March 28, 2003

Recent Stuff

Category: Updates :: Permalink

Ever since I read Bruce Mawhinney’s Preaching with Freshness at the start of my ministry, I’ve been following his recommendation and taking (or trying to take) Fridays off. So today I read a bit, did some errands around town, drove out to Sexsmith, fifteen minutes north of here, to peruse the magazines in the Peace River Bible Institute library, drove home and checked out one of the Christian book stores in town (I almost needed a magnifying glass to find the book section!), and then had supper.

Here are a few scattered (but chronological) observations:

* Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong‘s voices blend beautifully and their duets are great music to get the day started.

* It strikes me as interesting (not to say rather strange) that the latest issue of Bibliotheca Sacra, the journal published by Dallas Theological Seminary, contains an article by David F. Wright entitled “The Baptismal Community,” in which Wright talks about how the early church viewed baptism as the entrance into the church, turning pagans into Christians. He also talks about infant baptism in this connection. Yes, this is in a Dallas Theological Seminary journal and it’s based on a lecture Wright gave there. Strange but encouraging. What’s up with today’s dispensationalism?

* Having read Peter Leithart’s Westminster Theological Journal review of John Milbank’s The Word Made Strange, I realize that I do need to make the effort to read more of Milbank. I have Theology and Social Theory, but it’s a pretty intimidating tome and I wrestled greatly with his “An Essay Against Secular Order.”

* For that matter, I need to make a point of reading Leithart’s other articles and reviews in WTJ.

* For the last several Sundays, we’ve had groups of PRBI students showing up in our afternoon services. John Bell, who teaches Corporate Worship, has been recommending that they check us out as an example of a more liturgical church (which might be hard for an Anglican or a Lutheran to believe). It’s great when students spot me later and come up to talk, as one did in the restaurant last night and another did in the library today. I’ll have to see whether it’s possible for me to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor, Bishop Bill, and do some teaching there.

* It’s also nice when, out of the blue, you run into a friend and end up having a good talk. Nice to see you in the library, Jamie!

* Joe Henry’s Shuffletown is one of my favourite albums. It’s a combination of folk (?) and jazz and a bit of quirkiness. There’s some wonderful instrumentation, and Joe has his trademark voice and offbeat sense of timing. Many times I can’t really make head or tail of the lyrics — I often have a sense that I’m grasping fragments of a story — but there isn’t a song on the album I don’t like. I wish I had it in CD format.

* It is a pity that there don’t seem to be any good bookstores or music stores in Grande Prairie. Which is to say, there’s no Chapters or A & B Sound — or even anything close.

And now I’m off to read some more of N. T. Wright’s The Challenge of Jesus and Anthony Trollope’s delightful Barchester Towers. Good night, all!

Posted by John Barach @ 10:28 pm | Discuss (0)

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