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Preview: Wilderness Fandango

Wilderness Fandango



Some day, I hope to hear, “Hey Mack, take the cuffs off him, I think he’s a Hall of Famer!”



Updated: 2017-09-04T17:36:57.264-04:00

 



Last Fandango

2012-07-03T17:12:54.994-04:00

Okay, as Steve Scott has recently reminded me, my sabbatical is over.

Yeah, that's right, I'm done not blogging. Or something.

But not at Wilderness Fandango. I'm going to try to consistently (once a week) post over at Gospel Chronicles, which will be focused on, you guessed it, the good news about Jesus. If you occasionally got some kind of nourishment from Fandango, you might also from the Gospel Chronicles. Hope to see you there.

For all things non-theological I'll be blogging at Scraps & Scribs. I'm going to post poetry, book chatter, that sort of thing, here. I'm making no hard commitment about frequency of posting. We'll see.

And that's that. My last word at Wilderness Fandango. Seeya over at the new digs!





2 Comments

2012-03-26T13:22:27.972-04:00

Ahem . . .

I know I said something about a 6 month sabbatical from blogging, but having made it nearly to three months, I've wandered into blogging again. It's going to be very Gospel-focused this time, and probably only a once a week post of any substance. But Gospel-focused is the thing. I'm going to be pretty strict about that.

Anyway, I'm calling it The Gospel Chronicles. If you liked Fandango, you might also like the Chronicles.

That's all.



Announcing a six month sabbatical from blogging

2011-12-30T14:30:16.298-05:00

Well, there's been a raging debate going on in my head over whether I should continue this blog at all in 2012. You might have noticed the lack of posting lately. I've been trying to keep a minimal presence just in case I get all energized about blogging again.

But I don't think that's going to happen right away.

So the choice is, keep hanging around, sustaining said minimal presence, just in case . . . which seems rather pointless . . . or just calling it quits.

Here's what I think. It's no use keeping the lights on in the house if no one lives there anymore.  I think I will be blogging again someday, but not for the next few months at least.

So here's what I'll be doing. First, I'm taking a six month sabbatical from blogging. I'm going to spend some of that time thinking about what kind of blogging I want to do if ever I do ever resume this sort of thing.

And if I do, I think it will be something very different. But for now, the mojo is gone. I'm closing the candy store. When and if I come back, it will be at a different site altogether, with a whole different feel. If it happens, I'll be letting people know in the usual social media places, so by all means friend me, put me in your circle, or whatever.

Till then, farewell.  I'm on sabbatical.



Thursday Three

2011-12-29T08:12:00.869-05:00

Relevant Magazine's 10 best books of 2011.

The Tyranny of Advice.

If Jesus Had a Blog. Funny. Also, brilliant.



Thursday Three

2011-12-22T07:50:00.456-05:00

David Cooke's starter kit for 2012.

I just bought Jared Wilson's Gospel Wakefulness. That should be my next read of 2012.  [Funny that Barnes and Noble does not offer the ebook for their nook, but Christian Book does. What's with that, B&N?]

Speaking of Jared Wilson, his new small group study looks helpful: Seven Daily Sins.



Thursday Three

2012-01-10T17:00:59.489-05:00

Listen to N. T. Wright, if only to hear how he pronounces the word "corollary." But no, really, interesting guy and he's making a very important point about the Gospel.

And I think (but this is just a guess) that Wright is making the same point that McKnight makes in his King Jesus Gospel, which I purchased last week and have just begun reading.

Oh, and did I tell you that N. T. Wright's book, Simply Jesus, was undoubtedly one of the best books I've ever read. Seriously. I thought the last chapter was a tad weak (where he answers the question, "what does the Kingdom of God look like in our lworld today?"), but I think Wright is saying very significant things in this book. Yeah, you should probably read it.







Thursday Three

2011-12-08T09:36:29.099-05:00

The Life of Faith according to Internet Monk

Spiritual Progress according to Nate.

Sanctificantion according to Tullian Tchividjian

[Note: Nate and Tullian are writing about the same matters, and seem to be in total agreement.]





"The concentrated calamity of the cosmos..."

