Postman Still Delivers: Amusing Ourselves to Death

Back in January, I had the privilege of speaking at the Northwest Expositor’s Seminar just outside of Portland, Oregon.  In addition to the main topic that I was invited to address, I was also asked to be prepared to recommend and briefly summarize a few books that are outside my field of scholarship.  In reality, almost nothing that is non-fiction is really irrelevant to a historical theologian.  But I get the idea—something not directly about church history or Christian theology.   In fact, I quite enjoyed the preparation and came ready to talk about some of my favorite books.  Sadly, and for no apparent reason, I … [Read more...]

Ring Around the Collar and the Gospel: What’s Your Story?

  Human beings are “enstoried” creatures. We find ourselves inundated, moment by moment, with data of various kinds that must be interpreted, and the stories that we live within form the framework for our interpretation of the world around us. This can be true at the simplest level of life—I recognize and understand the different functions of a fork and a knife because of the narrative surrounding such implements (especially around proper table etiquette)—to the most profound of social difficulties—see, for example, the highly charged competing narratives on either side of various race issues in the United States. The stories we tell … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Smartphone User

Well, it happened.  I am now the reluctant and mostly unwilling owner of a portable, Orwellian telescreen, or, as most people call it, a smartphone.  In view of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, and for cathartic ends, I will now engage in the jeremiad that I have effectively deferred for the last few years.  Caveat lector: if imprecation and lament are not your thing, do not read any further. There have been a few memorable moments over the years that have irreversibly affected my opinion of cellphones.  In 1993, when I was 16 years old, I worked part time at the A&W inside Town East Mall in Mesquite, … [Read more...]