I swear at some point I will write things other than lists of things you should read. I will do more than meta-reading. In fact I have a post up at Daily Theology today that I think is worth your while. But I won’t comment on my own writing. That’s meta-narcissism. No wait. Just narcissism.
There were several things I was struck by this week, so commentary will be short. Two football, two Bible, one Papal, one about education.
“Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning“
Peyton Manning was/is really important for my home city of Indianapolis, and not just because football. Beyond leading the Colts out of a decade and half of football funk (with a few good seasons thrown in), he also did a lot of charity work (particularly the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital) and was an overall good ambassador for the city. This piece brings out a lot of the decent human side of him too – letter writing, phone calls, his relationships with people in the Colts organization beyond players and front-office types. I still think the Colts made the right call in letting him go and drafting Andrew Luck, but I will be a little sad watching Peyton play a Superbowl for someone other than Indy (I hope he wins).
“Changing the Conversation“
There’s an interesting proposal by Roger Goodell to change the extra point/2 point conversion after touchdown system in the NFL. I don’t think it’s a great (or necessary) idea, but this article makes an interesting case for the role of statistics, expected value, and loss aversion in analyzing the change. One can reasonably argue that this rule change would really only remove the act of kicking the extra point (as regards outcomes), but it could change the psychology of the decision making. It also references the question of what to do on 4th down, and I appreciate and agree with its encouragement of going for it on 4th down more often.
“#CanonFodder: The shortest ever commentary on the whole Bible“
This is an excellent project on Twitter: offering 140 character commentaries on every book of scripture. It sounds like a silly exercise at first, but some of these are poignant, precise, and moving. Some favorites of mine:
- Amos: Hallelujah! The Lord is here! Run for your lives!
- Matthew: We thought his teaching was a mirror of God’s Law, but we were wrong. The Law is the mirror, reflecting him.
- Galatians: We felt insecure without our chains so we hired experts to repair them. Then Paul came back, wielding a sledgehammer.
And the one that still gives me chills to think about: “Psalms: The invention of antiphony: when my heart broke in two, I taught both parts to sing.”
“Bad Music Theology: ‘Timber’ by Pitbull (feat. Ke$ha)“
I love Ke$ha and regularly use her as an example in my undergrad theology class. I like this song, which is featured regularly at our Wednesday trivia nights. But never have I loved this song as much as I did after reading this analysis, which (tongue firmly in cheek) redeems the song in light of the prophet Elijah. This post shows what it means to win at internet.
“Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter“
This is the 48th message for World Communications Day (the only annual day of celebration called for by the documents of Vatican II). These messages don’t get the attention they deserve, so you should go read it (and then read my commentary/analysis on it at Daily Theology).
“An open letter to Father Garanzini“
It’s a letter worth reading, especially if you’re involved in Catholic higher education. There are major questions (I can’t answer here) about the relationship between the university as educator/formator and the university as business. Without the first, there is no mission; without the second, the mission is unlikely to be supported. This letter sees Loyola Chicago as lurching too much towards business at the cost of undermining its actual mission. Although I can’t comment on Loyola specifically, I do see this question cropping up elsewhere, and it needs more serious reflection (and, at the very least, awareness).