Continuing his reflections about loss and grief, Chris Hall turns his attention to the ways those we love never really leave us—even when they are more than a phone call away. He shares some favorite quotes that bring his friend Tom Oden close by, even as Tom’s absence is still keenly felt.
Chris Hall expands on the book-filled youth of his friend Tom Oden and reflects upon the ways that bad books and corrupt ideas lead to miserable “dry, dusty, hollow lives,” while good books and wise ideas “challenge, heal, nourish, restore, and renew.” Discernment is key. Chris explains.
Is a well-stocked home library merely a joy to a bookish child? Or does the library itself—stuffed from floor to rafters with endless possibilities—shape the very bookishness of the child? Chris Hall considers how books presented invitations to learn both in his own childhood and Tom Oden’s.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). But many have believed that God went silent for hundreds of years after the 1st century. Not so. Tom Oden could trace God’s hand throughout history, and he showed Chris Hall how.
Not only did Tom Oden let Chris Hall collaborate on an article for Christianity Today in 1989, he also guided Chris through the craft of composition, encouraging him not to shy away from revisions, until “every sentence [became] a work of art.” Chris shares the story with us.