Some random notes:
First, in trying to assist Nyffy with his desire to one day become the Brewmaster of Heaven, a contingent of my friends spent some time this last weekend brewing a batch of Futurebeer:
The current state of Futurebeer
Futurebeer is beer, after a while. It is not yet, however. It’s that same mysterious “already but not yet” we find with the kingdom of God. Anyway, it was fun to go through a process involving (mostly) natural ingredients that will culminate in pure enjoyment after a period of care and waiting. Being a creative person who works mostly with digital or musical media, I was very glad to work with actual substances to create a product. It’s sort of like the joy I have found in cooking nice meals, only greater due to the extended period of time involved in the process.
Second, I received in the mail from Amazon the first three books in NT Wright’s massive “Question of God” undertaking, beginning with The New Testament and the People of God. After hearing much about these works and reading some other stuff of Wright’s, I’m very excited to go on an extended journey of engagement with history, theology, and literary criticism on issues surrounding the origins of Christianity. Thankfully, I’ve finished Alister McGrath’s likewise-authoritative critical-realism-inspired trilogy on scientific theology, so I now have room for another expedition. You will no doubt be hearing various thoughts on the books here, which is why I thought I’d give forewarning. As a bit of a taste, here’s a paragraph from the introduction:
The New Testament has not been around as long as the land of Israel, but in other ways there are remarkable parallels. It is a small book, smaller than anybody else’s holy book, small enough to be read through in a day or two. But it has had an importance belied by its slim appearance. It has again and again been a battleground for warring armies. Sometimes they have come to plunder its streasures for their own use, or to annex bits of its territory as part of a larger empire in need of a few extra strategic mountains, especially holy ones. Somestimes they have come to fight their private battles on neutral territory, finding in the debates about a book or a passage a convenient place to stage a war which is really between two worldviews or philosophies, themselves comparatively unrelated to the New Testament and its concerns. There are many places whose fragile beauty has been trampled by heavy-footed exegetes in search of a Greek root, a quick sermon, or a political slogan. And yet it has remained a powerful and evocative book, full of delicacy and majesty, tears and laughter.
What ought one to do with the New Testament? We may take it for granted that it will be no good trying to prevent its still being used as a battleground. No border fences would be strong enough to keep out the philosophers, the philologists, the politicians and the casual tourists; nor should we erect them if they were. There are many who have come to pilfer and have stayed to be pilgrims. To place all or part of this book within a sacred enclosure would be to invite a dominical rebuke: my house is to be a house of prayer for all the nations. Past attempts to keep it for one group only–the take-over bids by the scholars and the pietists, the fundamentalists and the armchair social workers–have ended with unseemly battles, the equivalent of the sad struggle for the control of Holy Places in the land of israel. This book is a book of wisdom for all peoples, but we have made it a den of scholarship, or of a narrow, hard and exclusive piety.
Third, I am going to Switzerland next week. I would like to get a good digital SLR camera before then. Anyone have one they want to sell? Or any recommendations?
Fourth, I wanted to upload something to YouTube, but only have 3 or 4 home videos on my computer. Only one happened to be appropriately flattering of myself, and since the purpose of the Internet is for people to upload flattering things, I chose to throw it in to the churning mill. It’s from last year in Costa Rica when Justin turned on the camera and told me to go catch a frisbee in the ocean. You can see the video here. After uploading I found many videos of real ultimate frisbee layouts, which were much more impressive. So watch those too.
Until next time, this has been your beer, academic theology, travel, and sports update. Cheers.