Sunday, May 17, 2009

by way of an aside

I'm going to get back to stuff connected to OT narrative books but I'm going through V Phillips Long's The Reign and Rejection of King Saul. Nice to stumble upon a book that argues for the literary coherence of the book rather than supposing it is a hodgepodge of conflicting editorial and source accounts and interests. A friend of mine who is studying to be a PCA pastor introduced me to some of Long's work through some of his lectures, and then it turned out my brother who goes by Totoro Man has had the book on Saul all along, citing it as one of the very few books he's found on Samuel that spends any time on Saul.

Much as I like the idea of plowing through William Gurnall's The Christian in Full Armor in THEORY, in practice it is quite a slog. I'm sticking, for now, with the much shorter The Bruised Reed, commended by a friend of mine (the one who is working toward becoming a pastor). That friend has a divinely given gift for suggesting the right book at the right time for the right situation. Of course having been friends with him for aw hile he has an unfair advantage compared to most other people I know.

I was talking with a friend about the new Trek movie and a concern he has is that the characters' destiny seems assumed to be the same regardless of what alternate timeline exists. Who, in this alternate universe, will help Spock become more in touch with his human heritage? I think this question, while interesting for long-term Trekkies, may overlook that Vulcan proper was blown up and Earth is the only home Quinto Spock has. Quinto does a great job as Spock, by the way. Considering how awful Heroes became across seasons 2 and 3 I wouldn't blame Quinto for thinking Spock is the better gig.

Now that we're some fifteen years past Roddenberry's death I think Trek will benefit from shrugging off some of the sillier philosophical notions that weighed the franchise down. If they're smart they will ignore the prime directive since the whole show literally could not happen if the prime directive were actually followed. This new iteration of Trek reaffirms what old iterations of Trek established, that the Federation as a liberal and humanitarian peace-keeping armade won't even keep its own rules. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to insert whatever sarcastic interpretation may be applied there. Having Trek be more about popcorn worthy adventures in space rather than hours of discussing diplomacy on made-up planets with other suspiciously humanoid bipedal aliens Kirk can have sex (tactfully off screen, we hope) with can be saved for Trekkies who actually like Captain Janeway.

One thing that strikes me about Old Testament narrative literature is how terrifyingly easy it is to appropriate it for whatever pastoral or ecclesial agenda may be on the front burner at the moment. I wish to return to this at some point but since I have a life, family to visit, and friends to visit, and other things to tend to, not least a sonata for viola and guitar, I may not write as much as I initially planned. Obviously I write plenty when i finally get to it and could probably use an editor. I have been mulling over the possible significance of that, too.