Surreal Spam

I’ve begun receiving commercial comments that read, “This post isn’t a spam,” followed by links to pharmaceuticals, casinos, or whatever. Though the questions it raises delight me, I’m still going to delete all of them.

Two Davids

I’d rather listen to a record by David Byrne, but I’ll turn to David Weinberger for analysis of ideas and knowledge. Byrne set out to “draw an evolutionary tree on pleasure,” or “draw a Venn diagram about relationships,” but Weinberger sees that when we construct tree-like maps and treat them as the true shape of…

Deja Vu

When I was in grade school during the Cold War, I was taught that in Communist countries, the government could spy on their citizens with impunity — citizens could never know whether their phone calls were being tapped. You weren’t allowed to take pictures of trains or public buildings. This (I was instructed) proved the…

Hmmm, No Clever Title

Well, the sermon came and went (transcribed in the extended section) , and people seem to have received it cordially, though I would myself level some criticisms of it (in line with yesterday’s post). In fact, Pippa herself gently prodded me to justify what she took to be a relatively tenuous link from the readings…

Preaching: Content and Structure

I’m fiddling around with tomorrow’s sermon. I have a heap of points that I want to make, but “points” are cheap; anyone can meander around and hit a few points, valid points, if you allow enough time. A standout sermon will pick up some of the same “points” that a more casual sermon touches on,…

Composing

I’m preaching Sunday, working on the texts, looking for the hook. The readings are Joshua 24:1-2a,14-25 (“Choose ye this day whom you will serve”); Psalm 16; Ephesians 5:21-33 (the dreaded “Wives, be subject to your husbands”); and John 6:60-69, the end of the Bread of Life discourse. Right now, I suspect I’ll want to pick…

Church History At Last

This fall, for the last time, I’ll teach my Early Church History course. (Next year we switch to semesters, and this course will be wrapped into a one-semester über-survey of church histry; I may occasionally teach topics in early history, but will no longer have this intro course). For the occasion, I’m fine-tuning the Theology…

Two Graphic

Weekend before last, giddy with thinking, I stopped in at Comix Revolution (looking for Scott McCloud’s forthcoming book) and wandered home with Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Steve Ross’s Marked. I was at one point thinking about writing on both of them in one entry, but I fear that would take up too much room,…

History Lesson in Current Events

Some poisons just never get purged from the system; the word “recrudescence” was made for this, with the accent on “crude.” People who want to make claims about “honor” and “nobility” and “heritage” owe the rest of us an explanation of the way that noble, honorable tradition has never separated itself from loathsome racism.

Different Approach

If United Airlines stopped junk-mailing every member of our family “Limited Time Offers” for Mileage Plus credit cards two or three times a week, they could lower fares on all their flights. If fares were lower, we might fly more often. I’m just saying. . . .

Five Things

A belated Happy Birthday to Librivox! Listen to their anniversary special here. NPR interviews Edward Tufte (yes, I’m still thinking through a Beautiful Theology online discussion group) — Weekend Edition Sunday offers audion and video here. “Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Never Fail,” courtesy of Joel Johnson (link from Boing Boing). There’s a connection there…