I've also been listening to Sam's Town by the Killers and discovering a real depth to it.
I'm reading a book by James Thompson called Pastoral Ministry according to Paul: A Biblical Vision (Baker 2006). It came highly recommended, though I've never heard of Thompson. So far, it's pretty good. He's an NT man so it's a scholarly trawl of pastoral themes in the undisputed Paulines (don't you just love that phrase?! It really is high time someone disputed it - it's one of those givens of NT scholarship that is ripe for demolition.)
It's informed by the New Perspective on Paul (which is good) and majors on Paul's pastoral goal being transformation (a solid idea). I find myself reading it and saying 'yes, I agree with all this, but what I want to know is how did Paul do it - except by writing letters? What did his day look like? Did he visit people, lead Bible studies, preach sermons and chair church meetings?' I'm not sure Thompson is going to answer any of these questions. It's probably not fair to expect him to because that's not the purpose of the book.
But I'd love to know whether anyone has tackled these questions or whether (as I suspect) they are completely unanswerable. Post a comment if you can help or have more questions to add to my list.
AAAhhh ... 'The Kingdom of Doom' on The Good, the Bad and the Queen has just started. What a great track; fabulous strummed acoustic at the start, then the swirl of organ and 'Friday night in the Kingdom of Doom.' It contains the line 'drink all day/coz the country's at war/you'll be falling off the palace wall/I can't be anymore than I say/Oh in the flood we all get washed away.' Sublime.
Hoping to see the Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the White Cube next week or the week after.