2011-12-03T12:22:50.772-05:00

N. T. Wright's Simply Jesus. This is a fascinating book. Wright carefully depicts the particular conditions, political and religious, which form the social context of Jesus' ministry. You come away with a renewed sense of the sheer boldness of what Christ was telling people. How utter radical (and apparently crazy) it is to stand before a crowd and say the things he said. Here's a brief snip:
This, Jesus believed, is what it would look like when Israel's guide came back to Zion. It would not be the three men visiting Abraham, not the burning bush, not the pillar of cloud and fire, not Isaiah's smoky, seraphim-surrounded vision, not Ezekiel's whirling wheels, but a young man on a donkey, in tears, announcing God's judgement on the city and temple that stood on the cosmic fault lines, establishing his own still-uncomprehending followers as its surprising replacement, and then going off to take upon himself the full weight of evil, the concentrated calamity of the cosmos, so that its force would be annulled and the new world would be born. 



"Jesus, in all of His fullness, is the good news." Frank Viola

2011-11-16T11:33:07.349-05:00

I'm always recommending Frank Viola's book. Once someone pushed back by saying Frank Viola was heretical and sending me the link to one of those watchdog websites where the guy goes on and on about all the heretics out there. I had to scroll about a mile to get to mention of Viola and I don't even remember now what it said, but the episode sticks in my mind because Viola seems so dang sound to me. He's just very Jesus-centric. If you haven't listened to his Epic Jesus podcast, you should do so. You'll se what I mean. But I wanted to mention a recent interview over at the blog called illuminate. The blogger is Jamal Jivanjee. There's good stuff over there. Anyway, back to the interview. Jamal starts out with the following comment.
The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’ and Jesus Christ is the personification of good news. Simply put, He is the gospel! In the New Testament, Paul & the apostles would proclaim the actual person of Jesus Christ. This was much more than a message containing some propositional truths about Christ and a few things He did. I’m convinced that all of our problems are rooted in a small vision of Jesus Christ. Simply put, the church is in desperate need of a large and stunning view of Jesus Christ! This view of Jesus Christ is rarely presented, however.
I love that. This is the gist of what has been guiding me for a long time now. I'm sorry if it sounds simplistic and unworthy of a post-doctoral degree in theology, but what we need is more Jesus. Jesus is big and strange and category busting and inconvenient to one and all.

 I like Frank's definition of the Gospel, and his definition of the Kingdom. They're helpful. My guiding principle as I journal through the Gospel of Mark is very close to what Frank is talking about. Jesus and the Kingdom and the Good News are in many ways interchangeable. Jesus is the good news, and Jesus is the the Kingdom. These statements of equivalence may require qualification, but they are nevertheless essentially true.

 Read the interview for some insightful explication of this idea and others. I kind it difficult to snip a characteristic quotation from this wide-ranging interview, but here's a try:
If you examine everywhere the term “gospel” is used throughout the New Testament, you will discover that it’s always bound up with the Person of Jesus (His work is united with His Person. While people regularly separate His work from His Person, you can’t separate His Person from His work. The same is true with His teachings). In His preaching and teaching, Jesus consistently pointed to Himself. In fact, the early church regarded the four gospels to be “the gospel.” And what do those four gospels present? They present Jesus: His life, His story, His teaching, His work. Read the four gospels carefully sometime and count the number of times that Jesus speaks about Himself. You will have no doubts that His message—His gospel—was Himself. (I’m thrilled that some evangelical scholars are writing about this now.) Paul, Peter, John, et al. preached the same gospel as did Jesus. Their message was also Christ.
If we start with Jesus and keep the focus there, we will not get all bent out of shape by secondary things. And my point is, everything else is secondary.



"When death dies, all things live."

2011-11-15T09:40:01.314-05:00

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The Gospel is not our own personal happiness plan.

2011-11-15T09:27:06.690-05:00

I love this interview with Scot McKnight. I haven't read McKnight's new book yet, but it's next on my list. I think he's put his finger on one of our key problems. Some snips from the interview:
The point is this is a story about Jesus and we’ve made it into our personal happiness plan. It’s like when we root for our favorite sports team. When I watch the Bears, I root for the Bears because I want them to do well, not because of something I will get out of it. To me some people watch the Bears only to see if their players are going to score fantasy points so their teams can win. That is what I think we have become. We have become fantasy Christians. We see ourselves vested in certain elements so that when those elements do well we feel good. We don’t care about what’s going on in the pages of the Bible except to the degree that it satisfies what we want to get out of the Bible.



The Triumph of the Lamb

2011-11-15T08:43:27.298-05:00

I notice that Stephen Altrogge at The Blazing Center has been reading Dennis Johnson's book on The Revelation, The Triumph of the Lamb. I mention this only because Triumph is one of the best Biblical commentaries I've ever read. If you want to study The Revelation, you should read Triumph of the Lamb. That's all.



Would you let Jesus be who he is?

2011-11-12T12:58:57.757-05:00

Suppose for a moment that in a flash of insight you discovered that all your motives for ministry were essentially ego-centric, or suppose that last night you got drunk and committed adultery, or suppose that you failed ot respond to a cry for help and the person committed suicide. What would you do? Would guilt, self-condemnation, and self-hatred consume you, or would you jump into the water and swim a hundred yards at breakneck speed toward Jesus (Jn 21.7)? Haunted by feelings of unworthiness, would you allow the darkness to overcome you or would you let Jesus be who He is – a Savior of boundless compassion and infinite patience, a Lover who keeps no score of our wrongs? (128-129)
From Brennan Manning's Abba's Child. HT: Matt Tebbe. You should really read the whole post. Really.



Simply Jesus

2011-11-11T13:49:06.046-05:00

I've started reading N. T. Wright's Simply Jesus.  I'm into the third chapter, and loving it.

You know, it's really kind of interesting how many books are being written with the avowed purpose of refocusing on Jesus, correcting a trend, in other words, toward focusing on other things and relegating Jesus Christ to the periphery.

There was Jared Wilson's book, You're Jesus is too Safe, and Frank Viola and Len Sweet's The Jesus Manifesto, and more recently Tullian Tchividjian's Jesus + Nothing = Everything.  I'm sure there have been others, but taken together they represent a distinct trend.  Almost a movement!

Speaking of books, the next in my queue is The King Jesus Gospel, by Scot McKnight.  It's been my personal project to read the NT for a deeper understanding of what is meant by that term, "the Gospel."  McKnight has been investigating that same matter, and his conclusion is that we've been so focused on one aspect of the Gospel (individual salvation) that we have done the broader picture is a distinct disservice.

Now back to the matter of re-focusing on Jesus. I think that Jesus is the good news; he embodies it. So you can't go far wrong concerning the Gospel--and you won't over-simplify it--if you begin with Jesus and keep the focus there.

So anyway, back to Simply Jesus.  Here's a clip from the introduction:
Jesus—the Jesus we might discover if we really looked, is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we had ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus’s central claim and achievement. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself.
That's good stuff.  I've been struck, in my reading of the Gospels, at how absolutely strange Jesus often seems.  Sure, he's fully human and all that, but he talks like no man has ever talked.  He says things like, "How long am I to bear with this faithless generation?" Those are the words of a man who has come from elsewhere, is a stranger in this world, and is eager to get back home.  Nobody is a stranger in this world like Jesus was.

Well, he was different, this Jesus.  And I'm thankful for this movement to re-focus on the Jesus going on in the church today, and it's something I want to be a part of. It's the most exciting thing going. Either the church is about the indwelling Jesus (for real) or it is nothing more than playing the religious community game.



Epic Jesus

2011-11-09T09:21:32.274-05:00

I just read Frank Viola's Epic Jesus.  You can get the podcast here, and/or read the brief book (which I purchased here).

The book is brief and should be read in a single sitting.  It's powerful.  It's really a summation of the gospel in all its glory, and a nice answer to those who think the gospel is simply the news that Jesus died for our sins.  It is that, of course, but that fact is embedded in a greater story, and that story is good news from start to finish.

Here's a sample:

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Snow storms, baseball, and the Word of God

2011-10-29T11:06:38.504-04:00

They're saying we'll get some snow up here tonight.  Three to six inches on the coast, six to ten inland.  Can you believe that?

Congrats to the Cards.  I have admired the Cards since I was a kid, growing up a Phillies fan but totally in awe of a Cardinal by the name of Bob Gibson, still the best pitcher I have ever seen.  Other pitchers, at their best, may have been as good as Gibson at his best, but Gibson reached that pinnacle far more often than anybody else.  Gibson was "at his best" more often than any pitcher I've ever seen.

BTW, I just love to watch the celebration on the field after the last out.  Makes me laugh and want to join in.

Speaking of baseball, why is game 6 of the World Series always better than game seven . . . or so it often seems.  Anyway, it was nice to have a game 7 this year, the first since 2002!

Enough about baseball.  Did I mention that I love N. T. Wright's translation of the New Testament?  I did?  Well, I'm saying it again.

