August 29, 2003

Just a test ... I'm setting up my office computer today.

12:11 PM

August 26, 2003

No, I haven't stopped blogging!

We moved to Santa Barbara a week ago, took a while to get our Internet access, have been spending our spare time unpacking and moving in ... and life at Westmont College is ramping up for the beginning of school in a week. I have spent a day in a seminar on the Christian liberal arts, two days in new faculty orientation, and two days at the faculty retreat. All these things have been wonderful – but add them to the need to finish syllabi before this week is over, a short stack of student recommendations to graduate programs, and the fact that a computer at my office on campus is still a few days away, and blogging isn't yet realistic.

Next week at this time, I think it will be. I hope so, anyway.

It would be really great if between now and then Blogger fixed some of the bugs their "upgrade" introduced....

Anyway, thanks for checking in, and apologies for trying people's patience.

10:12 PM

August 7, 2003

Still busy. Next week both escrows close and we move. We're gonna make it, barely.

I haven't commented on the new gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson ... or, for that matter, on the issue of Christian homosexuality in general. As if the debate needs one more voice!

Well, actually it could use one more voice – of James Lileks:

If he'd cast off his family to cavort with a woman from the choir, I'm not sure he'd be elevated to the level of moral avatar – but by some peculiar twist the fact that he left mom for a man insulates him from criticism.

Future anthropologists will have a field day with this culture.

And that is where this controversy is located, not Christian theology.

8:59 AM

August 2, 2003

That was a crazy week. I don't have much to report, except that that light at the end of the tunnel looks less and less like the headlamp of an oncoming train. Praise God.

To research an almost-due article on evangelical uses of Scripture, I visited a "Christian bookstore" yesterday. People who have been to these will understand why I use scare quotes. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and not just because my expectations were so low. I perused a small section of the store devoted to Christian interpretations of Islam. Half a dozen of the volumes I found there were actually quite good. I did something I never thought I would do again: I walked out of an evangelical bookstore having purchased books!

A lot of theologians' antipathy to evangelical bookstores comes from the fact that most of what we find in them is no longer books, and the books that are there are mainly schlock. But a lot of our antipathy also comes from the fact that grad school rapidly teaches us to become intellectual snobs. It was nice to spend a few hours in a store and come away with my snobbery temporarily checked.

Of course, the only other volume anyone purchased from those shelves while I was there was Hal Lindsey's "new" book, The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad. Sigh.

One other thing: In March I blogged an entry favorably mentioning the Christian anti-sanctions group, "Voices in the Wilderness." Coming across this article this week was discouraging, though not really surprising. I have no personal experience of the organization, so I have nothing to add myself – except for continuing hope that our voices will speak for the Holy Spirit and not just for, or just against, powers and principalities of this world.

Shabbat shalom.

12:10 PM


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