Monday, December 28, 2009
I think we live in the first age in history in which such nonsense is possible on a worldwide scale. There have always been totalitarian societies where the subject of the emperor's clothing deficit has been dangerous to bring up, but only today is such delusion acceptable everywhere. And not merely among the “ignorant masses,” but most especially and vociferously among the intellectuals.
Yes, I think that's about right.
Who knew? I mean, really, who knew the kum-ba-yah-lefties had invaded the criminal justice system of Saudi Arabia? Turns out, the plotters of the Christmas Day Almost-terrorist-attack were released from Gitmo into the custody of the government of Saudi Arabia which, in turn, placed them into an art therapy rehabilitation program . Lydia McGrew, over at What's Wrong with the World has it right. Place this one in the, "Let's not learn anything from this" file.
It's a very big file.
This blog's owner is also a fan of Blaise Pascal.
So, my question is this:
Why does is never seem to occur to Egalitarians that NONE of their literary heroes would recognize Egalitarianism as even remotely orthodox?
Saturday, December 26, 2009
And, to inaugurate it today, I also pulled out my Christmas present to myself, The Flavor Bible. THIS is the recipe book to end all recipe books - and not a single recipe in the entire book. It is simply (or not, as the case may be) a compendium of flavor charts. It will help teach you to cook without recipes and encourage you to try new combinations. For instance, if you are tired of the old applesauce-with-pork-roast routine, you can look up, "pork" and see what other flavors will complement your roast.
Today's inaugural recipe wasn't too complicated as I just wanted to get going and try something. So, when the grocery store put cauliflower on sale this week, I bought 3 big heads and boiled them today (the excess cooking liquid will go to stretching the turkey soup I made last night since the noodles keep soaking up all the broth!). I then pureed them in the big bowl (almost all three, but reserved a few florets for the soup) with a bit of butter, milk (too much, as it turns out) and garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and chervil. The thyme and chervil ideas came from the book -- and voila! I have a great big bowl of mashed cauliflower that tastes divine.
Next up is my famous red cabbage. But first, a trip to the grocery store for stuff to store all this food in and some Tarragon, which I discovered I don't have and which was listed under cauliflower as well. And, just maybe, I might be brave enough to get a Chia Herb Garden. I may do OK with cooking, but I have black thumbs as far as growing . . .
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Some months ago, I noticed one such instance over on the CBE blog. You can read the entire post and comments here: What is most important? But I wish to highlight the relevant portion of one particular response:
I think to take the focus off flesh (female flesh or male flesh) and place it on character would take us out of those two categories and free us to develop real character–fruit of the spirit character. Look at Jesus’ character… his love, justice, compassion, courage, holiness, righteous anger, active faith, kindness, sharp wit and ability to think about what is good, what would bring shalom (justice and well-being).
Then I don’t need a feminine face for God or a male face for God… I need a human face for God and a human model of godliness. We are then in God’s image because we are human and made in his image…and there is not a feminine way to be that image and a male way to be in that image. It is freeing for both men and women to focus on the Spirit… and character… not on flesh.
This is a textbook example of Anthropological modalism - the human is reduced to mere humanity. And sex? Male and Female? Reduced to mere accident, a distracting inconvenience.
Although, there is that focus on spirit to the denigration of flesh . . .
Monday, December 21, 2009
I am still following the discussion on Denny Burk's blog , which I posted on here .
The form of religious feminism which likes to call itself "Egalitarian" is falling into increasing chaos and rebellion. It's sad that so many who might once have legitimately considered themselves a sort of orthodox Christian are bringing their rebellion into the open with full-bore, unapologetic denial of the essentials that all Christians, whether Orthodox, Catholic, Reformed or other Protestant hold. No longer can it be said that they are merely deceived.
Now we have open rebellion and denial of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It makes me shiver, chills me to the bone, that the same could have been my fate if I haven't heeded the promptings brought on by the prayers of the faithful. Only by God's grace do I suffer such deception any longer.
Read response #24 on Denny Burk's blog post linked above and weep for this lost soul. Weep for the state of Evangelicalism. And pray this man leads no precious soul astray. He is listed as an "Elder" and an "Overseer" on a large Egalitarian discussion board and is a commenter on CBE's blog where, as far as I can determine, his theology has never been corrected or rebuked. So please don't dismiss this is an outlier - he shows here the direction Egalitarianism's rebellion will increasingly take.
In response, Congressman Stupak has issued a statement making it clear he remembers the most vulnerable of *his* constituents and his duty to them and to God.
Please pray Rep. Stupak will be strengthened for the battle ahead and will prove a godly and effective leader in this fight.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
In just the latest example of, "Slippery Slope? We don't see no stinkin' slippery slope!", sigh, a church right here in the Denver area has decided for themselves to embrace homosexuality as a valid Christian lifestyle. I'll say nothing about the creepiness of whatever it is on the screen behind the equally creepy thing that is, apparently, an "altar".
This story is also exhibit # 972 in the long line of reasons I no longer call myself an Evangelical. Denny Burk has it right. "Evangelical" indeed.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Little factoids I remember:
By the natives, it is pronounced Keev, not Ki-yev which is the Russian pronunciation.
The country is simply Ukraine, no "the" in front. "The Ukraine" refers to Ukraine as a Soviet region, not the independent country
Pepsi is Pepsi, even there.
Pan fried potatoes are delicious in any language.
Orthodox churches have no pews because you do not sit in the presence of a king, much less the presence of God.
Touristy little things will seem cheap to you, and the vendors will think you're stupid Americans for paying so much.
Next to one of the churches was a little museum exhibiting tiny carvings, as little as the head of a pin, but gorgeously detailed under magnification -- that's what the snowman reminded me of.
Pigeons are pigeons in any language and inhabit train stations, seemingly the world over.
The people we were with were friendly but most were not - 70 years of trying to be grey and not stand out had made their mark on the Ukrainian people.
But then, that was nearly 15 years ago. I am sure things have changed.
After twenty-five years of listening to, and reading, feminists who purport both to be Christians and to honor Scripture, a few years ago I stopped. Their scholarship was so bad, non-sequiturs so constant, lies so bald-faced, and impiety so obvious, I couldn't bear it any more--keeping up with them was too caustic to my heart.
Me, too. Not the twenty-five years, but everything else.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I have little to add, just a few words about my brew of choice, tea.
I disagree with good Fr. Rutler - herbal teas are indeed real teas. It is the fruit based ones that aren't, being Tisans, instead. Herbal tea has a fine medicinal and pleasurable tradition that I won't gainsay.
As far as making tea - Steve is right, the water must be right. I am not a strict purist in that I do use filtered tap water.
The water must be cold to start and boiled in a proper tea kettle, the microwave is anathema. I recommend a cordless electric kettle - it sits on an electric base and you can pick it up, and move it, etc, to pour without a cord hassle.
The pot must be properly warmed, first. So boil more water than the pot holds.
Loose leaf tea is best and should be strained when poured. Second best is a tea ball or filter insert in your tea pot. Tea bags are only to be used as a last resort.
For plain black tea, PG Tips is the best generally available brand, but don't use it for iced tea.
If you want to go out for tea, Peet's is the only place.
And, for you coffee purists, if you ever find yourself in Portland, OR, Stumptown is the only place to get the black brew.
