Of Bill Bryson and the Holy Grail

There is a truly inspiring article on the First Things blog by Frederika Mathewes-Green entitled “The World and the Holy Grail”. She reflects upon her reading of Bill Bryson’s “A short history of nearly everything” and a 1932 essay by Russian Orthodox Fr. Sergius Fr. Sergius Bulgakov titled “The Holy Grail”.

Bill Bryson’s book is beautiful and I must say it inspired in me a wonder in the greatness of creation similar to that which Mathewes-Green reports. I especially wondered that given all that wonderment, how could Bryson not acknowledge the Creator?

With regard to the resurrected body, I have been similarly inspired to reflect that what gives us the “continuity” is a “body identity” which is not the same as all the constituent atoms that make up our body. We know, for instance, that after twenty years when we recognise a long lost friend that he or she is the same “body” despite the fact that all the atoms have been “vigourously recycled” in the meantime. I think this is what is behind St Paul’s reflections in 1 Cor 15.

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3 Responses to Of Bill Bryson and the Holy Grail

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was in conversation with a pro-choice fella recently who used the Bryson book to support his contention that although we think we know how human life begins now – sperm, ova etc – nothing in science is certain and in the future science may discover another way human life begins and so we cannot argue that life begins at conception as a fact because it mightn’t be. This sorta put me off the book.


  2. Schütz says:

    Nah, Sharon, that bloke must have read a different book. Read the book. It’s great. In fact, I had a conversation at the lunch table at the Victorian Council of Churches where a number of us spontaneously and simultaneously said: “Have you read Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything?” It will have cult status one day, I reckon…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that recommendation; I’ll put it on my Christmas list and get back to you when I have read it. Don’t hold your breath though, I don’t think I will live long enough to get through all of the books I have to read! lol


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