Trinity Forum series

I’m looking forward to the Discovery and Doxology: Conversations on Science and Faith series hosted by the Trinity Forum:

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Death has lost already

The Arcadian Wild: website | YouTube

Dear Lincoln, Isaac, and Bailey,

My wife Candace and I watched Andrew Peterson’s virtual Easter Monday show. It was so moving in that Andrew’s music and reflections always seem suffused with hope in the new creation. Your music is a natural fit, amplifying that wavelength. We very much enjoyed your appearance on his Christmas tour last winter, and were delighted to see you with him again this spring. I was simply overwhelmed by the resilient beauty and articulate vision of the three songs you performed (unsure of the titles, but “Wandering in the Wild”; “Where God comes to Rest”; and “Benediction”).

Your lyrics stand on their own. Simply as poetry, I would gladly read them avidly and repeatedly. They have the depth and staying power of Bruce Cockburn or Annie Dillard. Yet they are animated in a special way through your masterful instrumental performances and stunning harmonies. I was emotionally riveted.

Over the period of access to the show on the Mandolin platform (now sadly ended), I went back often to watch all three over again (now how I wish they were on You Tube). “Benediction,” in particular, was a continual encouragement to me because of the way it connected me in dark times to the hope-filled weeks of Easter season.

Your creative work bears the marks of persons made in the image of God who have known much suffering and grief and yet hope in the Lord, waiting for the new creation with both the eyes of the forehead and the eyes of the heart wide open. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your perseverance in your pilgrimage and for your faithfulness in creative art.



When it seems you’re all but drowning
May the water quench your thirsting
When the sun is nearly blinding
May you, by it, see everything

When your worry leaves you weary
May your sleep be sound and healing
When the road is long and winding
And the wrong story is selling
May you find your own worth writing
When the fairies tell of weeping
May you show them all the glory
When there’s too many to bury
May you know death lost already

When the burden’s beyond bearing
May you know it’s not yours only
When your body’s worn and wasting
And time is only taking
May you find it all worth giving
In the silent war that’s waging
Keep quietly rebelling
When there’s always more to bury
May you know death lost already

In secula seculorum

When it seems you’re all but drowning
May the water quench your thirsting
When the sun is nearly blinding
May you, by it, see everything
As it was meant to be
A wonder, extraordinary
Made to wander free and fearlessly
Unto all eternity

Because death has lost already

Listen: Website | Apple Music | Spotify

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Mary Anning

Dedication of a Mary Anning sculpture in Lyme Regis last month:

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VLA photo VLA in the movie Contact

This summer Candace and I are going to Alcon2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We’ll be presenting an update on The Sky Tonight project (; see overview).

The program and speaker line-up look exciting. It even includes an all-day trip to the Very Large Array!

Very Large Array and Astronomical Lyceum: website | Wikipedia

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The Swing

The Swing (song)

When our girls were young, Candace took the poem “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson and gave it a catchy tune. They loved to be pushed in a swing as she sang the poem. Here’s the poem and her musical notation, which she wrote out last night.

The Swing, Michael Hague The Swing, Michael Hague
The Land of Nod and Other Poems for Children by Robert Louis Stevenson,
selected and illustrated by Michael Hague
(New York: Henry Holt, 1998); Amazon.

The Swing

The Swing

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The Sky Tonight: At launch

The Sky Tonight: Perils of Launching a New Digital Scholarship Project.

A brief introduction of The Sky Tonight project prepared for the OU Libraries’ “UL Week” in late May, 2022.

We gaze at the night sky filtered through many layers of cultural heritage and representation. But how best to inspire people today to explore those cultural layers and tell their own sky stories today? Building on my experience as a former planetarium director, astronomy teacher, student of the history of astronomy, and curator of the History of Science Collections, I’ll share my hopes for “The Sky Tonight” digital scholarship project and explain how I’ve gone about creating the website so far. Was I crazy to select Drupal as the platform? What architecture would be basic enough to be robust but also scale to address the various kinds of resources I expect the site to provide? Is it reasonable to expect a single website to be able to support research and public outreach at the same time? Can a single site be crafted to appeal to an extremely wide range of disparate users and audiences? And how can it be implemented in limited spare time, incrementally, and sustained by a humanities scholar over the long term?

