Week of March 27, 2011
Bill James, baseball statistician, writing in SLATE: "The average city the size of Topeka produces a major league [baseball] player every 10 or 15 years. If we did the same things for young writers, every city would produce a Shakespeare or a Dickens or at least a Graham Greene every 10 or 15 years. Instead, we tell the young writers that they should work on their craft for 20 or 25 years, get to be really, really good—among the best in the world—and then we'll give them a little bit of recognition." Via
: Reflections on Lent, pride, and reading from our friend Allison Backous.
4. "There is also this to be said. North American culture does not offer congenial conditions in which to live vocationally as a pastor. Men and women who are pastors in America today find that they have entered into a way of life that is in ruins. The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans. Any kind of continuity with pastors in times past is virtually nonexistent. We are a generation that feels as if it is having to start out from scratch to figure out a way to represent and nurture this richly nuanced and all-involving life of Christ in a country that 'knew not Joseph.'" —Eugene Peterson, from the
. "But that's precisely the trouble for an overwhelming majority of the culture, almost every poem has an inscrutable ending, even the ones that aren't actually inscrutable."