Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Tags!

I was also, after begging, tagged by Monty for a list of top-ten most influential books in my life. You'll probably see more fiction on my list than most because of my respect for narrative. Story tells us so much more about God, ourselves, who and what we love, than any book of theology, history, or whatever. By the way there is a Bible exemption for the list. So don't be thinking you're holier than me because you would include the Bible. There are a million and one other reasons why you are holier than me, so don't even think about it. Anyway, here goes:

10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Probably speaks more about when I grew up than anything. It is a book that speaks to particular subcultures of every generation.

9. Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. Brilliant with one of the most remarkable last paragraphs ever.

8. The Logic of Renewal by William Abraham. Mmmm, canonical heritage. (gurgling sounds).

7. How to Travel with a Salmon by Umberto Eco. This is a book of essays, but to be fair I would add his novel Foucalt's Pendulum.

6. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard. Oh to be a Knight of Faith. Oh, also Philosophical Fragments and Post Unscientific Conclusion to the Philosophical Fragments by Soren Kierkegaard. The first time I read the first volume I read it over night. It was too much for one night.

5. The entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. What a brilliant story. With wonderfully (though I am sure unintentional) theological themes such as victory over death, community, turning the other cheek, good vs. evil, etc.

4. Ethics and Infinity by Emauel Levinas. Brilliant!

3 1/2. White Noise by Don Delillo. Yeah, just read it and you'll understand why it's at 3 1/2.

3. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. Ahh, the wonders of the anti-detective story.

2. Of Water and the Spirit by Alexander Schmemann. This very sacramental Eastern look at baptism has probably influenced my thinking of what sacrament is more than any other book. From exorcism to chrismation, it deals with the entirety of baptism. There's also a very poignant look at infant baptism.

1. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. This is a book that I have read too many times to count. It is also a book that I have given away copies of too many times to count.

11. Here I add a few that should be top ten, but that there wasn't room for: The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (this would list at number eleven even though I believe it to be tied in first place as the greatest work of literature in all of history with James Joyce's Ulysses), In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, Openness of God by Clark Pinnock, Killing Mr. Watson by Peter Mathiessen, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

There's my list. It probably changes a lot and I would say that it should. Coming up with a top ten is ridiculous.
Oh, yeah, for my tags . . . hmm . . . Chad, Eric, Caleb, Ben, Marsha, Joy, and John.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Hoorah! I have been tagged to share eight random facts about myself. This particular tag comes from Monty. I am then to tag 8 others to do the same. Here are the rules:

1. players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3. players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Here they are:
  1. Bears are my favorite animal. This is not to be confused with monkeys as the funniest animal. I would love to have one of each, I think it would be fun.
  2. I like bluegrass . . . a lot, especially Mountain Heart, the Grascals, and Wildfire. (but don't tell anyone as it's not very cosmopolitan of me.)
  3. I am a huge Simpsons and Harry Potter fan which is apparently a very dangerous thing for a Nazarene.
  4. As of August 13th of this year, I will have lived in 19 houses in my 31 year life.
  5. I once raised Madagascar hissing cockroaches for fun.
  6. I was baptized in the Jordan River in Israel.
  7. My favorite saint is St. Seraphim of Sarov
  8. I think the current trend in theology of reconciling science to itself is a canonization of a particular epistemology and therefore dangerous. Also, it's really, really boring.

Eric, Marc, Marsha, Ben, Caleb, anyone in KC, and anyone in Guymon, OK

Monday, July 16, 2007

Holy Orders

You are reading the writing of a very proud husband. This week at the Southwest Ohio District Assembly, the Church will honor God's call to pastoral ministry in Julia's life. The Church will bestow Holy Orders upon her, ordaining Julia Elder in the Church of the Nazarene and we are very excited.

Last weekend I read Dennis Covington's Salvation on Sand Mountain (If you have not read it, read it now!) and he reminded me of something. Our Lord first appeared to Mary Magdalene (who is to be honored as equal among the apostles), and she was to tell the disciples of his resurrection. She was the first of preachers of the truly Good News of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that defeated death once and for all. It was the disciples who did not believe her and insisted on seeing for themselves.

This week I am proud of my wife, God's most holy call on her life, and the Church's bestowment of Holy Orders.