And, because I am a poseur (in the words of my British friend), I recommend Luzianne for iced tea. It brews quite well if left overnight in the refrigerator.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
How can you not laugh at things like this?:
The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine Whiskey and Song, by the irrepressible John Zmirak, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite columnists,
Or this cartoon with Sarah Palin:
Help! Mom! Liberals are ruining my country!
Or this dog, who understands joy:
Bailey, the unknown reindeer
I wish my fellow library patrons joy, or at least a bit of mirth. But please, they must stop being so unhappy!
Much of what he's written . . .is of a tone and demeanor that would warn any godly souls away. . . .if you come across . . .you may wonder why I don't respond to his specific complaints. The answer is that life is short and it's clear to me that no truthful answer will satisfy him.
I've edited the specifics to highlight Tim's admonition and its applicability to so many situations we allow ourselves to get sucked into with this marvelous tool, the internet.
And, today, I agree with David Bayly who encourages us to go read this post by the ever challenging Doug Wilson.
Now this from my friend, Greg Laughlin, via an email discussion:
My experience is that essential issues are those on which the person making the distinction is orthodox and non-essential issues are those on which he is not.
Finally, via the same email conversation, David Mills gives us an excellent illustration of the just plain wrongness of the high dudgeon some Anglicans are getting themselves into over the Vatican's recent offer to disaffected Anglicans:
This often comes with the news that -- Shock and Horror! -- the offer actually requires agreeing with Catholic teaching. It's like giving your wife a necklace and finding the old lady down the street coming to the door to tell you, "I won't take that. I have my own necklaces.What are you trying to pull?"
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tonight, I caught a few moments of Sean Hannity's recent interview with Carrie PreJean, being rebroadcast tonight. Here is the relevant portion from the Foxnews website:
HANNITY: And one of the things that you do in this book that I like in the book is you really address young girls, and you try to maybe counsel them and advise them. What do you tell young girls that, you know, have these boyfriends, their first loves, like this was, I guess one of your first boyfriends?
PREJEAN: Yes. Yes.
HANNITY: You really were close to him. Now it's been a big betrayal. What do you tell young girls?
PREJEAN: Be careful. Nothing is private any more. Nothing is private. With Facebook, with MySpace, with all that going on, I mean, you have to be so careful. In my last chapter of my book I give, you know, advice to young women and just to people in general, that you know, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes, just like all of us make mistakes. And you know, this book has been so great for me to share with other people what happened, because I do share. I do share what really happened. And people have heard bits and pieces of, you know, the liberal media's version of it. But basically, it's for Americans who believe their beliefs are under attack.
That's it -- be careful? No -- it's sinful and I'm a Christian, I shouldn't have done it at all? No -- it was sinful, I have asked God for forgiveness and I repent?
This is what the media, even big names like the Roman Catholic Sean Hannity, present us with as the public face of Christianity. This is the sort of Christian we are told is normal and good and right and acceptable.
And we don't, at least most of us, don't bat an eyelid. Ho Humm. "Well, she's a bit more liberal than I am, but she seems to be a nice girl. She's awfully pretty and she did say right things about marriage at the contest." That's largely been our response.
And then we wonder why we get marginalized as nut-jobs when we dare squeak out a defense of genuine, orthodox Christianity?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Martyrdom of the Intellectual
Today, Roman Catholics commemorate the deaths of Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions, who were martyred in a wave of persecution in nineteenth century Vietnam. I am always stirred by stories of the martyrs, wondering whether I too would prove willing to take a bullet in the head, or something far worse, rather than keep silent about my faith in Jesus. It requires fortitude, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; but also, in most cases, perseverance, and that may be a rarer and more precious gift still. Which reminds me of a passage I read recently in Josef Pieper's Faith, Hope, Love, to the effect that Thomas placed those who sally forth in intellectual battles for the faith alongside the martyrs of blood. Thomas' reasoning was that those fighters too require great courage. They must not only preach the truth; they must wade into the marshes where errors lurk, and confront them directly, discovering in them what truth they distort, and separating it from the distortion, and, in general, to use St. Paul's bracing admonition, quitting themselves like men.
I confess that I'm far from that martyrdom -- and that may explain my sometimes wistful admiration for the martyrs of blood, who seem to have had the more terrible battle, but also the clearer battle. Meanwhile, I see young apologists for the faith going forth to brave the dragons in their lairs -- may God increase their number! May the Lord who teaches our fingers to fight bestow upon them his Spirit of wisdom, to thresh out falsehood and unfold the truth. Give us the signal, unsurpassable Commander! We cannot each of us fight across the whole of the field, but what we can do, give us the heart to do, that we may bear upon our hearts, if not our limbs, the scars of nobility.
First -- Can blood be shed without violence? For the context in which evidence of blood shed is important, see Deuteronomy 22.
Second -- The great works of literature are a Christian heritage to us. These works consistently use symbols in certain ways. Is this use meaningless coincidence or do they point us to a hidden truth?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Interesting……I have never heard that idea before. I think it’s a bit like some of the Christmas traditions which originated in paganism and later people thought of some Christian symbolism to match the tradition. (Please let’s not start a discussion on Christmas traditions) There is nothing biblical about that comparison, however Christian it might sound.
Your comment, Blank Slate, shows that you are not aware of from where the ‘giving away’ idea came from and that it is still practised today in far too many countries. In these places the bride is sometimes dressed in finery and the couple are surrounded by friends and family with all the attendant pomp and ceremony.
In most situations the bride Is ‘traded’ for money and/or or given away to be a virtual servant to her husband’s family. The thought of a woman being property is nothing new and is how so many cultures have always perceived the whole marriage relationship.
It’s very sad that within the so-called Christian world this tradition has persisted and been sanitised to be a sentimental happening. Even in the ‘nicest’ way, it is still the thought of a young woman going from the care of her father to the care of her husband without the corresponding thought of a young man going from the care of his mother to the care of his wife.
I'm sorry, I really am. I've never met the woman. I've only corresponded with her briefly but, to be honest, I simply don't believe she is that ignorant of the bridal imagery shot through the whole of Scripture, from beginning to end, from the first marriage to the last -- the wedding feast to end all wedding feasts. Does the Marriage Supper of the Lamb mean nothing to her? Does it not even ring one tiny, tinny little distant bell? Really?
This is why I believe Steve Hutchens is right to call Egalitarianism a heresy. If they win, we lose the Fatherhood of God, from which all human fatherhood derives. And we miss the second important image in Scripture - The Bridegroom and His Bride, the Church for whom he gave his life. It's lost, and with it the Gospel.
Period. End of Story.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Never mind that our skeletons differ, our muscular structures differ, our relative hormones differ -- never mind that even our brains are wired differently. No, this only results in stereotyping because, inevitably, there is the brawny woman who can lift a car or the man who is good at singing his infant son to sleep. And lets not get sidetracked by the argument about gifts. Whoever said possession of a gift automatically confers the right to exercise it when and where the recipient feels "called" so to do?
So it's really hard to determine what they think the legitimate differences are. Yet they claim to be the true complementarians. But, every once in a while, their slip shows. And it's then that we know my friend, Tony Esolen, is right to call them Indifferentists. For here we see that they really don't give a rat's right butt cheek for any differences, real or imagined. They don't give a fig about tradition or the deep reasons for those traditions. Nor do they care about God's labels, you know those awful "traditionalist" outmoded labels the church has used for two millennia. Yes, the ones that point us to the Church's relationship to Christ. Yes, THOSE labels:
I now pronounce you husband and wife ( I now pronounce you life partners would be even better) seal the covenant you have made to each other with a kiss.”
