Thursday 5th December, 2013

Sittler Archives website videos

by Matt Frost

Well, for a while (unnoticed by me, but brought to my attention by patrons), the video section of hadn’t been working.  It’s back up and running with what videos we had available still in digital format (or could find), now hosted through YouTube and embedded on our page.  The story, if you’re interested, is below the break.

For users of our “Theological Reflections” series, with the study guide prepared by Robert Saler, those videos are now working directly from the site again. Robert Rothgery had also made his video, “The Debonair Giant,” available on YouTube, and we have embedded that video link as well, so that it can be viewed from our site again.

There are some videos we didn’t have DVD backup of, and those have now been removed from the page until we can digitize the tapes. Friend of the Archives Bill Maloney, who has equipment we don’t and the experience and time to use it well, has helped us with our reel-to-reel tapes and odd-format video media before. Bill has agreed to help us get the VHS materials into DVD format so that we can begin making those available digitally. It’s very good to have friends, and we’re grateful to Bill for his help!
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Tuesday 10th January, 2012

DNS and server switchover at

by Matt Frost

Folks, it looks like the main site is going to have some downtime as we change servers and domain registry. We had hoped to avoid this, but it will only be a temporary service outage as the site is uploaded to the new hosting company and the domain registry changes hands.

Many thanks to David Scott and Roger Bottorff for helping us reach this point, and overseeing the transition!

(Thank you folks also, for your patience as we sort out any bugs that may come up from dumping 1997 code onto a new server.)

Thursday 10th November, 2011

Sittler Archives Website re-homing

by Matt Frost

The ELCA has graciously hosted the Archives’ primary domain,, since (I believe) the site went live some time in 1997.  There are some perks to having a Presiding Bishop who is well up on his Sittleriana!  In the time we’ve been with the ELCA, we’ve seen the site go from spare local capacity (with a Real Audio streaming server) to cloud-based hosting (with real MP3 files).  But David Scott — our loyal web developer (in his spare capacity) through many rearrangements of the “chandelier” at Higgins Road HQ — has just informed us that they will have to divest themselves of their external hosting arrangements.  (I have a hunch that this is what we call “reducing the attack surface.”)

What does this mean?

Well, of course, that we are to fear, love and trust God above all things!  But also, that we’re looking into some alternative hosting arrangements for the main site.  Hopefully, we’ll have as little down-time as possible, but in any case, we shouldn’t lose any of the data from the main site, and it isn’t hard to bootstrap somewhere else.

Just an FYI — thank you for your interest, as always, and thanks to the ELCA for many years of cooperation in keeping the Archives public!

Friday 9th September, 2011

Schleiermacher in Three Easy Lessons

by Matt Frost

Week 3 of Joe’s Lectures in Theological Method is done.  It says something about the course that it has gone so far from Luther, to Calvin, to Schleiermacher, one week for each.  And from what I can see, it goes on from here to Aulen (with detours into Pannenberg and Rahner), and thence on to Barth and Tillich.  (Apparently also, at the end, back to Athanasius, though I don’t think I have that tape.)  Along the way, so far, we’ve also touched Kierkegaard, and this week Bonhoeffer pretty heavily.  Schleiermacher is here in the syllabus because “he belongs to the genetics by which you’re here at all.”

There’s a Barth quote key to this week, for all that Joe finds Tillich to be more directly Schleiermacher’s heir, to the effect that if you haven’t been seduced by Schleiermacher on these points, you may end up giving away your theological virginity too easily later on.

It’s been far too long since I digitized these, and when you’re multitasking, it becomes harder to devote sufficient time to the summary writing.  So rather than let my guilt over that hold up the publication any longer, I’m just going to give them to you straight, no chaser, so we can get back to the game.

Session 7, 1974-10-14 — Schleiermacher: Intro

Session 8, 1974-10-16 — Schleiermacher (cont’d)

Session 9, 1974-10-18 — Schleiermacher: discussions

The first two are a bit rough, recording-wise, and these are the better of the two copies!  But the third is quite easily audible, and I’ve tried to make all three sound their best.


Wednesday 20th July, 2011

For the good of the order:

by Matt Frost

Rowan Williams on theological education.

I came upon this at Jason Goroncy’s site, a man of reasonably impeccable taste.  The linked post gives me no few reminders of Joe.  I think he and Rowan Williams would have gotten along famously, for the love of poetry, literature, theology, and ecumenism.  And if you don’t read Jason, or you want a faster way to the lecture he’s covering, you can find it here.