Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Reading Recommendation: Quo Vadis

What are you reading this summer? I've got a great suggestion. Read Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Written more than 100 years ago and now considered a classic, Sienkiewicz won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the work.

Quo Vadis is set in Nero's Rome and tells the story of Vinicius and his conversion to Christ through the Christ-like love of Lygia. Its a great story.

First century Christianity came alive for me in reading Quo Vadis. I was so challenged by the contrast between the indulgent, sin-soaked Roman culture and the emerging, selfless, radically sacrificial, willing-to-suffer Christian community. The Christian worldview is utterly other-worldly and compelling in comparison to the empty, pleasure-focused Roman culture.

Our culture is definitely heading in the direction of Roman culture. And what about today's Christianity? Are we living otherworldly, counter-cultural lives, sacrificial lives in midst of a wicked, worldly culture. . . . or have we become conformed to it?

How can we, as those who believe the radical world changing Gospel challenge the lies of contemporary culture? How are we called to live in opposition to the cultural trends? How are we called to serve our neighbors and community in radical sacrificial ways today?

These are the questions I'm still asking after having finished Quo Vadis a couple weeks back.

Its 600 pages, but definitely worth the read! Let me know if you pick it up.

3 comments:

jenny said...

I remember reading this in 6th or 7th grade.... and hating it! :-) Probably cuz I was forced to and it was so dang long! I'll have to give it a second try, as I don't remember barely anything from it.

Mike said...

I am half way through and I am gripped. The contrast between the pleasure-seeking Roman culture and the self-sacrificing Christian community is monumental. Again and again I have been convicted. Am I really following "in Christ's steps" when I seem to fit into this world so easily?

Anonymous said...

I am going to purchase the book today! I remember seeing the movie more years ago than I prefer to admit (lol) but the movei fo course was not Christ focused. Thanks so much!