Yes, this is the latest from CBE's blog. Better even than husband and wife is the indifferent moniker of "life partner" with whom you may seal your "covenant" by a kiss.
Forgive me, but isn't "life partner" one of the designations preferred by homosexualists who play at pseudogamy?
Addendum: Lest you think I am exaggerating the ugliness of the Egalitarian vision for remaking the sexes, our correspondent above has returned with an additional comment:
I mean just look at how traditions have changed already I seldom hear Love Honor and Obey in marriage vows even in comp churches which is a good thing so hopefully we are moving in the right direction.
I guess at least one Egalitarian believes a wife should not Love and Honor her husband (we already know she shouldn't obey him, according to their lights). Let's see if anyone contradicts him in this. To his vision of marriage, all I can say in public is -- Ick, ick, ick, ick, ICK!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
On a whim today, I stopped by the wine shop on the way home from lunch with a friend. They had some new wines sitting on the barrell at the front and I took a quick look. My wine guy said, "Those are new today." I looked a the label and they were all Beaujolais Nouveau. I looked at him and said, "Already?"
Yep, third Thursday in November.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Yes, that is the plan. I intend to add more consistent books reviews to the offerings on this blog. The first two will involved sex trafficking/women's issues. The reviews you can expect before the end of the year are on the following books:
Kristof and WuDunn, Half the Sky
Ratushinskaya, Grey is the Colour of Hope
Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction
Oddie, What Will Happen to God: Feminism and the Reconstruction of Christian Belief
Although, I am a little irritated because the book by Oddie should have arrived before I left home and it hadn't. As you can probably guess, I won't be taking any more trips this year. But I am very excited to dig into all of this - plus the good folks at Bob's Red Mill are sending me lots of goodies like French Flageleot Beans and Millet and Scottish Oatmeal, so there will be a few cooking posts the rest of this year as well.
Oh, and, along with those goodies from Bob's, tucked away in the bottom of the box is Rose Levy Berenbaum's, The Bread Bible which should provide lots and lots of therapeutic kneading time, right?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Welcome to BA, Kamilla. Everybody say hello to Kamilla . . . .
So Wednesday is the day. Many books will be browsed through, picked up, etc. Four of them are already paid for and waiting on a shelf for their new owner. Yes, it's the long-awaited trip to Portland, Oregon and Powell's City of Books.
Here is the list so far:
Steve Kellmeyer, Sex and the Sacred City (a popularization of JPIIs TOB)
Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction
Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences
Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (Penguin History of the Church)
Nicholas Krisof, Half the Sky (to be reviewed on this blog as part of the Sex Trafficking series)
J. Gresham Machen, Christanity & Liberalism
Elizabeth Loftus, The Myth of Repressed Memory
And the other contenders, which might find a new home:
Julia Child, My Life in France (NOT the movie tie-in cover, please!)
Julian Green, The Other One
Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothal
Edmund Spenser, Amoretti The Fairie Queene
John Milton, Paradise Lost
Homer/Fagles, The Odyssey
Today, I found it. And no, this is not an instance of Godwin's law.
The source is Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist. I guess he knew.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Never mind that we can all, if we be honest, tell a tale of false abuse claims made in the furtherance of a nicely advantageous divorce and child custody settlement. Never mind that false claims dog the victim the rest of their lives - there is *always* a whisper of suspicion on the part of some -- once the word is said, it can never be recalled. Never mind that it is *extraordinarily easy* to create false memories during "therapy". Never mind the wronged father who, once the claims of abuse were found to be ridiculously false and could never have occurred, lamented, "Where do I go to get my name back?" Never mind that religious feminists purvey their slanderous claims all over the internet - contrary to the public and repeated teach of men they claim enable abuse.
Oh, no, never mind all that. The only thing that matters is that evil patriarchalists are seen to be criticizing a poor, hurting, (allegedly) abused woman. Oh my, poor thing, how she has suffered. How DARE you question her, she used to be really, really famous and gave it all up. OK, no need to continue -- you know the drill.
Carl Friedan knew. For 30 years his ex-wife's false accusations of abuse dogged him -- for the rest of his life. Even then, he still lauded her for what she had accomplished on behalf of women. She was a raging dynamo, he said, but then lamented how she never realized that didn't work at home. Turns out that, when the crockery went flying in the Friedan household, it wasn't usually Carl tossing it at Betty.
Deuteronomy 19:17-19, NAS:
17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.
18 "The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,
19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The temporal pragmatism of Contemporary Evangelical Egalitarianism is a comforting picture, is it not? It conjures up the beautiful image of . . .no. On second thought, it conjures up a world of greys. A world of partners, equal partners with no distinctions outside of mere biology and individual personality. There is no eternal drama of man and woman, no blending of melody and harmony. No recognition of the titanic impact of two sexes, coming together in the one flesh relationship of marriage. It's vanilla. And not even the good kind of vanilla with real flecks of vanilla bean throughout.
But, they say, we have a great marriage that works.
Oddly, even when I was an Egalitarian, I recognized something of the flatness of it all. Even though I was (mostly) convinced that this was how God wanted it, I recognized there was a sort of boring sameness, a workmanlike stewardship of individuals as mere individuals. And I really didn't have much desire for marriage. Why had I any need of a husband? I could walk forward on my own.
But what seems to work in the here and now, the everyday world is not always to our eternal advantage. This was one of the problems I struggled with, having been directed towards Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill by my advisor when I was a student at Denver Seminary. For some years I tried to push a square peg into a round hole. I nudged this, adjusted that, try to shave off that corner, etc. But I could never, ever manage to make Utilitarianism and Christianity meet for anything other than a glancing blow.
The problem with both Utilitarianism and Egalitarianism's temporal pragmatism is that they don't go far enough. The sort of happiness each has as its goal is only temporal, temporary, at best it lasts the length of their sojourn on this earth -- but it will never carry them into eternal happiness. If they make it there, it isn't because of their Egalitarianism, it is in spite of it.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
There is a strong thread in Orthodox thought that heaven and hell are, in fact, the same place, and that the fires of hell and the Uncreated Light are the same thing, perceived in different ways. For the righteous, the Light is warmth and comfort and illumination; for the wicked, it is blinding and burning and torment, in the same way that someone who has spent a long time in darkness flinches from the light of the Sun. God neither condemns us nor punishes us--we do that to ourselves by our response to God.
I think this is a tremendous illustration of what passes for dialogue, conversation, debate between religious feminists and orthodox believers. To us who have embraced orthodox sexuality, we experience the teaching of Holy Scripture as warmth, light and illumination. For the religious feminist, the same teaching is experienced as a torment, something they flinch away from.
It is hard to understand what you experience as burning. You can't really comprehend something that is blinding, or paraphrase accurately something which is tormenting. How can you possibly have a sensible conversation with something that causes you such pain? And it isn't any easier when you do, if you are still able, turn into the light. You know how much it hurts when someone shines a flashlight in your eyes. Or when you flip on the bathroom light during a middle of the night visit. This is the experience of the religious feminist who does begin to turn to the light and embrace its illumination. I think this is why so few make the journey -- the first steps are too painful. Better to stay with the pain you know than to walk through a new pain, not knowing what you will find on the other side of it.
The Wisdom of God, I Corinthians 18ff:
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
29 so that no man may boast before God.
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."
