ornament 31 December 2011 ornament

2011 in cities

It’s that time again, so here’s a record of all the cities, towns, hamlets, or dots-on-a-map in which I’ve spent at least one night this year. A slow year for sleeping travel was my 2011:

  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Kingsport, TN
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Woodbridge, VA
  • Washington, DC

cf. 2005/1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

Posted by Jared Bridges | Permalink | Comments Off on 2011 in cities

ornament 15 December 2011 ornament

Why you shouldn’t skip the boring parts

Christmas readings at churches and homes will rightly include a heavy dose of Luke 2 (for the birth narrative), and Matthew 2 (for the visit of the magi). Even Isaiah’s prophecies about the coming Immanuel may make an appearance, but there’s one Christmas-related passage of Scripture that’s more likely to be skipped over.

You know the part I’m talking about. It’s the one we all skip over to get to the good parts — that cumbersome prologue that is bespeckled with begats: Matthew 1:1-16. In the passage, Matthew traces the heritage of Jesus beginning with a peripatetic Chaldean named Abraham all the way to Joseph and Mary. It’s tedious to be sure, but it’s by no means insignificant. Christopher J.H. Wright observes:

If the average Christian pauses between carols to wonder what the previous seventeen verses are all about, his or her curiosity is probably offset by relief that at least they weren’t included in the readings! And yet they are there, presumably because that is how Matthew wanted to begin his Gospel, and also how the minds that shaped the order of the canonical books wanted to begin what we call the New Testament. So we need to respect those intentions and ask why it is that Matthew will not allow us to join in the adoration of the Magi until we have ploughed through his tedious list of begettings. Why can’t we just get on with the story?

Because, says Matthew, you won’t understand that story— the one I am about to tell you — unless you see it in the light of a much larger story which goes back for many centuries but leads up to the Jesus you want to know about. And that longer story is the history of the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians came to call the Old Testament. It is the story which Matthew ‘tells’ in the form of a schematized genealogy — the ancestry of the Messiah.

— Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, pp. 1-2

The Matthew who gives us the Magi and the Herod saga didn’t bumble as a storyteller with this wandering introduction. Each name is a keyword for an era, and each name pours into fullness of time that was that night in Bethlehem. Don’t skip it. The nativity didn’t happen in a vacuum, but in a living, vibrant world that had both a past and a future — not unlike our own lives.

At Christmas don’t forget the prologues, both Matthew’s and your own. Begats make the good parts good.


Posted by Jared Bridges | Permalink | Comments (1)

ornament 13 December 2011 ornament

Sandlot foreign policy

Strange business is the saga with the Obama administration and that downed drone aircraft recovered by Iran in Iranian territory. It’s bad enough that Iranian officials are using the whole thing as a publicity stunt, but now the Obama Administration is asking Iran to return the drone:

U.S. President Barack Obama, in a session with reporters Monday, refused to comment on what he termed “intelligence matters that are classified.” But news reports say the aircraft with advanced stealth technology either strayed into Iranian airspace from Afghanistan or was spying on Iran’s nuclear program.

Mr. Obama said the United States has asked for the drone back and will “see how the Iranians respond.” But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that given Iran’s past behavior, “we do not expect them to comply.”

You think?

In the now classic 1993 film, The Sandlot, a group of boys hit a baseball over the fence onto the property of the mysterious Mr. Mertle — which is guarded by “The Beast,” a dog of mythic ferocity. It turns out not to be so bad once they get to know both the dog and its owner. Perhaps the Obama administration has this in mind?

Since we have no expectation that Iran will hand it over willy-nilly, why ask? Have we no shame at all? Someone please explain.

Posted by Jared Bridges | Permalink | Comments Off on Sandlot foreign policy

ornament 22 September 2011 ornament

Names: they are a changin’

“…And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.”
(Genesis 1:19, ESV)

Over at First Things, read my latest musings on a culture that changes its names:

This week, the Southern Baptist Convention announced it is launching yet another committee to examine changing its name. The goal is to better reflect the fact that, aside from folks who live at the North Pole, they’re not necessarily always geographically “Southern” anymore.  Whether or not the name change will go through is up in the air — this is the eighth attempt at renaming the organization.

But it isn’t just the Southern Baptists. Name change fever is in the water. The interwebs are abuzz with the announcement by Netflix this week that it’s changing the name of its DVD service to Qwikster — a name that conjures up images of oil changes and bunnies with chocolate milk. Campus Crusade for Christ, in a move which resulted in a public relations nightmare, recently announced it was changing its name to Cru (rowing teams or short haircuts, anyone?).

Read the rest here, before they change my name to a pseudonym.

Posted by Jared Bridges | Permalink | Comments Off on Names: they are a changin’

ornament 21 September 2011 ornament

Blogs, trees, & sounds in the woods

If a blog falls in the woods, and no one is around, does it make a sound?

Probably not, although a podcast might.

At any rate, if anyone is still out there, keep your eyes peeled. You just may begin to see things around these parts again…

Posted by Jared Bridges | Permalink | Comments Off on Blogs, trees, & sounds in the woods

© 2003-2018 Jared Bridges