Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Heroes should be expelled from Sunday School

This article on what is wrong with Sunday school is getting a number of thumbs up (over in the FaceBook department) from a number of folks who should know.

As I understand it (leaning once again on Kierkegaard's stages of life) the category of the "hero(ine)" belongs to the lower spheres, primarily to (1) esthetics, where art, poetics, myth, etc., find a home; occasionally, making forays into (2) the ethical sphere where the hero's action imparts a "moral" example of good conduct; in the hands of blurry syncretists like Joseph Campbell, the heroic is inserted gratuitously into (3) the sphere of the (pagan) religious. But without question, the category of the heroic is altogether foreign to the paradoxical religious (i.e., Christianity) where one must die to be reborn, not just get up again after having one's lights punched out by the "villain," and then giving him what for; and where salvation comes by way of — not the "justice league" — but "a perversion of justice" (Is 53:8) which God willingly suffers in order to rectify and redeem a depraved human race and bring about a new creation in the God-man.

That's my take, anyway. Stick with Jesus.

Monday, July 22, 2013

If I were a distance student today ...

The Kindle Paperwhite is getting awfully good reviews, as both better for reading and less expensive than iPad.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Status Report and a Prayer of Dedication for 8th Ordinary/Proper 3 [Year A]

If Year D readers have noticed a lull of late, this is due to the fact that I am working on completing the final (but first) volume in the LERW series (for RCL, Year A), and have little time left in which to do it before the maelstrom of another school year is upon us. Once this series is complete, I hope to return to more commentary on Year D, but I admit am unlikely to do so in time to be of service to anyone plugging through the Apocalyptic discourse, etc.,  this time around. (One of the reasons I dubbed this a project is because I knew it would take a long time, and so it is!)

Meanwhile, here is a sample Prayer of Dedication for you, based on Matthew 6:25-34 (8th Ordinary/Proper 3; Year A). I realize it is out of sequence, but if perhaps you have some reason (in this Kierkegaard bicentennial year, perhaps?) to mention the lilies and the birds, you may find it useful. [And yes, the intended word is "glistering," not glistening. The phrase "glistering in our midst" had a familiar ring to it, but, lo and behold, Google has never heard of it, so for now I can only assume its familiarity has intersected my train of thought, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, from the future, not the past.]

Prayer of Dedication
Heavenly Father, what glory you show through your simple creatures! As you feed the birds of the air from your plentiful creation, as you nurture the lilies with water, soil, and sun, so we know that you care for us, and we trust in you wholeheartedly who are most to be trusted. Receive, therefore, what infidelity and anxiety would have us hoard, and reveal your righteous kingdom, glistering in our midst, wherein all of our needs are met in abundance.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Not since the 1870s has the NYT shown any serious interest in lectionaries

So I was thinking (stupidly), what are the odds that the religion section of the New York Times might review Year D or Greater Attention? (OK, I'll give you a few minutes to laugh and then stop. ... No, really, please stop.) Having searched their database going back to 1851, I found a whopping ten (10) articles in which the word "lectionary" appears, i.e., over the course of 162 years. Five (5) — a full half — of these articles date from the 1870s, four (4) from the early 1980s, and one (1) from 1970. In other words, not a single article ever mentions the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), though one will have mentioned the introduction of the Roman Lectionary, and a handful the Common Lectionary. The results from a search of the NYT Review of Books since 1981 is even more underwhelming. So, needless to say, when it comes to the likelihood they would be interested in reviewing a proposed expansion of the RCL and some attendant liturgical elements, ... I'm not holding my breath.