However, I noticed that the blog of CBE, The Scroll, was discussing this very matter recently. I chose not to resist the impulse to participate briefly and posted a couple of examples that indicate it might not be so obvious a fallacy after all.
Drat, I forgot the best one of all. It comes from one of the current darlings of the movement, Professor John Stackhouse of Regent in Vancouver. In his book, Finally Feminist, Stackhouse lets the slope slip a little too much for anyone to legitimately deny it. See page 89 where you will find this admission:
I acknowledge that in this deeply troubled world some people will find the first serious and genuine love of their lives in a homosexual relationship. I believe therefore that such relationships can be condoned, cautiously, for pastoral, therapeutic reasons as temporary accommodations to some people's particular injuries and needs. The church nonetheless does not "bless" such unions, let alone "normalize" them, but upholds scriptural sexual and relational ethics as the ideal toward which we strive. In the meanwhile, however, we can appreciate the sad truth that some people will have to take the long way home, and a caring homosexual relationship may be a necessary part of that journey. This is clearly a difficult area of pastoral ethics and requires deep theological, psychological and spiritual wisdom.
This is passing strange, coming from one who claims he wants to make the case for religious feminism. Why include this note? I don't believe the professor to be naive on this score - he had to know it was inflammatory.
So why include it, unless it truly is on the inevitable trajectory of religious feminism.
Looks to me like the slippery slope does, indeed, exist.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The Argumentum ad Victis, rather than being an appeal to emotion is a tactic of intimidation. The victim is held as being unquestionable and without fault. You cannot criticize a victim, because they are a victim. You cannot test the truth of their claims, because they are . . . a victim. Any perceived criticism is held to be a savage attack upon the victim himself and justification for their future actions, including libel and slander.
Here is how it works in practice:
Victim shares her experience suffering physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband.
Respondent wonders about the depth of abuse and asks questions seeking corroboration.
(Victim's) Friend responds in high dudgeon, saying that you shouldn't criticize Victim or say she's lying because she has been really, really hurt. Really hurt.
Respondent replies that she didn't say Victim was lying, only asked for corroborating evidence.
Victim/Friend reply that this sort of inexcusably horrible and unChristian treatment is exactly why she has rejected "X" or done "Y".
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So, instead of a needed trek to WalMart, I'm camping out in the kitchen today.
First, I boiled and pureed some potatoes. They will be used for potato bread, and there's enough for two batches.
Then, I cut two big butternut squash (squashes?) in half and those are baking. Those golden beauties will become soup at some point in the next few weeks.
Now, I have a batch of bread raising. Today's experiment is Whole Wheat Walnut and Molasses bread.
When the bread is in the oven, I'll start on the wild rice pilaf.
And, of course, it's time for another batch of breakfast beans. But, since I didn't get out to the little Mediterranean grocery today, I'm making do with Pintos.
Finally, I think I'm going to call the neighbors and see if their son will snow blow our sidewalks. I'm going to be knackered by the time I get all that done!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Recently I was enjoying a sort of retrospective of the Funny Ladies of British Comedy. The hostess was Penelope Keith, an actress I always enjoy. In between clips, she said this,
In the end, the plain fact is that men and women need each other. And couples take that scary plunge into married life on a daily basis.
Oh. In the middle of making fun of husbands and wives, some of it very good and pointed comedy, there sat this little gem of truth.
Yes, we need each other.
This new form of sex trafficking is something women more often walk into of their own free will. They ask for it, even demand it. Even though it is a form of prostitution (selling their bodies for another's pleasure), they willingly embrace it for the monetary rewards.
This new sex trafficking is found in those practices which use a woman's body, or parts thereof, for another's profit or pleasure. "Womb rental" is sex trafficking. Egg donation is sex trafficking. These are practices which objectify women, in ways similar to pornography and prostitution. She is reduced to her usefulness to others, an object or a provider of a good or service and not a subject or a person of worth in her own right.
There will be much more coming, but for now let me leave you with just a few resources:
The Body Shop
I include the Body Shop, even though it's campaign is focused primary on traditional sex trafficking, because of the warm reception I received at my local store when I explained about the newer forms of sex trafficking (such as those I will be writing of here). You can use opportunities like this, when you shop at these stores and buy the campaign products, to open up conversations about these other forms of trafficking.
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
Jennifer Lahl and the CBC do stellar work in this area. Here you can read some of their articles and find links to other resources.
Lines that Divide
This is the CBCs film about stem cell research. It exposes all the dirty little secrets surrounding the ESC-hype.
Monday, September 21, 2009
To be honest, she's already married (yes, she) and I told her that her husband is cuter than me so she should stick with him.
Now, in good Paul Harvey fashion I should probably tell you the rest of the story:
I and some other friends in college used to make Baklava on a regular basis. We did it for our friend who had a huge crush on a guy who loved Baklava. I've made it several times over the years since, but I hadn't made it in some time. Quite recently, I developed a craving for it again and was looking for a good reason to make it. Last week, the reason presented itself in the form of a particularly bad day at work. And what's the prescription for a bad day at work? Goodies, of course!
So, this weekend when I went grocery shopping, I picked up the supplies and let the phyllo defrost in the refrigerator until today. I was a bit nervous making it since I was out of practice. However, it turned out to be just like riding a bike. After the first couple of torn sheets, I was layering and brushing with butter like it hadn't been any time at all since the last time.
Once I unveiled it at work, 2/3 of the pan disappeared in short order. One of the supervisors told me it was the best she had ever had and told everyone in the break room she was going to have to ask me to marry her. She did that later, in a note.
I turned her down, but still appreciate the compliment.
Now, if I didn't work in a female-dominated profession, that marriage proposal might have been a bit more interesting . . .
Saturday, September 19, 2009
So, I made my own. Turned out rather good, if I say so myself. And if I sound surprised, it is because I experimented a bit with an herb bread that will make excellent toast to go with my home-made chicken noodle soup.
Now I'm ready for dinner!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Some years have passed since then and I thought she had quietly gone away, having had her more than fifteen minutes of fame. But no. Cindy Sheehan has become a professional "progressive" gadfly. She's been seen protesting on Martha's Vineyard while the first family recently vacationed there. She has a website she calls her "Soapbox" from which platform she agitates for "revolution". But then there was the Russia Today interview.
Russia Today is one of those news programs you can find on your PBS station (that's where I see it) which specializes in the sensational, featuring interviews with the fringiest of the fringe of American progressive politics. In case you doubt that assessment, note that the banner on their website reads, "Any story can be another story altogether'. However, back to Cindy Sheehan and her interview on RT. You see, Sheehan thinks Obama is making mistakes in his political decisions. As you will discover in this bit of the interview, transcribed below, she is either serious about her advocacy of revolution or she is simply a product of government schools (as evidenced by her ignorance of Constitutional process and the way Congress works):
The administration made a bad mistake going after healthcare and staking the 2010 elections on that. Our Healthcare system in America doesn't need to be reformed, it needs to be overthrown and replaced with a single payor system. And not to let, this is the biggest, I don't know if this is a mistake, I don't know if this is on purpose, I don't know why this is happening? But why to the Republicans in the House of Representatives and in the Senate have any say in what is going on? They are a minority, they have no power. We have a democratic, a large democratic lead in the House and in the Senate and we have a democratic President. Every progressive agenda item should be able to be pushed through right now. As I see it with the, Obama is using the Republicans to say, "I can't do this, the Republicans say no, I can't do this." When, actually, it is the corporations, the insurance companies, big pharma, HMOs telling him "No, we can't have healthcare reform." And so they are going to lose seats in 2010.
Here endeth today's civics lesson.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Further in the article, the author writes:
Another problem I personally have with Piper and Grudem is that it seems aimed at unisex androginous feminism– one which claims that there are no non-social real differences between men and women. But that form of feminism is largely discredited– in feminist circles. Rather, what we have today is a view that women ARE different than men– and that they have abilities men to not– which are quite useful in leadership, among other things.
Now that is so astonishing a claim as to tempt me to write the author asking on which planet he resides! That describes no sort of religious feminism which I have ever seen. Rebecca Groothuis has been known to point out that while there are differences between men and women, it is more important that there are huge overlaps. One religious feminist recently claimed, on a friend's blog, that the only significant differences were related solely to procreation. This past summer, Christians for Biblical Equality presented a workshop purporting to teach us what there is to learn from the "intersexed". And, finally, there is the religious feminist mentioned in an earlier post on this blog who claimed it was the highest compliment she'd ever received to have someone not notice she was a girl after having spent a week together in close quarters.
So please, Mr. Gustafson, can you tell me where you find these religious feminists who celebrate our sexual differences?
Finally, I didn't know whether to laugh at the silliness or cry at the utter blindness evidenced in the postscript:
I got interested in the ways which evangelical women think of themselves and their possibilities when I was teaching at Bethel in Minnesota. Two of our strongest departments were Philosophy and Physics, yet these departments had the fewest women. When we would ask women if they would consider being a philosophy major (becaue they were doing so well in the philosophy classes) their response was usually that they were women, so they didn’t think they could do that. They hadn’t seen women Christian philosophers, and didn’t know women could/would do such a thing. Some even said that they felt like their family and church had sort of told them that teaching philosophy was not for women. This made me start to think about what women are told they can and cant do. It also made me act, and I helped some female students start BUFF: Bethel University Feminist Forum (we debated over labeling it feminist, but eventually decided to, more for effect and the added benefit of the cool acronym)
BUFF, eh? A friend tells me this is also the nickname for the B-52 Bomber, in which case the acronym stands for, "Big Ugly Fat Fella". Whichever the case may be, it seems that women who embrace their womanliness, even if it includes an inclination toward studying philosophy, wouldn't think it was "cool" to go around calling themselves, BUFF.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Meanwhile, in other news, NOAA reports that summer temperatures have been below average for the United States.
I don't get it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The ABC news website story was a hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Duggar. Right?
Umm, no, it wasn't. Instead of congratulating them and writing with wonder and a little bit of awe that they can keep their brood clothed, fed, clean and well-behaved, ABC posted the most hateful, spiteful, rude and gutter-language laden criticism of the Duggar family. One presumes that the authoress (of course, it was a woman) considers herself something of a feminist and yet she treated Michelle Duggar as if she doesn't have a brain cell to her name and is utterly incapable of speaking for herself.
Since ABC news was the last of the three broadcast networks with any hint of a fig leaf of balance covering their liberal bias, I decided I'd had enough.
I killed my television. Sort of. I removed the digital converter box and hooked up the dvd and vcr.
And then I celebrated by watching, "Waking Ned Devine"
Friday, September 4, 2009
The story, published in the Telegraph (London) says that even a few minutes talking to a pretty woman affects men's ability as measured in cognitive tests. As the story points out, these findings have implications for "men who flirt with women in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools."
The conclusions drawn from this study also have implications for the depth and persistence of sex differences. One would not expect a university-based study to have a bias toward traditional sex stereotypes. So, it is interesting to note that the conclusions are that men might be "reproductively focused" while women seem to find other attributes as important or more important than merely looks. The story gives no hint of irony or skepticism about these unconscious sex differences, either on the part of the researchers or the reporter. I am a bit surprised nothing was noted about the nature vs. nurture debate. In fact, the newspaper report indicates these differences are assumed to be inborn or "programmed".
All the tests subjects were heterosexual men. The study says nothing about the affects of a pretty woman on men with SSAD. "Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man."
Sunday, August 30, 2009
In order to concentrate on her studies, Dawn Eden has published her last blog post. In explaining her need to concentrate on her studies and her weakness (even vice) in not being about to just "quickly" check her email, etc. she writes this, confessing a sin to which so many of us fall prey:
But the truth is that I allow myself to be distracted by whatever comes to mind while I am at the computer, to the point where it becomes a self-medication for loneliness and boredom. And why do I become lonely and bored? Because I waste so much time on the Internet, of course.
And here she points us to the good doctor's treatment of this sin with these words:
St. Thomas Aquinas had a word for this vice that causes one to fail to moderate one's quest for knowledge: curiositas. With all the years of my life that I have spent in online curiositas, I have precious little wisdom to show for it.
And this link:
Aquinas on Curiosity
However, if you want to keep up with Dawn and find out if she may be speaking in your area, you may do so here:
I'm taking Dawn's wisdom in this matter and scaling back my own participation in and reading/scanning of certain blogs, etc. I hope this will result in more substantive and frequent posts on this blog and a substantial chunk of my book being written before the end of the year.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The story holds no genuine surprises or twists, it is simply a nice, gentle, enjoyable way to spend a summer afternoon. The film follows Julia Child during the post-war years, before her husband retired from Foreign Service (State Departments) postings abroad and they moved to Massachusetts. At the same time it interweaves with Julia's story, the story of Julie Powell. Julie is a young married woman who is down on herself for her failure to publish her novel and picks up the project of cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about it as a writing project. Her adventures in this cooking endeavour, in a tiny NYC apartment are fun -- and the "lobster" scene is even better than the clip of it seen in the ads for the movie. The switches between Julie and Julia are occasionally a bit rough, but generally well-timed.
The true delight of the movie, however, is Meryl Streep as Julia Child - a delicious pleasure. I left the theatre wanting to buy the book she wrote about her years in France. And Stanley Tucci as Julia's husband, Paul, is no mere straight man to Streep's powerful Julia. Together, they make an onscreen couple who seem so comfortable with each other, exactly as a husband and wife should be. The best line of the movie is one that brings some contemporary issues into stark relief and points up the differences between Julia and Julie. Julia Child always knew, I believe, what a blessing her husband was to her. And, if the movie is true in this respect, knew how things properly go between a man and a woman. At a dinner party in their Paris apartment she turns to him at one point and says, quite simply, "What would I have done if you hadn't fallen in love with me?"
And that's really it, isn't it?
Not a great movie, nevertheless, a delightful afternoon diversion.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I saw the doc today and he said everything looks very good. The wound is showing signs of healing well, and there is no evidence of infection. This will still be a long process, but we're off to a good start.
I am on track to return to work at the end of the month and today he also released me to drive again (freedom!).
I am most humbly grateful for all the prayers and support. I wouldn't feel this well today and wouldn't be healing well if it weren't for that. Thank you all very, very much!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
On July 15, I went into the hospital for what should have been an easy little laparoscopic hysterectomy. Two hours in surgery, a night in the hospital and back to work in a month. Ha! The trouble is, I had a couple of complications which made that nice little procedure impossible and had to have a traditional abdominal incision to complete the operation. Ultrasounds are great, but they don't always show everything well. So, two hours turned into 5 1/2. But the good news is, I seem to have tolerated the extra stress well. Thanks to better living through chemistry and something known as a PCA pump (Patient controlled analgesia) which let me deliver a dose of one of our better drugs when I needed it for pain, but not more often than every fifteen minutes, I had remarkably little pain those first couple of days. It took me a while to get all that anesthesia out of my system and didn't really feel fully awake for almost 24 hours, but by the second morning after surgery I was off the PCA pump and taking oral pain meds. By the time I went home on the Saturday, I only needed motrin.
