Epithets

I’ve been called many things that I didn’t like, and some that flatter (in a gratifying way), and some that feel just right. I’m going to dump some of the latter two categories here, partly out of vanity, and partly because some — one in particular that I want to preserve from Facebook’s unsearchable memory…

Meaning, Information, and Inference

I’ve been imagining, for a long time, a seminar of a sort that would undergird my particular approach to hermeneutics, but naming that a ‘hermeneutics’ course strikes me as false advertising. A student has the just expectation that a ‘hermeneutics’ course will cover people like Schleiermacher, Bultmann, Gadamer, and Ricoeur, with side trips to account…

Interface Idea

I’ve moaned about the interface evolution that deprecates scroll bars and replaces them with a sort of reverse scroll bar, a slider that operates in the direction opposite to the direction that years of working with scroll bars has trained us to operate. This morning, it occurs to me that part of the problem, perhaps…

In Passing

We’re bouncing around the country now, with hardly enough stabilitas even to confess our gyrovagous extravagance, but I spotted this article on honesty and why we cheat (or don’t) by Daniel ‘Predictably Irrational’ Ariely, and it struck me that it pertains in some ways to the way I think about Scripture, theology, ethics, and so…

B-A-D

My favourite anecdote from our travels thus far came from when Margaret and I were standing on the L platform at Roosevelt, waiting for the Orange Line train to Midway. I was staring up the tracks, sizing up the picture I was about to take     when a gentleman carrying a guitar in a…

All The Way From America

I’m over here in the States. That feels weird; it’s a mark of how thoroughly I’m settling in Scotland that being in the USA unsettles me in vague, subtle ways. But the weather is great, and it’s wonderful to be here with Si and Laura and Laura’s parents Carol and Doug (being friends with your…

Erring, Losing, Yielding

Dangerous nihilistic postmodernist that I am, I’m still comfortable stating a few points as plain facts. Fact one: everyone errs, makes mistakes, misjudges, slips, blunders. (I know this in part because our progeny listened so often to Big Bird sing “Everyone Makes Mistakes” — and if Big Bird says so, it must be a fact).…

When Is A Seminary Not A Seminary, or Is It Even Possible That It Not Be?

Bob Carlton called my attention to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (no, it’s not the thermonuclear-ly ignorant blogpost that got so much attention) concerning ‘the future of the seminary’. I want to emphasise at the outset that I applaud the authors for their research, and for earning an attention-getting article in the…

Two Follow-Ups (Follows-Up?)

I’ve listened to this week’s The Digital Human, which announced that ‘Next week…, we’ll be looking at another way the Web has challenged authority — who is the keeper of our faith?’ (The Radio Four website says ‘Aleks Krotoski looks at religious belief and the internet.’) I’ll be interested to learn what the producer does…

Parker Sunday

A few months ago, I had only the most remote acquaintance with Parker 51 pens, one of the landmark models in fountain pen design. (I’m sure I handled one at a Triangle Pen Club meeting sometime, but just in passing.) I have several Parker 21s, which are very closely related to the 51 (and a…

Digital, All Too Human

The past week went by quite rapidly — I’m not entirely sure why. I’m working through the (relatively short) James manuscript, developing a couple of points beyond what I had originally written, accepting the editor’s edits, and on just one point so far pushing back a bit. I had a let-down toward the middle of…

Tell Me Something

I’m beginning to think I’m just an incorrigible old crank, a conclusion that many people surely reached a long time ago. Still, as long as I have responsibility for teaching and evaluating students, I’m going to stick with this one. I’ll add it to the “How To Exegesis?” series somewhere, but for now I can’t…