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 Indiana 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.