So far so good. I went for a couple of very short walks the first week home and after two weeks, I was allowed to drive so I went to lunch with a couple of girlfriends. Unfortunately, over the next few days I developed two complications. One was very unusual given my situation, an intestinal bug that usually only strikes those on heavy-duty IV antibiotics for a week or two. I, being the unique woman I am, managed to come down with it after only one IV antibiotic dose during surgery. Thankfully, the condition is easily treated with another antibiotic. Go figure that one!
The second complication is just one of those things that happens when you open up someones abdomen. I developed what is called a "seroma", which is a pocket of fluid collecting above the incision. It's more tedious and annoying and a bit painful than it is a serious or critical condition. Unfortunately, this means my surgeon had to re-open part of my incision to drain the fluid. Now, the really unfortunate thing about that is they don't re-close the incision with stitches. It is packed with saline-moistened gauze with a dressing over that. And to make matters even more tedious, discouraging and yuck-making, this has to be changed twice a day. The process is more nerve-wracking than it is painful and will take around a month for the wound to heal.
So, that's where I've been. Please, if you would, pray for me because I am really discouraged right now. I was so excited about how well I had tolerated the surgery and recovery and now, well, I think I'd rather have the surgery all over again rather than go through this healing process. Please also pray for my mother, as she has to do the evening dressing change. She was a champ tonight, but I think it's rather hard on her.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I am done with my travels until the first weekend in October when the Lake-of-Ale gals will be getting together for a weekend in Santa Cruz. Mom and I had a nice visit with family earlier this month when we fly to the Twin Cities for a memorial service for her eldest sister.
I've settled on a new church, Skyview PCA. Finally met the pastor's wife on the third visit (today) and almost the first thing she said to me is, "We have to have you over for dinner soon!"
And, after Friday evening's little mishap, I am feeling better today so I attacked the vegetables in the kitchen and tried two new recipes and a couple of stand-bys:
Green Lentil Salad with Shallots and Red Bell Peppers
Roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in mustard vinaigrette
(I know they're not exactly a seasonal favorite but they weren't going to be any good if I let them sit until next winter)
Greek Antipasto Salad (spinach instead of lettuces and mostly veggies)
Snow Geisha iced tea
OK, so I've developed a Teavanna habit, even broke down and bought their horribly expensive "German Rock Sugar" that looks like rock candy made with brown sugar, but their teas are so very, very good!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Today, after slipping in and crawling back out of the slough of despond for what seems like forever, but was probably only a few weeks, I woke up not automatically reaching for the ibuprofen. I'm still tired, six days straight at a job like mine will do that to a girl, while at the same time I am uplifted, exhilarated, noticing the sunshine.
So I decided to tackle the kitchen today. After throwing out a few things of questionable origin, I had enough space in the refrigerator to contemplate lightening the freezer's heavy load. So, I pawed through the things in that cold place and discovered I really don't need to do much shopping at all this weekend. I defrosted my Mexican Tomato Stew and it is still more than edible, it's darn good. The bread, which I feared would be freezer burnt when I discovered it, (since I couldn't remember when I had last made that particular kind) turns out to make very good toast.
Then I made my special no-fry refried beans and, since there were two pounds of carrots in the produce drawer threatening to look not so carroty, I grated some of them into the beans and chopped some fresh tomatoes, a little squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil and, voila! A bean dip worthy of the best cracker you care to dip into it. Then it was onto the packet of frozen mixed beans I had bought for a Thanksgiving potluck 2 1/2 years ago. I sauteed them in the two slices of pancetta I found hiding behind some frozen blueberries, then tried the teriyaki sauce I had never opened for a twist on chinese green beans. I am not quite sure about that particular result.
Then I saw a nice, big, plump chicken breast which had already been cooked, yearning to be free of the tundra. So I defrosted it and sauteed an onion to go with it (everything is better with onions, doncha know?), stirred the onions into the chopped chicken and, just because I was feeling adventurous, opened the sandwich pepper relish I'd been dying to try. It's a bit hotter than I expected but will still be perfect with a dollop of greek yogurt over rice. Oh, and the rice is in the cooker now.
Last, but not least, I made fresh limeade with Stevia. The hint I got about that worked -- you simply dissolve the Stevia in warm water first! Jasmine tea "brewing" in the fridge and then, to crown the day I made my very special salad dressing. Last night, on the way home, I stopped at the store and found a gorgeous fresh basil plant. I got it, figuring that even if I managed to kill it I would still get more basil from it and at a lower price than I would for the teeny little packet of fresh basil they sell. So, today I plucked the first leaves from the plant, crushed them and squeezed the juice of my last three lemons over them in my new salad-dressing shaker. A few crushed cloves of garlic, some olive oil, salt and pepper. Magic!
I also had a phone chat with my friend Carole while I was taking a break. So, that's been my day. Just call me Kamilla the Domestic Diva, ok?
Monday, May 25, 2009
He's right. A while back I became enamoured of the concept of The Dance to describe how men and women are to relate, especially in marriage. I don't know why or how the image first occurred to me, but it began to grow in meaning and importance and I still love it. Of course, I'm not the only one. Now, in the last half of Thomas Howard's Chance or the Dance?, I continue to be amazed at how much I'd want to be underlining, marking and otherwise highlighting if this copy belonged to me and not the University of Denver's library (as an aside, isn't inter library loan a grand thing?). I shall have to get my own copy soon.
Here is a passage I found particularly startling because it voices, in pitch-perfect fashion, what our nouveau sages (aka Egalitarians) think and often say about women of a more, ahem, traditional bent:
"We would all rather not be forced into fealty. And, under the new myth, fealty itself is a grating idea that drags up specters either of sycophantic courtiers bobbing about the throne, or of humpbacked clouts flogged into animal servitude by draconian overseers. It is natural that, with the disappearance of divine sanctions for authority, the notion of authority itself should come under surveillance, since the question of an origin for authority is thrown open. It was possible for a while, of course, to supplant the god with the idea of tradition, or history or consensus, as sources of authority, but the very nature of the new myth, since it arises from the notion of autonomy, is to tend toward the idea of autonomy in all regions. . .The gods are certainly dead -- that part at least is settled; and tradition is a gorgon that must be slain; and history has been so botched that it must be begun anew by a generation that has been delivered from the sins and mistakes of its fathers; and consensus is only bourgeois tergiversation for power politics."
-- Chance or the Dance? p. 95
Saturday, May 23, 2009
-- Thomas Howard, writing of the "dark ages" in, Chance or the Dance?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Kamilla…….now that I have looked in the dictionary to see what ‘calumny’ means, I am sorry you feel certain posts have been slanderous. I was encouraged by Donald’s kind words and maybe have not been so vigilant in the last few days re writers’ comments.
I will check through and write to any folks whose comments could be construed to be critical. Attitude is all important and it is one of our mandates to promoted peaceful, fair and kind discussion.
So now we have it. More important than being truthful and dealing promptly with tired old canards, lies, and calumnies, we mussssst be nice, promote peace and fairness.
To hell with the truth, with godliness, with holiness and discipline. Above all else, let us be kind.
