Friday, March 28, 2014

Stranded Bibliophile: Can You Help?

This is a very personal plea on my part to you, gentle readers of the interwebs.

You see, I commute by bus to the day job. Today I was running late and I ran out the door without any books to read on the bus! And to make matters worse, I don't even have the dog-eared Gideon's New Testament (KJV) that's in the pocket of my winter coat, since spring has finally sprung (sort of) here in western Massachusetts (emphasis mine) and I've traded out my coat for a crimson-red hoodie. Moreover, I don't know how to access the interwebs on my very un-smart phone, where I could, at least, read Slate's "Dear Prudie" column and calm myself down a little.

So I'm not "stranded" exactly, but you get the idea: I'm in need of serious help.

My best friend has graciously offered to text to me a copy of a major work of systematic theology that's approximately 9,000 pages long. (I'll keep the text anonymous for now, to avoid the possibility some of you might get turned off and not hear out my request). She has unlimited data for texting, she points out.

But that's way to much for one person to do. So I'm enlisting you, my readers (all half dozen of you) to help her out. Would y'all, each of you, agree to text at least a portion of this major text? I'm not tech-savy -- I've only just this month learned how to make paragraph breaks in HTML -- but I can say this is what you'll need, should you choose to accept this assignment:

1. At least three type-faces.

2. A Greek font.

3. A "cut-and-paste" feature would be most helpful, as this work is agonizingly repetitive.

4. A good sense of humor, as someone who enjoys laughing with the angels.

5. A solid collect of Mozart CDs. (That's not really essential. It could be anything, really, whatever suits your taste: e.g., Cold Play, Willie Nelson, Shostakovitch -- well, maybe not that. But maybe it's just good to go along with the Mozart as reputable scholars claim this text resembles his music.)

6. A quaintly odd predilection for typing longish Latin quotations from 17th and 18th century Dutch Reformed federalist theologians.

7. An certain sort of disposition that doesn't mind typing several thousand pages or so before stumbling, to your delight, upon a small-print passage in which the author has inserted an excursus on Pure Land Buddhism. For no apparent reason. (It is the only passage on Buddhism I can recall seeing in the entire work, but I may be wrong. If you're really fond of Eastern religions and philosophy, this may not be an assignment for you to take on.)

8. But if you are into world religions, and you're game for this task, you may have to endure a longish discussion, about 1,500 pages in or so, about why religion is bunk. Then you might come to find out that number of scholars are now saying that, no, in the original German he's saying pretty much the opposite of that. But you're typing directly from the English. So deal with it.

9. Some sort of quick, key-stroke macro that will automatically insert the name Jesus Christ, because, let me tell you....

So now you're really curious and dying to know what this text is?

Here's one little hint: It's not this one.

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