Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why Rugby Union Is The Greatest Game On Earth

This a true saying and worthy of all acceptance.

There Is No Truth: Selling Cans of Your Own Poop, Etc.

I've been reorganizing my library. You know, according to the philosophy of library organizing that I outlined last year. I've stumbled across a couple of things I had been missing, or completely forgotten about. But perhaps the thing I am happiest to have found again is a poem I wrote over ten years ago. I went looking for it in my poetry blog archives a while back, but came up empty. Happily, and strangely, I found the hard copy I'd made to read from in rhetoric class at New St. Andrews College back in the day, in a French textbook I don't remember ever using.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Look What I Found Tucked In A Shelf: Who's Who in English Church History

In the midst of a rearranging of the ol' library I found this little ol' thing caught between a couple of hymnals. I don't remember how I got it in the first place, but it seems like the sort of thing I would have found at an estate sale, or possibly at the bottom of a thrift store's discards bin.

It's a wee little pamphlet entitled Who's Who in English Church History, published in 1911, from the "Churchman's Penny Library", and it cost a penny. I don't know what the fleur de lis on the cover is all about, but it's not a Roman catholic publication.

In fact, the advertisement on the inside cover is an appeal to "churchmen" asking them to promote The Church of England Waifs and Strays Society. "Cheques and Postal Orders should be crossed 'London and South Western Bank, Ltd., Kennington Rd. Branch,' and made payable to E. de M. Rudolf."

It's a fun little reference work, with very short biographies of saints through every age of Brittanic Christianity include, from Celtic saints to romanizing Saxons to Reformers to Victorian hymn writers. The content is not as unique or as cool as the volume itself of course.

And I'll tell you what makes it the coolest of all. Check out the video and I'll show you my favorite part of this pamphlet.

Friday, November 21, 2014

This Icon of Shane Claiborne Will Bless You

Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, is a big deal in New Monasticism, a movement which was itself a big deal during the aughts. As with many radical Christian movements, much was good and much was dumb. I come not to cast aspersions, but to laugh. New Monasticism will be familiar to people who read up on their theology back when people used the word "emergent" all the time. It is a movement that uses phrases like "the abandoned places of empire". They value social relevance, but also look to the old ways.

Now that we are primed, let us enjoy this image I came across on the internet. Here is an ad featuring Shane Claiborne promoting some new thing he's doing. It's about tradition, because it's about practices. But it's also hip and cool, as the do-rag denotes. So that fine, that's pretty norms for this sort of thing.

But dig what I dig about this photo. Look at his right hand. Is he simply caught in mid-gesture as he expounds on the central practices of the Christian faith? Or is he mimicking the Christ Pantocrator of iconography, re-co-opting the gesture medieval Christians co-opted to indicate that Jesus was teaching?

Or does it instead look like so many other contemporary Christian movements, awkwardly caught between tradition and dynamism, craving both but having neither? Does it just look contrived?

I guess I did come to cast aspersions.

Links I Loved This Week, November 21 2014

1. Could Jesus Have Sinned? by R. C. Sproul Jr.

2. The section of Paradise Lost that Nick Cave got the phrase "red right hand" from. The section of Horace's Odes from which Milton translated "rubente dextera" as "red right hand". The song Red Right Hand by Nick Cave. The Sickbed of Cuchulainn by The Pogues.

3. A 1965 paper from The Evangelical Quarterly on the Christian message of Miguel de Unamuno. He is one to examine when considering resistance to a wicked Christian state.
This Spanish Christ who has never lived, black as the mantle of the earth, lies horizontal and stretchlld out like a . plain, without soul and without hope, with closed eyes facing heaven...The Christ of my land is only earth, earth, earth, earth. 
4. Douglas Wilson objects to Christian ministers abstracting marriage from the state.


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