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Showing posts from February, 2016

Just Weighing In

About the Apple - FBI thing.  I admire Apple's stance, generally.  They are right to fight this.  But ultimately I hope they lose.  The difference?   The crime has already been committed, and the phone data is evidence.  It's not a matter of before the fact, maybe something could happen, reasonable cause, etc.  It's happened and only a fool would say the couple was not guilty of it.

I Can't Believe I am Posting Something About Lady Gaga

But I found this song compelling.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmWBrN7QV6Y

However, I think some research is due on this 20% of women are sexually assaulted in college every year.  I just don't buy it.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reflection Continued

"Abraham must learn that the promise does not depend on Isaac, but on God alone." 

That is simple but profound for me.  We confuse the three:  the character of God, the promise, and the benefit of the promise.  "God shows him a better sacrifice [than Isaac], which will take the place of Isaac . . . henceforth he will have his son in quite a new way, through the Mediator and for the Mediator's sake" (p. 99).  But no one else knew this, as Bonhoeffer concludes.

What is the promise of God to us, to me, upheld by the character of God, and what are the outcomes?  Good question.  We assume promises (health and wealth) that are not there, and overlook those that are.  God's presence, eternal life, and movement toward likeness of Christ, and the outcomes are deep personal satisfaction.  We confuse our middle class lifestyle with the promises of God.

I have been teaching about prayer, but I think we should pray as the Bible teaches and for what the Bible teaches.  B…

Hail Caesar

There are other movies by this name, but this title refers to the most recent Coen brothers' addition to their filmography.  I think the title needs a comma, though, or maybe an exclamation point.  I have a lot of random observations.

First, the title has nothing to do with the movie, except that George Clooney is in a Roman centurion costume the whole time, which does nothing for him.  He looks rather fat and is getting old.  Not a good look for him.

Second, I like old movies, so I got a kick out of the in-jokes and references to Esther Williams, Carol Reid, Gary Cooper, etc. 

Third, I think the film can be taken two ways:  as a satire about communism and supposed communists in Hollywood (they were such dilettantes who really didn't understand or mean it) or a poke at the stupidity of the American people for buying into the "crap" that Hollywood puts out so cynically.  And yet the main character, Mannix, believes in what he is doing and is able to look past the sins…

Those moments of transcendence

Sometimes I think our lives have long stretches of normalcy (I won't say boredom because boredom is a choice) between moments of transcendence.  The key is to have your tuner ready for the transcendence.

One yesterday:  hearing Justice Thomas read Romans 5 at Justice Scalia's funeral.  Those eternal words uttered by that serious, no nonsense voice, took my breath away.

The last two or three minutes of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I post this in honor of Harper Lee.  I wish all of us writers would have her humility about her work.

One not remotely in the same league but rather a revelation to me was driving my new car for the first time yesterday.  It has been a month since my wreck, and my husband found a used Lexus for a reasonable price.  Because I was out of town, I didn't get a chance to drive it--until I got home last night from my trip to central Georgia for a conference.  I had never driven a luxury car before, and I now understood.  It was impossible to feel rushed in t…

Can a Shepherd Be a Menacing Thing?

The article linked below gives a different perspective on the Twenty-Third Psalm.  I was not aware that some "moderns" find the psalm menacing rather than comforting.  Perhaps that is as sign that we are out of sorts in our civilization and "things have fallen apart."


http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/january-february/lord-is-my-shepherd-or-predator.html?start=1

On Seeing the Gutenberg Bible

Last weekend I was in Austin, TX, and I managed (after two tries) to get to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.  I wanted to see the Gutenberg Bible, which I did, but I also got to see a copy of Shakespeare's first folio, so that was neat.

The Gutenberg Bible was completed in 1455 (or so Wikipedia tells me, making it 500 years older than me and now 560 years old) and there are 48 copies around the world.  Like the one in Austin, the copies are carefully preserved and in airtight, climate-controlled cases, of course.

My first reaction was--it's in Latin!  I had always assumed it was in German, which is of course illogical, since it was printed before the Reformation.  It also, like a medieval copy of the Bible, has illumination.  I don't know why I expected something that looked like the Ryrie Study Bible!  And it is of course very large, not exactly portable.

But . . . it is one of the first artifacts we have of the age of printing, which of course changed …

What's (Not) in Your Wallet

Capital One has done a great job of getting that phrase into our vocabulary, especially through Samuel L. Jackson (who managed not to use a profanity with it) and sweet little Jennifer  Garner, the wronged woman.

I am thinking about it today on Ash Wednesday, which Baptists don't practice but in the last few years I have observed Lent as a period of preparation for Good Friday and Easter (which is "early" this  year).  In the past I have blogged daily but I will not do that this year.  I only want to ask myself and others, what is getting in the way of your focus on the cross, the real gospel?  What is in your "wallet" and what should not be for this season (and probably for others)?

Beginning of Lent: Be Countercultural

Observations on a snowy Wednesday

My college is opening on a two-hour delay, so I will take a couple of minutes to reflect . . .

All my life I've been told that people in New England are just plain smarter than the rest of us.  Really?  (You figure this one out.)

At least I agreed with their second choice. I like John Kasich.  A lot.  He may not have the disciplined organization to get this done, though.


A voice that I hear speaking

The essay linked below resonated with me.  I have puzzled over some of the questions he addresses, specifically how to be fully human and fully God's and the struggle of being real in front of the scoffers.  Worth reading.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/february-web-only/better-way-to-be-evangelical.html