Monthly Archives: February 2014

13 posts

Where shall we make our house, in Sheol?

I heard an excellent paper yesterday on Job. Unfortunately I missed the beginning due to meetings and so I did not have the full context, but there were a number of perceptive observations along the way. One that I took note of was a distinction he was making between “Death and death.” He talked briefly about how Job (and elsewhere in the Bible) Sheol is often invoked as a kind of residence of the living. […]

“It is what it is” is what it is

This phrase has been annoying many of us for quite some time now. Urban Dictionary has a concise, if rude, definition. Used often in the business world, this incredibly versatile phrase can be literally translated as “f*** it.” UD didn’t censure itself, of course. All too often it is used as an excuse, a statement to justify not taking any action or even caring about something. “Well, it is what it is.” Means, in less […]

On the movie “Noah” and the film critic you should follow

I first “met” Peter Chattaway on an old school listserv for Daniel Amos, one of my favorite bands. He is a very accomplished film critic from the Great White North and is well worth following to read his take on movies, theology, and culture. (Be sure to check out his tear down of Star Trek: Not the Wrath of Khan, but really, It Is.) He has a number of articles about Noah, apparently a new movie […]

Everything you need to know about curling

Aside from the fact that it is as addictive as a bag of kettle chips. On Monday I recorded a podcast with one of my students who is a Jr. National curler, Phil Mack. Give it a listen! After a quip on twitter from me, enquiring of @CoachBrandwene whether or not we could curl at Pegula Ice Arena, I received the following tweet: @shcdean @CoachBrandwene One of your #SHCPSU freshman at the 2014 Jr. National Championships. […]

MA Thesis – “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation”

It is interesting to me that the most viewed publication of mine on is my master’s thesis, “Joseph, Dreams, And Interpretation: A Study of the Stylistic and Rhetorical Features of the Dreams in the Joseph Narrative.” This was submitted for approval 20 years ago this May. (I submitted my dissertation on “The Midrash of the Ten Songs” for my Graduate Diploma [now MSt] to the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the […]

Missing our Funny Valentine

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with our friends the Cobes on Friday evening. Yesterday Elizabeth wrote a wonderful reflection on our love and loss. It begins, “Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks…And, suddenly, at the moment when, so far, I mourned H. least, I remembered her best. Indeed it was […]

The Power to Shape and Influence Language

I have assigned The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership for the students in our Presidential Leadership Academy. It is an easy read with a lot of good observations from Steve Sample, former President of the University of Buffalo and the University of Southern California. In one chapter, “You Are What You Read,” he argues for the importance of reading such classics as Machiavelli’s The Prince, Plato’s Republic, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello. He is also argues that the Bible, especially the narratives about Moses, […]