Showing posts from May, 2010

Not To worry

If anyone who reads this blog has wondered where I went, my absence can be explained by a mixture of "end-of-semester/beginning of intense summer school," going out of town for a family funeral (my "step" father-in-law), and most importantly, that my laptop needs a new powercord and it's on order so I can't work at home very well. I have lots of things to write about but no time and no keyboard! I will return soon.


What part of illegal do folks not understand?

Good link

As long as we consider marriage primarily a method of self-expression, we are doomed.

Knowledge is Power

A few days ago I wrote about drinking wine. I think it's one of those subjects that evangelicals don't talk about because they all are doing it but would rather no one know. Kind of silly, actually. Most of us need to come out of the wine cellar. I respect those who are teetotalers, though. They probably have more arguments in its favor than those who drink.

But it has come to my attention that many sheltered Christians don't know about the opposite subject. Dealing with alcoholism is not to be taken lightly. Yes, as I am often reminded, alcoholism is a sin but all sin is sin and it's no different from my gossiping or another person's fudging on income taxes. Yes, theologically that is true (I hear the same argument about homosexual incontinence and heterosexual incontinence). Yes, Christ died for all of it, and Christ offers us forgiveness for all of it. And yes, gossiping et al can be harmful. But practically speaking they are not the same, and to put…


This has become one of the dirtiest words in the English language. That is unfortunate, because by demonizing the word we have gone a long way towards destroying any semblance of critical thinking and common sense.

There is of course good discrimination and bad discrimination. What differentiates them is the standards by which the discrimination is done. Obviously there are reasonable standards to discriminate and unreasonable. The reasonable ones should be either functionally based or philosophically based. For example, if I am going to hire someone to do a job, the standards of discrimination should be competence and experience--nothing else. If I am going to choose a version of the Bible to read, the standards for discrimination should be how the translation is done, the text, and accuracy. Not all discrimination is based on functionality or pragmatism, and not all is based on ideology or philosophy.

I say this because I was listening to a British journalist, Melanie Phipps, b…

Be Not Drunk with Wine

A few hours ago I came home from a church meeting. I live near a, well, winery. It's really funny to say that because Northwest Georgia is not known for vineyards but someone got the idea to start one here. I am not sure where the vines actually are, or where the bottling goes on, but there is a little store on my exit of I-75 where the products are being sold; it's a stop on the Georgia agritourism route. Today they are having a sales in honor of Mother's Day, and a wine tasting. I stopped in.

I saw a man I know; we used to go to church with him and his family. He said, "Don't tell anybody I drink wine." I don't know if he was serious or not; I'll assume it was a joke. I told him I thought most Christians could use a glass of wine. It surely would be better than living so anxiously, and better than taking antidepressants or other meds.

Ironically, in the church meeting I had attended, the theme verse was Titus 2:3-5 "Likewise, teach th…

William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work -- a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing.

Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the p…

A Year

As it is the end of the semester, I have some time to read. Three books are involving me right now, or recently have. I just finished Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. It is a beautiful book. Not many writers have had the nerve or the skill to delve into the real meaning and pain of grief. C.S. Lewis did (and she mentions him), as did Lewis' disciple, Sheldon Vanauken. Both books should be read repeatedly, as should Ms. Didion's.

I am especially amazed by my joy in reading the book because she and her husband were the type of people with whom I would have no "truck" (New York pseudo-intellectual writers) and she is quite honest that, despite her family's involvement with St. John the Divine Episcopal, she has no belief in God or the afterlife.

These two things make the book all the more sad to me.

However, the writing is brilliant. I highly recommend the book. The title comes from her failure to give away her husband's clothes several mo…