At this point, I can't help but recall Flannery O'Connor's words about where kindness leads us . . .
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Here are four links. I have nothing more to say than this: If they don't leave you utterly echanted, with a tear brimming at the corner of your eye, well, I think you're missing somethng:
The Whimsy of God
Dancing in Antwerp train station
Cantare Amantis Est
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
You see there's a little wrinkle in that view. St. Paul has a thing or two to say about it. Most obviously that he links gender "roles", not to "the fall", the "curse" or our "sin nature" but to our undefiled created natures. St. Paul links that supposed curse of our fallen natures *not* to our fallen nature but our good, created natures as they were before the serpent whispered his lies to Eve. For Adam was formed first and then Eve and all that folderol.
As a somewhat humorous aside, note that Liz also wrote, "many believers teach that wives should show desire toward their husbands . . ." Well, thank heaven for that! I'm not quite sure, though, who else the wives should show desire towards other than their husbands. But there was another little nugget that intrigued me in tonight's post. It is this:
"The reality is now that many women do not have to experience pain in childbirth and many men do not have to work the land to make a living."
Epidurals and air-conditioned combines, right? But when I first read this I was caught up short and realized, once again, the connection to sex. How it all really does boil down to sex. And here is the bit that is conspicuous in its absence: the admission that many women now choose to entirely avoid not merely the pain of childbearing but the childbearing in itself - many women are now childless by choice. At the Lambeth conference in 1930 the Anglican communion became the first Christian body to officially approve of the use of birth control. The rest of the Protestant bodies followed like a line of dominoes, clink, clink, clink until, just a couple of generations later, birth control is a given in premarital counseling and many don't even want to know about, let alone seriously consider, the moral implications of contracepted sex. And heaven forbid we should talk about the dire consequences to our unborn children from some birth control methods we use without a second's hesitation.
So this is what we have come to. Without wanting to commit the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, I do take note that the acceptance of birth control as a matter of course was followed, very rapidly, by the advent of religious feminism within formerly staid and traditional BEAP denominations, churches and institutions. Religious feminism was certainly not "caused" by the advent of birth control, but it certainly wasn't harmed by it, either.
In an era when women increasingly choose not just to have painless deliveries but to experience no pregnancies and their consequent deliveries at all -- when they have increasingly forsaken and dismissed women's glorious vocations as beneath them, the work of "kitchen wives" and women too stupid to understand there is more to life than birthing babies, is it any wonder they turn to the province of men to fill their days?
Think about it.
Friday, May 1, 2009
In this case, we can't really call this sort of "warrior" a fifth columnist as his work to undermine the cause is hardly clandestine. But this is the sort of verbal grenade that does more damage to the cause of righteousness than the whole four columns waging battle from without. This was posted by a friend to another friend on a social networking site, names withheld because it isn't a truly public post. The poster holds a position of some influence in a local religious body:
I can't help thinking of the famous quote from Martin Luther:
ok took me awhile to jump into the controversy. gay marriage is coming, inevitable, and a no-win political issue for Catholics. it is a mistake for the bishops, k of c, etc, to make it a central concern. religious liberty and conscience rights can be preserved without attacking gay rights, which will continue expand in our democracy. I do not think you are a bigot (which has an interesting etymology from "by god" or visigoth", but it will be seen as such by the mainstream media and an increasing number of americans. I hate to see you become a warrior in this losing battle.
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Then I read this on an Egalitarian blog:
More and more aspects of American culture are sullied by the seamy, the seedy, the salacious, the scatological. As R. J. Rushdoony said years ago, when a culture forfeits the creation mandate under God to develop creation in a godly way, it devolves into the worship of sex (see Romans 1). These episodes [the subject of the rest of the post not quoted here] were not incidental, but lamentable. They should be resisted by avoidance and substitution. There is plenty of goodness left in the world and in America. As Paul said, "Hold fast to the good. Avoid every form of evil."
And I wonder when the Egalitarians will ever "get it". When will they begin to see that their project to remake sex in the church is not living up to its own press?
Yes, indeed. Hold fast to that which is good, embrace the creation mandate. All of it.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I picked up the book on the way home from work last night and, as soon as I let the dog out and had a quiet moment, sat down to read the first story. One commenter to Hudson's review wrote, "McNabb's works are raw and real, the kind that must be read in relative quiet, demanding a kind of concentration by the reader on the characters and themes that seems rarer these days." I found that true of the first story, as well as this comment by Hudson in his review that, "what makes them so involving and moving is his attention to moments in life where many of us instinctively look away or simply turn off our thoughts to get through unpleasantness."
They are both right. The stories will make many uncomfortable, especially those readers who have imbibed the bland diet offered on the fiction shelves of those stores which devote more space to chotchkies than they do "Christian" books.
But Hudson's recommendation is right for another reason, one he doesn't mention in this column but to which he strikes a glancing blow with this, "McNabb's stories juxtapose the pure and the impure, the violent and the tender, the body and the spirit -- yet there is nothing in them suggesting a Gnostic dualism." These stories strike at the heart of what separates Evangelicalism from Roman Catholicism and why so many Evangelicals will find these stories not simply uncomfortable, but too naked to be appropriate fare for a Christian. We Evangelicals, far too often for our own good, undress in the dark. We are uncomfortable with the reality of human flesh, the bits that should by perky but are wobbly or the other bits that should have some muscular form beneath the skin, but don't. We don't have crucifixes in our churches, too real, too raw, too bloody -- we reduce the remembrance of Christ's sacrifice to mere memorial with our mini-meal of bread and juice. There is no body there, no fleshly reality, however discerned or defined.
For, when it comes to the base realities of human flesh, we Evangelicals are all too often Gnostics.
What makes me nervous about movements of men that emphasize the subordination of women is that (1) how the Christian doctrine works out in practice is based upon a mystery that includes the woman's full equality to the man, so to those outside may not look very much like women's subordination in any crass or obvious sense, and (2) these operations are very much the creative province not of conferences of men, but of faithful women, not doing what they do because of the demands the law of the male places upon them--however just that law may be--but because they love the men to whom they are committed, so follow the lesser law within the greater. Christian women living near the center of their faith are simply too accomplished, too strong, too well-integrated, too wise, too fruitful, and too happy, to satisfy the expectations of either feminism or the subordinationism of those who would make them less than they are. Christian men living near the center of their faith like them that way, and trust them with their lives.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Hallowed be your name What IS it, by the way? I know I've heard of Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Let's go with that.
Oh bother, let's start again:
Our Parent who art in Heaven, hallowed by your name.
Your kingdom come Wait, shouldn't that be Queendom as well? Now, how will this go, Your domain come? No, that's not right. Your realm? Your Keendom? No, that sounds like something Dobie Gillis would say. And Quingdom sounds too much like Kingdom, Wait, I have to think about this for a moment. Bah, I can't find anything that works. Let's just do this:
Your kingdom come (to be interchanged with Queendom at every other reading)
Your will be done Grrr, I know there will be quarrels about that one, but I'm going to let it stand as is
On earth as it is in heaven Ooh, I might get away with that if they don't fuss too much about the previous bit.
Give us this day our daily bread Now wait a cotton pickin' minute there. EVERYONE KNOWS how bad bread is for you - all those carbs and whatnot. How COULD He (oops. She as well) have said anything about daily bread? What about rice? Yes, I think that might work, but only if it is organic brown rice sustainably grown and fair-trade harvested.