For a while now I've been writing my own commentary on the Gospel of Mark.  This is just a way of making myself really engage and think about the text in context.  Those words, "in context," are all important.  There's a lot of non-contextual interpretation of the Bible out there.  For me, as I write about Mark, I'm just trying to keep the context front and center, and ignore all possible interpretation that is not related to the context; that is, to the story being told by the author.

Another way of putting this is in the negative: how not to think about the Bible.  The Bible is not a giant literary grab-bag of allegorical tales intended to help me with my life.  It does get used that way though.  Typically, a preacher will take a passage, then find a way to draw a parallel with our own lives.  So if David did this or that -- and David after all is a man after God's own heart! -- then we ought to do this or that.  The sermon ends with a rousing encouragement for us all to go and do this or that, just like David!

Yuk.  I can't listen to that any more.  David was a real historical person, not a convenient flannel-graph illustration for my personal encouragement.  And furthermore, David was a gift of God to the people of Israel and the world, so that we might see in him a fore-image of what was to come.  That is, in him we see Jesus, before whom David now gladly bows!

The reason that we have to say so often, just give me Jesus, is that we are so often served up so much else besides Jesus, all because of a deeply-entrenched misusing of the Scriptures for purposes of our own.  But I find that the story is quite inspiring enough without having to make it be all about me and my issues.

There, I have managed to write a post about snow, baseball, and the proper use of the Word.  Blogging at its best!





Tom Wright's Kingdom New Testament

2011-10-27T07:48:06.118-04:00

So I just bought N. T. Wright's newly-released translation of the New Testament, called The Kingdom New Testament.  I got it for my Ereader and have decided to just quickly read it front to back, and half way through Matthew I'm really loving it.  It's fairly literal, but with a tone all its own.  Not as loopy and "imaginative" as Eugene Peterson's Message--I love Peterson's books, but have mixed feelings about his translation--it has actually made me smile and even chuckle at frequent intervals.  Mostly, though, it's just simple and flowing and very "readable."  I don't want to put it down!

You can read Wright's preface here, and you can read Ben witherington's interview with Wright here.





Personal Worship

2011-10-26T08:26:51.872-04:00

At church last Sunday the pastor spoke to us about having a personal private worship time. That's not something I've ever done much, and the truth is I don't own any worship music that I'm particularly eager to listen to. I wonder if there's a fix for that. When it comes to worship time at church, any church, I try to latch on to the message and meaning in the lyric and forget that the music itself (predominant in most churches anyway) is simply uninteresting to me. I know, I know, you want to sound “contemporary” to keep the kids from drifting away, but does that word “contemporary” have to be synonymous with the absence of creativity and the droning sameness of one song after another?The best worship experience I've had in a church in recent years was in a Church of Christ, with the congregation singing unaccompanied by the usual combo of guitars and drums. The beautiful thing about it was, well, people were really singing, not just holding their hands up and swaying. We could hear ourselves and one another clearly (a novel idea). If you want to sing together with others, you're going to have to find some other place than church, which privileges amped up guitars and drums at the expense of the sound of a multitude of voices. This is simply the way things are, and I'm willing to go along, but I'm not likely to love it. So the question is, what's out there that I can listen to in my personal worship time? By the way, I don't accept that the only alternative is churchy traditionalism (pipe organs and robed choirs). Dan at Cerulean Sanctum, in a post about the problem of aging congregations, speaking of the propensity of young people to flee the church (even with its "contemporary" worship style) elicited this response from one reader:The first thing I would say about that is there’s got to be a way to do it without sanctifying whatever’s hip, and simply updating your program to make it entertaining to the Justin Bieber/Twilight crowd. If you want to attract a new generation, don’t simply pander to its shallowest, most entertaining elements.... I find that a lot of young people long for a sense of shared life- of community. They also seem to prioritize enjoyment of things like the arts and the outdoors over climbing the social ladder or accumulation.The young people I know are not abject suckers for the "contemporary." Walking through the Public Market in Seattle a couple of weeks back, I enjoyed several young buskers, one singing old blues numbers and playing slide guitar, and the other playing claw-hammer banjo, which is a style as old as the hills. Hmmm, I thought young people were only interested in the "contemporary"!I'm not suggesting these styles of music as alternatives for worship, only asking where are these young people who insist on a standardized "contemporary" worship style at the expense of creativity? I don't think this sort of thing is as attractive to young people as our 40-something pastors think. That commenter at Dan's blog (okay, I admit, it was my own son) said this:I’ve spent quite a bit of time now in primarily “young” churches, and I can say that they’re not going for the cheesy, canned, airbrushed, super-pious platitudes in loopy lettering. The felt banners and fake plants decor. What the last generation found to be counter-cultural and engaging actually bores the daylights out of young people much of the time. And if it sounds like you’re selling something, Anyway, read the post and the comments too, because it's all very interesting and it ranges well-beyond the simple issue of worship style. B[...]



