A Word in Time: Reflections for Daily Christian Living
P.J. Kemp was a journalist living in Brigham, Quebec.
In Sunday School or summer Bible School, children are often supplied with little books of homilies, short stories designed to demonstrate Christian principles and explain incidents from the Bible. Books like A Word in Time are the grown-ups’ version of these little books, with their simplistic approach to spiritual matters, easy answers, and faint air of moral superiority in that John Q. Reader seldom identifies with the sundry examples of “wrong living.”
Indeed, the short vignettes contained in A Word in Time, culled from a periodical called The Newfoundland Churchman, are meant to be comforting, reassuring readers that certain traditions and beliefs still exist and that self-examination need go no farther than asking ourselves if we have forgiven any recently received slights.
There is a place for this type of writing; there are doubtless some people who derive pleasure and perhaps even solace from it. But when one sees the cloning of such books being churned out by some publishers, one wonders where and when the childhood concepts of God, of right and wrong, begin to give way to more in-depth and complex examination. These books would have us suspect that a really good Christian would not abandon the childhood concepts to traverse “dangerous” scientific and philosophical questions. But, after all, faith means having the ability to face up to challenges, not denying them altogether.