Friday, May 09, 2008

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

Since curmudgeons are sometimes accused of being only negative and grouchy, here is a list of a few of my favorite things (in no particular order).

1. The sound and sight of my wife's laughter.
2. Students who know how to write footnotes properly.
3. Warm days with no wind, which are perfect for biking 20-30 miles.
4. John Coltrane's saxophone playing.
5. Italian food.
6. Ethiopian food.
7. Sermons that sizzle with intelligence and biblical content.
8. Weekly communion at my Anglican church.
9. Gift cards.
10. Answered prayer.
11. Seeing my students grow in knowledge and wisdom.
12. Speaking Christian ideas into places where they are not normally found, such as editorials in newspapers, lectures on college campuses, and so on.
13. Old LPs in perfect shape for a few dollars.
14. Large, blank book marks.
15. Big book royalty checks (these days are long over).
16. Students who say Thank You.
17. Finishing a good book.
18. Intelligent comments on my blog.
19. (Most of) The Westminister Confession of Faith.
20 Good questions.


Tom said...


Nice to see a list of what floats your boat. But be careful: too many positive posts and you might lose your curmudgeonly cred.

But now I'm curious. What parts of the Westminister Confession do you have trouble with? (Lest this question sound judgmental, I'm rather sure that I reject much more of it than you do!)

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

I don't support infant baptism. I think God has "passions." That's all I can think of off the top.

Don't worry, I won't get too happy!

matt said...


how does being a part of an Anglican church fit into not supporting infant baptism (esp. one that gives infant baptism near sacramental quality)? To be honest, I find high churches appealing, but I need an Anabaptist High Church. i don't see those around so much.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

I cannot find a church that I totally agree with. It's that simple. There are no high church anabaptists. I cannot abide low church, pop/schlock presentations any more. I need liturgy, because it is true and meaningful.

Paul D. Adams said...

Since I know you well, Doug, I'm not surprised by your list. Finding beauty in this fallen world is a daunting task, but we must do so if we intend on being faithful to the full scope of our humanity and to Scripture. As N. T. Wright nicely puts it in Simply Christian, "beauty is both something that calls us out of ourselves and something which appeals to feelings deep within us." Of course, a distinctly Christian worldview will note that the "beauty of the natural world is, at best, the echo of a voice, not the voice itself." Similarly, "heaven and earth are full of glory, a glory which stubbornly refuses to be reduced to terms of the senses of the humans who perceive it." In other words, there is beauty inherent in the earth as God has created and our charter, difficult as it is most times, is to discern that beauty wherever possible. Hence, the Apostle Paul's admonition that "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

May we all proclaim a few of our "favorite things" and, in so doing, shine a bright light on the Creator of beauty!