LONDON, ONTARIO – Except for thirty seconds one evening in the winter of 1973, I’ve never really been much of a dancer. Not only is this an incapacity which I have come to regret, I recognize it as something I share with the vast majority of my peers. It’s a bit of a paradox but the rock music we grew up with – arguably the most physically agitating music ever played by Western man – didn’t generate much in the way of great dancing. Certainly there were individual performers who developed a reputation for their dazzling moves but most rock concerts were just that – concerts. Up until the 1950s, few popular musicians gave concerts – not even the biggest headlining acts - without provision being made for their audience to dance.
LONDON, ONTARIO – “My goodness, why is he reading that right now?” my wife sometimes wonders when she sees me go digging through a book so apparently eccentric or retrograde or unconnected to the sort of fare that usually beckons my interest, that its appeal utterly stumps her. But recognizing the powerful influence which she uniquely exerts on my consciousness, she usually manages to muffle such questions for a while at least. Stuffed to the brim with prudential wisdom, she understands that – with reading as with writing – a word of discouragement or bewilderment that is voiced too soon may jinx the possibility of worthwhile engagement and exploration.
LONDON, ONTARIO – I first got to know Howard Katz, the founding pastor of Open Door Christian Fellowship Church, in the spring of 2008. I was doing up a feature article about him and his younger brother, Harvey, for the old quarterly, Christian Life in London, which was then edited by Rob Hueniken. The hook upon which the article was hung was that both brothers had published books just the year before with Believe Books, the U.S.-based publishing house operated by one of the great heroes of my life, former London mayor, Dianne Haskett.
LONDON, ONTARIO – If your house is anything like mine, in trying to accommodate your latest Christmas infusion of printed matter onto your shelves, you’re staring at your packed and buckling bookcases and asking yourself some challenging and even upsetting questions like, “Is there anything here I can part with? What’s the stuff I’ve got to keep, both for reasons of personal enthusiasm and because I want to maintain a coherent representation of the big picture, literature-wise?” May I recommend a handful of books to assist you in this ticklish matter of discernment? (If you don’t want to compound your problem with capacity, perhaps you should see if you can find any of these titles at the library.)
If you would like to contribute to the ongoing operations of Hermaneutics, there are now a few options available.
THE AQUINAS LECTURE
G.K. CHESTERTON AND THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
ALL LIFE IS A GIFT :
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADITION :