Weekly Meanderings

Chicago, my home town.

David Opderbeck is beginning a “Daybook” blog post each day. Mark it.

Good one!

Good piece on marriage and realism by Christine Scheller: “I am simultaneously compelled to resist the encroaching pressure of the easy out and feel a deep obligation to model fidelity and stability to the next generation in light of it. This is no easy task. I vowed to love my husband in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer and can say unequivocally that rich and healthy is a whole lot easier than sick and poor. I can also affirm that hardness of heart is the fastest route to marital decline (Matt. 19:8).”

Ed Stetzer on roids goes bezerk. Brad Wright only goes bezerk when folks get stats messed up … but his blog is worth your marking because he finds this stuff all the time.

Rob’s 2011 Reminder.

Carolyn Custis James on missing wives in Washington DC. Trevin Wax appeals to Steve Jobs about the Manhattan Declaration app.

Applying Yeshua communally. Wondering aloud about the future of Sunday School by Sheldon Good: “Sunday school. It was one of the main reasons I enjoyed church as a child. As a young adult, it sometimes still is. But there’s a conversation brewing: Does Sunday school have a future? I think so, though it may not involve Sunday or school.”

Too many Bibles?

Watson vs. Jennings — from John LaGrou.

My study is in the basement, but this place is cool. (HT: JF)

Excellent interview with Eric Metaxas at Harper’s: “When I first heard the story of Bonhoeffer in 1988, I was staggered. I was slowly returning to the Christian faith that I had lost as a student at Yale, and Bonhoeffer’s personal story and his magnificent book, The Cost of Discipleship, really spoke to me and helped me as I struggled with my questions. As a German-American, I was especially touched by his story, because he was a German who had spoken up for those who couldn’t speak. First and foremost for the Jews of Europe, but also for many like my grandfather, who were powerless and who in their own way were also victims of the Nazis.”

For some laughs….

Meanderings in the News

1. With the New Year come predictions: Did you see this one on the CNN Faith blog? Here is Don Miller’s: “5. As religious tensions grow over the coming presidential election and domestic cultural issues involving perceived legislation of morality, the media will find more zealous Christians reacting to the issues of the day whose extreme positions will further divide the evangelical church into radical positions, and turn away seekers looking for a peaceful resolution to the churning in their own souls. In other words, the devil will play a trick on the church, and the church will, like sheep, lose their focus on the grace and love of Christ and wander astray. Those who seek peace, then, will turn to liberal ideologies.”

2. Hadn’t heard of this, but Sonoma State Univ studies top news items not reported, and there’s a strong sense of censorship here: Here are the headlines for the top 10 for this past year:

1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar
2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet
3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk
4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts
5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan
6. Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US
7. External Capitalist Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa
8. Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement
9. Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine
10. US Funds and Supports the Taliban

3. Tim Dalrymple collects articles from Patheos by topic. Nice resource.

(BTW, that’s a fish spa treatment to the left.)

4. “Let him give to her a bill of divorce”: the story of the agunah.

5. How Kindle competed with Apple: four points from Michael Hyatt.

6. Sam Leith‘s predictions for life in the UK in 2011 are worth reading for the sheer fun of his prose, including this one: “Those of us unable to afford a McLaren MP4 will be travelling by train—wedged into each other’s armpits.”

7. Dahlia Lithwick, at Slate, on the Tea Party and the Constitution: “Taking legislative authority away from the federal government doesn’t necessarily mean freer individuals. It might just mean granting vastly more authority to the states—which already have far broader police powers than most of us would care to admit. “Most of the regulation in our lives comes from state regulations over health, education, safety and welfare,” explains Lawrence Friedman, a professor at New England Law, Boston. “We have this idea that if the Congress can’t do it, no one can do it, but it’s not clear that the states wouldn’t do it, and do a worse job.” State governments are as likely to be corrupt, bankrupt, and beholden to special interests as the federal government. The only difference may be that state constitutions don’t prohibit state legislatures from making you do things you’d rather not do.”

8.Twain scholar, Ron Powers, is hot: “Denying the role of slavery in triggering the Civil War and denying Twain’s insight that “nigger” was prevalent and dehumanizing enough in that era to irradiate his most enduring anti-racist literature feed into the same polluted basin: the spreading pool of disinformation about America’s past.”

He can be as hot as he wants, but public schools don’t want to deal with the fallout so they choose not to read Huck Finn. Notice this: Title VIIof the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

“… the word is considered by many to be the most offensive in the English language” and “has been used by whites as a tool to belittle, oppress or dehumanize African Americans. When viewed in its historical context, one can see how people in general, and African Americans in particular, might react differently when a white person uses the word than if an African American uses it.”

