Library Philistine

I’ve been a library philistine most of my life. While I would check out books from our school library in elementary and middle school, in high school I barely checked out any books. Why? Because my family generally has the attitude, “If it is good enough to read it is good enough to buy.” We didn’t have many luxury items in our family (including Grandma and Grandpa). We never had cable or satalite TV, never had a big TV, and I only had a game boy with a few games. But what we did have was books. They were the most common gift in our family. I am so thankful that all my family instilled in me a love of reading and of books in general.

In college my library usage wasn’t the best either, although in a more academic setting it did become necessary. Pleasure reading took a big hit during my college years so I didn’t accumulate many more books to read in that area.

When I hit the seminary I started working in the library. One advantage of working in the back of the library was that I was exposed to nearly all of the new books that were added to our library’s collection. I have a list of well over 50 books that I would like to read just from our CSL Library. One downside to working in an academic library is that you turn into a bit of a library snob. I would go with my wife to the local public library branch and would practically have a fit trying to find stuff. Haven’t these people heard of shelf reading?? And don’t even get me started on the dewey decimal system.

Now on vicarage things have taken a turn. I have plenty of theology books to read. My pile is ever growing. At the same time, the number of “Pleasure Reading” books that I have to read has dwindled. What to do? Buy more? Soon after we arrived we ventured out to the Mead Public Library in Sheboygan to check things out. What a great library! This library has a very large collection and is well organized. We’ve started checking out movies from there and Lisa and I have both started checking out books. I’ve found some great history books to read. I’ve actually got another list started of books from the Mead library to read.

In short, I’m trying to amend my philistine ways. I’m checking out more books and only buying books that I’d like to add to our permanent collection in the Powell household. Hopefully my progress will continue.


What does a seminarian/vicar listen to?

Ever wonder what a seminarian listens to on his iPod?

Here is your chance to find out!

I actually use my iPod for a number of things. I do watch movies and tv shows on it occasionally, especially on trips. I wasn’t sure if I would like the small screen, but I’m sold on it now. I also listen to my CDs that I’ve put on it over the years: rock, alternative, rap, classical, comedy, R&B, movie soundtracks, to name a few of the genres. The only thing not represented: country. Sorry… I can’t listen to it. My wife can, but I can’t handle it.

The other big use for my iPod is for podcasts. Here are the podcasts that I currently listen to (by category) with a few notes:



  • Car Talk. My mom and I would often listen to NPR’s Car Talk while driving home from church. When it came out as a podcast… who could resist? Lisa and I normally save up episodes and listen to them on trips. Yes… we have listened to five straight hours of Click and Clack.
  • USGS Corecast. This is a rather new edition that was added to my podcast feeds after the small earthquake that happened last spring in St. Louis. While surfing the USGS website I found the podcast. Very understandable and reasonably short.
  • PotterCast
  • MuggleCast.


Now please don’t think that I listen to every episode of all of these podcasts. Many sit in my iTunes directory for a while only to have me delete them…. that is especially true for the Harry Potter and the technology podcasts.

Debate Tonight

In about thirty minutes I’m heading with Lisa to the seminary to pick up a friend. From there we are off to the Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University to watch the debate on the big screens at the Republican Debate Watch Party/Rally. I know a number of other folks from the seminary community are heading there too. 

I know that things will be a zoo around the sem campus because of our location just down the street from Washington University. A staging area is located on the old CBC campus and they are prepared to host overflow parking at the seminary.

Check out Respublica for more info on all the activity that has happend around St. Louis… including a robbery of a bank just down the street from the seminary. The thief was caught on the sem campus. Apparently he didn’t notice the line of police cars down the street from the bank…. or the constant helicopter overflights. Oops.

Concordia Seminary and iTunes

If you haven’t heard already Concordia Seminary has partnered with Apple to get set up on iTunes U. You can either download directly to iTunes or you can subscribe to items as podcasts. In addition, there are video files to be downloaded in addition to some documents. Most files you can download in a high or low quality if you have bandwith problems. To access this media go to the seminary website, look at the right hand column and click on iTunes U. You can also access it directly by clicking here. The links don’t always play nice with Firefox (they’re working on it) so I encourage you to use Safari (for those blessed with a mac) and IE for those who must trudge though life on a PC.

Here is what is currently available on iTunes:

  • Semcast: A dialogue between our President, the Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer and various professors and church men from around the world. Topics have included Old and New Testament perspectives on homosexuality, the Da Vinci Code, and Pastoral Formation.
  • Theological Symposium 2006: Files from our 2006 symposium that was centered around the topic of “Recapturing a Full-Bodied Theology of the Resurrection: Christ and Our’s.”
  • Lutheran Confessions: An Overview: This is an opportunity for a person to go through the Lutheran Confessions with Drs. Charles Arand and Robert Kolb.
  • Dellinger Lecture 2006: Cal Thomas was the presenter. Evaluate for yourself… I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet.
  • Convocation 2006: There is only one file up now… Dr. Charles Gieschen from Ft. Wayne presenting on “Antichrist: Has the Biblical Evidence Been Left Behind?” I’m sure more files will be posted as we have more convocations.
  • Chapel sermons: This is self-explanatory.

Professors have also begun using iTunes U for coursework. This also includes our Greek and Christian Doctrine pre-seminary courses. The current courses up on iTunes U include Hebrew Readings and Exodus and the Torah.

The final section of our iTunes U site is “Congregational Resources.” This section includes:

  • Lectionary at Lunch: A group of professors who go through the lectionary readings for the following week. Highly recommended.
  • Lay Bible Institute: Evaluate yourself. I haven’t checked this one out.
  • Hebrew Club: Evaluate yourself. I haven’t checked this one out.
  • Evangelism DVD Project: Evaluate yourself. I haven’t checked this one out.