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Showing posts from June 17, 2012
It seems to me that there is a cowardly timidity among Christian leaders in the public sphere. On the one hand, I can appreciate the fact that engagement has not always been to Kingdom purposes. It is very possible that the gospel has been identified with a political program. I understand that desire to speak prophetically to all factions. Even so, it seems only the political Right hears the tsking of some . I'm gonna speak bluntly to my good friend here, and trust that the brotherhood we have in Jesus isn't doubted in the process. You want to be liberal? Fine. You want to hammer the Right all day long? Fine. You want to doubt the wisdom of natural ethics as applied to modern America? Fine. Stupid, but fine. But you have an obligation to speak Christian truth in this public space as a disciple of Jesus Christ, no matter who it offends . And I would appreciate the public space to defend myself in like manner. You don't have to agree with me. I don't care. But I tire of

First Things First

First things first. Pray for Jenny, everyone. I remember going to a trivia night for her when this battle first started. To be perfectly honest, cancer scares the hell out of me, and I didn't know what to say. But we'd met each other in a bible study, and everybody to a person says that Jenny makes everyone else feel better, and that's true. You're darn right, every winner gave the money back to Jenny. What would you do? We have to take everything as it comes, whether good or bad. And we know that He's good, even if the way things seem makes us doubt it. All that said, if "fair" has any meaning, this is unfair. O Good Lord, I pray your unseen purposes be fulfilled in this. More than that, I offer my sufferings, if so doing helps Jenny in any way. Jenny, you can find my contact information on Facebook, if you need another ear or shoulder.
Wow, 75 pageviews today, and I hadn't even written anything! Thank you! My childhood friend Kelly got suckered into a couple playlists on Spotify I made: the "Whitney" one, (predictable) and "JK's Love Mix" (oh, my!). On the other hand, I'm listening to Taylor Swift . She's outstanding. I tried to hate her, because she's everywhere, monopolizes the radio, (and not just country radio, mind you) and all her songs are about teenage-girl love. But I know good songs; I can tell you who you'll listen in 20 years without shame. And the truth is, she's one of those people. The passion for the up-tempo "boys suck!" songs may cool, but when she slows it down to be brokenhearted, it's memorable, well-written--by her--and enjoyable. "Tim McGraw" was her very first song; I dare you not to like it. "Teardrops On My Guitar" is a song I love, and the young woman hadn't even given us what has become her signature s
The irrepressible Bryan Cross sends this reply to my monstrous post from yesterday, blocked by an obviously Protestant combox: "And so he gets an unfair reputation in some quarters as trying to intimidate with many words." If article-length replies entail an attempt to "intimidate," all academics who write book-length replies must ipso facto be bullies. Perhaps twenty years from now, anything beyond a tweet-length reply will be considered an attempt to intimidate, and those who now think I am trying to "intimidate" with article-length replies, will themselves be dismissed as bullies for writing three paragraphs. A thorough reply should not be assumed to be an "attempt to intimidate," because it might very well be only an attempt to be thorough, as the first and greatest commandment of love calls us to love God with all our mind. Otherwise all the great doctors of the Church in her two-thousand year history were ipso facto uncharitable bullies f
Ross Douthat: (h/t, John Armstrong ) The real-Jesus project, though intended as a rebuke to biblical literalism, has ended up vindicating modern fundamentalism twice over. One the one hand, the self-understanding of fundamentalists depends on the assumption that once you depart even an iota from a literal-factual-commonsensical reading of Scripture you’re on a slippery slope to denying basic Christian dogmas–which if course is exactly what most of the historical Jesus popularizers believe as well! (The example of a figure like Ehrman, who lost his faith completely when he went to graduate school and realized that actual human beings might have been involved in the composition of the gospels, is almost a parody of a fundamentalist cautionary tale.) At the same time, the way that many fundamentalists actually interpret the Bible–through Cyrus Scofield’s dispensationalist framework–is precisely the sort of do-it-yourself Christianity that real-Jesus “scholarship” implicitly encourages.
Hello, friends. As a sidebar before I even start, certain enthusiastic Lutherans asked me to call a little more often. I'm notoriously bad about this; for one, I hate talking on the phone. An impersonal device where I cannot see a person's face and they can't see mine is not my idea of a good time. [You do it all the time.--ed.] But it is a concession to time and distance; nothing more. And I wouldn't know anything about the impersonality of technology causing painful ruptures in my relations. [Ouch.--ed.] I know, right? In any case, I will get better. I was feeling a little bog of sadness that I didn't want to foist on him. Anyway, that Bryan guy is at it again. Michael Horton needs to give this its due attention. But I also know that Bryan's philosophical nature and attention to detail causes problems he does not intend. There is ground in the discussion that has been trod over many times, which many interlocutors have not seen, not accounted for, and noted.
I have two Facebook friends who always post statuses at night right before they sleep. Quite frankly, I already know that people who sleep at night are tired. If you were at my house and wanted to wish me goodnight, obviously, I won't spurn it. But I would be utterly unshocked to find that you are tired every night at say, 11:30. If you truly believe this forum to be a giant virtual house and we are the Waltons, tag me. I'll be more than happy to return your appeal for friendship affirmation couched in the form of 'I'm tired' with all the affection I can muster. Failing that, though, I must conclude that you simply are vain, and you need attention from others up 'til the very moment you pass from consciousness to sleep. I've known vain people; there are worse things. [Yeah, you're vain. You blather on pointlessly in the hope someone cares.--ed.] I agree. But writers are a special kind of vain. A writer knows that you don't have to read the book or o