Archive for June, 2012


I found this commentary by Kait Dugan on Brian LePort‘s site – their respective blogs are

http://kaitdugan.blogspot.com & http://nearemmaus.com/.

(Her blog entry follows these comments, which are mine)

Earlier in the day, I was listening to a radio commentary by a female minister who was talking about her husband and the vows that they had made to one another, on their wedding day. In a complementation fashion he had asked to let him ‘make all the big decision’ and that she would make all the ‘minor ones’ – and after 25 years of marriage, in egalitarian fashion – or so it would seem – she said that ‘all the decisions had been minor’.  This was an interesting thing to hear, as I had been thinking all day about another friends’ strong egalitarian assertions; insofar as she had written to me that she, more or less, could not tolerate any kind of complementarian essence/doctrine on the part of a presumed date (she is single, and presumably looking).

Those who know me – would probably assume that I would jump dialectical on this, and say ‘why can’t it be both?’ I think that Kait does a good job of showing the presumptions and fallacies that run amok in both extremes. I don’t fit into either category explicitly – and would probably find myself asking the same of my own wife – and then living a life that never really required such ‘big decisions;’ as it would seem to be my conviction that if there really is a strong bond woven between two individuals across multiple parts of their beings, that all decisions (in this light) would be minor. For grounds on just how a husband could earn the right to make such a big decisions, were it to appear – would seem to my, in my own perspective, to be a matter of earned trust through actual, and not just virtual, mutual servanthood. If I were to counsel any woman on marriage – it would be to live as though there were no ‘major decisions’ but to *marry* as though there were. This is to say – that you should choose a man that you know would have a heart towards not just your protection but also for your freedom.

Her blog:
http://kaitdugan.blogspot.com/2012/06/evangelicalism-and-complimentarianism.html?spref=tw

 

 

 

(Repost from my myspace blog from July 14 2008)

 

The Secret Life of Books, thoughts upon finishing the entry of my books into librarything.com

Recently I completed the task of getting all the books in my personal library into library thing.com. I had a few days off of work, so I thought I’d focus on the effort – and get it out of they way, rather then doing a few here and a few there.

My personal library is a veritable treasure trove of odds and ends that I have collected over the years. I have my Rev. Uncle Bob’s book, Action on the North Star, The Manifestation of the Sons of God, which represents his own years of research on the Book of Revelation. He would do Hal Lindsey proud. Then there is the book by Wingrove Weeks Alone With God, which is the poster child book for self-publishing. Wingrove – or Win-goove – as we called him, was a tall, lanky black guy who sang Caribbean-style gospel music, back in my college days, and this was the book that he had as part of his music ministry. I paused as I flipped through it, remembering his goofy grin and the awkward gait that he had. I remember, one day, helping Wingroove change the valve cover gaskets on his car, and we had to take a trip to Wal-mart to get more supplies. It was there, that day, while walking down the isle, that I heard the voice of an angel speak my name – and I turned around to see Christina Holland, my 6th grade English class Crush- we’ll that’s how I remember her anyway; it goes beyond saying, she was profoundly beautiful then and she was stunning when I ran into there, that day, those years later. I barely had a chance to say, “Hey, How are you doing…” when Wingroove came running from out of the corner of my eye and thrust his hand out to introduce himself to my friend – who had just re-introduced herself to me. Everything else is such a blur in my memory. I turned to Wingroove and said something like – “slow down, dude” – and I turned back to see that my friend had dematerialized. Was she a dream? If she was a ghost – then it was one that Wingroove had seen too. I so wish that he had not. The figure of a tall black man running over to her, speaking in his raspy, reggae voice; ‘hey baby’ must have surely put her to flight – right out of my sight. I should have run after her – but I hesitated: too confounded that Wingroove had completely sabotaged me beyond comprehension or repair. I often thought of returning to that same store, on that same day, at that same hour. Did she keep a schedule? Did that ultra-cute girl I was way too scared to talk to in Junior High, would she be there to say “hi” to me again – if Wingroove was not lurking about. Would I get a second chance? I wanted to break his neck. I thought about pouring sand down in his engine while he was not looking, just before resealing the valve gaskets that day. But I did not. I was good. But I never saw Christina again. Many, many years later at a High School reunion – I remember someone saying that Christina was not there – because she was getting married…

Wingroove’s music career sorta took off, and then he came out with the book, that I now have. He had contacted me to build a website for his ministry, and I thought to myself, as long as it does not involve a trip to Wal-Mart. A few weeks after his email, Wingroove lost control of his car. I don’t know the details, but I know that it burned very badly, and he did not not survive. Old Wingroove. I stamped his book with my library embosser, and manually entered his book into libarything.com. I wonder if anybody else will ever scan it’s lonely ISBN number, and see that someone else has his book also. I wonder what stories their book could tell about that man I knew, and as a Christian brother loved – and called ‘Wingroove.’

Some books know their own secrets – and they share them with you in their own still voice. In my library are a number of books written by a good friend who makes a respectable subsidence “Ghosting” books – which is where you have a name but no talent and your hire someone who can both think and write better then you can about something – in this case, with this ‘Ghost Writer,’ deep theological matters – and they basically write the book and you get all the back-patting to yourself. I thought about modifying the “online” profile of the book to say something like “really written by —” but that would be no fun. Then the books would have no secrets. But those who know – they know, and those who, I guess should, know also – and someday, everyone will know all they need to know – but not from whispering books anyway, at least these, today. They will hold their ‘ghostly secrets’ for now.

I honestly thought, that I might have more books then I actually do. Perhaps this was merely a failure to approximate book numbers – which once they stretched beyond a certain point could only be abstractly guessed – outside of actual counting, which I had never before attempted to do. I thought that there might be 900. 680+ was the number as it came to be. I found only a few duplicates, which in consideration of the number and diversity, I suppose is pretty good. My mental rolodex of what I already have has, at least up to this point, served me pretty well in regards to knowing what I already have. There were of course, a few books from other owners that had found their way into my own library. I though how easily it would be to absorb them. Would anybody ever know? Did they remember they had lent them to me? I thought of and then recoiled in the horror of someone doing such to me. I sat the book down, into a “redistribute” pile – which never grew more then 2-3 books. I would be good with these books, in hope that all my own would always return to me, in like kind.

I came across the two books that I have on book repair, and reminded myself of the need of a couple of mine for such attention. I still wince as I see Karl Barth’s Protestant theology in the 19th Century, comeing out of my hand and going into the trunk of my car. Over and over again, like a bad dream, I see it’s hardback cover tearing off, like a partially detached-limb, after a gruesome industrial accident, just laying there beside it. The sound of the fragile cloth, woven before I was born – it’s tearing, still ringing in my ears. My jaw hitting the ground, my only thoughts – ‘Oh, dear God, what have I done to KARL BARTH??’

In addition to inadvertent destruction & dismemberment – there is purposeful defacement: which usually consists of either underlining certain things of agreement of disaproval, or just perhaps points to remember for something or other. My same ghost-writer freind hates books that have underlining, and he will overlook or not buy a book if it has any kind of marks in it. I don’t mind someone else’s markings. I rather enjoy them. What were they thinking? Did they agree or disagree? And why so? Do they scribble the reasons why, somewhere on the margins. I think to myself as I flip through a one particurly well-marked book, of my freind and this assertion of his, and that only moments before – I had flipped through the pages of a book that I had lent him, that he had rather enjoyed- and he had himself made numerous notations in it’s margins. Pehaps he was mocking me- writing in my own books to express his own distate at others’ practice of such commentry. But I think not- I had just given him the liberty, and he was indulging me.

If the books in my library talk, then they must communicate to one another those things that make them highly favored. Those who can tell others, the thoughts of those who have once before read their pages – they have even more to tell, then those who gave birth to them in the toil of their mental ink have to speak.

