7 Quick Takes (11/23/12)

— 1 —

I’m always delighted when life imitates xkcd (after all, that’s why I dressed up as a ninja and attacked Richard Stallman freshman year).  After xkcd explained the Saturn V using only the thousand most common English words, someone put together The Up-Goer Five Text Editor, that will let you try and explain ideas using only the top thousand words.  It’ll flag you when you go wrong.

— 2 —

The New York Times ran an amazing obit for Sir Rex Hunt, who was the governor of the Falklands during the Falklands War.

If it is rife with elements of imperial farce à la Evelyn Waugh — “the wee man with the funny hat” was how the British news media sometimes described Sir Rex during the conflict — it is equally a story of the bravery and resourcefulness of an ordinary civil servant thrust into extraordinary circumstances…

About 3:30 p.m. on April 1, Sir Rex received a cable now widely considered remarkable even by the standards of British sang-froid. It read:

“We now believe that the Argentine task force will assemble off Cape Pembroke by dawn tomorrow stop no doubt you will wish to make your dispositions accordingly.”

…Surrendering, Sir Rex rebuffed the outstretched hand of the Argentine commander, Gen. Osvaldo García.

“It is very ungentlemanly of you to refuse to shake my hand,” General García said, in a widely reported exchange.

“It is very uncivilized of you to invade my country,” Sir Rex replied.

Exiled immediately, Sir Rex chose to depart with all due imperial pomp, donning his ceremonial uniform: tunic, sword and hat plumed with ostrich feathers. The figure he cut was rendered all the more evocative by his 5-foot-4 stature.

— 3 —

Melinda Selmys is writing a series on natural law as a series of dialogues.  Here’s a quote from the first installment:

C: I see. Well to me this entire “kind of being” notion seems like an an abstract invention. An intellectual trompe l’oeil.

G: Catullus, everyone believes in “kinds of beings.” You believe that an orange is different from an aardvark. That they’re different kinds of things. By nature.

C: By convention. They are both basically assemblages of carbon atoms and H2O with a little of this and a little of that mixed in to give some local colour. The carbon and water and what-not are basically just wavelengths of a primordial energy that we call light. Our minds look upon the light and form the impression of a four legged eater of ants. Then we invent a word to group together similar impressions and thus, presto chango, the category of aardvark is produced.

G: Well in that case a human being is the kind of rational subjectivity that is capable of deducing aardvarks from the primordial light. He’s still, by nature, a rational being.

C: So the objective truth is that a human person is an absolute subjectivity who uses his reason to produce reality and then imagines that his, or her, productions are objective. Yes, all right. I think I can agree to that.

G: That’s not what I said. I wasn’t denying the existence of any other kinds of objective truth. I was just pointing out that even if we were to assume all of your premises we would still get the conclusion that there is objectively such a thing as human nature. I’m saying that it’s an inescapable conclusion, not a self-referential fallacy.

— 4 —

Over at the charmingly named Galleycat blog, there’s an announcement that Simon & Schuster is having a book jacket design contest for the 60th anniversary of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.  These were my favorites in the gallery.

 

(Credits for the first and second covers)

— 5 —

An interesting excerpt from Pope Clement VIII’s Wikipedia page:

Coffee aficionados often claim that the spread of its popularity is due to Pope Clement VIII’s influence. Being pressured by his advisers to declare coffee the “bitter invention of Satan” because of its popularity among Muslims and it being a sort of antithesis or substitute for wine (which was used in the Eucharist), upon tasting it he instead declared that, “This devil’s drink is so delicious…we should cheat the devil by baptizing it.” The year often cited is 1600. It is not clear whether this is a true story, but it may have been found amusing at the time.

Fun fact: according to a priest I spoke to, baptizing with anything that is not water is not allowed, but only beer is specifically proscribed.  From New Advent:

[I]t is never allowable to baptize with an invalid liquid. There is a response of Pope Gregory IX to the Archbishop of Trondhjem in Norway where beer (or mead) had been employed for baptism. The pontiff says: “Since according to the Gospel teaching, a man must be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, those are not to be considered validly baptized who have been baptized with beer” (cervisia).

— 6 —

DarwinCatholic has some good comments on Anthony Esolen’s lament for the demise of flirting.

