Monthly Archives: September 2005


I spent most of the day in meetings of the Anglican Theological Review Board of Directors (and the meeting continues tomorrow). For every hour that my other editorial boards devote to meetings, ATR devotes five or six.

Toward late morning, though, I snuck out of the Editorial Committee meeting to preside at St. Jerome’s Day mass. It all went fine, and I’ll tuck the sermon into the Extended section. Then I tried to get away for a few hours with Pippa, but the afternoon meeting ran longer than I’d hoped. I fixed dinner and set her up with Ghostbusters.

Now I’ll try to get some sleep before tomorrow’s meeting (preceded by eight-o’clock-on-Saturday-morning mass. . .).
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Where The Buffalo Jerome

Right now, I’m pondering tomorrow morning’s sermon for the Feast of St. Jerome (2 Tim 3:14-17/Ps 19:7-11/Luke 24:44-48), readying a shopping list for the grocery store, appreciating Pippa’s independence and creative activity, imagining a plan for dinner, and trying to shake a headache.

So if I seem short-tempered, please be a little more patient with me. I apologize in advance.


Tim of SansBlogue is working on a hands-down obvious winner of an idea: a podcast audio Bible. I hope they make it available without the devotional questions (plenty of listeners might want an audio Bible without devotional aids, or without these particular devotional aids). It’s happening, it’s all happening, and I just wonder where they’ll put the scattered pieces together first.


Today was the first session of Early Church History, my fall term required course at Seabury; it’s a small class this year, so we’ll operate it as a more of a seminar, which’ll be good. Much as I delight in lecturing, there’s a special joy in a discussion wherein participants can follow their interests and their own reasoning to get at a finer understanding of the issues we’re studying. The class showed a ripple of enthusiastic approval when I indicated that we had commissioned audiotexts of some of the primary source materials for the term; Trevor and I had known this was a winner, but have been having a hard time setting it up.

A week from tomorrow the biweekly Introduction to Christianity course begins in earnest (we had an organizational meeting last week). I’ll be teaching five sessions that draw on these chapters from St. Luke’s Guide to the Faith, the Church, and the Parish; I have an audio version of the first chapter posted at the Disseminary site (subject to slight enhancements shortly intro and outro added), and will add the subsequent chapters as soon as I can.

I have my copy of Andrew Huff and the Pool of Lost Souls — do you? (I’d propose an audio read-along of this, but I honestly can’t imagine when I’d have the time. Plus, I’d mangle all those Anglo-tongue-defying names.)

Connect the Dots

Chris is cooking with propane these days, laying out the background for his tour de force dissection of New Age “spirituality”; once he fills in the details, the lurid story will set straight one side of the complex story of theological pornography of which The da Vinci Code (still selling in hardcover!) and Left Behind (of which the debunker nonpareil is the Slacktivist) [are examples] (added after Chris charitably completed the sentence I originally left fragmentary).

When people substitute wish-fulfillment for critical thinking, fantasy for imagination, self-validation for disciplined inquiry, you get the sort of tissue-paper-thin spiritual expression that ornaments current best-seller lists, talk-show platitudes, and church mediocracy. “Wouldn’t it be cool if?” modulates into, “As we all know. . .” without argument or examination.

Rock on, Chris and Fred, let ’er rip.

Feature Request

When you look at the information for a given selection, iTunes should be able to tell you whether it’s part of any playlists — lest one delete a song that one has incorporated into a playlist for some memorable person or purpose.

On Communion

“The decisive passages in the New Testament do not say: One theology, one right, one opinion on all matters public and private, and one kind of conduct. Instead they say: one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of us all (Ephesians 4:4ff; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 12:5); various gifts – one Spirit, various offices – one Lord, various powers – one God (1 Corinthians 12:4ff). The point is not ‘unanimity in Spirit’ [‘einigkeit in Geist’], but the ‘unity of the Spirit’ [‘einheit des Geistes’], as Luther puts it in his exposition of Ephesians 4:3; this means the objective principle sovereignly establishes unity, unites the plurality of persons into a single collective person [Gesamtperson] without obliterating either their singularity or the community of persons. Rather, unity of spirit, community of spirit, and plurality of spirit are intrinsically linked to each other through their subject matter.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Communio Sanctorum, trans. Reinhard Krauss and Nancy Lukens.

