Monthly Archives: March 2010

A devotion for Good Friday

In a previous post, I requested some help interpreting a few lines of poetry. I mentioned that I was assembling a collection of poems and hymns suitable for a Good Friday devotional time.

I have put these together in a small booklet that some of you might find useful, either for use individually, with your families, or perhaps for a larger assembly (although this is likely too short a lead time to use in a church this Friday). Special thanks goes to Scott Aniol, who typeset all of the hymns.

The file is a pdf, and it is formatted on half sheets of paper. My recommendation, if you choose to print it, is to select “Booklet Printing” from the “Page Scaling” drop down box in the print dialog of Adobe Reader. If your printer does not handle duplex printing, you can choose to print front sides only, reload the paper, and then print the back sides.

And finally, an invitation for those in the greater Detroit area who would be interested in joining us: we will be using this booklet in the Good Friday service at Huron Baptist Church this Friday at 12:30pm.


Posted by on March 30, 2010 in Music, Worship


Slow motion dogs

This is just for fun: high speed camera footage of dogs jumping for treats. Interesting stuff, if you like dogs.

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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Random links


Interpreting Herbert’s “The Sacrifice”

George Herbert’s “The Sacrifice” is among my favorite works of devotional poetry. When I was a dorm supervisor at IBC, on several occasions I used the evening devotional time to read the work to the men in its entirety (and the reading never fit in the ordained fifteen minutes).

As Good Friday and Easter approach, I am again hoping to be able to read the poem for devotional benefit, both for myself and for some who will hear me. I am currently putting together a small booklet of hymns and poems for a Good Friday service, and with the poems, I am adding short notes to help explain the more complex syntax and allusions.

Unfortunately, I am myself stumped regarding a handful of phrases, and I would be very interested in getting some help from others who are better at reading poetry than I. Here are the expressions that I am struggling to understand:

Line 26: “both the Hemispheres”: Some notes suggest that this is a reference to eyes; it seems to me that it could also refer to the whole world.

Line 55: “Comments would the text confound”: Here, I am unsure what meaning of confound Herbert is using, and I am also unclear what is the referent of the text.

Line 119: “more than heav’n doth glass”: Again, I have a general idea of Herbert’s meaning, but am not certain about his specific idea.

Line 146: “That he before me well nigh suffereth”: Here, I’m pretty well lost. I assure he refers back to the taunter in the previous line, but I’m not able to unpack much more than that.

I apologize that the version of the poem to which I linked has no line numbers; I wasn’t able to find a online version which did.


Posted by on March 24, 2010 in Personal, Worship


On losing faith, in the ministry

This article, on five men in ministry who have given up belief in God (in any normal sense of the term), is interesting for all sorts of reasons. At the very least, it shows that Machen’s antithesis between Christianity and liberalism is alive and well in modern American churches. The faith-destroying role of seminary in these men’s lives is also striking, as is the seeming assumption that scholarship cannot be genuine and conservative.


Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Society, Theology


On old pianos

I tend to favor period instrument recordings of early music, but had never taken note of the significant sonic differences between modern pianos and those which 19th century composers would have known. This article highlights those differences, and offers some interesting comparison audio clips.


Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Music