July 20, 2011
The Wisdom of Tradition
Recently I was browsing through the 8th and latest (50th Anniversary) edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. It is the mountain climber’s Bible. I learned the rudiments of mountaineering from the second edition of Freedom in the late 1960s, and it’s safe to wager that most serious mountaineers in North America have sharpened their crampons on some edition of Freedom. It is the signature publication of the publishing arm of The Mountaineers, a venerable Seattle institution. For several years I was a member of The Mountaineers and was involved in their climbing program. So as I looked through the front matter of the latest edition of Freedom, I recognized many of the names of its editors. I’d climbed with or been instructed by some of them.Continue reading "The Wisdom of Tradition"
Posted by Dan Reid at 11:32 AM
June 22, 2010
Running Mountain High
Hi. My name is Dan, and I’m an endorphin junkie.
And I was happy to learn some time back that my experience has been validated. There really is such a thing as “runner’s high.” For years I have been running—before, in the midst of or after my work day—and for the last eight years it’s consistently been trail running for an hour-plus a few times a week on a nearby mountainside. This is intensive physical exertion, and the sense of euphoria that accompanies it is worth some exclamation!Continue reading "Running Mountain High"
Posted by Dan Reid at 1:50 PM
December 15, 2009
I Once Was (Not) Lost But Was Found.
It must be incredibly sweet to be lost, to know you are lost, beyond hope of saving yourself, and to be found and rescued, saved as if from death. It’s not quite so sweet not to be lost, in fact quite healthily content, but presumed to be lost, and then to be found. Let me explain, and beg your indulgence as I relate some memories triggered by the current tragedy unfolding on Oregon’s Mt. Hood. These news items always have a back story. Let me tell you one.Continue reading "I Once Was (Not) Lost But Was Found."
October 1, 2009
A Civil Tongue
I think that was the working title for the book—A Civil Tongue—or at any rate it was a strong contender in our titling committee meeting. Anyway, it has stuck with me and it was the first thing that came to mind as I began to scour my shelves for Richard Mouw’s book the other day. “What did we call it?,” I asked myself. “That’s right, Uncommon Decency.” Probably just as well. We didn’t need a cover evocative of Gene Simmons.Continue reading "A Civil Tongue"
April 14, 2009
The Enigma of George Eldon Ladd
Last year I read John A. D’Elia’s A Place at the Table: George Eldon Ladd and the Rehabilitation of Evangelical Scholarship in America (Oxford University Press, 2008). I was a student of Ladd’s at Fuller Theological Seminary in the 1970s, and as a matter of fact, I even started out as his student in the Ph.D. program there. (That didn’t last long, and Ralph Martin rescued me from the situation.) I’ve long thought someone needed to write this biography. However, I also recall mentioning this thought to another Fuller faculty person of that era, who expressed the opinion that no good would come of it. He no doubt had in mind some of the personal tragedies that marred Ladd’s life and are disclosed in D’Elia’s biography.Continue reading "The Enigma of George Eldon Ladd"
March 19, 2009
The Wisdom (and Wit) of Richard John Neuhaus
A couple days ago I received my copy of First Things (April 2009). The theme is “Richard John Neuhaus In Memoriam” (as most readers probably know, he died recently). There are twenty-five pieces from friends and colleagues of RJN (names like Berger, Elshtain, Gerson, Novak, Packer, Weigel and Wilken). It’s a must read for anyone who knew or followed this remarkable man. Plus there are some great photos! Ever since its inception I’ve been a devoted subscriber and reader of First Things. Which also means that for years, as soon as I’ve received my copy of FT, I’ve dropped everything to turn to RJN’s “While We’re At It” at the back of the mag. Agree or disagree with him, it was a wonderful read. Others I know have admitted the same habit. Who will fill that void in our lives?
Reading through the remembrances, I gleaned some great RJN sayings, several of them concentrated in Ramesh Ponnuru’s piece.Continue reading "The Wisdom (and Wit) of Richard John Neuhaus"
Posted by Dan Reid at 11:09 AM
February 17, 2009
What's the Porpoise of This Sign?
Lately I’ve been thinking about indicators that go unnoticed, signals within situations (like maybe the economy) that tell us we are off course and need to make a big change in order to avert disaster. How well tuned in am I to my environment, be it social or physical, economic or political or any other? We rely on the latest science, the latest poll, the best social-science or the latest technology. So modern. And where does this leave us?
There is a story that keeps replaying in my head, a story of Bernard Moitessier and his porpoises. Moitessier was a great French sailor who in the 1950s and 1960s made some famous voyages across the great oceans—usually solo. He was a sailor’s sailor, a master of simplicity and resourcefulness, skilled in every nuance of his ancient art.Continue reading "What's the Porpoise of This Sign?"
January 16, 2009
The Parable of the Great Inversion
Are you familiar with the phenomenon of a weather inversion? Here in the Northwest it seems to happen several times each winter.
A high pressure system moves in and parks over Washington State, shutting down the rain for several days. Cold air becomes trapped at sea level and in the valleys, and often fog or low clouds hang over the lowlands. The temperature might be a damp 35 degrees at lower elevations, without a glimpse of the sun. Thoughts of spring weather tease the mind. But that’s a long way off. Right now it’s just clammy, cold and dark.Continue reading "The Parable of the Great Inversion"
Posted by Dan Reid at 2:20 PM