4 Apr 2009

The Collapsing Brass Heaven – Random Readings

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Books, Contemporary Ethics, Preaching, Reading

‘That’s like, so random!’ But Ohhhhhhh so good!

Links included in the titles.

Our world is a changing world. One of the symbols of the collapse of the Brass Heaven of Modernity is the demise of the print newspaper. Here is an interesting reflection on the death of a major paper on Colorado by Bill James The Future of Newspapers.

A new blog has been set up called Grace Conversations. The four contributors to this blog are Phil Sanders, Greg Tidwell, Jay Quin, and Todd Deaver. These four are discussing the disagreements that divide “conservative” and “progressive” groups in American Churches of Christ.

I’ve been doing some serious study of the Apostle’s Creed which I believe to be a stellar summary of the apostolic faith. Alister McGrath’s handy dandy I Believe: Exploring the Apostles’ Creed. McGrath’s is a succinct exposition and suitable for small groups. Wolfhart Pannenberg’s The Apostles’ Creed, In Light of Today’s Questions. A lively investigation by one the 20th centuries leading theologians. One of the best and more detailed books that include both historical and theological investigation is Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters.

I picked up David Damrosch’s The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh in the PHX airport on the way to Tulsa. It is a fascinating and highly readable narrative of 19th century Indian Jones types. This is an engaging tale and I highly recommend it. The recovery of the world of Terah and Abraham and other legendary ancients.

Finally Patrick E. McGovern’s Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture is fascinating and enlightening. I had read this work before but have gone through it again recently. This is anything but a dry account. It is nearly the story of humanity. Wine has been around nearly as long as there is history. He tells of the discovery of wine at Godin Tepe that dates to between 3100 and 3500 BCE. Then the recovery of wine from Hajji Firuz dating to “approximately” 5400 BCE. That is over 7000 years old. This book, like Damrosch’s work, is a tale of humanity and what and who we are. But for the Bible student this work helps understand the culture of Israel. The chapter “The Holy Land’s Bounty” is insightful. Palestine was literally a land flowing with wine. In the Egyptian tale of Sinuhe for example we read

It was a good land, called Yaa
Figs were in it, and grapes.
It had more wine than water.
Abundant was its honey, plentiful its oil.

We so easily read our post-19th Century American Temperance Movement thoughts and ideas back into the sacred record that McGovern’s book is a necessary corrective. But it is more than that it is a good read.

Blessings on all.

11 Responses to “The Collapsing Brass Heaven – Random Readings”

  1. Matthew Says:

    I read “In the Shadow of the Temple” because of you. You mentioned it on here and I thought it sounded great. Thank you for this recommendation. Also, the blog on the syllogism is a series of pieces, it goes back a few posts. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  2. cwinwc Says:

    Thanks for the information and blog links. Very interesting.

  3. Frank Bellizzi Says:

    The whole demise of the newspaper thing bothers me.

    And, it bothers me that it bothers me because my irritation probably means I’m well on my way to becoming a Grade A stick in the mud.

    So much for staying young. Where’s the Wall Street Journal? I mean the paper copy. 🙂

  4. RDBrown Says:

    RE: Newspapers.
    Most of the papers would have been better served like the ones i found in a Dover Ohio house i was remodeling. Someone had used them to cover the cracks in the wooden floors before putting down the old oil based lineoleum. They also used it to stuff the cracks in the walls before plastering. Both dated to the early 1920’s Gasoline was 12 cents a gallon!

  5. preacherman Says:

    Thank you so much brother for this post and the references. I have been blessed as always. You are such a great source of knowledge and continually encourage your readers to go deeper than then they came when they stopped by your blog. You do a fantastic job!!!! 🙂

  6. Jim Martin Says:

    I always appreciate and enjoy these kinds of posts that you did occasionally. In part, I enjoy them because each have some different interests and this helps me stay current with what you are reading, etc.

  7. Randall Says:

    I have not seen anything new here in several weeks. I hope that means you are enjoying a vacation. If so, please go ahead and enjoy, but know that you are missed.

  8. Cheryl Russell Says:

    I totally agree with you about the Apostle’s Creed. Glad I stopped by. I can see I have a LOT of catching up to do!

  9. westcoastwitness.com Says:

    Newspapers are on their way out – I read the final issue of Church Growth Magazine today.

    John Ellas said in his introductory article that the print edition of the magazine was finished – I’m hoping their continue on the web.

    Anyone heard whether they will or not?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Bobby,

    Here is the latest version, but our website has not yet been updated. Drop me a note on Facebook with your thoughts.

    Daniel Oden

    We believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, eternal Spirit, the Word, our Lord.

    We believe that the Word became flesh; Jesus Christ the Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

    We believe that He descended into the grave and on the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty; from there he shall come again to judge the living and dead.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy and visible church, the fellowship and communion of His people, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of all humanity and the life everlasting.

  11. Daniel Oden Says:

    PS- Have you read Hans Kung’s _Credo_?

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