Monday, August 02, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
At ﬁrst men sought mutual understanding by taking counsel with one another, but now we understand one another less and less. There is a gap between the generations. It will soon widen to be an abyss. The only bridge is to pray together, to consult God before seeking counsel with one another. Prayer brings down the walls which we have erected between man and man, between man and God.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 266–67
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
The alternative to praise is disenchantment, dismay.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 263
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Though often I do not know how to pray, I can still say: Redeem me from the agony of not knowing what to strive for, from the agony of not knowing how my inner life is falling apart.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 259
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Prayer is a perspective from which to behold, from which to respond to, the challenges we face. Man in prayer does not seek to impose his will upon God; he seeks to impose God’s will and mercy upon himself. Prayer is necessary to make us aware of our failures, backsliding, transgressions, sins.
Prayer is more than paying attention to the holy. Prayer comes about as an event. It consists of two inner acts: an act of turning and an act of direction. I leave the world behind as well as all interests of the self. Divested of all concerns, I am overwhelmed by only one desire: to place my heart upon the altar of God.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 259
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
What is a soul without prayer? A soul runaway or a soul evicted from its own home. To those who have abandoned their home: The road may be hard and dark and far, yet do not be afraid to steer back. lf you prize grace and eternal meaning, you will discover them upon arrival.
How marvelous is my home. I enter as a suppliant and emerge as a witness; I enter as a stranger and emerge as next of kin. I may enter spiritually shapeless, inwardly disﬁgured, and emerge wholly changed. It is in moments of prayer that my image is forged, that my striving is fashioned. To understand the world I must love my home. lt is difficult to perceive luminosity anywhere if there is no light in my own home. It is in the light of prayer’s radiance that I find my way even in the dark. It is prayer that illumines my way. As my prayers, so is my understanding.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 258–59
Monday, July 19, 2021
Friday, July 16, 2021
Prayer as an episode, as a cursory incident, will not establish a home in the land of oblivion. Prayer must pervade as a climate of living, and all our acts must be carried out as variations on the theme of prayer. A deed of charity, an act of kindness, a ritual moment—each is prayer in the form of a deed. Such prayer involves a minimum or even absence of outwardness, and an abundance of inwardness.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 258
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Prayer is either exceedingly urgent, exceedingly relevant, or inane and useless. Our ﬁrst task is to learn to comprehend why prayer is an ontological necessity. God is hiding, and man is defying. Every moment God is creating and self-concealing. Prayer is disclosing or at least preventing irreversible concealing. God is ensconced in mystery, hidden in the depths. Prayer is pleading with God to come out of the depths. “Out of the depths have I called Thee, O Lord” (Psalms 130:1).—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 258
I like that: theology is a palimpsest. It adds an urgency and relevance to prayer that otherwise might be lacking.
May your theology ever be enlightened by your prayer life!
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
I cannot say that I feel complacent about our chances for peace. Our terrible sin is in not giving peace absolute priority and in failing to realize that to attain peace, we have to make sacriﬁces. We are ready to make sacriﬁces for the sake of war, but not, apparently, for the sake of peace.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 255
Monday, July 12, 2021
Not a whole lot has changed in the last fifty years, has it? About the only difference is that now we say "Black" instead of "Negro" and that racism has become even more blatent among some people.
I wouldn't call either of those progress. Would you?
Friday, July 09, 2021
He hits it on the head here. We take life for granted, ignoring the beauty all around us. I'm reading The Nature of Oaks right now (on Jim Eisenbraun's recommendation). It's causing me to look around with even more wonder and awe at God's creation. Truly, fearfully and wonderfully made!
Thursday, July 08, 2021
Well, he got part of it wrong. It seems all we sense anymore is outrage! But other than that, he got it right. We still are choosing death, blindness, callousness, helplessness, and despair. We think the person who can prove to be the most victimized is the winner. That's not the sign of a healthy society!
Wednesday, July 07, 2021
Anyway, I digress. The Curmudgucation blog has a marvelous parable. Do read it. It isn't very long. Go! Read it! Or, in the words of Augustine, "Click! Read!" (or something like that…)
I was reading in Hebrews today, where the author says that humanity was created a little lower than the angels. Today's excerpt from Heschel fits in well here. We have lost site of who we are, what we were created to be. We have become drunk with our own power, little realizing that with power comes responsibility—responsibility for how we use that power, whether for good or ill. Unfortunately, we have largely used that power for ill. And the earth shows it.
But you can't abuse power forever without repercussions. And we are beginning to feel those repercussions in our climate. And in the dissolving of our social networks.
But, like the infamous "cows of Bashan" in the book of Amos, we ignore them. As long as we have full stomachs and entertainment, all is well. Except, just as Amos says, all is not well and at some time the bills will come due.
I pray that God will be merciful!