Just as many overlook that underlying the edifice of the vibrant culture of family life in the 1950s was a deeply unstable moral foundation which was a direct contributor to the widespread acceptance of changing sexual and social mores in the 1960s, so many Catholics sigh for the romanticism of earlier eras in which relations between the sexes were more defined and regulated without considering that the climbing divorce rates of later years and decades were fueled at least in part by the dissolution of some of these marriages. The question should be, though: do these external features actually function to produce not just higher rates of marriage but better marriages?

…There’s something charmingly retro about calling for the return of dances and social structures that throw men and women together, but Church-sanctioned socials or what-have-you, while (as Brandon points out) a lovely way to build community, can be an excuse for pushing out onto others the responsibility for virtuous marriages, whereas personal virtue is a change that starts right now, instantly, in the choices one makes every moment, in how one relates to every person one meets, man or woman.

 

— 7 —

And, finally, via dy/dan, a nice video on our intuitions about randomness:

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as an Editorial Assistant at The American Conservative by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • http://paraphasic.blogspot.com Elliot

    C and G are bad first initials for characters in a dialogue. Similarly, you want to avoid names that are close in length.

  • Pingback: 7 Quick Takes (11/23/12) | cathlick.com

  • deiseach

    The explanation of the Saturn V using only the thousand most common English words reminds me of Poul Anderson’s Uncleftish Beholding, which is a statement of atomic theory in English (0r perhaps ‘Anglish’ would be a better name) stripped of all the Romance language loan-words (end of the essay excerpted below):

    “With enough strength, lightweight unclefts can be made to togethermelt. In the sun, through a row of strikings and lightrottings, four unclefts of waterstuff in this wise become one of sunstuff. Again some weight is lost as work, and again this is greatly big when set beside the work gotten from a minglingish doing such as fire.
    Today we wield both kind of uncleftish doings in weapons, and kernelish splitting gives us heat and bernstoneness. We hope to do likewise with togethermelting, which would yield an unhemmed wellspring of work for mankindish goodgain.

    Soothly we live in mighty years!”

    • Brock

      Yes, I thought of Uncleftish Beholding too – but I should that it’s not only stripped of Latinate/Romance words, but also Greek and Arabic (note the author uses naught instead of zero).

    • http://witheagerfeet.wordpress.com Ink

      If it’s Anglish, it’s been reduced down to only its Anglo-Saxon roots; so everything EXCEPT Anglo-Saxon words has been taken out.

    • Grok87

      I love it!

  • http://www.ephesians4-15.blogspot.ca Randy

    The story behind the beer baptisms is here

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/01/the-frat-boys-of-nidaros-seminary/

    Debate follows about whether modern lite beer would be close enough to water to make the baptism valid.

    • deiseach

      But you need water to make beer, so if they had beer, they must have had water – unless it was an emergency situation and all anybody had on them was Acolyte Berndt’s breakfast tipple, which he had to sacrifice for the common good?

  • http://ayearoflivingadventurously.wordpress.com Emily

    The beer and coffee things remind me about the controversy over Hot Chocolate–does it break the Lenten fast? It was declared not to, and with the powder hot chocolate we have today, I can understand that (It’s almost penitential). But real hot chocolate–oh, man. That’s good stuff.

  • Cam

    “I thought we agreed that we would put aside the practical ends of this discussion and stick to the theoretical aspects…that we would see where the argument led and try to arrive at the truth rather than reasoning backwards from your desire to justify gay sex”
    Oppressive horridness of this attack on non-heterosexuals aside, the points that the natural law proponent is dismissing are not ‘practical ends’ to be dismissed, they are part of the truth and evidence in their own right. ‘I am happy’ is a rather blisteringly good retort to the ignorant jerk who feels the need to tell you that you’re not.

    • Daniel W

      Just an FYI (this may not be evident until one follows the link for the blockquote) that the author of this fictional dialogue is, by her own admission, gay.

      • Daniel W

        ….and now that I posted this I see the section you quoted WAS gathered from following the link (not from Leah’s blockquote). My bad!

    • Ted Seeber

      True love isn’t about happiness. Happiness comes and goes, and is never an end or even the means. True love is about wanting the objective moral good for the other person, and denial of self to achieve it.

      That’s why Chastity is necessary- not just for homosexuals either. See Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2300-2400 inclusive.

  • Cam

    Fictional discussions are also silly because the author will favour their own preference, even if they try not to. It’s better, and not particularly difficult, to seek out the best arguments of real people and use them as talking points. Especially when your goal is attacking a fellow human’s sexuality.

