no longer on my mind

June 30, 2012

We have left Georgia. The next month is divided between Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota, though not necessarily in that order.

WF


not dead

June 27, 2012

Still closing up shop down here in Georgia. Almost everything we own is in a storage unit. Pets are a little spazzy from all the open space and the changes.

WF


radio silence

June 10, 2012

Probably won’t be posting much for the next few weeks – Cincinnati for the AP exams, then the moving process.

Stay tuned.

WF


airwaves

June 8, 2012

I see that Neal Boortz is retiring. Guess spreading hate and ignorance takes it out of you.

He’s being replaced by Herman Cain. Aw shucky ducky. Hope his staff can tell him where Uzbeki-beki-beki-bekistan is.

(I would never waste time or brain cells listening to either of them.)

WF


RIP Eduard Khil, 1934 – 2012

June 4, 2012

Who?

This guy:

In his honor, the Internet will be at half-meme today.

In all seriousness, he was a pretty good light baritone, and that arrangement is seven levels of awesome.

WF


transcription #4

June 3, 2012

A simple one tonight – Bennie Green’s solo on “Tenor Sax Shuffle,” also off the great Trombone By Three album. As always, link is a .pdf.

tsshuffletranscription

WF


Sunday Religion Blogging

June 3, 2012

Haven’t done this in a while.

I just finished John Dominic Crossan’s The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus. As I said earlier, I grew up, was baptized in and was very active in a church that purported to restore first-century Christianity, so I wanted to see from a scholarly standpoint how close we got.

Answer: Eh…

Crossan, a former monk, uses both extant and hypothetical sources (the Q Gospel, the Gospel of Thomas and earliest possible versions of the four canonic Gospels) as well as studies of the dichotomy between rural and urban life in Levantine cultures and studies of ancient peasantry to examine how multiple Christianities actually developed in the earliest years, when the texts were presented in an oral tradition instead of written form. By synthesizing all this data, Crossan presents an early Christianity that contains multiple levels of eschatology (not just an end-of-the-world judgment, but upending of the social order as well) and reframes the resurrection as a political act as much as anything else. It’s fascinating.

Even if Crossan misses the mark on a few things (and the first 300 pages or so are a slog; I almost gave up a few times, and the only time I’ve ever actually given up on a book is Atlas Shrugged, a decision which I do not regret), he does stimulate quite a lot of thought, and I think he’s more accurate than most. So with regard to my own background, I will say this:

I don’t think we restored first-century Christianity. I think we restored first-century Christianity as it would have developed if you built a time machine and replaced first-century Christians with early 19th-century Americans. Does it make it any less valid? I don’t particularly think so; all religious traditions are misremembered and changed over time. (Our atheist friends would argue that it’s no less valid because nothing religious is valid. Within that worldview, that’s a true statement.) But a little honesty would go a long way.

WF