Tuesday, July 06, 2021
His thoughts are not our thoughts. Whatever is revealed is abundance compared with our soul and a pittance compared with His treasures. No word is God's last word, no word is God’s ultimate word…
The Torah as given to Moses, an ancient rabbi maintains, is but an unripened fruit of the heavenly tree of wisdom. At the end of days, much that is concealed will be revealed.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 245
Friday, July 02, 2021
In search of exaltation man is ready to burn Rome, even to destroy himself. It is difficult for a human being to live on the same level, shallow, placid, repetitious, uniform, ordinary, unchanged. The classical form of exaltation is worship. Prayer lifts a person above himself. Life without genuine prayer is a wasteland.
But exaltation is gone from the synagogue, from the church, and also from many a classroom and university. The cardinal sin is boredom, and the major failure the denial to our young of moments of exaltation. We have shaped our lives around the practical, the utilitarian, devoid of dreams and vision, higher concerns and enthusiasms. And our religious leadership suffers from a me-too attitude toward fad and fashion, accommodation and progressive surrender.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 228
Thursday, July 01, 2021
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
It is important that we distinguish between guilt and responsibility. It is dangerous to confuse these two distinct terms. Guilt which originally denoted a crime or sin implies a connection with or involvement in a misdeed of a grave or serious character; the fact of having committed a breach of conduct, especially such as violates law and involves penalty.
Responsibility is the capability of being called upon to answer, or to make amends, to someone for something, without necessarily being directly connected with or involved in a criminal act.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 220 (emphasis original)
This is especially important to remember now. Maybe you aren't guilty of trying to overthrow the government, but you are responsible to see that things get made right. Sure, you didn't kill a Black person when trying to arrest them, but you are responsible to see that things get made right. Sure, you didn't push the Native American off their land, but you are responsible to see that things get made right. The list could go on. And on. And on. Because as humans we've committed many crimes and sins over the years.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Late last week, I read that DisplayLink now supports it under Big Sur (MacOS 11.x), so I figured I would update my system over the weekend. So, Saturday evening I started by downloading both Big Sur and the DisplayLink update and then tried to install Big Sur. Well, something in 10.4 was causing my admin password entry to hang. Not sure what it was, but it probably was a kernel extension (kext) based on my research. Anyway, I decided to wait and try again on Sunday rather than stay up all night trying to get it to work : )
I started from a fresh restart and the admin password took with no problem. The computer did it's thing, rebooting a couple of times. Ever since I had a bad logic board on my older MacBook, I'm always nervous when a computer reboots. But it did fine; the fans raced a few times when the processor was doing its thing, but otherwise uneventful. I logged in and a few things asked for permission—Big Sur is very restrictive about what can access what. That's good, but even now, three days later, I'm still answering permissions. Some are turned down and I don't recall ever giving them permission to access that stuff in the first place! So, good move on Apple's part. I tend to be pretty restrictive about what I let touch what files and software developers always seem to think they need more permissions than I'm willing to give them.
When I first logged in, DisplayLink was showing me all three screens, just not allowing me to rotate them. I installed the update, gave it permission to record my displays—it needs that the rewrite to the three screens—and then rebooted. And waited. I only had the one screen via the HDMI, not the other two via the GUD 300. Great. Now what?
Frantic googling showed that others had the same problem. The DisplayLink site said to check the hardware in your About this Mac and showed a screenshot. Don't go down that road! Mine didn't show the DisplayLink, so I lost a bit of hair over that. Everything else looked fine, though. I moved my backup drive from the GUD 300 to direct just in case, but nothing changed.
More frantic googling turned up someone saying that you need to manually start DisplayLink from the Applications directory and implied you had to do that everytime you log in. So, I started it manually via Cmd-Space and typing DisplayLink.app and viola! I had three screens again. One thing more thing that no one had mentioned was that a DisplayLink logo shows up on your menu bar at the top of your screen.
This is important!
Clicking on that gave the option to download an app that allows you to start DisplayLink on startup. Do it! It works like a charm; across multiple reboots and logouts I haven't had an issue with it. As for rotating the screens, it works great. See the two screen shots below. Be sure to click the menu bar option so you can easily change stuff.
Now I just need to get Dropbox to stop grabbing my screenshots and dumping them in a subdirectory! I'm disliking how possessive Dropbox seems to be getting with the passing of time, but in my line of work its the default, so I need to use it. I just need to reign it in a bit more...
I hope that this helps someone with a DisplayLink problem. It would have been helpful to me to have all this in one place instead of chasing it down all across the internet!
One complaint about Big Sur: They took away the dashboard! They have been gradually taking away its functionality over releases, but now it's totally gone! It was handy for me because I would put sticky notes there and I had a calendar and iStatPro for monitoring the system. Not sure what I'm going to do, but I did find this for monitoring fan speed and cpu temps, which referred me to this and this. I've installed them both; not sure which I'll keep. I moved stickies to the desktop, but I don't like it. Not sure what to do about a quick calendar view yet. I like seeing the whole month, without any added stuff. There's got to be a small app for that somewhere...
