Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Song of the Day #31

One of my less-favorite Springsteen songs, but the official tune of math take-home exams, for obvious reasons:

Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen

Monday, May 18, 2009

Song fo the Day #30

Summarizes many of my thoughts on graduating in three weeks:

Bastards Of Young - The Replacements

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Song of the Day #29

A high proportion of Doors discussion seems to center around Jim Morrison's lyrics - horribly pretentious or brilliantly poetic? I fall into neither camp because I haven't thought much about it - I love the Doors because they rocked the bloody crap out of everything they played.

Break on Through (To the Other Side) - The Doors

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Telos Arrives!

This semester, it has been my distinct pleasure to help found and edit a new journal of Christian thought on the Williams Campus, the Telos, a Greek word translated as "purpose," "goal," or "fulfillment." My colleagues and I distributed the first issue of the journal today. I urge those at Williams, regardless of your religious views, to pick up a copy of the journal and browse through. The journal's contents are highly varied, and include a critical comparison of fatalism in the Hebrew books of Jonah and Ecclesiastes, a stirring narrative of brothers in Nigeria, a defense of the historicity of Christ's resurrection, and many other articles and creative works, including my own article "Nearly Wholly Innocent - A Meditation on Nick Cave's The Mercy Seat." I am sure that every reader will find several items of interest.

As executive editor, I oversaw the development of the journal's content, solicited submissions, worked with authors to improve their writings and made final decisions about which submissions to include. Thankfully, I did very little with respect to financing, layout and printing, to which the financial solvency of the organization and the high quality of the journal's appearance attest. I offer my thanks to all contributors, editors and to the layout team; it was truly a pleasure to work with all of you.

My primary purpose in this post is to explain why we prepared and published the Telos. After all, there are many, many Christian publications in United States, some publish articles by the most thoughtful and effective writers in world, and most go unread. With one exception, students authored our journal's features, and most of us wrote on subjects of which there are true scholars. Isn't the Telos just a part of the bloat of mediocre Christian publications?

The answer is a qualified "Yes." We do not claim that the journal contains any new or original thought or scholarship, except insofar as every individual who writes anything about anything provides a new perspective on her subject. However, truly new Christian thought is rare - the text and teachings of the New Testament have not changed in some 2000 years, and these are the core of Christianity. Even the most learned and seminal Christian scholars write to affirm an ancient and unwavering Gospel. What we have to say has been said hundreds of times before, and is all the better for it.

Furthermore, even if our message is not new, our audience is. The Telos is now widely available to the Williams campus, and we will soon distribute it to local churches. Many people who would never attend a Sunday service, open a Bible or ask another person about her religious beliefs will read this publication and be confronted with the good news of Christ, some for the first time. Many will scoff at this message, some will become temporarily curious, and a perhaps a few will come to accept and proclaim it. We do not know. However, we obey Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations as we obey all of God's commands, ignorant of the outcome of our actions, and unconcerned about the originality of our means. Publishing the Telos is a part of that obedience.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Horrible Cinema, Essential Review

"Renowned scheister Dan Brown nervously fingered his stack of gold coins, a sign of both his vast fortune and his insecurity."

Oops. I wasn't supposed to do that. The new Dan Brown novel isn't slated for release for some time, and now I will likely have to spend the next 500 pages running from the hordes of ancient secret societies at Brown's command.

In fact, today marks the release of the film adaptation of Brown's Angels and Demons, whose sequel, the Da Vinci Code, is undoubtedly the worst novel I have ever finished, and I did not bother with the film. However, this New Yorker review of both is so amusing that it almost makes me grateful for the novel's existence.

Song of the Day #28

A sense of humor is necessary but not sufficient to be a great songwriter.

Motorpsycho Nightmare - Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Song of the Day #27

From my all-time favorite rock album:

Im Not Down - The Clash

Friday, May 8, 2009

Song of the Day #23

For many, Journey's Don't Stop Believin' is the ultimate cheese rocker, as its ubiquity at drunken sing-alongs indicates. I'm not a huge fan of drunkenness or sing-alongs, so my favorite arena ballad is today's song, self-aware enough to be camp, which is far preferable to cheese.

Take It On The Run - REO Speedwagon

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You Read It Ironically

Good-natured ribbing:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Song of the Day #22

Just released today:


Friday, May 1, 2009

Song of the Day #21

New England Ultimate Regionals are this weekend. We are seeded third. We must place in the top 2 to qualify for Nationals. We have beaten the seconded-seeded team. Only one song could commemorate such a weekend.

Ill Make A Man Out Of You - Disney