Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday Recommendations

I've finished Conversation as Ministry and have moved on to a Walter Brueggemann book called The Message of the Psalms. See? Almost two months after the fact, I found an Old Testament study book. He divides the Psalms into three categories: psalms of orientation (positive, serene, order, focused on God's goodness), disorientation, (negative, chaos, lament, asking why God is doing or not doing something) and reorientation (God bringing the writer to a new place). I finished his discussion of the psalms of orientation last night and found his points quite compelling. The psalms on which he focused deal with God creating order in creation (8, 33, 104) or creating order through the Torah (1, 119) or when Israel follows or fears God (111, 112). I share a paragraph on which I've been chewing since last night. It comes during a discussion of Psalm 131:

'The piety reflected in this psalm is directly opposed to modernity with its drive toward independence, self-sufficiency, and autonomy. It is worth noting that the Psalms deny the Oedipal inclination that there can be freedom only if the controlling, authoritarian father-god be slain or denied. The myth of modernity believes that real maturity is to be free of every relationship of dependence. But when the metaphor is changed from a harsh controlling father to a gently feeding mother, it is evident that the human goal need not be breaking away, but happy trust.'

After this book I'm moving back toward some non-theological books. At least explicitly.

I picked up another Black Keys album the other day, their first entitled 'thickfreakness.' It's in the same vein as their later 'Rubber Factory:' blues-rock from a two-piece in Akron, Ohio ('Rubber Factory.' Seriously). I've only listened through this one once so far, but it seems a little more raw and mellow than their later one. Not that I'm complaining.

Again, no new movies this week. I've been busy. But I'll say this: I'm slightly more excited about the new Batman movie than the new Star Wars. Only slightly. Now I know what many might be thinking: all Batman movies (and spinoffs) since the 1989 Keaton/Nicholson original have been definitely not great. Okay, that's just what I've been thinking. But I have high hopes that this one will be different (read: good). Don't get me wrong, I'm plenty thrilled about the new Star Wars and have high hopes that this one will be different (read: good) as well.

I've pretty much exhausted the TV shows that I watch, so here's the thing: starting next week I have to find a new area of pop culture from which to recommend trinkets for your viewing/listening pleasure. I'm regretably too busy to attend the theatre, too bored to attend ballet, and too much of an amateur to review wines or coffees. The extent of my review would be, 'Wow, this sucks. It just doesn't taste good.' I don't figure that would be too helpful for you. Plus why the heck would you come here looking for wine or coffee reviews anyway? So by next week I'll figure out something else. Maybe a weekly painting ('This one has pretty colors and this one's all smeared'). Yeah, we'll see.

Around the web, Greg is beginning a discussion on salvation. Part One is a pretty good read.