Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blogs, Blogs and Books

The term "blog" makes me giggle, or run through rhymes in my head (fog, frog, smog, bog, dog, flog, hog, slog...), and I would never dub myself a "blogger." But this is a blog, and I have others. Sometimes I write for Duke's Faith & Leadership - and they went "live" (that's the cool blog jargon, I believe) with one today on Inability and Leadership (my specialty); I love the very unleaderly title - "We do not know what to do..."

I also am running a non-blog blog - on heroes of the faith. Our Church is studying great heroes, and I send out emails raising questions and issues from their lives - so I use this other blog for a basic bio and some pix. Schweitzer, Bonhoeffer, Julian of Norwich, Gandhi, and Francis so far. Fun.

My favorite thing, actually has been on this blog, but probably nobody has noticed. I read - and most onlookers add "a lot..." My book budget is absurdly high and will force me to work 5 to 8 extra years at the end of my career to make up for the money lost. When I read something long or difficult, or a bit obscure, I write up little summaries - for some of you who might not get these books read. They are listed over there on the left - Hamlet's Blackberry (a wise reflection on technology), a new biography of Francis Asbury, a review of Bart Ehrman lamely speaking of evil, a Christian commentary on Leviticus (think about it...), a book on serpent imagery, one on women disciples of Jesus, etc. I hope you'll browse some of these and find them beneficial.

The other night one of my children laughed when I knew all the answers to my teenager's study sheet for medieval and Renaissance history. "Oh, daddy, you know so much useless information." And I do. And I would protest the notion that information must be useful. What a waste of a lovely fact or a delightful tidbit from history or art or literature or math - that it should be pressed into some use or another? It's just fun to know.

Or better: I like to think God appreciates it when we know things. God gave me, and you, a brain. Can I glorify God simply by using my brain, by thinking, knowing, remembering, reflecting, accumulating little facts and ruminating on truths that have no function except that they are intriguing, and must reside not only in my mind but even more clearly in the mind of God?