I hate to contradict him, but while it is true that science is truly the handmaiden of the state in our culture, it's not the first time. The city of Syracuse in the Hellenistic age comes to mind, with Archimedes and his many inventions. But, his point is well taken: Power corrupts. Always and in every age. Period. And I emphasize always.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Well, that point was about 2 weeks ago. I needed to install Adobe's stuff for the work I'm doing for Lockwood Press. Needless to say, I was already bursting the limits of the harddrive before; Adobe's Suite isn't exactly small! And, at about the same time, my battery started doing the dreaded swelling thing. So, I bit the bullet and ordered a new SSD harddrive and battery.
The web site warned that replacing the battery wasn't going to be child's play; they recommended a professional do it. Well, I've been building computers since 1983, and I've had my Macbook 2011 apart more than once, replacing its battery, upgrading the RAM, and putting in an SSD to replace the 5400 RPM drive, so I figured I could handle it. Replacing the harddrive would be a cake walk, I figured.
Of course, because I needed to upgrade to Mac OS 10.14 to make the new harddrive work (that's the way they designed the Macbook 2015—bad design), I also had to upgrade some other software, such as MS Office 2011 for Mac, since they were 32-bit software and 10.14 didn't reliably run 32-bit software—believe me, I tried it! Word would crash all the time at the most inopportune times. You couldn't minimize a window or change screens without a crash! I decided to wait to upgrade the software until I had the new harddrive in to avoid having to authenticate it twice (a real pain! I've done it before).
Once the hardware arrived, the next evening I proceeded to replace the battery. Because the battery in the newer Macbooks is glued in (actually extremely strong double-stick tape), you theoretically need to use acetone to soften the glue. Not something to tackle in the house—Debbie and I both get headaches from the smell of it, even in small amounts. So, I decided I would disassemble the Macbook in my study to the point where you needed to use the acetone and then move to the garage, open the doors and do it on a table out there.
The disassembly video was extremely good, giving each step in detail. Because I had been inside many laptops over the years, it went relatively well. My eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be, so I had to go slower to make sure I didn't break any of the tiny connectors, but it came apart fine. Because the battery had swollen, I was able to get the double-stick tape off without using the acetone, so that was a huge plus.
Now to reassemble it. I didn't replace the harddrive at this point because you need a functional computer to condition the battery. Reassembly was much slower. If you ever do it, be very careful to keep all the ribbon cables out from underneath the logic board. I missed two of them and had to partially disassemble it again to access them. But, finally, after about two hours total, I got it together and plugged it in. It needed to charge fully before turning it on, so I let it charge overnight. The next day, I turned it on and it fired right up! You need to let it discharge completely and then recharge to condition it, but you can work on it while it discharges, in fact they recommend that.
Next up was the new harddrive. Replacing it physcially is a snap, no more than 10 minutes. The next step was a bit more complicated. Because the SSD in the Macbook was a proprietary style, you can't use a standard drive enclosure to just clone the drive—unless you buy a custom enclosure for $99.00. The upgrade was already running me almost $500 for everything, so I didn't want to drop another $100.00, so I figured I would use my Time Machine backup instead.
So, I booted into Internet Recover mode. It found the correct wireless network, so I figured everything was cool and clicked on it. The spinning disk went nuts for 10 minutes before deciding it wasn't working. Great. Try again. Same thing. Frantic Google search. No joy. Try again, this time, instead of just clicking on it, I hit return. It brought up the password box. Why didn't they mention that??!!
It did its thing for a while, then rebooted into recovery mode again. It wanted to download and install Big Sur (MacOS 11.4), which is what the instructions recommend so you have a recovery partition. But, it said it would take 5 hours! Yikes and then I would still need to take the 3 hours or so to restore from Time Machine. Sorry. Not going to happen! I restored from Time Machine.
Everything worked fine. Except I lost the ability to rotate my monitors 90 degrees. Seems DisplayLink doesn't have the ability to do that above 10.12. Bummer. Meanwhile, I needed to upgrade my Time Machine backup. It was a 500 GB drive and now I have a 1 TB drive in the Macbook. Not using it all, but it seems stupid to have a backup that is smaller than the drive its backing up. So, on our monthly trip to the local big box store, I picked up a 2 TB USB 3.0 5400 RPM Seagate drive. Its working fine; I plugged it into my GUD 300 hub.
Summary: I should have dropped the extra $100 for the custom case, because now I have a 256 GB SSD that I can't use anywhere, even as a portable. And, if you aren't really comfortable inside a computer, get someone else to replace the battery. Given how my eyes are now, next time I don't think I'll do it; I'll hire somebody with younger eyes than I have to do it. I really don't like the fact that Apple has done their best to make the machines nonupgradeable. By the way, because I replaced the harddrive, no Apple store will even look at my machine anymore if I wanted them to replace the battery. That's just stupid.
