Friday, June 18, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup (TM) USA vs. Slovenia:

10th Minute: USA looking aggressive but a little sloppy, 0-0.

13th Minute: Birsa, Goal, 1-0 Slovenia. Seriously.

43rd Minute: Goal, Slovenia, 2-0.

Half-Time, 2-0 Slovenia.

49th Minute: GOAL!!! Landon Donovan, 2-1 Slovenia.

82nd Minute: GOAL!!! Michael Bradley, 2-2.

85th Minute: 3rd US goal disallowed for no reason, 2-2.

Full-Time: 2-2.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When Marty is right, he's right:

"I am not of the opinion" said Luther, "that through the Gospel all the arts should be banished and driven away, as some zealots want to make us believe; but I wish to see them all, especially music, in the service of Him Who gave and created them." Again he says: "I have myself heard those who oppose pictures, read from my German Bible. … But this contains many pictures of God, of the angels, of men, and of animals, especially in the Revelation of St. John, in the books of Moses, and in the book of Joshua. We therefore kindly beg these fanatics to permit us also to paint these pictures on the wall that they may be remembered and better understood, inasmuch as they can harm as little on the walls as in books. Would to God that I could persuade those who can afford it to paint the whole Bible on their houses, inside and outside, so that all might see; this would indeed be a Christian work. For I am convinced that it is God's will that we should hear and learn what He has done, especially what Christ suffered. But when I hear these things and meditate upon them, I find it impossible not to picture them in my heart. Whether I want to or not, when I hear, of Christ, a human form hanging upon a cross rises up in my heart: just as I see my natural face reflected when I look into water. Now if it is not sinful for me to have Christ's picture in my heart, why should it be sinful to have it before my eyes?"
The Day is Mine! Academically, there was nothing to fear. A 2.44 GPA never looked so good. [You lost one of your ready-made excuses for being a papist.--ed.] I know. I don't think I was trying to torpedo myself. I think there was one assignment too many for me in one case, and I was inattentive in a little thing, which became a big thing. [But you did really well on that exam, which never happens.--ed.] I know. Just think what I might have done with more time to prepare. [That was a closed-Bible exam, no?--ed.] Hmmm. I didn't know my editor was Larry Feingold. Yes, it was. [You are blessed to remember Scripture like you do.--ed.] In my defense, it helps to read it fairly often. [Yeah, well, you just read Colossians 2 days ago, and you intended to read it for 3 weeks.--ed.] Guilty. But, God-willing, I'll read Ephesians and maybe Philippians [sp.?] today. Editor's Note: I stole the fictional editor concept from blogger and author Mickey Kaus. Too bad on that California Senate thing, Mickey. I was pulling for you. You said some good stuff (for a Democrat).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

OOOF! My school allows us to see individual assignment grades before the final grades come out, and it is ugly at points. I can't do math, but I think it'll be OK. I'd like to say that I am a real person, not a robot, and one with a physical disability at that. If you give me what amounts to "busy work," I have to make a choice. One thing I'm really proud of is the work I did in my Hebrew in Exegesis class on a word study paper (97) and the individual exegesis paper (88). I had already been aided by a 96 on the group exegesis paper, having teamed with "Deano" and "Exegetical Michael Jordan." I needed those, because that's the very class which worries me. Then again, I think now all I fear is the term GPA; if it was below 2.25, that will be the end of my studies. [There might not be any point in finishing.--ed.] Well, I've not decided to become Catholic, hermeneutical and ecclesiological doubts aside. [But it surely affected you--ed.] You're d--- right it did. I kept seeing the haggard lady from "The Princess Bride" shouting, "Schism! Boo! Boo!" "TT" has this joke he tells whenever enlightening us with some point of pre-Reformation history and anticipating the outcry from our more evangelical anti-Catholic brethren: "Don't you know the Church started in 1521?" And I must've heard him quote Jaroslav Pelikan 50 times: (possible paraphrase) "Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living; Tradition is the living faith of the dead." [Oddly papist for a Lutheran, no?--ed.] Yes. It reminded me one morning though of seeing three men in the front row at COK: The Reformed University Fellowship campus minister, an Anglican priest, and the director (or some fairly important dude) of Campus Crusade for Christ at MU. [Isn't this a PCA church?--ed.] I think so! Though it always felt a bit Anglican to me. [Minus the "extra" books.--ed.] Right. It might be a falsehood for us all to claim the Apostle's Creed as a point of unity given its context and meaning, but what a glorious conceit it is! And I predict that serious confessional Christians will have oddly uncomfortable and glorious opportunities for dialogue in the coming years that were not always there. [Side Rant: Can I just say that the cases of Hugh Latimer, Jan Hus, and the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre really bother me? Pardon me if those "heresies" don't set me on fire quite like Docetism or Arianism. I'm definitely expecting to see those people in Heaven/New Earth, even if I am a papist. I wonder if there'll be a Texas Hold'Em game with those cats, Luther, Pope John Paul II, John Calvin, and Mother Theresa. I'd be happy to take a seat if/when I get there. [You sure Luther/Calvin will make it?--ed.] How can anyone be sure? But I verily have a soft spot for both of those Reformers. Even if they are schismatics. They seem like my kind of guys. For the record, I have absolutely zero sympathy for Servetus. I'm thankful that it isn't normal to execute heretics, in some sense. But if you're under a death sentence from the Catholics, Lutherans, and the Reformed, it may be a strong hint that you need to re-think your position. It's treated as some black mark against Calvin, when it's nothing of the sort. The only acceptable excuses for denying the Trinity are of the "I'm a lifelong Jew/Hindu/something else" variety. Sorry. But being some flavor of Protestant (especially in the 16th century) strikes me as a very understandable "mistake."] Anyway, we should be thankful that the way of the world is causing us all to question the wisdom of the Christian "family spat."
Note to Robin Thicke: Your massive awesomeness cannot be overestimated. Though I can abide the occasional semi-slinky line here and there ("Lost Without U," looking in your direction, and I am a Babyface/Marvin Gaye fan after all) I must call biblical shenanigans on an album entitled "Sex Therapy." And it has a warning label! So I picked up "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" instead. (Fred the Fundie: But it says 'Evolution'! Oh, heavens to Betsy! Whatever shall we do?) There must be a happy medium somewhere. I figure it's this: If your pastor can't affirm something in a song as reflective of marital love as God intends without firing himself, it's wicked. [Is it a bad time to mention that every time you attend a marriage/dating/sex seminar, you hear "Whip Appeal" in your head for the next three hours?--ed.] Look, I'm not gonna play it for the youth group, OK? But I think we should congratulate the songwriters in that case (Perri Reid and Babyface) for assisting in the conception of what, 4 million children since 1989? I'll let people worry about their own sins. But we gotta think demographics on this one, too. Great song. Sue me. But how square am I really? Every time I hear "Thank You In Advance" by our friends Boyz II Men, I think, "Seems like they did a few things out of order." I think we understand each other.

