Excuses for slacking off

I’ve been reading a lot (the better to write inspiring sermons, my dear). I always read as much I can to prolong the exegesis phase and avoid working on the sermon. I always read Calvin and Matthew Henry, plus whatever dead-tree commentaries I have for the passage I’m working on.

Beside that, I read Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, about the (mis-)transmission of the Bible (mainly the NT) from Elder Days to the present. I really enjoyed the first half of it, which explains how Scripture came to be corrupted and how scholars try to reconstruct the original. The second half wasn’t as much fun. I often agreed with the author’s evaluation of the “correct” reading, while disliking how he arrived there. It’s difficult enough to attribute motives to someone we know first hand (sometimes, even ourself!). Doing it for some anonymous monk 1500 years ago is ridiculous.

I’ve also been reading Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church and realized that mine doesn’t have one. Or, if it does, they haven’t told me yet.

And lately I’ve been reading Ortberg’s God is Closer Than You Think. It’s pretty good. I’ve never been a Brother Lawrence type, so I can use all the help I can get in this department.

Also I discovered how much more fun Flickr is when you have a program to do your uploads for you. Here’s a picture of my neighborhood:
Yucca Valley from JTNP

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