One final word: I found out last Thursday that DisplayLink now supports rotating displays under Big Sur, so over the weekend I made the move, but that's for another post because it wasn't obvious and Google wasn't terribly helpful. Stay tuned! And hopefully this post will help someone somewhere when they get the dreaded Internet Recovery errors.
don’t trust any human beings—
there’s no saving help with them!
4 Their breath leaves them,
then they go back to the ground.
On that very same day, their plans die too.
5 The person whose help is the God of Jacob—
the person whose hope rests on the Lord their God—
is truly happy!
6 God: the maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
God: who is faithful forever,
7 who gives justice to people who are oppressed,
who gives bread to people who are starving!
The Lord: who frees prisoners.
8 The Lord: who makes the blind see.
The Lord: who straightens up those who are bent low.
The Lord: who loves the righteous.
9 The Lord: who protects immigrants,
who helps orphans and widows,
but who makes the way of the wicked twist and turn!
10 The Lord will rule forever!
Zion, your God will rule from one generation to the next!
Praise the Lord! Ps 146:3–10 (CEB)
Friday, June 25, 2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Many academics “exhibit an appalling degree of exceptionalism and entitlement" and are often unable to “complete even basic tasks”, discovered Kate Eichhorn, chair of culture and media studies at The New School in New York City, while working as an encyclopaedia editor as a side job. On the other side of the publishing process, she found that many of the negative stereotypes of academics were in fact true–replies were often late, rude, or both. Always assume that editors are at least as well educated as you are, she advises, and take style guides seriously–they have been compiled for a reason.<idle musing>
Yep. I have to admit I rarely run into the first part, but following the style guide is always an issue. I get it, though. I edit for a handful of presses, and each has a different style guide. In fact, at Lockwood, each series and each journal has a different guide. Even I, as an editor, sometimes have a hard time remembering which style guide I'm following. So, please make my job a bit easier by checking the style guide!
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Indeed. And we got the bad end of the deal. This was written in 1943, in the midst of World War 2, but it still rings true nearly 80 years later. If anything, we've traded away even more now than then—and all we got is this little trinket we call a "smart phone." I wonder how smart it is? A college education no longer is considered anything more than a job ticket. Students are rarely taught to think. Our churches have become personality cults, where the delivery is far more important than the content. Holiness? What's that? The only love we have left is the love of power.
Yep. We made a bad trade. Just an
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Monday, June 21, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Because of where we live, for me to ride any distance requires riding on busy state or federal highways. Consequently, I made the decision after almost 50 years of road-riding, to move strictly to the indoor trainer. Nothing that I've seen since has made me regret that decision. In fact, rather than simply careless, I suspect some drivers have become downright hostile to bicyclists. There has always been a bit of that. I've experienced it, but was only forced off the road once in all my years of riding.
But, this today, on NPR is truly horrific. Basically, the guy was aiming to hit and at the least injure cyclists. I don't know any more than the article says, but it is truly a sad state of affairs. I know most of you won't click through, so here's the relevant section:
A driver in a pickup truck plowed into bicyclists during a community road race in Arizona on Saturday, critically injuring several riders before police chased the driver and shot him outside a nearby hardware store, authorities said.Here's a picture. Not pretty. I know what it's like to get hit by an F-150. It isn't fun. No helmet is going to help you when a truck hits you.
Six people were taken to a hospital in critical condition after the crash in the mountain town of Show Low, about a three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix, police said. Helmets, shoes and crumpled and broken bicycles were strewn across the street after the crash, and a tire was wedged into the grill of the truck, which had damage to its top and sides and a bullet hole in a window.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
- Papyri info's checklist. It's a list of common abbreviations
- Searchable Greek Inscriptions: A Scholarly Tool in Progress put together by the Packard Humanities Institute
If you have a favorite site, please mention it in the comments and I'll add it to the body of the post.
Here's the table of contents for all the copyediting stuff.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
True, the claim of the prophets is staggering and almost incredible. But to us, living in this horribly beautiful world, God's thick silence is incomparably more staggering and totally incredible.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 186–87
Monday, June 14, 2021
A similar storm last year took down a huge limb in our front yard that blocked the street. It also took down a limb on the neighbor's tree that landed on our garage roof. The damage was minimal and the limb slid off onto the ground.