It's all good!

2011-10-23T13:45:03.005-04:00

After I left the church I'd been attending for ten years or so, there was time that I just didn't want to commit to any other church. I wanted to go very slowly. I didn't want to stay away from church forever, but I wanted to be patient. And the simple fact is that the things that made me unhappy in my old church were common to many churches. I was determined to watch and wait. Well, the neat thing is that now I'm somehow attached to two different churches at once: the one I've been attending on Sunday mornings (well, to be honest, I've been attending some Sunday mornings), and the other is a brand-new church-plant that exists as yet only as a small group who study the Bible together. The first is a Harvest Bible Chapel, and the church-plant is a Southern Baptist church called Christ Fellowship. I've been incredibly blessed by both of these. Sheesh, how He blesses us! I'm feeling gently and lovingly nudged. Hey, over here! Look at me! So I just wanted to say that. There are people everywhere lifting up the name of Jesus, dedicated to revealing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. That's pretty cool. I'm listening to Frank Viola's Epic Jesus talk on itunes just now. What an inspiring message! It's all good!



Push-Back

2011-10-19T07:00:09.339-04:00

I've been reading John Piper's God is the Gospel (which I highly recommend, especially since it's a free download!), where Piper argues that the Gospel is ultimately a vision of the beauty and desirability of God above all other desirable things. His starting point for this:
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6 ESV)
It is possible to present the Gospel in such a way that it simply compliments are selfish desires or assuages our fears, but the joy that such a gospel might bring is temporary at best. Although I suppose they may make strange bedfellows, Michael Frost seems to agree with Piper here. Frost argues:
When the contemporary evangelical church tries to present what it believes is the core message of the Bible, it nearly always does so in individualized terms, and it nearly always does so by presenting the message of Jesus as being about personalized benefit either in this world or the next.
That quote is from Frost's book, The Road to Missional. Both Piper and Frost are pushing back against the individualized understanding at the center of which is a self-interested decision to let Jesus come into our hearts. McKnight seems to be pushing back is his own way in his new book The King Jesus Gospel. The book's product description says it in a nutshell:
Contemporary evangelicals have built a 'salvation culture' but not a 'gospel culture.' Evangelicals have reduced the gospel to the message of personal salvation. This book makes a plea for us to recover the old gospel as that which is still new and still fresh. The book stands on four arguments: that the gospel is defined by the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15 as the completion of the Story of Israel in the saving Story of Jesus; that the gospel is found in the Four Gospels; that the gospel was preached by Jesus; and that the sermons in the Book of Acts are the best example of gospeling in the New Testament. In the Beginning was the Gospel ends with practical suggestions about evangelism and about building a gospel culture.
These two books are definitely on my to-read list.



Three Things

2011-10-18T09:17:02.347-04:00

The Gospel: The Story of Cosmic Restoration or the Plan of Salvation?

On the Way Teaching

Missional is not a Tame Lion
This last is the third in a series from Scot McKnight, referencing a new book by Michael Frost called The Road to Missional. [The first two in the series are here and here.] I love this post and I love the questions that McKnight asks. Here's a key snip:
Attracting members matters so much many churches have adapted and adopted market strategies. But Frost knows that the next generation knows marketing from missional, and it wants little part in the marketing and is up for the challenge to the missional.



Re-focusing Fandango

2011-10-16T08:00:10.673-04:00

You know, I'm going to try to refocus Fandango on the Gospel, because that's the only thing that really jazzes me anyway.

I'm not much of a blogger these days.  Just figuring out a workflow will be a challenge, but what I hope to do is get two or three posts in per week.  Posts will generally be short and probably often merely link to what other bloggers are saying about, yeah, the Gospel.

That's it.

Along those lines, have you seen Nate's latest?  Nate has just read Scot McKnight's King Jesus Gospel.  I like his comments.  Well, I generally like Nate's blogging a lot.  I'm one of his keenest followers.

