Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I've just been skimming through my Evernote clippings to see what I've got in relation to the topic of skiing (that nasty word that occasionally turns up in crosswords or CodeCrackers and fools you because of the two letters i sitting together).  The list wasn't long, to my surprise, and curiously, Evernote claimed that the word appeared in several articles in which it plainly didn't! I wanted to connect it up to the phrase: Peter Glenn ski wear.

However I did turn up this bit of nonsense by one of my favourite short-piece writers, Kim Fabricius. 
Apr├Ęs ski, two theologians were avidly discussing the phrase piste christou.
I’ve been closely following the pistis christou debates, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am that, according to some scholars, I am justified by an objective genitive. I’d been getting so worried that I might need some complex periphrastic or optative construction to get saved that I’ve been brushing up on my Metzger and Moule.

Not being a Greek scholar, I didn't know what the pistis christou debates were - that doesn't stop the joke being funny, since plainly piste has both a skiing connection and a theological one.  For those who want to know what the pistis christou part is about, here's an explanation from Andrew Wilson: For a generation, the discussion has been raging in academic circles over whether the Greek phrase pistis Christou should be understood as meaning ‘faith in Christ’ or ‘faithfulness of Christ’. For almost all interpreters until the last few decades, the question hasn’t really been a question: it means ‘faith in Christ’ (the ‘objective genitive’ reading, since Christ is the object of the faith). But writers like Richard Hays and Tom Wright, along with an increasingly large contingent within New Testament scholarship, have argued strongly that it should instead be translated ‘faithfulness of Christ’ (the ‘subjective genitive’, since Christ is the subject of the faith/faithfulness.) And unlike a lot of debates in Pauline scholarship, this one could actually make a substantial difference. 

Okay, that's a long way from skiing, but I thought it was interesting all the same.  Kind of.

Anyway, in relation to skiing and writing, I found this bit of useful information - for writers: a mystery set in a ski resort will not necessarily appeal more to skiers than others.  Why, you ask?  Because people who know a topic get irritated when an author plainly isn't as familiar with it as they are.  In the author's defence, he or she is merely trying to give colour to the mystery, which is more important than the setting.  Dick Francis went through a long patch of giving his thrillers a particular focus - photography, for example, or wine, or archery.  (They're just the ones I remember.)  These were interwoven with the usual horseracing aspects of the story, and gave it additional weight.  I remember my mother, who was a great fan of these books, saying that you learned a lot about these subjects when you read one of Dick Francis' books. I suspect you only learned as much as Francis needed to tell you, and that a person who really knew about the matter might think his information thin. Nevertheless, everyone gained - except the people who really knew about the topic, and they, as the quote above indicates, may not have read the book in the first place, at least certainly not for the facts about wine or archery or whatever. 

Finally on the topic of skiing, we have this delightful paragraph from Gerhard Forde, a theological writer I'm not really familiar with, but whose writing appeals to me all the same (I've seen a number of examples of it on this site). 

“Am I making progress? If I am really honest, it seems to me that the question is odd, even a little ridiculous. As I get older and death draws nearer, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I get a little more impatient, a little more anxious about having perhaps missed what this life has to offer, a little slower, harder to move, a little more sedentary and set in my ways. It seems more and more unjust to me that now that I have spent a good part of my life ‘getting to the top,’ and I seem just about to have made it, I am already slowing down, already on the way out. A skiing injury from when I was sixteen years old acts up if I overexert myself. I am too heavy, the doctors tell me, but it is so hard to lose weight! Am I making progress? Well, maybe it seems as though I sin less, but that may only be because I’m getting tired! It’s just too hard to keep indulging the lusts of youth. Is that sanctification? I wouldn’t think so! One should not, I expect, mistake encroaching senility for sanctification.”
The self-deprecating paragraph was quoted on the Mockingbird blogMockingbird seems to be run by a group, so I'm not sure which member of the group wrote the blog post this quote appeared in.

The photo comes from skiing knee replacement archives - which is a bit off-putting...if you have any interest in skiing...

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