Just Asking

Is there a central source for (links to) good, clean, well-marked-up, sensibly-curated books for biblical studies and theology? Mark, is this something that NT Gateway (for instance) might host as a separate category?
I’ve been looking around for Kindle-ready books, and have found relatively few well-prepared public domain books in theology — odd, since the vast preponderance of our subject matter is long since out of copyright. Indeed, it seems hard to get a sensible NRSV for a Kindle, even for ready money. Of course, this intensifies my sense that the world desperately needs a digital distribution source for Open-Access academic (or high-quality popular) texts, with a side business, if it be deemed appropriate, in commercial publications.

Serving the Fruits of my Labours

An intense few weeks of lecturing, preaching, and giving presentations peaked with yesterday’s sermon at St Mary’s. I won’t have another extracurricular commitment until the weekend after next, at the Christian New Media conference (I’m appearing in one of the Theology sections, “Homo Connectivus,” but they astutely reckon that my name might scare registrants away, so I’ll be a surprise to the delegates). That’s Saturday and Monday, and then I’ll have another lull until November.
Last week being exceptionally busy, I was experiencing a degree of frustration with sermon-writing. Eventually I decided that since this was one of the Sundays for which I’d written a lectionary help over at Working Preacher, I would take my own advice and work from the interpretive points in my essay. (I’ll paste the sermon into the “More” part of the post.) I think it worked out pretty well. In a more leisurely week, there are texts I’d have wanted to weave into the exposition, and I’d have liked to give it a thorough once-over, the kind that comes between the early service and the later service — but since we only have one main service at the cathedral, the first go-round was all we got.
Continue reading “Serving the Fruits of my Labours”

Will The Wild Ox Be Content To Serve You?

Yesterday morning dawned grey and wet, but nothing would obstruct Margaret’s and my making our way to Pollok Country Park. Why, you ask? (The very question betrays your ignorance of autumn in Glasgow, for everyone who’s anyone will have had this Saturday marked weeks ago.) It turns out that, when Margaret was stranded in Baltimore and felt uncertain that she would ever be accorded the privilege of residence in this realm of Scotland, she and Jeneane fixed their attention on 2 October, the date of the annual Highland Cattle Show in Glasgow.

Highland Cattle Show

Yes, the weather was damp at best (and sodden the rest of the time); yes, the turf was marshy; yes Katie the Border Collie was a novice at herding Indian Runner Ducks, to the frustration of Mark Wylie; yes, Margaret and I made a transportation misstep that entailed an extra four miles of walking. Yes to all of that, but nothing could obscure the glory of a two-year-old Highland heifer waving his her horns a few inches in front of your face. These lovely, massive beasts command respectful attention, and attend we most certainly did.
We walked a lot, soaked up a lot of rain, tracked through plenty of mud, but we saw Big Calder (the inflatable highlander), the Drakes of Hazzard, Her Royal Majesty’s prize two-year-old, the World’s Biggest Rabbit, and sundry other attractions. We had a good long walk. We came through the drizzle and rain with our spirits up and our health intact. And Margaret got to see her Highland Cattle. +1 Glasgow.

Parental Pride

You might doubt that I have any particular reason to pay attention to the autumn music program at Grace Church, Plains, Virginia — but (aha!) you’d be wrong. Three weeks ago, the concert series at Grace Church featured the Washington Symphonic Brass, and the programme for the night featured a Rondo for Brass and Organ, composed by Nathaniel E. Adam. Margaret and I had the chance to hear the performance, and it was terrific; Nate took the very familiar sound of a short composition for brass (perhaps a Renaissance flavour to it) and wove into it short appearances of an organ playing in a very different idiom — not precisely discordant, but bracingly distinct from the formal, melodious brass voices. The Rondo is witty, elegant, original, and convincing — all of which makes Margaret and me extremely proud.

Pressure Building

Old co-conspirator Micah Jackson calls my attention to yet another “open textbook” column at Inside Higher Education, this one pointing to student demand for less expensive, more digital textbooks. And then, I hardly ever agree with Douglas Rushkoff, but here he too lends his testimony this favourite cause. Now that I’m done lecturing on church history for the autumn, I need to get a grant proposal together for a project in this general trajectory.