Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'd buy it just for the bathtubs (If'n I had a spare $949,000)

Can you be simultaneously dancing on the inside while being weighed down with sadness?  I think that's the best I can do to describe the conflict I feel this evening.  An interesting blog hit caused me to check in on our  friends at Pomegranate Place and I was greeted with this:

You can read the whole letter from Vaun Swanson here.

It seems that without free support from Denver Seminary, this formerly thriving "Oasis" for women in the heart of Denver couldn't make ends meet.  From the letter, it sounds like Vaun and her Affiliate Guides couldn't attract enough women to keep their programs going.  Are these vibrant, educated and privileged women not quite as needy as the helping hands at Pomegranate Place wanted to believe? Life Coaches and Art Therapists and Dream Workers and Transformational Breathers and assorted other therapies and therapists including the graduate of the "Jack Kerouc School of Disembodied Poetics" turned out to be not quite so marketable in this economy.

If you, on the other hand, are thriving in this economy, I know where you can pick up some great digs with not one, but two, bathtubs that I could only dream about having in my little house:

Making the men wonder

It's that time of year again ....

Yeah, not gonna do it this year, either. The Facebook breast cancer awareness game is getting more prurient, more sexually suggestive and less reticent. More unholy exhibitionism than holy bashfulness, having more in common with Eve Ensler than Alice Von Hildebrand, it's just not proper.

I'm not sure what it's supposed to accomplish anyway.  A bit of sniggering together while the men wonder just what it is you're talking about?  No it couldn't possibly mean THAT. But of course, THAT is exactly what the game is designed to imply.  My, aren't we cleaver, coming up with these little games and all you post is the appropriate response. And the appropriate response is always cryptic, designed to be sexually suggestive. 

Have we all regressed to silly adolescents trying to shock the adults?  Do we have to be semi-exhibitionists to prove we aren't prudes? I guess "fight like a girl" is the proper battle cry here because mature adults have no need of these games and recognize some things just aren't meant for public view.  Not because they are "dirty" or "nasty" or "icky", but because they are hidden for a reason, being meant for something greater than a cheap voyeurism.

So, your word for today is: pudeur.

Go look it up in your Funk & Wagnall's. And if you want to play the suggestive game, don't tag me, please.


Within moments of this blog post crossing to Facebook, I was contacted then "unfriended" by the woman who tagged me in the message.  Apparently, my deficient sense of humour causing my inability to laugh at deliberately sexually suggestive facebook memes is a problem.  As I said more Eve Ensler than Alice von Hildebrand.  It's sad this this woman was one of my mentors at Denver Seminary and a fellow alumna.  Kind of makes you wonder what kind of "spiritual formation" is going on there, doesn't it? Oh well.  

Everyday graces - The Gargoyles

Many of us rush, rush, rush through life.  Errands, work, the bits and pieces of our lives just pile on, don't they?  But there are quiet moments, ones we must make a point to notice and savor.  The next time something catches your eye, pause to capture the moment, the flash of color, or a snatch of music.  These tiny gifts are graces, occasions to remind us that there is something more to life than the rushed pace at which many of us live.

The street I drive down nearly every day provides one of these graces.  On that major street is a property that marks the corners of its walls with gargoyles, one on each side of the half-circle drive.  A woman I refer to as the gargoyles's mom decks them out during the year - fishing hats and poles for Father's Day.  Lunch boxes and back packs for "back-to-school" and when the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, the Gargoyles were appropriately decked out with goalie masks and Avalanche Jersey.  They made the sports report that night on local television.

Today, they were presenting the passing traffic with little bouquets of fall flowers.


What are the everyday graces flowing past which you might have been too busy to savour?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Emerging from hibernation

Some creatures, generally those of a lower order, hibernate during the cold winter months.  But there is one particular variety of creature, one bearing the image of God, who exhibits an opposite pattern.  She is known to be absent from the kitchen during the hot summer months, even eschewing non-heat inducing kitchen activities such as making her own iced tea.  But we can observe the creature, Antinomia Crustulum, emerge as days grow cooler, nights crisper, and leaves begin to turn color and fall from the trees.

Such was the case today when the kitchen resounded with crashing pots and spurting water, knives chopping and spoons stirring.  The Antinomian Cook wishes she could provide you with recipes, but then she wouldn't be so antinomian, would she?  Nevertheless, she offers here a rough guide as to the day's kitchen activities and their results:

First up was the favorite fall stand by, Mexican Chicken Stew. This is a simple slow-cooker dish.  Take 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast and 2-large cans of crushed tomatoes and place them in the cooker. Turn on high to get the chicken cooking.  Add 2 chopped onions, 3-4 cloves of garlic, some salt, crushed oregano and the number of hot peppers equal to your courage.  I prefer the dried red pods, but sliced jalapenos and habaneros work just as well.  Cook for 3-4 hours, until both the chicken and onions are thoroughly done and tender.  Take the breasts pieces out, shred them and return them to the pot. This stew keeps for a few days and freezes well.  You may also add zucchini if you prefer more vegetables.

