Thursday, 2 July 2009

Wish You Were Here!

I've escaped from deep rural exile for a while and I'm blogging from the city of Adelaide in South Australia, where I'm spending 2 days on leave. Will be visiting my alma mater, Luther Seminary, tomorrow...well, the library specifically, to do some research and donate some books to them.

Adelaide in winter has a strange climate which is never quite what I would call cold, but certainly not warm either, but often wet and miserable, which presents the traveller with difficulties as to what to pack. However, it always amuses to see the locals wearing long overcoats when it is no colder than 16 celsius - one of the reasons why I consider Adelaide the most pretentious Australian capital city!

Adelaide is definitely a city to visit in late spring and summer, when it can be quite glorious, as the picture above, taken just down from the Lutheran seminary in North Adelaide, overlooking the cricket ground and city centre, shows. In winter, however, it is uninspiring and mediocre.

Visited the local Koorong today - the largest Christian bookstore chain in Australia. Interestingly, I discovered the Adelaide shop rates their Bibles according to sales: NIV Study Bible is No 1, and the Orthodox Study Bible in the New King James Version published by Thomas Nelson is at No 8 ahead of the much vaunted ESV Study Bible at No 9. Either Orthodox are taking up bible study seriously, or evangelicals are interested in Orthodoxy, I suspect the latter, and that ESV is outgunned by the NIVSB among evangelicals. I've blogged about that before, and may do so again. I was, however, distressed by the fact that in between the NIVSB and the OSB & ESV there were to be found study bibles authorised by Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer! Whether such offerings are heretical is not for me to say, but I fear they are definitely unhealthy spiritually and methodologically eisegetical (reading meanings into the text, rather than deriving meaning from it). Perhaps the better question to ask is: Why are they so popular?

Picked up a copy of Oswald Bayer's Martin Luther's Theology - at Koorong; looks good, better than Loehse's comparable volume of c. 2002.

Visited Borders (large multi-national book chain), dirty and disappointing, but still better than Melbourne's CBD Borders! Will check out a few other book shops tomorrow, d.v..

Update: Next day visited Dymocks - impressed. When I lived in Adelaide Dymocks was a poky (pokey?) little book shop whose custom was being enticed away by the newly opened shop of the international chain Borders; now Dymocks has a clean, spacious two-storey shop, with more books, as opposed to coffee shops, knick knacks, CDs and DVDs, and better variety and prices than Borders too.

Also visited Adelaide Booksellers , the second-hand book dealers at the top of Rundle Mall - used to be a chaotically organised, dusty shop but has been transformed into one of the best second-hand bookshops I have experienced. Picked up a copy of volume one of Prof. Owen Chadwick's classic The Victorian Church from Black's Ecclesiastical History of England series. Now I have to buy volume two!

So, in the end I came away from Adelaide with fewer books than I went with, much fewer - which was one of my goals, as I am trying to simplify my life and live with fewer books (and "stuff" generally). More on that endeavour in the future.


L P said...

You mean Koorong is carrying a Lutheran book? You don't say.

I wish they are doing that in Melbourne.


L P said...

Perhaps the better question to ask is: Why are they so popular?

There is the rub.

Good point.


Acroamaticus said...


Yes, I wonder how we might be able to cajole them into stocking more Lutheran stuff? We might have to resort to surreptitiously leaving Lutheran books on their shelves for people to find!
That reminds me, time was when I used to wonder the same thing about Openbook - why don't they stock Lutheran books? Sigh!

L P said...

Odd for a Lutheran book shop not to stock Lutheran books, no?