Au Revoir, Boston

We’re closing up our Cambridge staging area, and preparing to ship out from Logan “We Scorn Wifi-Using Travelers” Airport. Assuming all goes well, I’ll be back at the Evanston Base in the evening.

We had a spectacular time; I wish everyone could have gotten together to meet the Koslows, the deVillas, the Berkman and OpenCola and general Joey-and-Wendy social tribe. We wee especially tickled to spend a fair amount of time with Ethan and Rachel; a predictable convergence of interests combined with harmonious temperaments to make for animated and engaging conversation. We’re hoping to connect with them again sometime, perhaps when we visit Marlboro [Ethan’s Flickr photos put mine to shame — thank heaven there are other digital photographers out there to fill in what I fumble!]. And, sorry to have missed the other Bostonian bloggers — we love visiting with you, but Margaret and I really appreciated the extra time spent just with each other.

[Later: Back home safely, exhausted, wrung out.]

Wife and Husband

First Dance

First Dance (poor photo)

Originally uploaded by AKMA.

The evening has come and gone; the ketubah is signed, the glass smashed, the champagne toasted, the disco medley played, and the guests exhausted. These guests, anyway.

The wedding service itself blended Judaic and Filipino customs seamlessly; Rachel was terrific, and everyone did just what they were supposed to. The sermon seems to have gone pretty well, so I’ll add it in the extended entry below.

Ethan, Rachel, Margaret, and AKMA

The part everyone’s interested in, though, is did Joey play the accordion at his own wedding? The answer is, emphatically, Yes.

For Those About To Rock

Joey was great, and the dance floor filled as he roared through “Old Time Rock’n’Roll” and his classic interpretation of “Born to Be Wild” (with Wendy on vocals). The accordion so captivated the pulses of all present that even a grouchy old curmudgeon was dragged onto the parquet by some lovely blithe spirit.

Born To Be Wild

A splendid time was most assuredly had by all.

[Later: Margaret stipulates that I must note that I myself was indeed dancing — the “curmudgeon” described above — and the photographic evidence is available at the Flickr page to which I link here and above.]
Continue reading Wife and Husband

Step Back, Reassess

One excellent function of wedding rehearsals lies in their capacity to make visible what had lain merely implicit, and to bring to shared awareness what had not yet been come together except in the imagination of the planners. Or, more prosaically, to remind the preacher that he simply had not reckoned on how things would be going at the part of the wedding with which his name is associated.

So the preacher has gone back to the drawing board (or “the writing desk,” or “the keyboard and printer”) and refactored the homily for tonight. Luckily, the occasion will be so delightful, so wondrous that no one will be thinking hard about the homily, and a splendid time will be had by all without interference from this corner. (As soon as Joey and Wendy give their OK, I’ll post it here — if Ethan hasn’t already transcribed it on IRC).

Now I Am A Procrastinator

Today my Seabury-Orientation schedule abates a bit; I only have one event scheduled, which is a Very Good Thing because I need to finish (that’s “finish,” as in “get more than just an opening idea for”) the sermon homily one-liner for Joey and Wendy’s wedding.

Since there’s a very significant task at hand, with an unforgiving deadline, I’m actually accomplishing a number of other things instead of tackling the immediate obligation. For instance, Trevor figured out what he wanted to do with the Disseminary site, and I’ve been filling in little details or adding posts here and there. I’ve been pumping out the last chapters of the Theological Outlines project (I note with interest that Hall referes to Calvinism as a “heresy”; now, that’d stir the pot at a meeting of mixed-theology Anglican conservatives) — I think I can get the last three chapters published today.

I’ve been thinking more about the iPod Nano, since I’ve had the opportunity to heft, to admire, to explore one. I think this model may be the watershed for digital music, along the lines of what I speculated before. I mean, yes, the present version scratches too easily and costs too much for the big breakthrough, but if you let the price drift down to where it’ll be in a few months, this unit betokens the time when people will not say, “Do I want to bring along my iPod?” but “Which iPod do I want to bring? The hip-hop iPod, the gospel iPod, or the audiobook iPod?”

And once we get to that point, all sorts of consequences follow. I’d spell out some of them, except I have to work on the sermon. . . .