This year's storm knocked another large tree limb off that same tree in the back. This limb was larger than the one last year. It could have done some serious damage to the garage roof, but it barely missed it, landing on my compost bins instead. So, Saturday, the first day in June that didn't get into the 90s F, I cut it up. See the pictures below:
Spinoza was the man who attempted to destroy Jewish theology. He found many admirers and they followed him (I discuss this in the early part of God in Search Man). He claimed that the Bible, as such, has nothing relevant to say regarding philosophy and ideas. To him the Bible was not theology but only law. This concept was, paradoxically, taken over by Moses Mendelssohn. He must have grasped the situation existing in the Western world, that throughout the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries there was only one book written about Judaism, and that was the Tractatus, by Spinoza. Since it was the only book available on Judaism in the Western language, it had the most profound impact on Christians and Jews alike. It is evident when studying Kant or Hegel that whatever they have to say concerning Judaism was derived from the Tractatus. Paradoxically, Moses Mendelssolm was profoundly influenced by this book and by its approach. Moses Mendelssohn’s inﬂuence upon Jews, in turn, was enormous. Thus, a system was developed whereby Judaism was halacha, Law—nothing else.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 155<idle musing>
Not sure if he is correct, but it makes sense to a degree. But there were currents of it running around as far back as Augustine, as an essay by Paula Fredriksen in an SBL Press book coming out soon makes clear. And Luther definitely thought that Judaism was nothing but law. Perhaps Spinoza's book simply hardened that view and made it more firmly entrenched—with devastating effects.
Friday, June 11, 2021
and keep writing harmful laws
2 to deprive the needy of their rights
and to rob the poor among my people of justice;
to make widows their loot;
to steal from orphans!
3 What will you do on the day of punishment
when disaster comes from far away?
To whom will you flee for help;
where will you stash your wealth?
4 How will you avoid crouching among the prisoners
and falling among the slain?
Even so, God’s anger hasn’t turned away;
God’s hand is still extended. (Isa 10:1–4 CEB)
Pretty much describes the current crop of politicians, doesn't it? And the billionaires who paid to put them in office. James 5 comes to mind, also:
5:1 Pay attention, you wealthy people! Weep and moan over the miseries coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted. Moths have destroyed your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you. It will eat your flesh like fire. Consider the treasure you have hoarded in the last days. 4 Listen! Hear the cries of the wages of your field hands. These are the wages you stole from those who harvested your fields. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of heavenly forces. 5 You have lived a self-satisfying life on this earth, a life of luxury. You have stuffed your hearts in preparation for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who doesn’t oppose you. (CEB)</idle musing>
Indeed! That's one reason apologetics is basically worthless in our society. You can prove all you want that God exists and scripture is correct, etc. But it won't matter, because "this people's hearts have become hardened" to the point where they are unable to see beyond themselves. The results are all around us in the individualism that no longer says, "As long as it doesn't hurt someone it's ok." It now says "I can do whatever I want, when I want, in the way that I want—and screw you if you try to stop me."
Sorry to be the one to tell you, but life doesn't work that way…
Thursday, June 10, 2021
The knowledge about the inner state of the divine in its relationship to Israel determined the inner life of the prophets, engendering a passion for God, a sympathy for the divine pathos in their hearts. They loved Israel because God loved Israel, and they frowned upon Israel when they knew that such was the attitude of God. Thus the marriage of Hosea was an act of sympathy; the prophet had to go through the experience of being betrayed as Israel had betrayed God. He had to experience in his own life what it meant to be betrayed by a person whom he loved in order to gain an understanding of the inner life of God. In a similar way the sympathy for God was in the heart of Jeremiah like a “burning ﬁre, shut up in my bones and I weary myself to hold it in, but cannot” (20:9).
The main doctrine of the prophets can be called pathetic theology. Their attitude toward what they knew about God can be described as religion of sympathy. The divine pathos, or as it was later called, the Middot, stood in the center of their consciousness. The life of the prophet revolved around the life of God. The prophets were not indifferent to whether God was in a state of anger or a state of mercy. They were most sensitive to what was going on in God.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 183–84 (emphasis original)
Wednesday, June 09, 2021
I have to admit to being deeply disturbed as a man and as a father with what I see. It cuts across the grain of my deepest convictions and aspirations as both man and father. I find myself deeply angry with the men who perpetrate these wrongs, and perhaps even more angry with those who have tried to cover them and blame the victims instead of protect them. This was not how I was taught to be a man.He goes on to list some very good ways he was taught to be a man. One that is especially important (at least in my experience) is this one, on dying to self: "Sometimes the hardest dying is to listen to another and give up what you want because what they want or think is needful is more important."
Yep. I haven't always done that one real well... But, do read the whole thing. And while you are at it, take a gander at today's Anxious Bench. Worth your time—and then some.
Monday, June 07, 2021
Amos 5:18 Doom to those who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
19 as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or sought refuge in a house, rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20 Isn’t the day of the Lord darkness, not light;
all dark with no brightness in it?
21 I hate, I reject your festivals;
I don’t enjoy your joyous assemblies.
22 If you bring me your entirely burned offerings and gifts of food—
I won’t be pleased;
I won’t even look at your offerings of well-fed animals.
23 Take away the noise of your songs;
I won’t listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (CEB)
Lest you think those are "Old Testament" thoughts that is irrelevant to you as a "New Testament" Christian:
James 5:1 Pay attention, you wealthy people! Weep and moan over the miseries coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted. Moths have destroyed your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you. It will eat your flesh like fire. Consider the treasure you have hoarded in the last days. 4 Listen! Hear the cries of the wages of your field hands. These are the wages you stole from those who harvested your fields. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of heavenly forces. 5 You have lived a self-satisfying life on this earth, a life of luxury. You have stuffed your hearts in preparation for the day of slaughter. (CEB)
Let those who have ears to hear, hear!
