Weekly Meanderings

We, and this cardinal, are ready for Spring:
Don Johnson’s brief — and to the point — post is illuminatingly insightful; other points could be made, and I’m not thinking just about NPTS but about seminaries in general. Here’s the NYT article.

In general, gender trumps race. … Race may be easier to overcome.”
Them bones” by Erika.
Father-daughter. Nice one Rob. Husband and wife, too. Wow. And Linda was in my class when she and Rob fell in love.
Pray for her (who sits in this room writing).
Philosophy majors on the rise.
JR Woodward finishes up a nice series on conversion.
Prosperity gospel in the African American Church?
Bill Buckner’s interview at Fenway was moving … here’s a report.
One of our readers, Chris Brooks, weighs in on theistic evolution and theologizing.
Stanley Fish explains deconstruction.
Even better, Kevin Corcoran’s set of thoughts on what postmodernity is. You probably can’t find a better short treatment than this.
Jesus goes postal.
Prayer and support.
Pray again for June Bug — but there’s lots of good news in this story.
CT stuff I liked this week: Al Hsu’s nice piece on the variety of ways of articulating the gospel and all that stuff about the future of Christian bookstores — if only I could get paid for the hours I’ve spent wandering in them (and a few shorter pieces here).
1. The Non-determinist, John Frye, weighs in.
2. Stick TSK’s piece in your emerging file, and the next time someone talks about absolute truth or someone in emerging denying truth, pull it out to remind yourself of what is going on.
3. When engineers “do humor.”
4. Good story about Pope Benedict.
6. Good coffee and flying bats. (HT: RJS)
7. Death by blogging.
8. An unusual disease and creativity.
9. The Texan SBC is stirring the pot again.
10. For those who read this far … a deeply serious study by Greg Boyd on violence and God in the Old Testament.
Kansas was awesome in the NCAA men’s tournament, but Bill Self let us down within twelve hours. Since when is 1.5 M not “security”?
The women’s NCAA surprised both Kris and me; we thought for sure the Stanford Cardinal was going to win.
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  • Beautiful pic of cardinal, and thanks as always, Scot, for your weekly meanderings!

  • qb

    “That resolution encouraged Southern Baptists “to proceed cautiously in the human-induced global warming debate in light of conflicting scientific research.” It called for public policies that guarantee “an appropriate balance between care for the environment, effects on economics, and impacts on the poor when considering programs to reduce” carbon and other emissions. It also affirmed Southern Baptists’ responsibility to protect the environment.”
    qb’s not sure he sees how this is “stirring the pot.” Sounds more like well calibrated skepticism to me.

  • Tim Gombis

    Bill Buckner was my favorite Cub when I was growing up and I’m so happy for him finally getting a huge measure of redemption from Boston. He was one of the best doubles hitters ever and, if “the error” had never occurred, would probably have been given very serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the most under-appreciated baseball players ever, and only because of one play.

  • Tim,
    When my son was playing in Boise for the Cubs team there, and not far from where Buckner lives, he stopped in and led chapel for the team.

  • Did you take the cardinal pic, Scot? It is a stunning picture.
    Personally, I’m waiting for the season’s first hummers now. I think they usually show up about mid May around here, but I’m thinking maybe this year they will be a little earlier.

  • Tim Gombis

    Cool to hear, Scot. Buckner is a class act and was an amazing, multi-talented ball-player. He was a great base-stealer with the Dodgers early in his career, before his knees gave out, and rarely struck out. I’m hoping that he gets his due, and that perhaps this is the start of some folks re-looking at his career. If players like Jim Rice and Andre Dawson have been given serious consideration for the HOF, certainly Buckner deserves another look.

  • Rob,
    Wish I could take credit for the picture. I find pictures on the internet, usually through the Chicago Tribune.
    I have a link to the right, under “Other sites I frequent” that has a map of the march of the hummers north. They are in your area. There has been a siting north of us in Wisconsin, but none on our feeders yet.

  • Tim,
    Wasn’t his breaking of an ankle something that altered his career too?

