Whenever I'm tempted to wax cynical about the way technology has impoverished our lives -- turning us into undisciplined, over-entertained, inauthentic consumers -- something good comes along to dispel the mood. In this case, it's news that Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando has made hours and hours of seminary lectures available for free via the iTunes Music Store. If you've ever wanted to hear Dr. J. I. Packer lecture on the Puritans, or Dr. John Frame on philosophy and apologetics, now you can (and if you listen via headphones, no one around you has to know that you're tapping your feet to good theology instead of top forty music).
Downloading the courses couldn't be easier. The RTS site will launch iTunes for you, then you can browse through the various class recordings and decide what you'd like to hear. You can download individual lectures or entire courses. I clicked on "The Church and the World in the 20th Century," and all 28 tracks downloaded to my hard drive, creating a folder called "Reformed Theological Seminary" and a playlist for the course. As I added more courses, they appeared as new playlists in the folder, keeping everything nice and neat. I have downloaded plenty of lecture recordings over the past few years, and none of them have worked as smoothly as this.
I have friends who attended RTS in Orlando, but only visited the campus once. It was a rainy day, and I thought I'd just drop in on the bookstore. Visibility in the parking lot wasn't great, but I managed to pull into an empty spot at the front. As I jumped out of my car, though, I spotted a reserved sign. I'd accidentally parked in Dr. Frame's space. Torn between getting drenched or the possibility of denying the great man his spot, I chose the former! Fortunately, the rain had stopped by the time I staggered back out under the weight of many newly-acquired books.