This is kind of like reading theology.
When I read theology, I assume two things and I assume these same two things regardless of the author. I read Blake Ostler the same way I read Augustine or Dogen.
I assume that the author is a sinner and that their theology is handicapped by an irreparable narrowness. And I assume that, compared to me, they are smarter and significantly closer to God.
I assume that the face of God is as likely to shine through their twinkling weakness as anywhere else. The serpent that bites is the same serpent that gets held up for healing.
These assumptions are the key to both redeeming and being redeemed by the stuff we read.
Joe Spencer and I are reading Blake’s books all year long. I go in assuming that Blake’s a sinner (that snake! – he is a lawyer after all) and that his theology, like everyone’s, is handicapped by an irreparable narrowness. And I go in assuming that he is smarter and significantly closer to God than I am.
Look again at the thing that bit you. Look close this time. It’s simple.
God’s winking at you with Blake’s black eye.