Thursday, June 03, 2021
Today I won't have time to get into the nitty-gritty of it, but a few tips if, like me, you are not behind a university proxy:
- Worldcat is your friend for books: https://www.worldcat.org/. I always have it open in a tab.
- Google is my go-to search engine. It is always open in a tab.
- Keep an abbreviations list—or update and check the one supplied. Use SBLHS2, IATG3, CDLI's Assyriology list, and my list as references. The book you are working on might mention where else they draw from, such as CAD or OCD.
- Watch the capitalization of words! All forms of "to be," i.e., is, am, was, etc., are capitalized. And check with your press about prepositions: most presses lower case all prepostions (unless after a colon, semicolon, or starting a title), but some, like PSU Press/Eisenbrauns, capitalize prepositions five letters or longer. Other common mistakes: Held, Occasion, His/Her all are capitalized.
2 Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.<idle musing>
5 We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Seems to me that the hierarchy at the SBC is more aligned with the "super apostles" that Paul was fighting against than they are with the gospel. And for that I weep.
Monday, May 31, 2021
Fadhil, A. A.Get it? "New, late, old..."
2014 Die neuen spätaltbabylonischen Briefe des “königlichen Barbiers” aus Sippar. RA 108: 45–60.
OK, I guess you have to be a bit slap-happy from too much editing…
Friday, May 28, 2021
- Additons to the SBLHS2 abbreviations list. This also contains some important links to papyrus abbreviations and other goodies. Originally posted in 2015, but added to continually up until the present
- Clearing hidden field codes in Word for Mac 2011. Posted July 1, 2018
- On printing errors. George Steiner's advice. Posted April 19, 2019
- Public service announcement. About capitalization of "its" and all forms of the copula ("to be") in bibliographies. Posted December 16, 2020
- LXX-MT equivalents in SBLHS2 that are incorrect in Jeremiah. Posted May 17, 2021
- Tools of the trade. Posted May 20, 2021
- Little things learned along the way, or, I screwed these up. Learn from me so you don't! Posted May 28, 2021
- Bibliographies, part 1. Posted June 3, 2021
- Papyrus abbreviations. Posted June 16, 2021
- Style guides. Posted June 24, 2021
- If the publisher doesn't already state it, ask if they want track changes on or off
- Look through the entire document before doing global changes
- Always, always, always keep a backup copy of the originals
- Use a cloud service as well as a local backup for everything in case your computer dies (it will at some point)
- Clarify the hierarchy of styles
- Even if you are sure you will remember why you made the changes you did, keep a style sheet recording them. You will be glad you did.
Every publisher is different. Some want track changes always on; some want it always off. Others (most, in my experience), even if they want track changes, don't want global changes marked. E.g., most don't want the elimination of double spaces tracked. I failed to ask about track changes for a publisher once, and consequently haven't worked for that publisher since. They wanted them and when I didn't do it (because most of the ones I had worked for at the time didn't), that was the first and last time I worked for them.
Caution!! If there are graphics in a document, they are frequently surrounded by extra spaces. If you do a global search and replace on double spaces, you will delete the image too! Yes, I know, it's screwy, but that is how Word works (or doesn't!). Which is why, you always, always, always look through the document first. And, it is why you always, always, always keep a backup of the originals. Two reasons: the one I just mentioned, and two, to refer to if something looks screwy—especially if there is Hebrew or some other right-to-left language. Word doesn't do well with them and sometimes you delete something without knowing it.
And while we're at it, beware of paging in Word. It can make it look like there is something missing or something duplicated at automatic page breaks. If it looks like that is true, always do a couple of page up/page downs to get Word to rewrite the screen.
Also, Word likes to automatically repage things and that frequently makes the first couple of footnotes disappear. The only way I've been able to make them reappear (short of restarting Word) is to do a global paragraph reformat (Cmd-A, Cmd-opt-M). If it shows up as a tracked change, do a Cmd-Z to reset; the footnotes will remain visible.
And, do not ever do a global change in the footnotes that involves the final paragraph marker! You will no longer see that footnote and won't be able to edit it.
OK, enough about Word.
I can't stress enough to use a cloud service (or two) for backups. I use two: One for deep storage, and one for day-to-day. I'm cheap and don't want to pay for them, so that's why I have two. But, redundancy is also a good thing. I also have Time Machine on my computer for local backups. But, someday, your computer will die at the most inopportune time. If that happens, and your backup computer (you do have a backup computer, don't you?!) isn't able to access the Time Machine backup, guess what? Yep. If you aren't live saving to a cloud service, you're up that proverbial creek.
