Confrontation(s) and (re)Discoveries

I’m still unpacking books. It’s often quite a disquieting experience being confronted with aspects your past (which is precisely what one’s library represents). There’s been not a few moments in recent weeks when I’ve found myself feeling somewhat embarrassed by a box’s contents, some of which have remained unopened for the best part of 4 years … and should have been thrown out 10 years before that. I can’t believe some of the junk that I’ve bought – and filled precious shelf-space with – over the years. The sense that one has matured a little is something of an encouragement. One of today’s highlights was the unearthing, after about 5 months, of Tom Smail’s brilliant (if not right at every point) Once and for All: A Confession of the Cross.  If only he didn’t write so clearly then perhaps he might be taken more seriously as a theologian. Anyway, here’s how he kicks off:

‘To write about the cross is, like Jacob at Peniel, to wrestle with something or, rather, with someone, who is totally mysterious and utterly unconquerable – a someone whom you cannot let go because you know that he has it in his power, certainly to wound you at the sore places he exposes, but also to bless you and to change your name and your destiny’. – Thomas A. Smail, Once and for All: A Confession of the Cross (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2005), ix.

The book has already been loaned out.


  1. OK Jason tell us. Give us examples of “what should have been thrown out 10 years ago”. You tell me one or two of your embarrassing buys and I’ll tell you mine! But you’re not allowed to mention anything that begins with Purpose Driven – even if you did buy it, don’t disillusion us by telling us. Glad you’re back on the blog.


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