Sunday, November 20, 2011

Emerson and me

Lately, I have tried to supplement my education by reading some of the American writers, with whom I have been woefully unfamiliar.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is not my friend, seeing that he had some unorthodox ideas about faith.  He did rebel in a way against New England spirituality, and again, I have no exact clue what may have been some issues there.  Of course, I have my suspicion that it has something to do with theology which came after Luther and if I got Emerson in my hands, I would simply send him to the Book of Concord...   :)

I got this book from the library, which might help me a bit:  "Ralph Waldo Emerson A Profile Edited by Carl Bode."  The book is both entertaining and heavy at the same time, employing some delicious language.  Here is a quote which my husband and I had a good laugh at last night, since we  have all made this observation frequently before.  Men have this endearing habit of solving all the worlds problems easily when they sit together.  It invariably happens especially when there are no women around to interject some inconvenient reality.

Emerson's good sense was so strong that it always seemed to be specially awakened in the company of those who were most in sympathy with his loftiest thinking.  Thus, when "the radical philosophers"  were gathered one evening at his house, the conversation naturally turned on the various schemes of benevolent people to reform the world.  Each person present had a panacea to cure all the distempers of society.  For hours the talk ran on, and before bedtime came, all the sin and misery of the world had been apparently expelled from it, and our planet was reformed and transformed into an abode of human angels, and virtue and happiness were the lot of each human being.  Emerson listened, but was sparing of speech.  Probably he felt, with Lamennais, that if facts did not resist thoughts, the earth would in a short time become uninhabitable.  At any rate, he closed the seance with the remark:  "A few of us old codgers meet at the fireside on a pleasant evening, and in thought and hope career, balloonlike, over the whole universe of matter and mind, finding no resistance to our theories, because we have, in the sweet delirium of our thinking, none of those obstructive facts which are the practical reformer the moment he takes single forward step;  then we go to bed;  and the pity of it is we wake up in the morning feeling that we are the same poor old imbeciles we were before!" 

My husband is a good man, he smiled right away in recognition.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

The latest CPH order

My newest package of books from CPH arrived last week.

One of the books I ordered was the "My First Hymnal".  It is a beautiful book with lovely illustrations.  If I had children at the house still, I would use it every day.  Absolutely.  I am thinking we are on the right track here with this book, but have felt for a long time that we almost, also, need a graded curriculum and accompanying audio CD's.

Luther, the graphic novel is amazing with tons of details but not information overload.  I would highly recommend it.  Must have, especially at $9.99.

I also checked out another size of Lutheran Study Bible to see how I like its type and feel, but now that I use my laptop for many things, I think I might get the e-version for myself.

The Story Bible  is a very large book with a huge number of engaging illustrations.  Someone I shared it with thought it was similar to a coffee table book.  Well, yes, the pictures caught me first, too.  But there are also other features such as highlighting related vocabulary, questions about the story and a prayer.  Very nice work.  Children's Bibles, I have often found in the past, are books that adults who are not well versed in Bible stories can use to familiarize themselves with the many characters and events.   So this Bible could work really well for an entire family.

So much for now.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blogging slow down

Dear Friends:  what happened to this blog?  It's been two weeks, or so.

Mostly, after going through Flannery O'Connor's letters, I have been reading some authors I never read before:  Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Emerson I don't like as much as Hawthorne, and the whole Isolationist and Transcendental scene is problematic to me, as far as I can know it and understand it, at this point.  Still, it seems good to me to know what they were about.

I also did a little bit of translating for James Swan, here.  It is always great fun for me to translate some Luther. The original sermon was found here.  It might be worth looking at in its entirety some other time.  It is a worthwhile treatment regarding faith and love. Basically, faith needs to be exercised in love, or it will be weak and gradually go out altogether.  Still, we cannot be saved by our having love but only by trusting in Christ's work.

Today, it snowed for the first time this winter.  This was no surprise and we are ready for it,  having enjoyed a long and wonderful fall.  I pray everyone will stay safe on winter roads and drive carefully according to the conditions.

Also, I've got into the habit of going swimming regularly and am hoping I can keep up the habit when it gets to be really cold and a person neither feels like going out or getting wet.

So much for today.  :)