As I mentioned a couple entries ago, I’m still not the official chaplain at Grande Prairie Regional College, but I do go there twice a week now. When I have office space, I may need to stay in my office during my “office hours.” For now, however, I’ve been sitting among the students near Bernie’s, the coffeeshop near the college theatre, drinking Tazo Chai tea and reading — Steven Garber’s The Fabric of Faithfulness last week and Jean Danielou’s wonderful From Shadows To Reality: Studies in the Biblical Typology of the Fathers this week. (I’ll try to remember to say more about both books later.)
In many ways — I could probably say: in every way — I prefer being among the students to (the idea of) being hidden away in an office, waiting for a student to make an appointment. I wonder if I can keep office hours in my office when I do have appointments, and sit near the coffeeshop whenever I don’t have appointments. Surely the receptionist could direct walk-ins to find me there….
Today, I also started my Bible study on the college campus. Three people showed up: one from Canada, one from Taiwan, and one from Korea. More may join later (I hope).
We’re going to be doing a survey of the Old Testament, with the help of Peter Leithart‘s A House for My Name. (Rich Bledsoe‘s advice: “Tell them stories.”) We spent the hour today talking a bit about reading the Bible and, in particular, about the challenges of reading the Old Testament. We touched on literary features of the Bible (e.g., chiasms) and on symbolism and typology. I was a bit worried that I might be going over their heads a bit, but they said they really enjoyed it. One said that the study seemed more interesting now than he had expected it to be!
And now, I must put all that stuff about reading Scripture into practice and write a sermon on Judges 11 (Jephthah preaching peace to Ammon).
Now that Jon Amos has let the cat out of the bag, I can point you to the blog I’ve been wanting to share with you for the last month and a half, namely Peter Leithart’s View from Peniel. He’s been blogging several times a day, it seems, so you have a lot of catching up to do. Enjoy!
And while I’m recommending new blogs, let me also point you to Kevin Bywater’s homepage and to his blog, By Living Waters. Kevin works for Summit Ministries, and now he’s off to the University of Durham to do a doctorate on Romans 1.
On Monday evening, the music group I sing with began its new season. I joined Jubilate earlier this year (in March, I think) and scrambled to learn a couple Arcadelt madrigals and a piece by John Rutter. After taking the summer off, we’re now back to practicing. There are six of us, two sopranos, two altos, a tenor, and a baritone (me).
We have several performances lined up already, some more tentatively than others. The first is at the Gala Concert on October 18, which is only a month away. And, since it’s the Year of the Baroque here in Grande Prairie and since we haven’t learned any baroque pieces yet (the madrigals were renaissance), we have to find a good baroque piece and learn it fast! Any recommendations, preferably with a fairly straightforward bass line?
Well, it looks as if winter has come to Grande Prairie. Yesterday morning, I woke up to snow and it’s been snowing on and off ever since. The snowflakes have been light and there’s been little accumulation. Still, it’s too early for winter, isn’t it?
Mind you, I have to admit that I like fall and winter. The cold of winter makes it a perfect setting for wearing your favourite sweater, reading a good novel, and drinking hot tea.
But having said that, I must now head outside. I’m off to the Regional College. I haven’t yet become the official chaplain of the college, though that’s in the works, but I’ve decided to start getting in the habit of keeping “office hours” on Mondays and Tuesdays. Here I go, out into the cold. I’m taking along Steve Garber’s The Fabric of Faithfulness to read, in the hopes that he’ll help me in my chaplaincy endeavours. Any other recommendations?
Here’s a new essay by Peter Leithart on “Cruciform Education.” A lot of it is quotable, but I’ll simply give you this snippet:
All philosophy originates in wonder at the strangeness of the world, but the Christian philosopher finds the world infinitely stranger than Parmenides or Plato could have dreamed. For Christian philosophy, the central questions must be, “What kind of world do we live in if everything hinges on a crucifixion one spring afternoon in first-century Palestine?” and “What kind of world is it if ultimate reality reveals itself as Gift, as incarnate and self-sacrificing Love?”