So why the loss of interest in the NFL?

9791303373_196450407d_zTelevision ratings are way down for professional football games.  The NFL is trying to figure out why the sudden loss of interest.

I have to say that I am not as interested in the games as I used to be, even last year, and I’m not sure why.  I don’t think it’s just because the Packers aren’t doing all that well.  I saw them through rougher times.  And it’s not because the games are too long.  I like long games.  And it’s not because Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the flag.  He’s getting sacked so much that a patriotic fan might take some satisfaction in watching that.  I’m just kind of tired of it.  I still get excited about College Football (go Sooners!) and I’ve started following the NBA (go Thunder!).  But the NFL is giving me a “meh” feeling.

So let me consult you.  Are you still following NFL games as avidly as you used to?  If not, why not? [Read more…]

Back in the U.S.A.!

photo-1474663898126-6f6f19a48b1d_optWe are back in the good old U.S. of A. after spending a month visiting our daughter and her family in Australia.  We enjoyed our time down under very much.  But it’s good to be back home.

I can’t believe that I was able to keep this blog going as usual despite the time difference (16.5 hours, a day ahead) and our many activities.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

It was strange to watch the election from the other side of the world, but sometimes a little distance (literally) is clarifying.

After the jump, a cool picture of me in the Australian landscape that my son-in-law took.  I call it “Australian Sublime.” [Read more…]

Thanksgiving in Australia

It’s strange being in Australia for Thanksgiving.  We’re getting together with some other expatriate Americans, but since no one gets off work for Thursday, we’re going to have our big meal on Saturday.  Though since American Thursday is Australian Friday, we’re off anyway.  Scrounging all over town for Turkey, cranberries, cornmeal (for dressing), and other staples also gives a new dimension to the feast, but I think we have found everything.  We certainly have a lot to be thankful about, so we can remember those things even on the other side of the world.

So may you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

Leon Russell dies

Another icon of my youth, Leon Russell, passed away at age 74.  A piano player from Lawton, Oklahoma, Russell became a member of the “wrecking crew,” that set of session musicians who were responsible for most of the pop music coming out of L.A. in the early sixties, from the Beach Boys to the Mamas and the Papas and the Byrds.  From there, he started playing with British stars, of the magnitude of John Lennon, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, and Eric Clapton.  Also Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and. . .you name it.  The man knew everybody and his eclectic taste meant that he played just about everything.

He was also the main originator of the “Tulsa Sound,” with its country rock boogie-woogie shuffle that made a mark in the 1970s.  I grew up in the Tulsa area around then, and Leon was part of that silly teenaged scene on local late night TV with Mazeppa Pompazoidi (Gaylord Sartain) and Teddy Jack Eddy (Gary Busey).  I remember driving to Tulsa to hear a free concert in a park with Leon and B.B. King, one of the best concerts I’ve ever heard.

After the jump, a link to an informative obituary and a video of what he could do. [Read more…]

The Doctrine of Two Kingdoms as a Paradigm for Criticism

I spoke at Jordan Cooper’s “Just & Sinner” conference, the topic of which was the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms.  This is a teaching that many people are confused about, including some Reformed folks who are trying to adapt it to Calvinism.  In my first talk, I explained why this teaching is NOT dualism; nor does it mean an uncritical acceptance of the status quo; nor does it mean that Christianity has nothing to say about secular issues. [Read more…]

Blogging from Down Under

We’re on our way to Australia to visit our grandchildren, daughter, and son-in-law (a new professor at the Lutheran seminary in Adelaide).  We’ll be there for a month, coming back on December 2.

The blog will continue.  (We’ve got to talk about the election on November 8–I’ve cast an absentee ballot–and other crises that will no doubt arise.)  The big problem will be the time differences.  Early morning in the USA is late at night in Australia.  And late at night in the USA is early morning on the next day!  So 5:00 p.m. CDT on Thursday in the USA is 8:30 a.m. on Friday in Adelaide.

I might be able to maneuver the time distances so that posts come up each morning as you are used to.  But I might end up just posting when I can, so that they will come up for you at odd and unpredictable times.  Please bear with me.  Just check throughout the day.

Then again, if we are on walkabout, we won’t find an internet connection in the outback.

[Read more…]