Give us this day our daily portion of organically and sustainably grown brown rice, harvested according to fair-trade pay and labour standards.
Forgive us our trespasses Trespass? You don't own the earth, and neither do I! What's this about trespasses, wait, what? Sin? No, we did away with that a long time ago, there's no sin any more, merely lack of understanding and proper training in conflict resolution and diversity understanding.
Forgive us our failure to understand with proper tolerance and love for the diversity of our multi-colored and multi-cultural human family.
As we forgive those who fail to understand with proper tolerance and love for our own diverseness, color and culture.
And lead us not into temptation. Well, not really temptation, is it? It's really just intolerance for the free exploration of human longings. Right,
And do not let us fail to freely explore our longings and urges.
But deliver us from evil. Oh, I've got the hang of this now, you'll like this.
But deliver us from the narrow, cramped and self-righteous judgments of religious bigots (especially Roman Catholics and Fundamentalists)
For thine is the Kingdom (to be switched with Queendom on alternate readings as before) and the glory and the power, for ever and ever - well, at least until we request suicide assistance.
Amen Criminy, THAT's never going to fly
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The long standing television host of, Planet Earth has joined the Optimum Population Trust as a patron. According to the BBC News report, Sir David thinks the growth in population is "frightening". He apparently thinks most problems can be solved by having fewer people around and that having more people around makes problems worse.
It will likely not surprise you that Dame Jane Goodall is also a patron.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
And why am I susprised that no one I know still subscribes to CT?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The Disappearance of Song
Here is a small sample:
Men and women, in Ford's movies, are titanic mysteries, kings and queens walking the earth in ordinary garb; endlessly fascinating to one another and so powerful in their masculinity and femininity that talk of equality misses the beauty and the danger altogether. How can you talk of equality when you encounter a whirlwind and an earthquake? The marriage of such creatures is always an unadulterated good, as it portends both creation and procreation: a farm, a village, a culture, and children.
You might want to have a hanky handy when you read the rest.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I used to be almost unshockable. My first job out of college was in a state psychiatric facility where I had occasion to be in close quarters with violent schizophrenics, serial rapists and dirty old men and women. It's amazing how well some of them behaved when I came at them with a needle in my hand. I thought it had hardened me. And it did for a number of years. There was little that shocked me.
Not any longer. Tonight I intended to engage in a little investigation into the sources used over at CT's new blog for women. Less than two minutes into that endeavour I was done. I exited the website and decided I needed a long, hot shower using lots and lots of soap.
Like I said, I'm going soft in my old age. CT can have their blog without my participation and they are probably glad of that. But know one thing - if they represent Evangelical Christianity - heaven help us all!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Her.meneutics is the Christianity Today blog for women, and provides news and analysis from the perspective of evangelical women. We cover news stories, ideas, and books related to the church's mission in the world, including international justice, pregnancy and sexual ethics, marriage, parenting, and celibacy, entertainment, fashion, health and body image, and women in the church and parachurch.
In the comments under this post, Trudi responds this way:
At last, a CT publication I can relate to. It's so offputting to read male writers.
Her.meneutics's readers, taking themselves a bit too seriously as Egalitarians are wont to, one of them responded thusly:
I cannot imagine what experiences in the church led her to say that, nor do I want to think about what responses one would see if a male reader had said "It's so offputting to read female writers." Can we not agree that Christ said that in our community (The Body of Christ) there is neither "male nor female"? This whole line of thought is vaguely disquieting...
Ahem, dear sir, I think you took a left when you should have taken a right back there at the junction. Yes, I'm pretty sure you did, you completely missed Sarcasm point.
Is it any wonder Evangelical-dumb seems to be bleeding it's best and brightest, on the one hand to rank paganism and on the other hand to Rome and Antioch?
Tim Bayly, over at Baylyblog, has just highlighted this excellent response from David Wegener by re-posting it on the main blog page. And, by the way, having met her, I have little doubt Tim's words about David's lovely daughter, Lizzie, are true!
ht: Don Johnson
Boyd begins the essay by relating the experience of one of his Bethel students, Kathy. His once bright, insightful and passionate student became increasingly quiet and lacking in confidence because she began to envision herself as a preacher or professor and, as Boyd relates, she believed these activities were forbidden to women. After relating this story, the question Boyd wishes to addres is this: Were the visions and longings that Kathy was experiencing from the devil, or from God?
Posing the question in this way, Boyd presents us with a false dichotomy. One could be forgiven for hearing echos of Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" asking, "Could it be . . .SATAN?!" But those aren't the only options. In the venerable words of the BCP, our enemy is three-fold, "The World, the Flesh and the Devil". Kathy may very well be tempted by her own desires, or the enticement of the world, or even the Devil - but it is not an either/or proposition. Since Boyd is not an Anglican and may be unfamiliar with the language of the BCP, perhaps he would do well to remember the words of James:
13Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is
accomplished, it brings forth death.
Boyd then concludes the paragraph (that starts with the false dichotomy) this way, "God's ideal will is for people to exercise whatever gifting they have in the body of Christ and in society regardless of their gender." Oh well, then, I guess he's got me there. At this point, our question has to be - How? I am not aware that anyone has ever disputed that men and women are both to use their gifts to the glory of God. That has never been the question. The proper question is, "how?". A gift doesn't necessary come with an attached call. Nor does one's subjective sense of a "call" come with an entitlement to be used or empoyed where one feels called. The Bible forbids the office of elder to a divorced man -- but what if he says he is called? And further, what if he manifestly has the gifts that would otherwise make him fit for the office? The answer is that he is wrong about the call and that he should use his gifts in another way - and perhaps there will be a season of quiet for him. Some gifts are given to be used in a certain way only for a season.
Just as the Scriptures forbid the office of elder to divorced men, so they forbid the same office to women (however that office may be construed in a particular eccelsial community). I'll not rehearse the prooftext battles in which both sides of this divide have engaged, except to note two of Boyd's most eggregious misuses of Scripture. In his rehearsal of these texts and related scriptural matters, Boyd brings up the supposed slavery parallel while neglecting the one salient fact - sex is a created difference, race is not. He then goes on to supposedly discuss I Timothy 2:11 in context without once ever giving us the context! On simply cannot discuss that verse (or any other verse, for that matter) without reference to the surrounding verses. In this case, the following verses explain the context, use and meaning of the verse in question.
There is much more that could be said about this essay, but I will conclude with three quick points. First, Boyd writes that part of his refutation against the case for restricting women from authoritative office in the church will show, "that very few churches are consistent in the way they apply these verses." This is a manifestly absurd argument. If it were legitimate, we might as well give up the whole of the Gospel for which church, which denomination, which single one of us has EVER applied ANY doctrine consistently? Second, Boyd makes the claim out of whole cloth that patronesses were also presbyters. Arguing from the absence of evidence is no argument, especially in light of the historic practice of the church, which is quite to the contrary of Boyd's supposition. Lastly, he makes the claim that the early Christians did not make a clear distinction between prophets and preachers and that some considered prophecy to be the highest gift. While it is true that "some" did consider prophecy the highest gift, others considered that to be speaking in tongues. Neither has ever been the mind of the Church, nor has it been the mind of God as Paul's writings make quite clear (see I Corinthians 12-14).
It is sad that, in an image- and fad-driven Evangelical world, Boyd's poor reasoning and apparent historical illiteracy will continue to capture the untrained and unformed.