Moody Thinking

“Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” — Inigo Montoya


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I mentioned in the last post that I would use the blog to let you know about  projects. So… here goes:

I am currently starting a project about John Milton and C.S. Lewis. Perelandra the second book of Lewis’s Space Trilogy sends the protagonist from Out of the Silent Planet, Ransom, to Venus to perform some mysterious task that will have lasting impact. The task turns out to be preventing the fall of Venus (Perelandra) by working to keep the Perelandran Eve, known as the Green Lady) from succumbing to the temptation of a supernatural, though limited, human/demon.

Lewis published this work shorty after his seminal Preface to Paradise Lost, and the parallels between Milton and Lewis abound. I am focusing specifically of the form of temptation as it is presented by Milton, interpreted by Lewis, and modified in Perelandra. I want to present a conversation between Paradise Lost  and Perelandra with Lewis’s Preface as the bridge between the two.

I am also working through creating a critical edition of part of Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni. The project involves transcribing from 3 manuscripts, collating, translating, annotating, and providing critical commentary as well as a glossary. There is something remarkably pure about dealing with manuscripts. Every letter change or stray mark begs for an explanation. Though I cannot answer all or even some of them, the questions make the project more enjoyable.

Finally, I am writing a critical study of the lack of civil discourse surrounding the publication of Rob Bell’s Love Wins. This book created a firestorm amongst Evangelicals and I am exploring how both sides set up straw men to attack and thus could not establish grounds for civil discourse. This portion plays small in the entire controversy, but it does show a problem within Evangelicalism in the willingness to attack quickly without full analysis.

This experience has been both difficult and rewarding for my family. Mandy and I feel we are growing in our faith, but these moments have come through a difficult process. God worked in so many miraculous ways to bring us here, yet I find myself leaning back on my own ability in my mind. This leaning normally results in anxiety because I trend toward self-doubt. God has been reminding me of his sovereign control over all aspects of my life (including my work at school) and his promise to never leave or forsake me. Academic life naturally has a tendency to turn one in on himself with its constant self-promotion and marks of achievement. I have to be aware of the fact that this inward focus can quickly become an idolatry of self if it is not balanced with a heavenly perspective that is God-centered.

I have a strange memory that recalls random and mostly insignificant details from my childhood (read: most of the entire Saved by the Bell show). I had a Sunday School teacher named Billy McGehee that always had some news of the world to share with us.

So, in the words of the great Billy McGehee, “Those are the facts.” This is also the guy who said, “Everybody knows that a bow-legged woman can’t hem a hog in a ditch.” Do with it what you will.



Written by Jeff Moody

November 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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