You are what you read

(I wrote this about three months ago)

 

I believe “you are what you read”, like “you are what you eat”. So I did an experiment. I logged everything (as much as I could remember) I read in a typical week. Then I attempt to draw some conclusions what I am based on my readings.

 

1. E-mails: everyone got e-mails to read, some you want to read, and some you don’t. I read somewhere between 50-80 emails in the pass week at home and at work from non-mass mailing or subscriptions. Mostly written in poor English and only about two are inspiring.

Btw, do you know “spam” is 30 years old already!! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7380788.stm

 

2. Menus: I went out to eat about three times this week so I got to read three menus, not very memorable.

 

3. Traffic signs, advertising in stores, bus stops, and elevators. I have a disdain for advertising. I believe it diminishes your soul.

 

4. Product labels and instructions. I believe it is a conspiracy to have labels. What they are doing is dump their responsibility on ordinary citizen. Let’s be real, I have not a slightest clue what those ingredients are. Even if I knew; how does that help me decide what to do? I am no expert on food, pharmacology and any vast number of products. It is just too easy to put something on a label and then say “I told you so” and “use at your own risk”.

 

5. News I read news on the web from CBC, BBC, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and London Times. Yes, I am biased towards American media.

 

6. Fantasy baseball news: I have been playing fantasy baseball for almost 10 years now. It is a fun diversion and keep me inform about the great America pastime. I don’t really have a favorite team but I sympathized with the Cubbies because they are cursed.

 

7. Football news: I am an ardent football (not American barbaric football) fan, my favourite team is Arsenal. I read from BBC, ESPN and Setanta sites.

 

8. Documents at work: My job title is Business System Analyst, so I read, talk and analysis. These documents are technical and formal and occasionally “propaganda oriented”(as in marketing). Some times I write them too.

 

9. Jesus creed Weekly Meanderings: http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=3733

I read this almost every Monday, so to get some positive vibe and catch up on interesting things.

 

10. Book will survive: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/chi-0420_bookfutureapr20,1,4796966.column

I sure hope so, so learn to read if you have not yet. I know some university student who cannot read. I mean they can read but they read without understanding, so that is really not reading.

 

11. Fortune cookie Bible: http://www.jesustheradicalpastor.com/the-fortune-cookie-bible

Good post about how we way too often take verses out of context, bible teachers are not immune to this serious disease.

 

12. Interview with NT Wright: http://trevinwax.com/2008/04/24/trevin-wax-interview-with-nt-wright-on-surprised-by-hope/

The bishop does not sleep, he talks and he writes. Take note of the part about what C S Lewis missed in his addresses collected in “Mere Christianity”.

 

13. Stanley fish: http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/french-theory-in-america-part-two/index.html?hp

Fish is a prominent American literary theorist and legal scholar who also does some social criticism. Also influential for the readers-response hermeneutics approach.

 

14. Things Christian like: http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/

Very funny, I like the “Highly specialized Bibles” (#94), which I’ll append the “fortune cookie bible” as an exotic ethical entry. (See item 11)

 

15. Ben Myers Blog post on Jesus and management theory: http://faith-theology.blogspot.com/2008/04/management-theory.html

You may think this is blasphemy, but I found it funny; also introduced me to Bob Sutton. (See next)

 

16. Bob Sutton blog: http://bobsutton.typepad.com/

There are some good ideas worth checking out.

 

17. About David Packard: http://hpphenom.blogspot.com/2008/04/ethics-of-silicon-valley-leaders.html

This is good piece for business ethics discussion.

 

18. Mark Nanos on euangelion on the “weak” in 1 Cor 8-11: http://euangelizomai.blogspot.com/2008/04/mark-nanos-on-weak-in-1-corinthians-811.html

Not necessary agree with Nanos on the interpretation but always good to interact with good scholars.

 

19. Maggie dawn weblog: http://maggidawn.typepad.com/maggidawn/2008/04/after-mcdonaldi.html

Summary: http://www.alisonmorgan.co.uk/Drane%20-%20McDonaldization.htm

Review: http://www.helwys.com/bookreviews/mcdonaldization_bkrev.html

Got introduced to John Drane and his writing, interesting; another entry into the reading wish list.

 

20 http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/KLICE/publications0.html

Never heard of this organization or publication but many interesting articles are available here.

 

21 Krister Stendahl obituary and essay:

Obituary: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news/article_archive/stendahl.html

Essay: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news/bulletin_mag/articles/35-1_stendahl.html

You should read at least the essay. I was reading his work “Paul among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays”, may be it is time to finish it. I have this habit of reading a theologian’s work on his/her passing as an act of commemoration. I went back to “Meditation of Christ” after Torrance passed away last year.

 

22. Sarah Coakley on forming a silent prayer group: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news/bulletin/articles/coakley.html

 

23 Liturgical year: http://inhabitatiodei.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/five-theses-on-the-christian-year/

 

24 Peter Enns suspension follow up:

http://faith-theology.blogspot.com/2008/04/theological-basis-of-peter-enns.html

Now I really want to read his book.

 

25 http://www.ssrc.org/blogs/immanent_frame/2008/04/24/secularism-and-critique/

Charles Taylor is thought provoking.

 

26 http://biblical-studies.ca/blog/wp/2008/04/22/exiled-gods-in-the-ane-and-the-bible/

Got introduced to Martti Nissinen.

 

27. An article by Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. I have been frequenting the sites of Archbishop Sentamu and Archbishop Rowan Williams recently. I find both them to be saintly man. This articles shows a bit of that: http://www.archbishopofyork.org/784

 

28. I am currently reading Baron Frederick von Hugel’s “Letter to a niece” and Jeremy Mercer “Time was soft there”. I remember one time talking to a friend about a mutual female friend getting acquainted with a local theologian and I quirked, “May be theologians have this knack for pretty young thing.” I am naughty. Bad boy. Mercer’s account on his stay at the Paris legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Company got the Bohemian blood in me boiling. The title alone is worth the read, “time is soft”, so poetic.

 

I read too much and do too little; at least that is what my wife always says. From what readings attracted me I think I am concern with hermeneutics. I am concern that I focus more on the process than the message. I am interested in social issues but not necessary political. I like the traditional spirituality but not with a new age slant. I like confessional and not just analytical. I like the lyrical as much as the intellectual, perhaps more so. I am a generalist trying to be a specialist. I admire the specialist but cannot bear the burden and monotony of specialization. Interesting?!

 

Let me know what you find out if you are doing a similar experiment yourself.

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