? Or should we dive headlong into theological content? Maybe we should consider beginning with a few thoughts on the digitization and the future of the physical book? If we are feeling a little feisty at the moment maybe we could enter the point of no return- politics.
We will begin with a simple welcome though it lacks the depth, intrigue or volatility of our other potential suitors. It is our hope that we will have the honor of serving your book buying needs along with, hopefully, on occasion a few paltry thoughts to make you laugh, cry and use your God-given gray mass lodged between your ears.
Sincerely in Christ,
Shawn and Rebecca Arendt