Thursday, July 28, 2022


This post talks about overexertion and the dangers of conflating our cultural workaholism w/athletic improvement as opposed to athletics just for the joy of doing it. Here's key paragraph, but do read the whole thing:
Of course, athletes and their coaches have known about this sort of thinking for a long time [the necessity of recovery time]. Maybe, if I had been less of an indoor cat, I would’ve learned it as a teen. Or maybe it would have been warped by the lens of competitive organized sports, and I would’ve burned out entirely and developed even worse disordered eating habits, and never have been able to do something exercise-related without feeling like I had to win, and an old and devastating injury would haunt every movement. I truly don’t know. I do know that I wasn’t ready for sports, mentally or physically, at that age. And that right now, this year, this week, I am arriving at this feeling of a very certain sort of athleticism — of being an athlete! — entirely on my own terms.
I recall one time, about 17 years ago now, being on a long 60+ mile bike ride, fighting the clock for a better average speed. I felt God nudging me and asking me if I was enjoying the ride. I wasn’t. I wasn’t noticing the world around me, which was beautiful. That’s the day I stopped recording mileage and average speed. And I started enjoying bike riding again.

That’s also why I got the Fitbit this year, to keep me from working too hard. As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m pretty intense : ) And Debbie was concerned (rightfully) that I was pushing myself too hard again. So now, I watch the heart rate, but for a different reason. And surprise, my resting heart rate has dropped because I’m not overexerting myself. There’s a parable there, I’m sure…

About plagiarism, and more…

Via Publishers Weekly, some very good thoughts that start w/plagiarism, but go into the whole process of writing and publishing. Mainly relevant to fiction writing, but transferable to writing/publishing in general.

Friday, July 22, 2022

But how to fix it?

The new Anxious Bench editor/contributor Malcolm Foley has a very good post up today:

Here's an excerpt, but please, as always, read the whole thing—as a seminary professor of mine used to say, "You owe it to yourself":

The primary historical point that must drive coalitional work for racial justice is this: racism’s foundation is neither hate nor ignorance. Its foundation is the desire to dominate and exploit. Even when we do see racial antipathy manifested in hate, it is often a symptom of deeper political and economic anxieties. Because this is the case, communities ought to consider racism not in terms of thought nor in terms of discrete, hateful actions, but in terms of political economy. For the Christian, that means that recourse to the Apostle’s language about Christ breaking down walls of separation by His incarnation and resurrection is good but incomplete; it must also be coupled with the Old Testament calls to Jubilee and debt forgiveness. It is not enough for me to say that I love my neighbor; I must actually invest in their material well-being.
<idle musing>
I just finished editing an article for this fall’s Vergilius (a Classics journal about all things Vergil—what a surprise!) that takes a look at the reception of the Aeneid in the South via a novella entitled Eneus Africanus (link to Project Gutenberg). I’d never heard of the book before, but it was eye-opening.

Once the article gets published I’m going to be recommending it with evangelistic zeal (I'll post a link to it here). The bibliography alone is invaluable. even though I lived in Kentucky for six years and saw a lot of systemic racism—I worked for a moving company in the summer and on breaks among genuine rednecks (or as they were called in Kentucky, “white socks” because they always wear white socks, even with dress shoes)—this opened my eyes to places I hadn’t noticed it before.

Back to the Anxious Bench post, that was just the first in an installment. I highly recommend that you subscribe to it via your RSS feed or however you keep track of blogs. It should be highly informative, hopefully convicting!

Remember, the North was complicit to much of this—remember "sundown laws"? Basically, get out of town by sundown. And where I grew up, in the Indianhead of Wisconsin, the KKK was extremely strong in the 1920s through 1940s… There are more than a few skeletons in people's closets!
</idle musing>

Monday, July 18, 2022

A warning

Editing an article for a Classics journal (to appear later this year), and ran across this statement, which I think could also be expanded to include intertextual references (and allegorical allusions, as well!):
and the acrostic catcher always runs the risk of reeling in one too many.
Yep. Or two too many…

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Divine Christology

Richard Bauckham, arguing against a late Christology that
supposes that a Christology which attributed true divinity to Jesus could not have originated within a context of Jewish monotheism. On this view, divine Christology is the result of a transition from Jewish to Hellenistic religious and, subsequently, Hellenistic philosophical, categories. Nicaea represents the triumph of Greek philosophy in Christian doctrine. This way of reading the history seems to me to be virtually the opposite of the truth. In other words, it was actually not Jewish but Greek philosophical categories which made it difficult to attribute true and full divinity to Jesus. A Jewish understanding of divine identity was open to the inclusion of Jesus in the divine identity. But Greek and Platonic understanding of the relationship of God to the world made it extremely difficult to see Jesus as more than a semi-divine being, neither truly God nor truly human. In the context of the Arian controversies, Nicene theology was essentially an attempt to resist the implications of Greek philosophical understandings of divinity and to re-appropriate, in a new conceptual context, the New Testament’s inclusion of Jesus in the unique divine identity. (Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008], 58)
Cited in a book I'm currently editing (not yet posted on the web).

