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Showing posts from December, 2007

Eight Songs (from Chris' Blog) 1.0

I am so happy to see my name (alongside the dashing Brian's) at Sandalstraps, I cannot resist the opportunity to respond: what are 8 songs that have been important to me, had meaning or impact?

I have interpreted 'songs' very broadly, and I know Chris will not mind.


1) Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (especially the famous Ode to Joy in the final movement).

If there is a finer melody in western culture besides the Ode, I am not sure I know it. I have known this music for many years, and while my appreciation of classical music is very pedestrian, two times in my life this particular piece of music impacted me come to mind: The first was when I was hospitalized, before this blog even began, for a vicious inner ear infection. I had the spins so bad I could not open my eyes for a week, and I spent three days in the hospital. It was, quite simply, the sickest I have felt physically in my life. Because my wife works in the hospital, I was given the private room, the one use…

Merry Christmas to All

Okay, so I'm a few days late, but as busy as we've been (grading essays in between holiday dinners and family guests) I must note, it really is the thought that counts.

Christmas Eve at the Episcopal Cathedral an hour from here was simply amazing. Great music, great crowd, great sermon...everything. Another reason to consider moving down the hill in the future.

And while this is not my first post on BDM's new book Everything Must Change, I will say I have begun reading it. There will be much to talk about! I cannot wait to truly dig in...after the second of the year, when my grades are in (they are due then, so they will have to be done) and my brother and his wonderful, wonderful, wonderful family head back home to the warmth of so. cal., then, I promise, I will finish the book and begin posting. The issues raised already are profound: on one hand very simple (though often misunderstood), on the other, quite complex (even more often misunderstood). All of it is drawin…

On San Joaquin

If I ever wished for time to blog on an issue when I had no time, it would be the vote taken recently by the Diocese of San Joaquin to leave the ECUSA. I find it an enormous tragedy, though less a tragedy than the attitudes which have driven the vote. As I may have said, the church in So. Cal. which took my wife and I in when we were unmarried, when I was divorced, and nurtured us spiritually has also left the communion, although as an individual parish.

It is time for my blog to grow up. The Brian McClaren assignment is proof for me (or maybe I'm the one growing up :) ). My brief rant on inerrancy below is utterly inadequate, completely non pastoral, and the kind of solipsistic outburst one finds, oh, in Eliot's The Waste Land. It is true: I cannot believe a reading person who puts sufficient and genuine energy into studying the Bible can affirm it the "Word of God" with the meaning the Bishop of SJ does, or turn to its writings, selectively, for proof-text ind…

Brian on Deck

True to her word, my friend from NY sent me a free copy of Brian McClaren's most recent book: Everything Must Change so that I can review it on my humble blog. Have to say, without opening the book, I like the title :)

This is the busiest time of my semester, and I will have to climb out from under stacks of papers on Emerson (read a very good one today comparing E to punk rock ethics), Hawthorne, Bacon and Plato. But when I do...reading and commenting on EMC (I plan to do more than a simple review, of course) is the next thing on my list. As I told Anne, I am deeply honored, touched and encouraged, and hope to earn the purchase price with the work I put in here (I am not being paid any money, of course, as this is really a very humble blogship).

What is most fascinating is that I have not read a line of BMc. Not a line. I heard about him when this blog was new from Dave T. I was rather shocked, as a Christian newly returning to church of any kind (and faith of any kind) to…