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Beloved song from an old album

Jubilation! Myrrh, 1975

I have this album in my hand, my turntable isn’t working, but here it is on YouTube (and Apple Music). Thanks, Marijohn, your “Where I’m Going” has traveled with me all these years! (2022 – 1975 = 43 years and counting) 😃

Posting it here for future easy reference:

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Torrance updates, 2022

On this page I’ll post Torrance updates as they happen for 2022. Here are some videos in reverse chronological order; a few other links or videos will be added later.

Cf. Torrance updates for 2021.

May 2022: Announcing The Thomas F. Torrance Science and Religion Collection, History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma. I expect to be devoting considerable sustained effort to this project in coming years.

Discussion with Calum MacKellar, The Image of God, Personhood and the Embryo (#2017-cmk-1), esp. pp. 133-137. Cf. Christianity and the New Eugenics: Should We Choose To Have Only Healthy Or Enhanced Children? (#2020-CMK-1). April 7, 2022.

Discussion with Chris Kaiser, “Humanity in an Intelligible Cosmos: Non-Duality in Albert Einstein and Thomas Torrance,” in The Promise of Trinitarian Theology: Theologians in Dialogue with T. F. Torrance (2001). February 10, 2022.

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Feast of the Annunciation

In the church calendar March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation, the annual remembrance of Gabriel’s message to Mary according to the gospel of Luke 1:26-38.

Here’s a carol that tells the story from Moya Brennan’s wonderful Christmas album, An Irish Christmas:

“Gabriel’s Message,” by Moya Brennan, An Irish Christmas (2006)

I cannot think of this day without calling to mind the “shimmer of the angels’ wings” — “not a feather stirred” — in Fra Angelico’s painting from the Monastery of San Marco in Florence:

The Annunciation, by Fra Angelico (c. 1437)

Malcom Guite reflects upon the Annunciation in this poem, the first in a quintet on Mary, from his book Sounding the Seasons:

We see so little, stayed on surfaces,
We calculate the outsides of all things,
Preoccupied with our own purposes
We miss the shimmer of the angels’ wings,
They coruscate around us in their joy
A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled,
They guard the good we purpose to destroy,
A hidden blaze of glory in God’s world.
But on this day a young girl stopped to see
With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice;
The promise of His glory yet to be,
As time stood still for her to make a choice;
Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred,
The Word himself was waiting on her word.

Listen to Malcolm read it aloud on his blog.

Candace and I have been reading aloud Steve Bell’s Pilgrim Year series. In the booklet on Lent, Steve writes:

“We typically think of Mary, and anything to do with the birth narrative of Jesus, as belonging to the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. However, echoes of Lent/Easter reverberate through the Christmas narrative just as echoes of Christmas sound through Lent. The story of salvation is one story where every part penetrates and deepens the meaning of the other… Now is the liturgical time to begin preparing for his coming into our lives… The Annunciation announces and inaugurates the Incarnation…” Steve Bell, Pilgrim Year, Lent, p. 56.

Steve Bell, “May It Be Done,” Feast of Seasons (1995)

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St. Patrick’s prayer

St. Patrick’s prayer – the “breastplate” or “lorica”

Andrew Wright, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” (Journeysongs)


I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

of the Creator of creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

Steve Bell, “The Lorica”


I arise today

Through the strength of the love of cherubim,

In the obedience of angels,

In the service of archangels,

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In the prayers of patriarchs,

In the predictions of prophets,

In the preaching of apostles,

In the faith of confessors,

In the innocence of holy virgins,

In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through

The strength of heaven,

The light of the sun,

The radiance of the moon,

The splendor of fire,

The speed of lightning,

The swiftness of wind,

The depth of the sea,

The stability of the earth,

The firmness of rock.

Daniel Couper, “This Day God Gives Me”


I arise today, through

God’s strength to pilot me,

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptation of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

afar and near.

I summon today

All these powers between me and those evils,

Against every cruel and merciless power

that may oppose my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;

Christ to shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Jean Watson, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”


Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

of the Creator of creation.

John Michael Talbot, “Christ my Light”

Previous posts on St. Patrick’s Day:

Bonus: Malcolm Guite on St. Patrick’s Day, 2021

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