One hundred twenty-six years ago, the most influential theologian of the twentieth century was born. Yes, as one of my colleagues put it, May 10 is “Happy Barth-day.” In the spirit of celebrating, I wanted to share the following excerpt from Barth's preface to the English edition of der Romerbrief:
No one can, of course, bring out the meaning of a text (_auslegen_) without at the same time adding something to it (_einlegen_). Moreover, no interpreter is rid of the danger of in fact adding more than he extracts. I neither was nor am free from this danger. And yet I should be altogether misunderstood if my readers refuse to credit me with the honesty of, at any rate intending to ex-plain the text.
Frequently Barth has been denied that credit, unfortunately, and that has meant a lot of the good correctives Barth offers concerning the modern Church have been missed by many parts of that Church. Paying attention to Barth's own care for the meaning of Scripture would help assure many of Barth's “opponents” that there might be more to the Swiss theologian than they wish to admit.
If there is virtually no one on a major highway connecting St. Louis and St. Charles counties, even later in the evening, that probably means most folks have heard the bridge a few miles down the road is closed due to an accident and they are using alternate routes. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything…
This is the handiest way to calculate one's grades in a course and figure out what final grade one can still achieve in the same. I show it to my students when they ask if a certain letter grade is within reach for them.
I always find watching weather patterns interesting. Today, several lines of storms looked like they were on a collision course with St. Louis, but one way or another missed us. Now the forecast has the storms trying another pass through the area early in the coming morning. I keep thinking I hear thunder off in the distance, so perhaps they shall still arrive.
I do hope if we get storms that they don't put an end to all the flowering trees' displays for the year. The trees look just grand right now.
I had to share this here for my friends who are not on Facebook. This is the beautiful cake that was served last night at the reception after my ordination.
UPDATE: I should have explained it a bit since the picture I posted here is too small to see the details. The book on top is the Book of Church Order for the Presbyterian Church in America, turned to chapter 21, the chapter concerning “the ordination and installation of ministers.” The bow ties adorning the sides are there since I am known to frequently wear bow ties at church. Joyce, my friend from Grace who made the cake, really outdid herself!
Perhaps it shouldn't be notable when it snows in the winter, but this year, it has been. Today brought the second snowfall in less than a week. And, like last time, I was on the Lindenwood campus while it lightly snowed. The scene while walking across campus today amidst big fluffy flakes was beautiful.
It is actually snowing tonight. While snow is not exactly an odd occurrence in the winter, it is odd for this winter here in St. Louis. Finally. As I write this, I can see big fluffy flakes coming down all across the backyard.
This week has moved at a breakneck pace. Presbytery on Tuesday was definitely the highpoint, of course. Nonetheless, the rest of the week was also enjoyable enough. I've spent it wading through some really fascinating materials on Martin Bucer, Philipp Melanchthon and medieval religious movements in England for my coursework.
Intensely studying medieval and reformation theology at the same time really helps to remind oneself of just how interrelated the two are. Clearly something significant changed when Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door. But, I think Protestants and Catholics alike — for different reasons — do history a disservice when we portray the Reformation era as essentially entirely different from the medieval era.
The Reformation was just that: reform.
The forecast actually has snow on the docket for this morning. After a winter thus far almost completely lacking in the white stuff, I find myself rooting for the impending precipitation. Sure, there is something to be said for not having to be out shoveling in the cold, but winter without snow just doesn't seem right.
Today, it actually snowed for the first time this year (at least with any accumulation). We did not receive that much snow, and it melted quickly, but I was happy to see at least a bit of the white stuff out there. The last few years, St. Louis has had a white Christmas and I was becoming quite spoiled by the timing of the snow.
At least a few times a year, it is nice if there is enough snow to really be snowed in…