Next, it happens to be squash-is-on-sale week. Today, I bought three butternut squashes, roasted them in the oven and they are now cooling.  I will scoop them out and puree them, then freeze them in portions.  Tonight, with some of the squash, I will put together a quick soup seasoned with a delightfully complex spice mix from Williams-Sonoma:

Butternut squash can be pureed and easily made into soup using broth, milk or cream to get the desired consistency.  One of my favorite ways to change it up is to season the soup with nutmeg and add chopped apple and walnuts.  Mushrooms, chickpeas and bacon can all add a bit of protein while flat-leaf parsley or watercress and a splash of green.

There is also sauteed sweet peppers and onions with thyme on the menu.

'Tis the nesting season!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Christianity Sexist?

That's the title of a section in Doug Groothuis' Magnum Opus:

Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith  -     
        By: Douglas Groothuis

I'm tempted to say, "Yes, of course it is!" and be done with it. Because, truth be told, if we are to judge Christianity by Groothuis's hyper-logical paradigm, it is.  And it has to be because the central icon of Christianity is "sexist".  In marriage, a wife is to submit to her husband as the Church submits to Christ and a husband is to give himself for his wife as Christ gave himself up for the Church. Marriage presents the Church and our relationship to Jesus Christ in microcosm. Unless Groothuis wants to accuse our Lord, his Apostles and the Church as guided by the Holy Spirit for virtually her entire history of the "mistreatment of half the human race" he should re-think his advocacy of feminism. Because the Church, following the dominical practice, has never ordained women to the presiding office.

The poison of the feminist paradigm doesn't stop there. It compels him on to skirt around something that sounds dangerously close to denying God the Father as Father. "...Jesus called God his Father not to emphasize masculinity against femininity but to highlight that God is a personal and powerful being." Groothuis is right that Jesus did not call God his Father to emphasize one sex over the other.  But he is quite wrong, so very dangerously wrong, when he goes on to claim it was to show that God is a personal being.  On the contrary, Jesus called his Father because He is Father. According to Paul in Ephesians 3, human fatherhood derives from God's divine Fatherhood.  Of course the Apostles already knew how to pray to the Father, as Christ taught. In fact, while God does exhibit motherly care and the actions we associate with motherhood, He is always Father, never mother.

The feminist wish to avoid acknowledging God's fatherhood and his establishment of patriarchy in creation results in a third error which is at least a near-heresy, a form of neo-modalism wherein Jesus's maleness is held to be incidental and not essential.  Both Groothuis and his wife (see Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Ch, 18 of Discovering Biblical Equality) make the case for their paradigm by referring to Jesus Christ's humanity as if humanity is some sort of generic foundation upon which specific male and female characteristics are overlayed. It is not. In the beginning, we are told, God made them male and female.  Both male and female are made in God's image (hence our ontological equality) but we are always either male or female (hence our teleological distinctions). Jesus's maleness is important because his taking on human flesh is important and that human flesh was and is male.

The feminists have to jump through so many hoops, I wonder they don't tire of it and have done with Christianity altogether. The have to pretend patriarchy is a result of the Fall and that Adam's creation first, with Eve being create for him, from him and being brought to him tell us nothing about how men and women are to relate in marriage. They have to pretend that Israel was established as a patriarchy because of the surrounding culture and that it was not due to God's sovereign choice and that the Bridal imagery shot throughout the entire Old Testament teach us absolutely nothing about how men and women are to relate and how authority among God's people is to look. They have to pretend that poor Jesus just had to come to us as a baby boy because women were so devalued and that He did not come, as the Scriptures say, in the fullness of time. Need I go on?

I am glad Christianity is sexist.  I am glad I have a Father in heaven who cared so much about me and you and every feminist out there, that He sent his Son who died to save me. Even though I will likely never marry, I am glad for all the beautiful bridal and marital imagery in the Bible. I won't have my own wedding reception but one day, if I am found faithful, I will sit at the wedding feast to end all wedding feasts. I am glad that I am different from a man and that even though I could not bear children of my own body, I am a mother of a different sort. I recently received the highest compliment I think I could ever have paid to me when a young mom and sister in the Lord referred to me as a "mother in Israel".

It wasn't always so. Many of you know that I once embraced the lie that Doug and Rebecca Groothuis introduced me to.  It is only by the grace of God that I have repented of that heresy.

I am sure there are many fine chapters and sections in the book and that it is a useful reference. But beware the poison of feminism that runs through it.