Okay, so that headline sounds like it should appear in the Babylon Bee, but hear me out. I’m referring, of course, to the recent announcement that the latest revision of the English Standard Version has now become the pretentiously titled Permanent Text. Quite a few criticisms have been leveled at the ESV’s revision committee and its publisher for this move, and I agree with almost all of the criticisms that I have seen thus far.
So I’m not writing to disagree with any of those criticisms, but to point out the importance of typography.The first blog post I read criticizing the petrification of the ESV text was Scot McKnight’s “The New Stealth Translation: ESV,” in which the following passage appeared:
Yes, okay, I admit it. Referencing a popular media property in the post title is more or less clickbait. If you’re reading this, I guess it worked. Anyway, it seems the last time I blogged was in August 2015, and the last time I tweeted was in December. I have a pattern of starting strong, then blogfading as things get busy. But to tell the truth, I miss being part of the Bible-blogging community, so I’m going to try to give this another go, taking inspiration from both Ezekiel 37 and the Hooters’ “All You Zombies.”
I do have several things on my mind that I want to share with friends and colleagues far and wide, and questions I want to ask. I also have these recurring intentions of using Higgaion as a kind of accountability tool, keeping me moving on my research to avoid the shame of having nothing to really blog about. Maybe that will help me make good progress on my two SBL presentations for November 2016 and my Stone-Campbell Journal Conference presentations for spring 2017 (I can’t remember if it’s March or April in 2017).
But I’d also like to know: what’s on your mind? I’m especially keen to learn what kinds of Old Testament related topics (yes, there should probably be some hyphens in there, but I thought they looked ugly) would be of interest to other folk who, like me, self-identify as members or heirs of the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Restoration Movement, Stone-Campbell heritage, or whatever label you want to use. How is the Old Testament being heard and used in our churches these days? What parts of the Old Testament cry out for more of our attention?
So please use the comments section here to let me know what topics interest you, and in the coming weeks I‘ll try to share with you some topics that interest me. Maybe there’s some life left in this old blog after all.
Over the last ten years or so, I have accumulated domain names and blogs like something that accumulates things. I’ve been working on paring things back so that all my blogging, whether it’s about professional and intellectual matters (the Tanak, teaching and learning), recreational activities (games, movies, and comics), or personal stuff (family news), will now be in one place—right here at Higgaion. It turns out (no drama in this reveal) that I am fairly poor at time management, and that’s probably the number one reason that Higgaion blogfades from time to time. Trying to manage multiple blogs and podcasts and so forth was a big contributing factor. But another truth is that I miss interacting with the Bible bloggers, and with online folks who share my other interests. So here we go again.
For various reasons, I have moved Higgaion to a new URL. The old theheards.us/chris/higgaion URL will redirect here for a while, until its hosting contract runs out. After that, it won’t work any more. Please update your bookmarks, RSS readers, and so forth to point to theheards.us/chris instead. If you’re updating RSS feeds, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar for convenient links.
Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll even write something worthwhile again.
At the risk of pouring vinegar on an open wound, there is something I must say about the controversy currently beclouding Emmanuel Christian Seminary: I feel ashamed of some of the treatment of Paul Blowers and of ECS coming out of the biblioblogosphere. We “overheard” Paul question Chris Rollston’s character (or at least some of his decisions)—and some of us responded by impugning Paul’s character. We “learned” that the “public opinion” held by ECS’s denominational constituency (including actual or potential donors) might influence ECS’s institutional behavior—and some of us responded by trying to leverage the “public opinion” held by “the academy” (of which we appointed ourselves spokespeople) to influence ECS’s institutional behavior.
I find these actions embarrassing. I find them self-referentially inconsistent. I find them lacking in both Christian and academic graces and virtues. Perhaps even more to the point, I find them completely inconsistent with Chris Rollston’s character. I cannot imagine that he would want anyone to defend him by attacking Paul Blowers, Michael Sweeney, or ECS as an institution.