My own primary, purposeful desecration, is generally the stamping of each book with the library stamper that my parent bought me, which marks it as an official part of my own bookshelf. I have many new books, but I also have many old books as well, dating from the 1970’s and even the 1900’s. Opening many of them, to give them my own seal, I found the seals of others – those perhaps long dead, their own libraries, parted out to various used bookstores that would give 50 cents for them, only to then sell them to me and various other bibliophile crudgemudgeons who hapt’ upon them to their own glee. ‘How big of a treasure did this jewel once come from?’ I though several times. Who is, or was Steve Olsen; who’s signature graces several of my favorite finds from Acapella books in Atlanta’s Little Five Points? How can such a small bookstore have such great books? Perhaps, it is the long shadow of Emory University that endows it with a certain intellectual ambience, conducive to such good finds. How much money have I spent there that I did not really have? Painful questions. Perhaps Steve Olsen, was a seminary student, who shed his less-loved books, there, before moving on. Perhaps he was a professor, who’s widow inadvertently sent his treasures to the bartering winds. I don’t know. But have some of these treasures now – treasures to me; though if they were love or unloved by him – these secrets I do not know. And in my keep they shall remain. For now.

I once joked that my dad “had too many books” and that I would not be like him in this regard. Of course, many a self-absorbed youth, is heard to say such things of their parents. One day, while falling asleep, I heard the sound of a ‘swoosh’ from somewhere in my room – and my senses where instantly pulled back from the precipice of sleep into full sensory awareness: something in my environment had unexpectedly changed. That change – was the position of my Strong’s Exhaustive Biblical Concordance, which I had stacked 8 books high on the headboard of my bed, three or five eves prior. And this night, in this moment, like a tectonic plate – it has shifted and lost stability, only to come whooshing, and then thundering down, moments later – upon my unsuspecting head. Within moments, I was completely buried in books. Both terrified – my head painfully throbbing – I lay there in, buried – knowing that I might have a black eye, but I had not been blinded – at least tonight. I sat their – my sudden pain and terror melting into successive waves of self-realization. I was just like my dad. Perhaps worse. My books spoke to me in their hidden language – the wonderful aromas of their bindings, both old and new. They said wonderful things to me – that they would be my friends, and they would be around for as long as I found room for them. But for now – all they wanted was proper bookshelves upon which to recline and hold both their stories and their reams of knowledge, those both inside their pages – about their own subjects, and the stories that they could tell of other people, and those they would eventually whisper to someone else – of me.

Visit my Library:
http://www.librarything.com/profile/matthewlipscomb

pictures of my authors:
http://www.librarything.com/authorgallery.php?view=matthewlipscomb

 

(This blog originally posted on myspace, July 15, 2008)

Should Christians be online? What about a Dung-pile?

I sent the following thoughts to a great Christian friend who says they want to delete their myspace and facebook profiles.

Dear ” ” –

I’d encourage you to pray about removing yourself from your online communities. Being salt and light takes both energy, responsibility and – yes – even risk. As Christians we are called to demonstrate Christ and to live the reality of the Resurrection: speaking and living life where death is – not just in the little bubbles we so oft put ourselves into, but in all aspects of our lives. If all Christians removed themselves from Myspace and other places – then these places would be places of filth and darkness in their entirety. Hope exists wherever it is found – because Christ is manifest in the life of a person somewhere and in someway. You are not the best judge to determine where and what God can necessarily use. This is the greatest reason why the church fails to reach people for Christ because they they fail to understand that they are separated unto Christ, yet integrated into the world. We think our message is better if we just tell it to ourselves. But the true Glory and Power of God are unleashed not in the singing of a song service or a great sermon preached to believers – but your own light shining into places like this. The scripture is very clear. The power and the essence of the Gospel gets it’s vitality and power by being shared where it is unexpected. If it is not put “out there” it is worthless and “fit to be trampled under the feet of men,” “not even worthy of the dungpile.” It is important to note that even a dungpile – in the old testament, could eventually be seen as a source of fertilizer. Our message is not just worthless if we don’t share it – it is permanently worthless and cannot be restored by any measure of anything – except fixing the thing that rendered it useless to a dying world to begin with.