I always tell people there are three kinds of people: Those who have lost a file they desperately need, those who will, and those who lie. I've been messing around with personal computers since 1982 or 1983, when I built my first one from a Heathkit (remember them?). I accidentally deleted an important system file on the original disk in the first month. Fortunately, my dad had the identical computer and I was able to recover it from his. But I learned right there to make backups, make backups, make backups. And even so, I've lost files. Like the time that the removable hard drive failed. No, it didn't just fail, it deleted everything on the disk! And, not content to do that, it corrupted the original, too, on the hard drive it was backing up from.
Keep a style sheet. Notate anything you do that deviates from the hierarchy of styles for whatever reason. Also, keep a record of unfamiliar place names, people, or words that you had to look up in the dictionary because there are multiple options, or you couldn't remember whether they were open or closed compounds. You will forget!
OK, that's more than I intended to write today, so until the next installment...
Here's the table of contents for all the copyediting stuff.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Knowing that tribulation produces patience (... up until verse 5A).Yep. Tribulation only produces patience until you get to verse 5A. I wonder what it produces after that?
Ever since I learned to read, I’ve loved to read. If nothing else, it is a habit. At this point asking me why I read is like asking why I breathe or eat or sleep. It is that much a part of life. There are a number of other associated delightful habits–reading reviews, browsing book sites, wandering around bookstores and book sales, visiting libraries, or even just organizing my TBR [to be read] pile.I concur! All that and more…
Monday, May 24, 2021
36 I know the sinful utterance of the wicked:
No fear of God confronts their own eyes,
2 because in their own eyes they are slick with talk
about their guilt ever being found out and despised.
3 The words of their mouths are evil and dishonest.
They have stopped being wise and stopped doing good.
4 They plot evil even while resting in bed!
They commit themselves to a path that is no good.
They don’t reject what is evil.
5 But your loyal love, Lord, extends to the skies;
your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the strongest mountains;
your justice is like the deepest sea.
Lord, you save both humans and animals.
7 Your faithful love is priceless, God!
Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the bounty of your house;
you let them drink from your river of pure joy.
9 Within you is the spring of life.
In your light, we see light.
10 Extend your faithful love to those who know you;
extend your righteousness to those whose heart is right.
11 Don’t let the feet of arrogant people walk all over me;
don’t let the hands of the wicked drive me off.
12 Look—right there is where the evildoers have fallen,
pushed down, unable to get up! Ps 36 (CEB)
Thursday, May 20, 2021
I've been doing independent/free-lance copyediting for nine years now. That doesn't make me an expert, by any means, but it does mean that I've managed to survive and even thrive in the gig economy. People sometimes ask me about how to get started. Well, let's start with the tools of the trade...
If you've never done any copyediting—or even if you have—I would recommend that you read through, and do at least some of the exercises in, The Copyeditor's Handbook, now in its fourth edition. This is loaded with invaluable advice. I see, too, that they've added a companion volume that might be worthwhile.
Other indispensible tools:
- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, eleventh edition. You need a good dictionary, if only to confirm open or closed compounds (open ones have hyphens, closed ones don't, e.g., cross-cultural vs. preexilic). It's usually abbreviated M-W 11.
- Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. When I started at Eisenbrauns in 2003, the first thing Jim did was give me a copy of this book. It's a marvelous little book that you should read. I still consult it regularly.
- The Chicago Manual of Style, now in it's seventeenth edition. This is the bible of copyediting academic stuff. Buy it. Read it. Consult it. 'Nuff said. They also have an online site, which I use extensively to search for specific questions where the index doesn't help. You need a subscription to access the full answer, but it gives you the paragraph number, so you can consult the hard copy. It's abbreviated either CMS17 or CMOS17.
- The SBL Handbook of Style, second edition (abbreviated SBLHS2). If you edit in biblical studies or ANE, this is probably the most-used reference you will have. The hierarchy of styles (more on that in a later post) for most academic publishers in biblical studies will be their house style, then SBLHS2, then CMS17. They also have a companion website that is extremely useful here. I always keep it open in a tab of my browser.
- IATG3 (Internationales Abkürzungsverzeichnis für Theologie und Grenzgebiete—you see why they abbreviate it!). No, it's not cheap, even in paperback! But, it has saved me hours of time and untold frustration. It's a listing of abbreviations for journals and book series—726 pages of tiny print's worth of abbreviations!
There are other fun books that you might find useful, like Lapsing into a Comma, or Dreyer's English, or Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, as well as other ones I can't recall right now. But these are the ones that are on my desk and that I consult constantly. The pages of my SBLHS2 long ago ceased being white and if I hadn't reinforced it with book tape, I'm sure it would be falling apart even more than it is.
So, that's the first installment. Hopefully the next one will follow relatively soon...
Here's the table of contents for all the copyediting stuff.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Let those who have ears to hear, hear! This is an apt description of the Christian in the United States who has equated the US with God's church and allowed nationalism to overtake a scriptural view of the world.
Lord, have mercy!
