I have just started reading Andy Crouch’s new book Culture Making, and, for some unknown reason, I decided to start at the back, in the acknowledgments. Among the people thanked:

Keith Blount, an unapologetic English atheist, [who] created the marvelous cultural artifact call Scrivener, a program which justifies the existence of the Macintosh computer all by itself and which made completing this project an unexpected joy.

Amen, brother. Amen.


The Rosetta Disk

Nate at Culture Making describes

The Rosetta Disk:

‘Concieved as a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the Rosetta Disk [a project of the Long Now Foundation] aims to preserve linguistic knowledge for the long-term future, well after DVD and even paper may decay. This side contains the teaser: ‘Languages of the World: This is an archive of over 1,500 human languages assembled in the year 02008 C.E. Magnify 1,000 times to find over 13,000 pages of language documentation.’ The chosen text for the microengraved parallel translations: the book of Genesis.’

Specifically, the text inscribed in 1,500 languages is Genesis 1 – 3, chosen because it has already been translated into so many language. Neither Culture Making nor The Long Now Foundation notes that so many translations of Genesis exist because of the efforts of Christian missionaries who are convinced that people groups deserve a copy of the Scriptures in their own language.

HT: Culture Making

Vocational Holiness

In addition to Jayber Crow, our Faculty Ministry Leadership Team is also reading Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson. I’m pretty excited about both this book, which uses the story of Jonah as a framework and its central idea of vocational holiness. If I had space and time, I would quote the entire introduction. Instead, here’s just a snippet.

Peterson begins by describing a crisis he faced when he was 30 years old (a symbolic age, by the way – it was the age when Hebrew priests traditionally began their service, and the age when Ezekiel and Jesus began their public ministries) and just a young pastor. He felt a chasm open between his life as a Christian and his life as a pastor, and Peterson, after a page or two, concludes that this chasm was not unique to him. One reason is the uncapitalized vocations of the pastorate.

Spiritual leadership vocations [pastors, missionaries, teachers, deacons, etc.] in America are badly undercapitalized. Far more activity is generated by them than there are resources to support them. The volume of business in religion far outruns the spiritual capital of its leaders. The initial consequence is that leaders substitute image for substance, satisfying the customer temporarily but only temporarily, on good days denying that there is any problem (easy to do, since business is so very good), on bad days hoping that someone will show up with an infusion of capital. No one is going to show up. The final consequence is bankruptcy. The bankruptcies are dismayingly frequent.

[amtap book:isbn=9780820808486]