Review: Treasuring God in Our Traditions, by Noel Piper – Simply Convivial

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Originally posted in 2010.

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Treasuring God in Our Traditions follows in the footsteps of Edith Schaeffer; it is very reminiscent of Hidden Art, I thought. Mrs. Piper shows how traditions (daily patterns as well as holiday customs) communicate to children better and more deeply than words. It was a good read for someone like myself who tends to shrug off and sometimes even scoff at treating special times special as fluff and nonsense and sentimental (No matter how much I liked Anne of Anne of Green Gables, I always had the sneaky, uncomfortable suspicion that I wouldn’t actually like her in real life and that I was actually closely akin to Marilla). Because of that tendency, I had to fight with myself to read the book and not smirk through it. Children do pick up ideas through what they do repeatedly and by how they are treated, and so I want to fight my gnostic tendencies and make birthdays and holidays special days and make sure our daily patterns of life are consistent with our talk. After all, what you believe comes out your fingertips and what comes out your fingertips is what you believe.

Another thing I realized while reading this book is that I haven’t read many books written by baptists. This book was baptistic through-and-through, but my guess is that it’s one of those things that would only be apparent to someone who is thoroughly entrenched in a paedobaptistic culture and who isn’t familiar with baptistic thinking on a personal level. It made me wish I could read the books from my own camp with the eyes of a baptist, to see just how bizarre some phraseology sounds to someone with a different set of assumptions. In several places I couldn’t even place my finger exactly on what in a phrase made me smile and shake my head and say, “Baptist”; often it was obvious (instead of giving our children godly patterns of life because it is fitting for them as God’s children, we do it as a witness to them so that they will someday make it their own, instead of it already being their own), but not always.

Overall it was a good book, and good for me, even though most of the time I found myself inexplicably annoyed by it. Mrs. Schaeffer’s books annoy me in the same way, too, but it is due to a character flaw on my part, I am sure.

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