music, theology

“Closer To You” An Original Hymn


664.6664 as in “Come Thou Almighty King”

Draw us closer to You
In everything we do
Banish our fear
Stretch out Your healing hand
Help us to understand
Why we are called to stand
Ever more near

Coming closer we know
What lies past this world’s show
Not vanities
Light shining ever true
Voice saying, I love you
Spirit like morning dew
Bringing us peace

Make us close in all ways
In all we think and say
Keep our tongues from
Kindling hurtful flames
And speaking hurtful names
And placing unjust blame
Oh, closer come!

And now closer we are
Receive our trembling hearts
Make them anew
Only as You prevail
Will grace rule without fail
Making us fit to sail
Closer to You

c Copyright 1995 by Stephen C. Rose [100%]
Licensed to CCLI/LicenSing


Three Interviews with Dorothy Day on Christopher Closeup (YouTube)


The Rev. James H. Robinson Should Have a Wikipedia Entry

There is a Wikipedia entry for a Union Civil War soldier named James H. Robinson.

There is NO Wikipedia entry for The Rev. James H, Robinson. This is sad indeed. There are no Wikipedia pages for a number of the persons I seek to somehow memorialize on this site.

My modest investigations tell me that the best way to get a biography there is to have a Webmaster who is connected. For those like Rev. Robinson who are long gone this is impossible. And for folk like myself who work solo there is no connected Webmaster.

So this is bread on the waters. The Rev. James H. Robinson should at least be noted on the James. H. Robinson page so people who rely on Wikipedia will know he is at least “heard of”.

Here is my main page on the Rev. James H. Robinson with a number of salient comments from people who share my view of his importance:



Annotated Lyrics to “New Rain” — One “See The Crowds”



John’s Song

See the crowds
See how they love to be told
That the end is at hand


Crowds remain most folks’ definition of success, certainly on-line! The more the better we might win over the few. It’s a numbers game. In John’s song, his attitude toward this becomes a classic put down of the concept and where it leads.

The current offering of Christianity on television is almost a parody of what we are discussing. The preoccupation with end times is a seizing on the suppositions of creedal Christians who absolutely love anything to do with apocalypse, doom and the capacity to transfer to the deity anything that might approach human responsibility.

But of course loving to hear that the end is at hand is not to be compared to actually experiencing it! In Haiti today hundreds of thousands are in the very grip of an entirely explicable apocalypse. Explicable with twenty explanations, but all of them salient, from the island’s heroic beginnings, through the punishment it has received from various powers, including the United States, to the fact that it, like California, sits upon a formidable fault.

“New Rain” was written in the 1970s at a time when I understood theology to be best expressed by attempting to turn the Biblical texts into music. There is no soupy praise music in “New Rain”. It is an open-eyed look at the reality that exists now and existed then.

I find most amusing the way Christian academics are used by NatGeo and the History Channel and other outlets, including, have mercy on them, public tv. Their little sound bites are orchestrated to make whatever point the program wants to make. Generally it points to supposition, superstition and the turning of shaky traditions into live possibilities. It makes no difference whether we are trying to celebrate the role of women or the effusions of Nostradamus or the subject matter of Revelation. TV goes for the crowds and they know what the crowds love.

If the end is at hand, it has nothing to do with supposition and everything to do with the idiocies we have wrought and with our own lack of humility in the face of things.

music, theology

The Story of Job — Part One


I am convinced in a time like this, penitence of the suffering is next to impossible. But penitence is essential, even for the non-religious. There is a form of guilt that is real, not pathological.

It is the guilt that exists because suffering is a portion of life. And our typical reactions are anger and an alienation from life itself.

This morning as I did my mandatory walking, I tried to remember parts of my Job project, something I did at the close of the 1970s. The massive conclusion of this is Job’s penitence at the very end. It is to my mind an authentic repentance. It is the result of his actual confrontation with the deity.

I no longer subscribe to the notion of a deity separate from our capacity to imagine and embody him/her in what we might call our higher selves. From there the reality of G-d becomes experiential. We do not force it on anyone else. We do, however, share our experience.

My experience today is an urge to share this work. The sense I have is that G-d suffers as a creator even as the creation is defaced by our massive inversion of the values we are called, I believe, to embody. The link above goes to the first part of my “demo” of this.

The link below is to the conclusion of this. It leads to Job’s penitential motion.



Sunday Sonnet

Time telling time as only time can tell
Tells nothing if the story goes untold
Our little lections spare us from the hell
Of meeting him and letting him take hold
The simple actions that his word demands
Are foreign to our robes our clocks our ways
Would you believe we all have healing hands
Ah freedom that I prayed would be always
I knew it then then lost it want it back
If I could wear that garment now I would
I was in heaven nothing did I lack
Could I be free from judging yes I could
Each telling now condemns me to my fate
Remembering what I can’t recreate


nietzsche, politics, theology

The Most Revealing Words Nietzsche Ever Wrote


Ah, providence. As I continue this exploration of Nietzsche as he emerges in “A Nietzsche Reader” — translated by R. J. Hollingdale — I stumbled on a construction — that is to say his editing — of the following, which I feel is the most accurate and earth-shaking explanation of what Nietzsche actually means by will to power.

After spending time in the vineyards of Heidegger and the French thinkers who have lavished many pages trying to exegete what eternal return is all about, I feel I have struck a mother lode.

Read on. This is from “Beyond Good And Evil 211” and it is in Hollingdale’s section on philosophy and philosophers.

[The philosopher] …must perhaps have been critic and skeptic and dogmatist and historian and, in addition, poet and collector and traveller and reader of riddles and moralist and seer and ‘free spirit’ and practically everything, so as to traverse the whole range of human values and value-feelings and be able to gaze from the heights into every distance, from the depths into every height, from the nook-and-corner into every broad expanse with manifold eyes and manifold conscience. But all these are only preconditions of his task: this task itself demands something different — it demands that he create values. […] Actual philosophers […] are commanders and law-givers: they say ‘thus it shall be’, it is they who determine the Wherefore and Whither of mankind, and they possess for this task all the preliminary work of all the philosophical labourers, of all those who have subdued the past — they reach for the future with creative hand, and everything that is or has been becomes for them a means, an instrument, a hammer. Their ‘knowing’ is creating, their creating is a lawgiving, their will to truth is — will to power. — Are there such philosophers today? Have there been such philosophers? Must there not be such philosophers?

I am going to leave this without comment. It is to me the precise context for an understanding of will to power.