I stumbled onto a blog called Daveblackonline this week–or maybe he stumbled onto mine first. He had noticed my “Theological German” site. I looked at his site and at first he seemed to be a southern preacher, a simple, honest straight shooter. I was somewhat surprised that he had an interest in German, until I looked further.
This is David Allen Black, the famous expert on the Greek Language and a New Testament Scholar. When I started teaching intermediate Greek, the students had been broken in on his grammar. They all knew the rule about neuter plural nouns–the famous page 36 rule, from page 36 in his textbook.
I remember at the time thinking of the similarity of his name to the country singer David Allen Coe, but for all I knew David Allen Black was Scottish or Irish. It turns out that he is a Southern gentleman, who lives on a working farm in Virginia. He is a patriot who has some firm political convictions. For example, he believes the United States began a slide toward socialism when Abraham Lincoln began his “unconstitutional war” of aggression against the southern states in their bid for independence.
He also has more recently written a book entitled Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon (here) in which he also describes how he lost faith in George W. Bush. He is now supporting Ron Paul.
Looking back over his past career, professor Black remembered receiving his doctorate in theology in 1983 from the University of Basel (that explains the German!) He said he had to pledge (in Latin) loyalty to the Swiss principles of democracy. Evidently he is still trying to keep that vow. (See his post on “The Barmen Declaration.”)
Still thinking about the country singer, I went on a search for the lyrics to his song, “You Don’t Have to Call Me Darlin’, Darlin. You Never Even Call Me by My Name.” I think it is very clever, and is in fact the world’s greatest country song. I think the gentleman farmer/professor would have enough sense of humor to appreciate it if I changed the lyrics just a bit to “You Don’t Have to Call Me Doktor, Doktor.”
David Allen Coe is a real country outlaw, having done several years of hard time in prison (not just a few nights in a county jail like Johnny Cash did). I was deeply disappointed to find that he had recorded a couple of awful, vicious “racist and misogynist” songs in the 1980s. I now have a dilemma, because back in the 90s I vowed I would never listen to any music by Marshal Mather because of his racist and misogynist lyrics; so I guess if I’m consistent I can’t even listen to Coe singing “Child of God.”
According to Wikipedia Coe states that the songs in question “are not his works” and he refuses to acknowledge or perform them in concert. He also maintains that he is not a racist, (and for all I know he even admits that some of his closest relatives are women). I don’t know, should I take his word for it?
Professor Black wasn’t always a southern gentleman. He was born in Hawaii, and loves to surf and drink 100% Kona coffee. So I have another thing in common with him. Before she went to work for Mother Earth News, our older daughter served an apprenticeship on an organic coffee farm in Hawaii.
I plan to keep up with professor Black’s blog, and if I ever get the chance to meet him, I’ll hang around as long as he will let me . . .