Monday, May 17, 2021
So, if you are using SBLHS2 appendix B in Jeremiah, be sure to check that they are correct.
Here's the table of contents for all the copyediting stuff.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Those who honor the Lord,
who adore God’s commandments, are truly happy!
2 Their descendants will be strong throughout the land.
The offspring of those who do right will be blessed;
3 wealth and riches will be in their houses.
Their righteousness stands forever.
4 They shine in the dark for others who do right.
They are merciful, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Those who lend generously are good people—
as are those who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Yes, these sorts of people will never be shaken;
the righteous will be remembered forever!
7 They won’t be frightened at bad news.
Their hearts are steady, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are firm; they aren’t afraid.
In the end, they will witness their enemies’ defeat.
9 They give freely to those in need.
Their righteousness stands forever.
Their strength increases gloriously.
10 The wicked see all this and fume;
they grind their teeth, but disappear to nothing.
What the wicked want to see happen comes to nothing!
Ps. 112 (CEB; emphasis added)
Interesting how the psalmist describes those who honor the Lord, isn't it? Practical things that are labeled as "socialist" are the very traits that the psalmist says mark the righteous.
Leads one to wonder how much of what we call "Christian" in our culture owes more to the culture than it does to the Scriptures...just an
Thursday, May 13, 2021
The turn away from the humanities is a sign of competitive schooling’s most far-reaching effect: It perverts our culture’s understanding of what education is, and makes us forget that schooling has value beyond status seeking.and
When schooling is the path to income and status, students study the subjects that yield the highest wages and the greatest prestige, inducing too many people to study finance and law and too few to study education, caregiving, or even engineering. But private wages are not the same thing as the public interest. Child-care workers, for example, give much more to society than they take from it, generating almost 10 times as great a social product as they capture in private wages. Bankers and lawyers, by contrast, capture private wages that exceed their social product—they take more than they give. The distortions reach beyond specific jobs. Art, culture, and community all make the world a much better place, but they are notoriously difficult to monetize in the market. Competitive schooling therefore drives students away from these fields. No surprise, then, that the rise of competitive education has been accompanied by a steep decline in student interest in the humanities.and
Education’s core purpose is (or once was) to help people engage with the world and grow into themselves—to discover the overlap between their interests and their talents and develop it. Different people and schools each embrace distinctive visions of empathy, understanding, wisdom, and usefulness: The scholar aspires to know the forces that drive history forward, the inventor seeks to bend technology to practical ends, and the activist strives to reform institutions and inspire citizens to embrace justice. Schools with different educational missions ought to favor different students, and students with different aspirations ought to favor different schools.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
they were prisoners suffering in chains
11 because they had disobeyed God’s instructions
and rejected the Most High’s plans.
12 So God humbled them with hard work.
They stumbled, and there was no one to help them.
13 So they cried out to the Lord in their distress,
and God saved them from their desperate circumstances.
14 God brought them out from the darkness and deep gloom;
he shattered their chains.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love
and his wondrous works for all people,
16 because God has shattered bronze doors
and split iron bars in two!
It happens slowly, gradually, step-by-step until suddenly, you realize you have been listening to lies and you are surrounded by darkness. Not that you necessarily "disobeyed God's instructions" or "rejected the Most High's plans" as much as you looked at the dark side of things. You didn't praise God for the beauty, but instead majored on the minor little flaws. And then, suddenly, the whole world seems dark and gloomy.
Then, if you have sense, you cry out to the Lord, and he delivers you. Unfortunately, I don't always have sense, and so I wander around in the gloom for a bit before I realize I'm there, making those around me miserable by my gloom. But, eventually I realize what's happening and then cry out to the Lord, who then brings me out of the darkness and deep gloom, or in the words of another psalm (30:11–12):
11 You changed my mourning into dancing.</idle musing>
You took off my funeral clothes
and dressed me up in joy
12 so that my whole being
might sing praises to you and never stop.
Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
Everything in that paragraph could be said of today's politicians, couldn't it? And of many media personalities. Or, as a book I read as an undergraduate for a philosophy class put it: Ideas Have Consequences. C.S. Lewis also touches on it in That Hideous Strength (he has a way of saying stuff in fiction that many can't express in essays).
One of my professors in seminary used to say that the ramifications of your ideas will be seen in your students. And he was correct, which can be a scary thought.
Monday, May 03, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
I'm finally getting around to reading this, 20+ years after it was first published. The book is fascinating and explains much that we see going on in society, with the "single-victim mentality" and scapegoating. But I find his exegesis a bit loose and I don't think his attempt to make the founding victim myth the myth is convincing. But then, anytime someone comes up with what they think is the monolithic Ur-myth usually fails. Humanity is too complex for that.
That being said, I definitely recommend the book. It might be a hard slog for people who are unfamiliar with anthropology and mythological studies, but I think the time spent would definitely repay itself in insight into human society.
I got the book via Interlibrary Loan, and won't be posting much from it as I need to get it read and returned...