Smonday Scitings 11/01/04

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Sunday and Monday combine to make “Smonday” with a “SCiting” being random collection of stuff I saw and wanted to cite. (Articles are linked to the NYT, to register for free go to nyt.com).

To help us think about the appropriate adaptation of the faith to various cultures, we have an interesting snapshot of American missionary influence without adaptation to Korea, being transported without adaptation to Amman Jordan. I’m referring to the choir robes worn by Korean Christians as they establish the church in Jordan. (Photo above). Does this strike you as odd?

There was a fascinating piece about Faith at Work in the Sunday NYT Magazine in which evangelicals get rapped for the same thing confusing post-Christian American journalists about President Bush. “What in the heck do these evangelicals think they’re doing centering their lives around God and their faith?

Authenticity in rock music, or the practice of “rockism,” gets an interesting look in a piece inspired by the outpouring of derision after Ashlee Simpson’s scandalous lip-synch incident.

And artistic integrity is at stake in the most recent controversy of a national book award finalist, Christine Schutt, nominated for her book, Florida, that sold only 1,099 copies. Thom McGuane thinks the awarders suffered a meltdown for selecting such an obscure author, but have I not been warning that good does not always (or these days even usually) equate to marketability? (This is not an endorsement of the book which I have not read, but is a plea for recognition of the gap between marketability and excellence in literature). I do like her description of a good piece of fiction “you should honor some work that is trying to be a clean, hard object.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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