Generous Orthodoxy  

Friday, July 16, 2010

No man is an island

I try not to say this too often, but this really is a must-read article by Dan Barry about the "domino effect" of the Gulf oil hemorrhage. No incident is isolated. No misdeed can be encapsulated. No one is purely an individual; we are part of a network of relationships and dependencies. We are a human organism.

Can we find ways to answer the heart-breaking lament of Steve Airhart? He is the "work-hardened owner" of a small business in Waveland, Mississippi which has been undone by the spewing-oil catastrophe. He said to the reporter,
"I don't think the Lord's looking this way no more."

Here is the link:

Monday, July 12, 2010

A champion of language and baseball dies at 99

Few people in America today care half as much about diction, grammar, pronunciation, elocution, precision, and clarity as did the legendary "voice of the Yankees," Bob Sheppard (also known as the Voice of God). For fifty years he reigned and was everywhere admired for his announcing. He loved poetry and Shakespeare. He majored in English and speech at St John's University and earned a masters in speech at Columbia, eventually becoming an adjunct professor of speech at St John's.

He said, "I don't change my pattern. I speak at Yankee Stadium the same way I do in a classroom, a saloon, or reading the Gospel at Mass at St Christopher's."

Derek Jeter said, "He's as much a part of this organization as any player." Sheppard had died, but Jeter used the present tense. Long live language!

Here is a link to the main obituary. You will find there four other links to articles about Sheppard that everyone who cares about the English language will want to read:

Saturday, July 03, 2010

True courage: a Christian hero

The Rev. Nico Smith died last week in Pretoria at the age of 81. Many Americans will never have heard of him, but he is worthy of the sort of respect accorded to military heroes. Indeed, the kind of courage required of Pastor Smith over many years is of a higher type. He had to renounce his entire Afrikaner background and heritage in order to join the struggle against apartheid. He and his wife gave up their comforts and security to live in a black township. His life and works bring honor to the name of Christ and to the Church in a time when there is much for Christians to be ashamed of.

There is much information about Nico Smith online, but there is a striking fact related in the New York Times obituary. One of the people most influential in encouraging Pastor Smith to move from his position of privilege to the frontier of danger was none other than Karl Barth. Here's the link: