Friends, readers, and good folk,
Certainly, most of you know that Frederick Buechner died earlier this week. (This is Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell, subbing for Jeff.) Almost all of us have read a bit of Buechner, heard him quoted in sermons, or seen him memed on social media. There are many good tributes and obituaries floating around. We’ll try to link to a few on Around the Web
Of course, RJ
editor, Jeff Munroe, is a Buechner-a-phile, an expert, who has written one of the definitive books
on Buechner. I can’t claim any of that. What I would say is that as much as I admire Buechner as a writer, even more he is the sort of Christian I long to be. I would guess it would also describe the aspirations of many of you. Thoughtful. Genuine. Articulate. Vulnerable. Caring. Truly seeking God, but not content with cliches and tired ways. Respected but not a spotlight seeker. The secular world can’t dismiss you, perhaps is even attracted, but still doesn’t know quite what to do with you. And conversely, perhaps, there are some sorts of Christians that don’t know what to do with you either. We are grateful for the life of Frederick Buechner.
This morning, Jim Schaap shared his tribute to Buechner, Saint Frederick
, in the daily blog. Of course, the week also brought six other blogs. Perhaps the one that seemed especially to strike a chord was First
by Al Schipper.
I had the pleasure of talking with Jim Bratt and Jennifer Holberg this week for upcoming Reformed Journal podcasts. Watch for them in the coming weeks. They’re “in production” right now. I love saying that. It makes us sound so professional and hip.
I don’t want to give too much away but one phrase that Jennifer used really struck me. Speaking of “hospitality” (one of her true gifts), Jennifer spoke of “intellectual hospitality” – being welcoming and accessible in one’s learning and expertise. Inviting the non-expert into the conversation. At its best, that is what I hope for the Reformed Journal. I hope we’ll continue to hear and ponder and puzzle about how we can be “intellectually hospitable.”
One good example of this “intellectual hospitality” was this week’s two-part essay Reviewing the Religious Cases of the 2021-22 Supreme Court
by David Ryden. David is a Political Science professor at Hope College, and definitely an expert and scholar. Yet here he demonstrates intellectual hospitality by providing a very informative, even-handed work. It is both solid background, along with some careful analysis about important trends in the SCOTUS.
Then, there’s the usual good stuff – a review
of Malcolm Guite’s Lifting the Veil
by and a podcast
interview with D.S. Martin, plus a week’s worth of blogs.
Jeff will be back, next Friday. As always, thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for your support.