June 12, 2012
April 30, 2012
The Living Faith of the Dead
I don’t preach much, but recently I did—on “The Living Faith of the Dead.” The reader board in front of the church read as follows:
The Living Faith of
Dr. Dan Reid
My wife told me that no one walking by would want to enter the church for that sermon. I rather thought it would come off as a séance, and the unchurched would flock. I was being seeker sensitive. Look, there’s a reason why I’m invited into book titling meetings.
I took my sermon title from a line by Jaroslav Pelikan in The Vindication of Tradition: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living” (p. 65).Continue reading "The Living Faith of the Dead"
Posted by Dan Reid at 11:41 AM
April 19, 2012
Earlier this week I created a subject index for our Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, which goes to the printer this week. This is probably the tenth time I’ve done this kind of job on a dictionary of one sort or another. Needless to say, it is not my favorite task, and perhaps I should have someone else do it. Only it needs to be done very quickly. I clear the decks for two or three days and work steadily, day and night, until it is done. But before I arrive at this critical juncture, I’ve already done quite a bit of prep work in setting out the topics and the words that feed into them. But why should I be the one to do this?Continue reading "Indexed Thoughts"
Posted by Dan Reid at 9:53 AM
March 20, 2012
"Its Author Claims No Special Importance for It."
“It is with many misgivings that this little volume is committed to the press. Its author claims no special importance for it. It does not pretend to be a complete and connected history of our Church, either in the period of which it treats, or in the territory to which it relates. He is fully aware of its fragmentary and imperfect character, and of the very limited interest that will be taken in its pages. His excuse for offering it to the public, already surfeited with books, is the fact that its publication has been insistently urged by judicious friends, who have some knowledge of its character.”
So goes the preface of a book published over one hundred years ago, in 1904.Continue reading ""Its Author Claims No Special Importance for It.""
Posted by Dan Reid at 10:43 AM
March 7, 2012
Marginally Generalizing Is Not A Good Thing
Recently I was reading a book, a study by a notable scholar of a notable figure and published by a notable university press. And I came across this statement: “Like most missionaries, … was a marginal man.” Call me sensitive (marginal disclosure: I’m the descendant of three generations of missionaries and served as a missionary for a short while myself), but this statement irritated me to the bone.
Just where did the author come by this information that most missionaries are marginal? Did he survey missionaries past and present? Or did he just consult his mental filing cabinet of biases and stereotypes?Continue reading "Marginally Generalizing Is Not A Good Thing"
March 2, 2012
David Ishii: A Bookseller Rooted in a Place
I just love this story! I’ve visited David Ishii’s bookstore a few times, but I don’t think I ever spoke with him. I regret that. What a wonderful guy—so connected with a place—Seattle and its Pioneer Square. And yet connected to a much wider community of Asian-American writers. In my mind, this epitomizes what a used bookstore should be.
Is it a dying institution? (Ishii operated nearly within sight of Amazon’s offices.) Maybe. Maybe not. I’m holding out the hope that the physical book will retain its attraction for many of us. And that bookstores like Ishii’s will survive. We have a great one in our town, and I support it every opportunity I get!
Posted by Dan Reid at 12:46 PM