Thursday, September 13, 2007


Now that we seem to have a quorum of readers of this blog (ie more than just me), I was hoping to do a little exercise with y'all. At the moment, I'm just not sure what to do with this blog, so I was hoping to get a little bit of help from the gallery. There are a few different options.

1. If I started reading a group of books (or just a single book) and posting summaries, quotations, and my reflections to this blog, which texts would you like me consume?

Here's the current stack (as suggestions).

- Resurrection of Rome by GKC (or virtually anything he wrote)
- God in Search of Man by Abraham Heschel
- Towards an Old Testament Theology by Walter Kaiser
- Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf
- New Testament and the People of God by NT Wright
- The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
- King Lear by Shakespeare
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

...or whatever other book you'd like to hear about.

2. I could start posting thoughts on specific topics (prayer, time, theological method, etc...).

3. Though this relates rather closely to #2, I could try to answer all those crazy questions you think of from day to day.

4. I could try to post little devotional thoughts from the Bible (I'd have to warn you that I probably wouldn't be very good at this).

5. I could buy a camera and try to convey to you all what my Wisconsonian life is like.

6. I could revert back to my college style of blog, reading articles listed on (politics, science, philosophy, cultural analysis, etc...) and throwing out whatever comes into my head.

Throughout all of this, I'm just hoping that this blog can take on a more purposeful role, instead of chronicling random bits and pieces I pick up from the net. What do y'all think?

Addition: I could also focus on one specific author and read as much as possible (eg Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Plutarch, Aeschylus, etc...)


  1. What about Chaucer or Edgar Allen Poe? Or what is you take on the Shakespeare drama? Is he the true writer or was there more than one? Or should we just enjoy the writing?

  2. All wonderful suggestions, but my own abilities preclude such targets. In other words, I'm just too small for Chaucer or Shakespeare (Poe might be fun, to attempt, but I'm afraid that he too may be beyond my reach).

    The inevitable challenge when reviewing or discussing good fiction is that the characters are real enough to break through the bonds of classification into which we cram them. I love talking about Shakespeare, for the sole reason that I can't talk as Shakespeare.

    These qualities make good fiction wonderful if all the voices in the discussion have experienced that storyland, but if they know not that land and its ways, a critics poor writing can hardly build it for them.

    So all in all, I have to say that I would love to review those texts, as long as the readers know that I'd be reviewing the ideas that occur to me, not the too real characters that were formed in its mist.

    Besides, with a resident Chaucer scholar hanging around (look for comments by "Ben", who might sometimes seem to have an Irish accent or mentioning less than pronounceable thoughts from the Middle Ages) I would hardly feel up to task of learning Middle English and telling the tale as it should properly be done, let alone commenting on it.

    So to sum up, again, I'll do whatever y'all think would be interesting; just remember that I am too small for the task.

  3. Come on, Nick.

    I do mostly Old English. Chaucer is only a secondary field.

    Anyway, I think GKC always provides good discussion fodder--but you knew that already. Lear is great, too.

    Also, I'd love to see some snapshots of Wisconsonian life, though I don't want to force you into buying a camera.

  4. You've just acquired another reader... no stress, I'm easy to entertain and hard to chase away. As far as the book titles go, anything can be interesting when it is well-presented. (I listened in rapture to an NPR radio satire on headlice the other day....)

  5. I hope that this can rise to being "well-presented" (a high goal indeed), Jim. And thanks for visiting. Obviously, I don't know where this blog is going to go (or even where it should go), so I'd appreciate any of your suggestions.