Burning Out

A great many clergy colleagues in the US are linking to the NY Times op-ed piece on why clergy are burning out. I’m partly sympathetic to the case Jeffrey MacDonald makes; he alleges that congregations want their clergy to be entertainers and cheerleaders more than genuine pastors (it is greatly to MacDonald’s credit that he…

Facial Recognition

Margaret assigned me to watch Julie & Julia (which I did, and enjoyed), but I’ve been frustrated by the appearance of Julie’s boss at the LMDB. I thought I recognised him as Chris Parnell; not only does he look like Parnell, but at times he tilts his head in a characteristically Parnellian way. But the…

Thank You Armando Iannucci

This morning’s news on the BBC has emphasised a new proposal from the Health Minister that the government end its program offering free milk to under-fives at nursery. It has, that is, until just this moment when the breaking news bulletin advises that “the plan to scrap free milk for under-fives has been abandoned” (nothing…

Wave Goodbye

As the Net reverberates with commentary on the demise of Google Wave (not without a soupçon of schadenfreude), it occurs to me that Google might have done better with Wave if it had presented it as a narrow-focus tool for group authoring/editing — and then allowed us users to discover, much to our delight, that…

Social Web

It used to be conventional wisdom that people who spend a lot of time online would have no social lives, would turn into pallid, inert root vegetables who are annihilated by sunlight and abhor garli… oh, wait a minute, that’s vampires. But you remember — “Will little Rigoberto ever have a rich human relationship if…

Much To Do

Back at work this morning, clearing email, parsing verbs, glossing Greek, and generally slogging ahead in writing the James commentary. At midday I’ll connect with Maggi Dawn (who’s visiting Glasgow), then perhaps some errands and back home.   It occurred to me this morning that one reason I’m disliking the process of writing this commentary…

Koff, Koff

I’m taking a sick day today, hoping that if I simply roll around the flat lazily, drink a lot of fluids, maybe a clear-the-lungs shower toward midday, read suspense fiction, watch movies, and so on, that the mild cold that I’ve been ignoring for the past few days (save for an unwelcome encounter with Lemsip…

Conflicting Tasks

The social functions of higher education — primarily, accreditation/qualification (on one hand) and instruction/formation (on the other) — balance precariously, if at all. When one begins thinking of universities principally as a system for accrediting qualification, an interest in genuine learning and formation tends to fall by the wayside: “You need to know this and…

On Giving Up

I see that many — including many clergy leaders — are impressed with Anne Rice’s decision that Christianity doesn’t meet her standards, so she’s moving out. There’s much to be said about this, but if I criticise her decision, I lend credence to her picture of Christians as quarrelsome, judgmental, exclusive types. I cannot think…