Distractions: May 2014

Music

Vinyl’s great, but it’s not better than CDs

He Sliced Up A Tree Trunk And Put It On A Record Player.

Fender just released this “reclaimed” Telecaster, which I desire and think is beautiful.

A treasure trove of (downloadable) non-released recordings of Sufjan Stevens.

I have (unashamedly) been listening to the new albums from Beck and Coldplay. I’m quite enjoying both. Take that Pitchfork.

Here is a new track from Son Lux entitled “My Father’s Children.”

Culture

Books

What Marilynne Robinson Could Learn From Herself

Wesley Hill’s response to Sarah Pullman Bailey’s recent interview with Marilynne Robinson

A recording of T.S. Eliot reading “The Waste land” Download the e-book for free here.

Theology

Marriage Equality and the Bible: Why All Forms of Marriage in the Old Testament are Not Equal

Albert Mohler Jr. (President of the the Southern Baptist Convention) interviews Stanley Hauerwas. Some classic gems from Hauerwas in here!

Theologian Ben Myers On children’s participation in the liturgy: some Easter observations

Another post by Ben Myers…a tongue-in-cheek take on arriving late for church and your denominational identity.

A Field Guide to the Orthodox Church

Three Ways to Sing the Psalms

The troubling trends in America’s ‘Calvinist revival’

Quotes

“If the Church survives in the West as a tiny and despised community, let her attend to the authenticity of her own life: Let her cultivate Eucharist and its associated practices of mutual care, with the world viewing this strange body.”
-Robert Jenson (in First Things May 2014)

“Internet addiction is a form of gluttony, not for food but for data.”
-Vigen Guroian

“I want to be in a church of the faint hearted…who feel the wretchedness of their sins and who believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
-Martin Luther

“God is not in any genus, including that most generic genus of all, namely being. He is not one thing or individual — however supreme — among many. Rather, God is, in Aquinas’s pithy Latin phrase, esse ipsum subsistens, the sheer act of being itself.”
-Fr. Robert Barron

“God has a finely tuned sense of narrative, and sees the wonderful symmetry in having the entire salvation history of the race acted out, like a fractal equation, writ small, writ large, writ in blood and in tears, in the individual lives of each of His human creatures.”
-Melinda Selmys

“Creatures do not so much have a relationship to God; they are relationship to God. Nothing in a creature exists independently of, or prior to, God’s creative act, and hence no creature stands, as it were, over and against God, simply in a relationship to God. Instead every aspect of a creature’s being is already constituted by God’s creative will. This is why Meister Eckhart, the great medieval mystic, could say that the best metaphor for the spiritual life is not so much the climbing of a holy mountain in order to get to a distant God, but rather the “sinking into” God.”
— Fr. Robert Barron

“Late modern society is principally concerned with purchasing things, in ever greater abundance and variety, and so has to strive to fabricate an ever greater number of desires to gratify, and to abolish as many limits and prohibitions upon desire as it can. Such a society is already implicitly atheist and so must slowly but relentlessly apply itself to the dissolution of transcendent values. It cannot allow ultimate goods to distract us from proximate goods. Our sacred writ is advertising, our piety is shopping, our highest devotion is private choice. God and the soul too often hinder the purely acquisitive longings upon which the market depends, and confront us with values that stand in stark rivalry to the only truly substantial value at the center of the social universe: the price tag.”
– David Bentley Hart