The Library of Babel

Below is an excerpt from the book The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson. Two things commend this book in my mind. None of the 5 or so people I have recommended it to have been disappointed. Also he is able to get far more out of author Jorge Luis Borges than I can. After reading Ferguson’s remarks, I brought the Collected Fictions of Borges. Here’s what I wrote after reading them: “Read the translators notes and don’t read the book.” Here’s Ferguson’s remarks about Borges’ work.

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Pleasantly Surprised – Visit To Redeemer, Austin, Texas

               Over twenty years ago a confessional pastor after visiting the above’s 8 AM traditional service said, “There was nothing about the service that you would recognize as Lutheran.” So when I “attended” the 8 AM traditional service for 28 February 2021, I was expecting anything from loincloths to tongue-speaking. I got vestments, liturgy, and clear gospel.

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Self Surgery

“Physician heal thy self,” is the old canard against pastors. Well, originally quoted against the Pastor of pastors. No, not churchmen, bishops, or district presidents, but Jesus. Why doesn’t it go the other way? You would think among those who know AC XIV it could/would/should.

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Living in Fear of Dr. Seuss

            The other day my gastroenterologist called me up and asked me how my stomach was doing. About two weeks ago my GP called to check on me. The week before that I heard from my chiropractor and dentist. Can you believe that? Of course you can’t, because only salesmen make sales calls. Professionals don’t “reach out to you”; you do to them when you need them. Makes sense. Best use of their time, right? This is true for all the above but not pastors. For them the paradigm is upside-down.

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Yes, There is a Difference

Lutherans aren’t the only ones who distinguish between themselves with letter acronyms. The Reformed do too, particularly the Presbyterians. They have PCUSA, PCA, and OPC. This corresponds to Lutherans ELCA, LCMS, and ELS. I’d never been to an OPC that’s Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I have now in a fashion.

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Dataism, Reductionism, and Edellism

The first two are real. The third is a term coined by me, but it means the same as the first two. My research assistant, Dr. Richard Strickert, Ph.D., showed me this. I brought up Dataism in Bible Class; he thought of the reductionism of a book he read some 50 years ago; and I thought of Edellism when he emailed me about it. Let’s get a view things clear: No one in the Bible Class knew what Dataism was, they thought I was saying Dadaism, the 20th century avant-garde art movement which is a really funny place for nerdy, techy, math and science people to go. The second thing to make clear is, I won. This is the first time the Boomer beat the Millennials. Third, Dr. Strickert is NOT my research assistant. He has forgotten more math, science, and research that I have ever known or will know. The fact that he remembered reading something 50 years ago when I have trouble with 5 days ago shows who is assisting whom.

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Halfway to Concord

Concord is a Lutheran word. We have the Book of Concord of 1580 and the Formula of Concord of 1577, and yet we never seem more than halfway there. Despite having a formula  for it and book of it. Something is askew here.

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The Re-Forming of Lutheranism

               Every time I think I’m taking a swipe at Reformed theology, I find I’m hitting the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Since I come from the land of LCMS-dom, I may be hitting other conservative synods and not knowing it. This started with my Reformation 2020 sermon.

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Okay Boomer

I always wanted to write something like “The Sunscreen Song” (1999) or better still Gordon Sinclair’s 1973 “The Americans.” However, I would be greeted with the platitudinous insult, “Okay Boomer.” Okay, then, I’ll let someone else do it.

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Boomers vs. Digital Natives

               You know the brackets for the various named generations fluctuate depending on who’s doing the categorizing. I think we can go with the Bellamy Brother’s definition of “Kids of the Baby Boom.” If you didn’t watch John Kennedy die one afternoon, you’re not a Boomer. And according to the Internet – and my sourcing of this is telling (see below) – if you grew up with the Internet, you are a “Digital Native.” My kids are not this. They we’re all born pre-1995. They just might be able to rescue both DN’s and Boomers.

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