Monday, June 14, 2010

No, I Cannot Pray and Chew Gum at the Same Time, Thanks for Asking
I found myself praying for a buddy just now, forgetting that I had a piece of gum in my mouth. It's not that I couldn't do it; it just felt a bit unserious. Father or no, this is still Almighty God we address. I barely wanted to type that. [Oh, smeg, here comes an anti-evengelical rant!--ed.] Have you gotten the distinct feeling you were in a place where people were talking about God in worship, but not to him? 94% of the time, it's not even intentional. But no wonder we're all confused: it seems like everything in evangelicalism I have seen is geared toward some nebulous "seeker" I have never met, or to his comfort and non-offense. And not that this is bad; I want the people who don't yet know Christ to come; I want the people who could know him more deeply (that'd be all of us) to come, too. But if we're not us as Christians, to what or to whom are we drawing these people? If it's even .1% true that "the medium is the message," it stands to reason that we risk confusing ourselves as committed Christians if we toy around too much. Did no one think of this? The whole reason we have loads of anti-church, disaffected (white) Boomers is that, however they were sinned against, those liturgies they grew up with are like emotional or mental super-glue. If Father or Pastor Joe wasn't a good man somehow, "Torch it, we're starting over." And now I'm stuck with your business model. Thanks; thanks a lot. I have no burning urge to kick it old school, as it were; I'm just not very smart. Let's not reinvent the wheel when we're talking life and death. As I've written previously, every church I ever attended or visited gets the same three questions: "Who is God?" "Who am I?" "What are we doing here?" (in life and in Sunday worship) With all due respect, I personally don't care about the talents of your music team, whether you have a men's ministry, or who the youth leader is. [Side Rant: I was at church yesterday, and God love him, I think the pastor gave the worst sermon I ever heard. It's not what he said; it's what he didn't say. And I couldn't figure out why I thought it was so deficient until just now. The thought actually occurred at the time: "Oh no! He just preached 30 minutes as though everyone in this audience is already saved." Not most of us. Not some believing and needing growth, some not. If he said to repent, I don't remember it. If he exalted the glories of the Incarnation or Resurrection, I don't remember it. It was a "vision" sermon. I hate "vision" sermons. And he forgot to read the text! Didn't we go to the same seminary, sir? You just can't do that. That's the homiletical equivalent of something really awful. [You know, that preacher you like, his sermons suck, too. It's like Senior Lit all over again.--ed.] Maybe. But I always can see the highest and the best, and that Jesus is the Way. I may find out later that he "pulled a Biden" (see 1988 Presidential election) on something from a book, but I always say, "Wow, I need to read that book; I didn't know Jesus was in there!" Anyway, at the risk of self-congratulation, it freaked me out when my colleagues said, "You preach like there's mostly unbelievers in the room." And I said, "Well, we have to preach the gospel." If you think about it, is there any of us so unstained by the world that we don't need to hear the first things 8000 times? No. Therefore, I'd say, within the bounds of familiarity and friendship, the message is nearly the same in content, if not in form.] Just give it to me straight, dude. I'm meeting with God, not buying a house.