9. Well, he’s got a good sense of humor, with a line in there that is the understatement of the year.

10. That’s quite the description: “Authorities took her to a medical facility where, under the supervision of doctors, she “finalized the expulsion” of the 91 pellets, according to a CBP news release.”

Meanderings in Sports:

Terrelle Pryor knew prior: Pryor pretty much blew up the whole education defense on Saturday anyway. It was a laughable gambit to begin with, and it appeared even more naked and pathetic when Pryor offered the following quote to reporters: “What did I learn? It’s two years ago, you know, so I already knew what I should have done two years ago,” Pryor said. “So to tell the truth, I didn’t learn much because I already knew what I should have did two years ago. Now I wouldn’t make the same decision, so I couldn’t tell you I learned something because I already knew what I did wrong.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/01/05/sugar.bowl.ohiostate.arkansas/index.html#ixzz1AAEuvG9o

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  • Thanks for sharing! Good as always.

  • Phillip

    The link within the SI article to another column, advising the offending players to go pro so they rather than OSU can profit from their names, is also interesting.

  • Susan N.

    Re: Don Miller’s faith-based predictions for 2011… Words cannot express the utter dread that comes over me when I think about the rapidly approaching 2012 elections. The last one (’08) was so fraught with bitter contention inside the church that it was more than I could bear. Honestly, I’m just now recovering from the disillusionment of the last presidential election! Waking up many days to see hateful comments about Obama still being president, or praying for him to be dead, or how evil he and the democrats are, etc., etc…on my Christian friends’ Facebook statuses was at first shocking, and then terribly disappointing, and finally, coming to the sad realization that we were not on the same page, faith-wise. I am not a “seeker” per se, in the sense that I have not already made a lifetime commitment to Christ. Though I would admit that I am continually seeking to follow Him more closely–deeper and higher! Semantics about the term “seeker” aside, the political ideology and rhetoric from conservative evangelicals did drive me from such Christian denominations. I wasn’t clear whether Don Miller meant liberal theology or liberal political ideology in referring to those who will be “led astray” in search of peace. It has been pointed out to me by conservative friends that conservative theology and conservative politics are two different things; likewise with the term “liberal.” My personal interpretation of “liberal” is, in a word, generous. Most of my conservative friends now know my position, so they generally refrain from communicating their unedited thoughts with me now. They don’t want to hear mine, either. Dialogue has broken down, and is a real barrier to friendship and fellowship. This is the reality of the effects of politics “in the church” since the last presidential election. I am bracing myself for the next onslaught, and should probably plan to avoid media coverage of the “event.” I will be looking to the ‘Jesus Creed’ blog site as a relatively “safe” place to come for a healthy spiritual perspective and a shelter during the politically-stormy time ahead. I’m also much happier (yes, peaceful) these days in my more theologically-liberal church: May God have mercy on all our souls!

    On a brighter note, I thank Dopderbeck for the 2011 Daybook blog series. I have bookmarked the page and look forward to reading and contemplating 🙂

  • Love it Scot. This week I write about your new book and start a series on Phil Hefner’s The Human Factor: Evolution, Culture, Religion and you link to… xkcd links! 🙂

    Although they are funny…

  • Darcyjo

    Susan, I can sympathise. I’ve gotten to the point where I never, NEVER talk about politics in church, on my blog, or on Facebook. I’m not a liberal, I’m not a conservative, I have friends in both camps, but I can’t stand it anymore, I just can’t. And just as I am sick of the anti-Obama stuff on Facebook, I was also nauseated by the anti-Bush hate. (funny, but some of the people who are angriest about how folks trash Obama were the most vocal and nasty about Bush. How about we pray for whoever is president and treat him the way we want to be treated?)
    Makes me tired….

  • rjs

    Your review of One.Life was quite good Justin – Scot should have linked it.

    The post by Stackhouse is also interesting.

  • DRT

    Susan N.#3, You response really hits home for me, especially this weekend. I have not been to my church in 6 months and will go tomorrow. I am in rural VA and the people are, well, inbred (from a thought perspective is what I mean). The pastor of the church has made his position very clear that he is not in favor of having anyone who thinks differently than him in the church. Well, I think differently.

    With the patience and support of our Lord I will calmly re-interject myself in the community and attest to a steady faithfulness….it should be interesting.

  • RJS,

    Just giving Scot a friendly jab. On the list of folk that have helped get my blog off of the ground, he’s numbers 1 through 17…

  • Susan N.

    DRT @ #7 — thank you for your honesty in sharing that. I pray that God will give you sufficient grace to enter into these relationships with a courageous and gentle spirit– in just the right balance. Think of me as one among “that great cloud of witnesses” cheering you on in Christ!

  • Jeremy

    Susan N. – Unless Miller has changed significantly in the last 4 or 5 years, I’m guessing he’s talking theologically. Miller isn’t politically conservative, I don’t think.