  • Tim Gombis

    Yes, Scot, I think he was the first baseball player to wear high-tops, which were funky-looking back then, though it sparked a sort of mini-trend. But he wore them because of his ankle, though he was already hobbling because of his knees.
    When the Cubs traded him in 1984 to make room for Leon Durham at first base, I was just a kid and seriously thought the world was going to end — how could Bill Buckner not be a Cub!?

  • RJS

    Kristof’s piece on race and gender is depressing – but quite insightful. It often seems to me that we are doing a much better job of building a culture (in principle if not in yet in practice) where we are all one – racial, ethnic, and religious divisions are minimized in a pluralistic society – but a somewhat poorer job of building an egalitarian society on gender issues. This is not to deny the racial issues still active in our society – but just a look at overall trends.

  • Interesting to learn that majoring in Philosophy is on the rise. Our son is at North Park – majoring in Philosophy and Creative Writing. I never would have imagined when this guy was in high school that we’d be talking about Nietzche over a plate of hummus and pita during his college years.

  • The only philosophy major I ever encountered sat around the corner from my gray cubicle in another gray cubicle and wrote Cobol programs that were part of a warehouse distribution system. He was given to quoting Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan and ranting and raving about the general state of the world. Oh, and he was from Chicago.
    Makes you stop and think.

  • Tom Hein

    I don’t really see that it was “Bill” who “let us down.” Bill is just marketing himself at the going rate for a coaches who win NCAA basketball tournaments.
    We “fans” are the ones who determine the “market price.” Stop going to basketball games, watching them on television, reading about them in the paper, and the market price for coaches will come down. We do it to ourselves with a lot of help from the culture.
    Now, I watch some of the NCAA basketball tournament on television because I enjoy the athleticism and competition. But, if I had to do it on a pay-per-view channel I probably wouldn’t watch. That’s my choice. And, it’s Bill’s choice to ask for a higher salary.

  • scott

    I agree with Tom #13.

  • Josh

    After watching the Tenn/LSU game, I can’t blame anyone for predicting a Stanford win. But . . .
    Note to Scot: Do not underestimate the power of Pat Summit (and a certain #1 WNBA draft pick). She was foolin’ ya the whole time; it was just a ruse. Vols rule!

  • RJS

    You are right of course. But isn’t that market price mentality a telling indictment of our entire society? The Coach markets himself at the going rate, as do staff within Universities and faculty and administration between Universities (the environment I know best). Commitment to anything or any group or any community is limited to “what it does for me.” Vision is cast – not for the good of the institution or community – but for impact on the ability of an individual to move up the next step on the ladder (whatever ladder one is opting to climb). Even some Pastors view success in a present position primarily as the prequel to a better future position, not a commitment to the current community. Certainly churchgoers often view commitment to community as secondary to personal preference and best benefit/cost ratio.
    This is an endemic feature of our society – but I am sure that it is really for the best.

  • RJS

    “In general, gender trumps race. … Race may be easier to overcome.”
    7. Death by blogging.
    link to the same NYT story –
    a mistake or a test of “close reading”?

  • RJS,
    I fixed the link; odd one, though. I did the #7 before I even know about the other one. Not sure how they got mixed up.

  • Interesting article on gender and race. I have to wonder at the effect of that in our society it is considered wrong to be racist (even while it is still practiced), but sexism is still encouraged (especially in the church). It’s harder to overcome socially acceptable behaviors.

  • pepy3

    Caption for the Cardinal photo: Let the nest-making begin!

  • Diane

    Yes, I too found the gender and race piece depressing, especially since, as a culture, we have so much to learn from women. I’m surprised and saddened by how much we still valorize “toughness.” And I can’t help but connect the admiration for the “capability to make tough decisions” to putting self ahead of community. After years of buying unthinkingly into our culture’s individualism, I finally “got it” that Jesus was about putting community first. I would imagine that is what is meant by dying that others can live. And there are several books out claiming that men don’t go to church because Jesus is too “feminine.” Now is the problem with Jesus … or with our culture’s definition of masculinity?