Hymn for today

1 *All creatures worship God most high,
lift up your voice in earth and sky,
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heav’n along,
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou rising morn in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for thy God to hear,
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
that givest all both warmth and light,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 Dear mother earth, who day by day,
unfoldest blessings on our way,
alleluia, alleluia!
The flow’rs and fruits that in thee grow,
let them God’s glory also show,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

5 And ev’ryone, with tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
alleluia, alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
sing praise and cast on God your care,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

6 And thou, most kind and gentle death,
waiting to hush our final breath,
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
as Christ before that way hath trod,
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

7 Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship God in humbleness,
alleluia, alleluia!
To God all thanks and praise belong!
Join in the everlasting song:
O sing ye, O sing ye, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

*Or, “All creatures of our God and King, / lift up your voice and with us sing” (this is the version I grew up with, from the Methodist Hymnal of 1964 [published in 1966])

Lyrics from, a wonderful resource for hymn lyrics and background information on the composers, authors, and translators of hymns.

Friday, July 08, 2022

The Internet Archive vs. the American Association of Publishers

This is a case to watch. The AAP says that the IA controlled digital lending (CDL) program is a violation of copyright. IA disagrees. This one will go all the way to SCOTUS—unless one side blinks or runs out of money. Given the stakes, I doubt either will blink and the librarians are definitely able to find funding.

You can read the summary on the Publishers Weekly website.

Personally, even though I work in publishing, I’m w/the IA on CDL. And I’ll lay you money that those who work in publishing for the companies filing suit use CDL. I use it all the time to check references when I can’t find what I need in Google books or on the open internet (or don’t own it). And as much as I hate’s commercial exploitation, it’s a wealth of information that I use all the time, as well.

Ideally, publishers would publish books at a reasonable cost so real people could afford them; they would publish e-books for libraries at a reasonable cost; and publishers would establish a 12–18 month window on posting offprints on the open web (Lockwood has an 18-month window).

No. I take that back. Ideally, information would be free and society would recognize the value of knowledge and begin to transform that knowledge into wisdom! OK, that’s probably too idealistic. But if we spent as much on non-defense-related stuff … I won’t go there.

just the idle musings of an underling in the publishing world.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Thought for the day—on education

Great post on what's going on in the perennial "education wars" on the Curmudgucation blog. The penultimate paragraph is a good riff on a (misattributed) quotation from Alexis de Tocqueville:
A nation is great because its people—its persons—have the chance to become great. Not just the ones who believe The Right Thing, not just the ones who come from The Right Background. Education is not a commodity sold to parents, but a public good and a societal responsibility shared by us all because we all have to share in the results. That's the promise of public education that I believe in and that I will continue to argue for—that it is a debt we owe to every young human in this country to provide each and every one with a free quality education that empowers them and builds a better nation for all of us (not just the fortunate few).

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Getting rid of resentment

I just ran across this again as I was looking through some things. It seems appropriate for the times. It's by E. Stanley Jones; I think it's from one of his devotionals. I forgot to write down the reference, though.


We now come to the steps we are to take to get rid of resentment. Breathe a prayer. You are not just reading a page; you are ridding yourself of a plague.

1. Remember that resentments have no part nor lot with a Christian. You cannot hold both Christ and resentments. One or the other must go. Do you want to go through life without Christ, chewing on resentments, a bitter, crabby, poisonous person? That’s what you are headed for if you allow resentments to fester within you.

It may be that your resentments are justified: someone has mistreated you; you have been disappointed in a life plan or ambition; you have met with a bitter calamity; there are those who rub you into soreness; you have to live in an uncongenial environment—al1 of these things may be very real and apparently justify your resentments. But whether justified or unjustified, resentments are disastrous to the inner life——they are poison. The probabilities are that the resentments are not justified, that they are rooted in a touchy self-centered self, a self that is full of self—pity. Those who harbor self-pity haven't the key, for life will back good will and only good will. Decide that resentments are going to have no part nor lot within you.

2. Remember that no one has ever treated you worse than you have treated God, and yet He forgives and forgets. God isn’t asking you to do something He himself is not doing. Here is one of the most wonderful passages in literature, “Treat one another with the same spirit as you experience in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5, Moffatt). He forgives you, graciously and without reservation. You must do the same. If not? Then Jesus tells what happened to the man in the parable who was forgiven a debt of “three million pounds” and then went out and refused to forgive a fellow servant who owed him “twenty pounds”—he was handed “over to the torturers, till he should pay him all the debt. My heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you each forgive your brother from the heart.” (Matt. 18:21–35, Moffatt). The “torturers”? They are within you—resentments mean inner conflict, division, unhappiness, torture.

O Christ, I know how Thou hast treated me: forgiveness, gracious and undeserved. Help me to treat others with the same spirit. Only as Thy spirit takes the place of my old spirit can I do it. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Today I shall treat everybody as Christ treats me.