Festschrifts are the new rock n roll

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I see from Liam's blog that John Piper has just had a volume of essays  published in his honour.  No doubt it's thoroughly deserved and scripture tells us to honour our leaders but I wonder 'of the making of festschrifts is there no end'.  This week also sees another volume launched this time in honour of Bob Godfrey   (after 20 years running a seminary surely it's richly deserved too).
I recently received in the post John Frame's Festschrift, Speaking the truth in love!
this is the mother of them all.  The postman nearly popped a hernia at having to deliver over a 1000 pages to my door.  Admittedly I think this volume is unique as John Frame contributes a preface, 3 chapters and 2 appendix to his own festschrift.  It was given to me as a gift by someone who thankfully is too old to access the internet so won't read this post but in all honesty there is not a chance of me reading it.  It's over a 1000 pages long, that's not a typo a 1000 pages!!! John Frame has produced some fantastic work which I've enjoyed but over a 1000 pages of tribute, there looks to be some excellent stuff in this volume and some other stuff that I possibly wouldn't think is so good but I'm sure if you plough through it, it's beneficial.
My initial tri-perspectivism on it is
Normatively - This book is huge
Situationally - It's too big to read comfortably in my chair
Existentially - It makes me feel great because it looks massive on the shelf
When you add that to Piper's volume a mere 542 pages and Bob Godfrey's tiny 284 odd pages. Festschrifts are all the rage in the reformed world.
It leads one to think who is deserving of a festschrift. My mother has been married to my father for nearly 45 years who by his own admission isn't the easiest fella to live with, she's been remarkably patient with 4 very annoying but remarkably gifted children! Surely she is deserving of a festschrift.  If you'd like to contribute to it do send Del boy an email, two contributors from Ref 21 have graciously agreed to take part
'Roadrunner and Wylie Kayote = Iain Murray and Carl Trueman'  - Rodney Trotter
'Readings from the far right'  - Liam Goligher
On a serious note it does raise the question of how much 'an ordinary pastor' can read?  If one is preparing sermons, doing pastoral work, meeting with elders etc etc. The amount of time that leaves for reading festschrifts is minimal.  I am without an office at the moment whilst I await a shed being put in my back garden (it's all glory ministering in the UK!) but I shamefully packed away mountains of books I've never read and whether I will ever read them is doubtful.  One of the besetting sins of ministers is we pretend to have read books we haven't, it's kind of geeks one upmanship. What the answer is I don't know?  Part of it has got to be to stop buying so many books, according to Mrs Levy.
Posted October 9, 2010 @ 3:28 AM by Paul Levy

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