The McKnight book looks really interesting.  I think the dude's right on.  The Gospel is not primarily about my opportunity to make a decision for Christ, saving me from my sin.  It is that, but so much more.  C. S. Mann's commentary on Mark states it this way:
The Gospel . . . is the message that God's righteous purposes for Israel have reached both goal and climax in and through the ministry and person of Jesus; the Gospel is the assertion that in and through that ministry and person of Jesus, viewed as messiah and harbinger of a New Age, the reign of God is declared to all people willing to submit to its demands.
You betcha. God is restoring his broken creation.  And in the end his creatures will once again reflect the glory of the creator.  This he does in and through Jesus, his life, his death, his conquest of death, his present work.

Nate's rather long rant is also really good.



Hey, I just bought 28 books for 2 dollars!

2011-10-15T12:27:31.976-04:00

So today is the last day of my local library's semi-annual book sale.  That means you can get a grocery bag full of books for a buck.  One George Washington greenback for one bag-o-books!  That's all! So I'm sitting here with two stuffed-to-bursting bags next to me.When the books are that cheap, you tend to pick up whatever catches your eye.  It's like picking apples.  this one, this one, this one, that one.So well, I bought 28 books.  Here are a few:C. S. Mann's commentary on Mark.  Since I've pretty much decided to make the Gospel of Mark the subject of study for the foreseeable future, this was a fortuitous find.John Eldredge's Wild at Heart.  I wouldn't have paid more for it, and I'm afraid it might make me cranky.  I mean, I don't really think the Braveheart guy is such a great hero and I don't dream of being a warrior, etc.  But, well, you can't beat the price....In then there's Mark Buchanan's The Holy Wild, which was probably an attempt to catch the same lucrative wave that Eldredge has been riding for years.  After Wild at Heart, "wild" became the word every publisher tried to fit into every book aimed at the Christian guy market. Christian writers and publishers are nothing if not emulative.  Still, this might just be a worthwhile read, and Phillip Yancey praises Buchanan.  I'll give it a shot.Kathleen Norris' Dakota: A Spiritual Geography.  Maybe I'll never read it.  In a year or two it'll just get re-donated to the library for another booksale.  This blogger calls the author "snotty."  Hmmm.Elisabeth Elliot's The Path of Loneliness.  Subtitle: Finding Your Way through the Wilderness to God.  I think Elliot is a wise woman, but this book may just be another that I have acquired only to give away again.Then there's the Mary Heart/Martha World book that has been  around for years.  Thought my dearest would like to have that.  Also, Kay Arthur's Walking in Power, Love, and Discipline, and Beth Moore's Breaking Free.   Again, hey, they were very nearly free, and might be okay.  Finally, I found R. C. Sproul's Knowing Scripture and John Stott's Favorite Psalms.That's it for the religion/spirituality department.  The rest of my haul is mostly history books, and something about the "art and science of home improvement" (because our home needs both the art and the science, let me tell you), and a book of poems by Mary Oliver (Blue Iris), and something called The Book on the Book Shelf, by Henry Petroski.[...]



Random Thoughts Thursday

2011-10-06T08:06:56.704-04:00

A lot of people were truly saddened by the death of Steve Jobs, almost as if a close friend or relative had died. This surprised me a little, never having been much a Mac guy.

I'm flying to Seattle tomorrow.  Haven't flown in, oh, maybe seven years.  My lovely wife hasn't flown in over thirty.  We're kinda homebodies.

Cold this morning.  I mean, for the first time this Fall it was actually cold.  Frosty.  I love this weather!

Bible study with the Christ Fellowship crew last night.  Scott, our teacher, handles the Word with loving care.  I'm very thankful to have found these folks.

I've been reading James Hornfischer's Neptune's Inferno, about Guadalcanal.  Hornfischer writes really well about sea battles in WWII.  Amazing and horrifying stuff.

I'm always amazed that people actually "follow" me on Twitter, given my inaction there.  Still, it's nice.  One of these day I may figure out how I want to use it.

I don't have Internet at home anymore, so just hanging out online is now an infrequent activity for me.  Just now I'm sitting at the campus center at the university where I work.  Anyway, this means I'm not keeping up with the news anymore.  And I don't miss all that, actually.

Check out Nate's post about N. T. Wright.  Speaking of whom, I'd like to read his latest, Simply Jesus, which is due out in a few weeks.

There.  That about does it.  This post, by the way, was inspired by Steve Scott's Friday posts at From the Pew, which I always enjoy.  Steve likes to end with a music link.  Me too:

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Americana Monday returns!

2011-10-03T10:05:26.928-04:00

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