Why “It is better to go to the house of mourning.”

This quote comes from Ecclesiastes which I have been working with (as I strive to finish my book by the August 1 deadline!). For the first time I noticed the rest of the verse. It is better to go to the house of mourningthan to go to the house of feasting;for this is the end of everyone,and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes: 7:2  “For this is the end of everyone and the […]

Children of the Resurrection

Proper 27 (32) (November 10, 2019) – Audio For he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to God all are alive. Amen.  It is perhaps not so common now, but for centuries in the Christian world a common criticism leveled at someone was that they are being “Pharisaical.” Even today, in some circles, you will hear people criticize other kinds of Christians as being “like the Pharisees.” This derives, of […]

All Saints’ Day 2019 – Beautiful & Terrible Things

It is perhaps fitting that first thing Friday morning, the First of November, All Saints’ Day, Editor Jessica sent me the final draft of Beautiful & Terrible Things. The book is written, edited, and now awaits copy editing, formatting, and marketing. Coming in at 164 pages and 51,800 words, I hope it is not overly long or too anemic. Today I had the privilege to hear Dr. Peter Kreeft speak on the question of suffering […]

Writing a book on theology.

Sparky passing along wisdom via Snoopy, as always. Charlie Brown: I hear you’re writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title. Snoopy: I have the perfect title… “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” By the way, I checked with my friend artist and cartoonist Michael Jantze and he verified that this is a legit Peanuts comic and not a “meme” hack.  

Do I believe?

An excerpt from my forthcoming book, Beautiful and Terrible Things. In the months following Mack’s death I would not say that I had a crisis of faith, but I certainly felt a general malaise. I was writing about Mack’s death and my faith in his/our resurrection, and at the same time there was no doubt that I felt a pall over me. Then we decided to go to my parents’ church for Easter. The reading […]

Inhabiting our Exile

As usual, it is probably better heard than read. The audio is here. Proper 23 (28) (October 9, 2016) First reading and Psalm Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12Second reading 2 Timothy 2:8-15Gospel Luke 17:11-19 “The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” It is tempting to preach from the Epistle for today, but as a textual scholar, Paul’s injunction “warn them before God that they are to […]

2020 IOTS Conference Call for Papers

It is a pleasure for the executive committee of the International Organization for Targumic Studies (IOTS) to invite you to the IOTS conference on 6-8 July 2020 at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. The conference will know at least three topics,  Targums of the Tora Targum and Peshitta  Targum and Qumran but papers on other related topics are also welcome. Abstracts of no more than 300 words can be sent to Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman (e.van.staalduine-sulman@vu.nl) before 1 January 2020.  

What are your priorities? Who are you going to serve?

Proper 20 (25) (September 22, 2019)Good Shepherd, LexingtonFirst reading and Psalm Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 Psalm 79:1-9Second reading 1 Timothy 2:1-7Gospel Luke 16:1-13 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake. (Ps. 79:9) Amen. ✠ On the way into work this week I was tired of the news so I put on a 1970s playlist with some of my favorites that I […]

God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3

“Where is your faith?” God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3 – September 15, 2019, St. Raphael’s Lexington This congregation was working through the “Season of Creation” lectionary. The readings were Job 28:20-27, Ps. 29, 1 Corinthians 1:21-31, and Luke 8:22-25. Some of the commentaries online (here and here) have a woeful misreading of Job, “God discovered wisdom imbedded in nature.” (Perhaps written by the same person?) I may post something another time […]

TgRuth 1:1 Solger MS

Derek R. G. Beattie, d. 31 August 2019. A scholar who will be greatly missed.

This past week I received word from Paul Flesher that Derek Beattie died on Saturday, 31 August at his home in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire. He was 73 years old. His son has said that plans for the funeral are still in process, but it is likely to be on 13th September. One of my great regrets now will always be that I was unable to meet Derek in person. We corresponded quite a bit while […]