Introduction to New Testament History and Literature

Introduction to New Testament History and LiteratureIntroduction to New Testament History and Literature
Dale B. Martin
Open Yale Courses
iTunes U

It has been a long time since I have listened to an iTunes U course, and much as changed in that time. iTunes U is no longer available on iTunes for the PC. For mobile devices it is a separate app and not part of iTunes. It appears to me that the number of available courses has been greatly reduced.

Compared to The Great Courses the production values on iTunes U courses are inferior. That’s because they are recordings of actual classroom lectures. In the case of this course recording quality varied across lectures.

Nonetheless, Introduction to New Testament History and Literature was quite enjoyable. I was familiar with much of the material, but it reinforced some of what I knew and also provided me with new material. The most interesting aspect of this course was the emphasis on the diversity of Christianity in the New testament period. Even within a single book, Acts, for example, different Christianities emerge, such as whether gentile converts need to be circumcised or not. Similarly, the later letters purported to be written Paul have a very different theology from the authentic letters. While the author of Revelation is virulently anti-Roman rule, some of the later epistles preach accommodation.

It was interesting stuff, all of it.


more on immigrants and food

I hope you saw my blog entry on immigrants and food. If not, please do take a look.

There’s more on television on this topic. PBS has a new program called No Passport Required. It is hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia, adopted, and raised in Sweden. He immigrated to the United States where he has become a successful restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality.

No Passport RequiredThe program is similar to the show Eden Eats, about which I wrote, in that Samuelsson visits a different city in each episode. Unlike that program, however, Samuelsson visits a single ethnic group in each city, and No Passport Required is a full hour rather than half an hour. This gives him time to delve in-depth into each immigrant community.

Well worth watching.

Another PBS program, related to immigrants though not necessarily food, is “Ellis Island” on the Great Performances series. Composer Peter Boyer combines orchestral music, photography, and the spoken word to provide a moving portrayal of immigrants coming to the United States in the early part of the twentieth century. Boyer says he did not have the immigrant situation of 2018 in mind when composing this work, but he certainly sees the relevance.

The program aired on television at the end of June. You can to stream it or watch on demand until July 27.

Make sure you have a Kleenex within reach at the conclusion.


chicken sausage, pasta, and spinach skillet

I was looking for a simple weeknight meal that would make use of the chicken Andouille sausage I had in the fridge. I found this recipe, which called for broccoli rabe and penne pasta.

pasta and sausageThat’s not exactly what I did. Broccoli rabe is hard to find in these parts and although I could have used regular broccoli I had spinach in the freezer and so used that instead. I had penne pasta in the pantry, which the recipe specified, but penne is boring and I had it at lunch that day anyway. I used rotini which is more fun.

The recipe said to use Romano cheese, which I did. But I put it on the table in the rotary grater so we could add it on top of the sausage, rotini, and spinach mixture after it was served.

It was a really decent weeknight meal.


revising our liturgy

The Episcopal Church concluded its 79th General Convention last week and completed some marvelous work.

General Convention 2018One issue of interest to me was the revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The House of Deputies proposed a specific plan to revise the prayer book, with a new edition to be released in 2030. (Yikes! I don’t want to calculate my age in that year.)

The house of Bishops rewrote the proposal to form a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR), and states:

quoteResolved, That bishops engage worshiping communities in experimentation and the creation of alternative texts to offer to the wider church, and that each diocese be urged to create a liturgical commission to collect, reflect, teach and share these resources with the TFLPBR; and be it further

Resolved, That the TFLPBR in consultation with the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons is directed to propose to the 80th General Convention revisions to the Constitution and Canons to enable The Episcopal Church to be adaptive in its engagement of future generations of Episcopalians, multiplying, connecting, and disseminating new liturgies for mission, attending to prayer book revision in other provinces of the Anglican Communion…

The resolution states that “That this Convention [will] memorialize the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as a Prayer Book of the church preserving the psalter, liturgies, The Lambeth Quadrilateral, Historic Documents, and Trinitarian Formularies ensuring its continued use…”

Note that the resolution says “a Prayer Book of the church” and not “the Prayer Book of the church.”

The House of Deputies concurred with this resolution by a voice vote. It was a marvelous spirit of cooperation.

Good stuff, all of that.

In a related decision, the convention made all marriage sacraments available to all couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex. I will allow Susan Russell to explain.

Much more was accomplished as well. It was a productive convention.


Sacred Music Friday: Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above

Arranged by Samuel Metzger, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, Dr. John L. Wilson – Conductor, Samuel Metzger, Organ


making effective use of shelf space

kitchen shelfSometimes I buy appliances that are practical and get a lot of use. That is the case of our toaster/convection/broiler oven which we bought last fall. Other appliances sit there and gather dust. That’s the case with the NuWave oven. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as I used it I realized that its capabilities were quite limited. I began to look at it more as a novelty appliance than anything else. It was finally relegated to a cabinet in the garage.

That freed up shelf space for our tortilla press, which gets used regularly, as well as for our kitchen calculator and kitchen scale which also get regular use.

That’s a much more effective use of our limited shelf space.


sticking with nostalgia

The options for television viewing these days are overwhelming. On cable we don’t pay for any of the premium movie channels like HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime, but we still have a huge selection. For streaming services we have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

Too many choices.

Netflix logoAdvertising and social media seem to tell me that I really want to watch the new streaming programs such as Glow and Lovers. I’ve tried them. I’m not that impressed.

I prefer the old stuff. I can watch That Seventies Show on Netflix and Family Ties on Amazon Prime.

Those shows are so much more enjoyable to me than the new, seemingly edgy stuff. I hate to think of myself as old-fashioned and stuffy, but gul durn it, that’s what I enjoy.