  • Diane

    I wanted to say that I think Erica’s blog, “Them bones,” is wonderful and articulated so many things I have often thought as a parent. Why does Kingdom of God building always seem to stop at the point of our children? I wish there had been a blog community like this when my children were younger, just to be able to hash out issues with people willing ask these kinds of questions. And as reporter who at one point covered education in a minority school district, I’m sensitive to both how hard it is to keep one’s children in subpar schools and yet to realizing that we are allowing some of “our” children in the human family to be trapped there, usually the neediest too. Anyway, thanks to Erica for the piece.

  • Tom #13,
    Making 1.5 million a year, Self is in the elite pay range of college bball coaches. There are only a handful of NCAA coaches who are in that pay range. I, too, found it a “let down” that the day after, actually it may have been at the press conference following the championship game, that Self was entertaining the thought of listening to Oklahoma’s offer. It was clear to everyone what Self was doing–he was letting his A.D. know that he wanted more money. And the KU boosters were willing to poney up the cash for him. I agree with RJS that Self’s lobbying efforts on the heels of a Championship win was purely self-promotion. There was no “team” in his actions. Sickening.
    Now, compare this to Billy Donovan of the Univ. of Florida. He actually turned down an increase in pay following their 2005 Championship win because he didn’t see it as fair to his players who opted to stay for another year to try and win back-to-back championships instead of bolting to the NBA, forgoing any monetary benefit from their championship win. That speaks volumes about Donovan’s character, something I found lacking in Self and his desire for “security.” Seriously, we’re talking about $1.5 million dollars!!!
    btw-college bball games cost a fraction of NBA and MLB games. That’s why those professional players are overpaid. We, the fans, have played a major role in that debacle. There’s no way our family of five can afford to go to a Cubs or Sox game at $47 a pop (and that’s the cheap seats). Plus parking!
    Josh #15 is right–NEVER underestimate Pat Summit. Her philosophy of “rebounds wins championships” was on full display in that game. Their defense, rebounding, and, I think, experience made it a no contest. That was too bad given how well Stanford played in the tourney. Candace Parker showed why she’s considered one of the best female bball players in the world. Impressive.

  • I have to disagree with the comments about Self. I am a local, but over the years I have not been a KU fan. However the past couple of years I have found myself pulling for the KU basketball program because of what I have seen and heard firsthand and the comments from many others about Self. He has been a complete and total picture of class and an outstanding representive for the university. I don’t know if there is anyone in college basketball as well liked as Self. Now I do wish (and I bet he now wishes he too) would have used a different word than “security” last week, but because of his complete package of work, I am willing to let it pass. BTW I believe he was speaking of additional years to his contract not money. He also agreed to stay in Lawrence and no details of a new contract had been secured, except to say that the years would be extended. If he had been interested in heading south to OSU there most certainly would have been a much, much larger contract awaiting.

  • brad #24 – when you say “local,” do you mean you live in Kansas? I agree that Self comes across as a respectable guy. There is only so much we “know” about a person who lives in a fishbowl, but he does seem like a nice person and good coach.
    I think the “let down” is that he could have handled the situation A LOT differently. Why even talk about it immediately following the game? Just say, “No comment. I want to celebrate with my team this amazing accomplishment of winning a National Championship. We can talk about that later.” This is what bothers about me with sports in general: the media always wants to move on to the next thing-whatever that is-and barely celebrates the accomplishment of the moment. The news following the game was not so much that KU made an incredible comeback to win the Championship, but that Self may be leaving KU for Oklahoma State. *sigh*
    Also, according to reports, OSU was preparing to offer Self a $6 million dollar signing bonus, on top of a lucrative deal. Self still had 3 years left on his contract at KU. That signing bonus could be why he entertained the thought as much as he did, I don’t know. Here’s a link to Self’s comments on the situation: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3340309

  • Sheryl,
    That’s precisely the point; wait for the team to get its glory.
    We loved Bill Self at U of Illinois and we miss him.
    And let’s not even get started with the word “security.” There is no such thing in sports — ever — and he’s got enough financial wherewithal to be secure for a long, long time.