    • http://www.ephesians4-15.blogspot.ca Randy

      How much of Melinda’s stuff have you read? I would never describe her as “attacking a fellow human’s sexuality.” Mostly she is trying to make sense of her own sexuality and her Catholicism. So you might describe it as a discussion she is having with herself rather than a fictional discussion.

      • Cam

        She may be exploring her own sexuality (which is fine) and attacking others at the same time- these are not mutually exclusive. I will correct myself though, it is not her intentions that make it an attack, it is the context in which the discussion takes place. That someone can sit down and entertain the idea that a person’s evidently harmless sexuality can be so contrary to an alleged natural law that they should abstain from sex- this sends a message to non-heterosexuals: ‘do not feel comfortable or confident or safe. Your sexuality is under attack and you must defend it”. It’s not the intention of the discussion that makes it an attack, it’s the nature.
        And what an evil idea, all the more evil because it flies in the face of what we know about the world. It makes my conscience cry out, as it should everyone’s.

        • Cam

          And if anyone thinks: ‘but so what if my message is hurtful, so long as it is true?’, first my point would be made; and second, and this is important, you have not the evidence or logic on your side. The idea that certain sexualities contradict a natural law is not just vile, it’s vileness piled on wrongness.

          • Anonymous

            She shouldn’t even consider an entire branch of thought while exploring her own sexuality… simply because you will then feel defensive and desire to defend your own sexuality? What other philosophical inquiry shall we ban? Shall we start with Karl Marx or Ayn Rand? Many of their ideas have been considered evil and contrary to what we know about the world. Certainly, consciences have before cried out. Many have felt compelled to defend their own behavior in the face of such philosophies.

            Maybe economic ethics and all other non-sexual ethics should be exempt… it seems you’re only arguing for the censorship of any inquiry into sexual ethics. Of course, your particular position on the banning of sexual ethics which don’t agree with you is still a matter of sexual ethics… so it might need to be banned, lest it leave someone feeling uncomfortable, lacking in confidence, or unsafe.

            Face it – you will never win the ‘you should not even consider/discuss/explore’ argument. Ever. No matter how vile/evil/harmful you consider the other side to be. Especially when the author is exploring her own personal philosophy/sexuality. You can only win in the argument itself. Perhaps you should try that.

          • http://www.jrganymede.com Adam G.

            Unargued assertion appears to be the natural fuel of the dudgeon engine.

          • Cam

            Anon, I didn’t propose any form of censorship, and even if I did support it it in this situation it wouldn’t be given zero moral weighting, so in this I don’t think we disagree. That an idea is harmful does not necessarily entail that censoring it is the moral option; that censorship is wrong does not mean that we must avoid mentioning the harm caused by a discussion. Am I wrong in this?

            That still being an aside to my argument: subjective happiness can’t be disregarded from the outset. The ‘you think you’re happy but you’re actually not’ approach is weak as subjective happiness is always going to be the test to judge the success of the system/proposal. The entire basis of proposals like ‘abstain from sex’ is that they will result in a greater love or happiness or contentedness that can be experienced. I don’t think much of the approach: ‘abstain from sex to feel (x), and if you don’t feel (x), disregard how you feel’. 

          • Anonymous

            Shall we avoid mentioning the harm caused by yelling at people to stop considering an entire branch of thought?

            I am not currently willing to dive into a discussion about whether objective or subjective morality is true. That being said, you seem willing to reject the possibility of objective morality from the outset. We should probably not reject either idea from the outset. We should probably explore ideas… ya know, like Melinda is doing.

          • Cam

            Not at all, that can be acknowledged. But I contend that the harm caused by publicly entertaining the idea that people should abstain from homosexual intercourse is worse than the discouraging effect caused by pointing out this harm, and that it is more moral to identify this line of enquiry as oppressive than to fail to do so. We should always identify discussions that are harmful, but whether we should actually discourage exploration depends on further factors such as what does the current evidence suggest, just how harmful is the discussion, has the question been examined before, how likely is it looking that we’ll arrive at a truth, and so on. By my reckoning, ‘abstain from homosexual intercourse because it contradicts a natural law’ fares poorly against these tests.  

            To clarify, i’m not criticizing exploration of natural law in general, just the parts of versions of it which reduce to “no homosex!”, which can hardly be dignified as an ‘entire branch of thought’.

          • Anonymous

            Then perhaps you should take some time to check out natural law as an entire branch of thought rather than reduce it to “no homosex”. There was a whole lot of work done to develop it long before homosexuality became the hot-button issue.

            Of course, if you have some understanding of the larger paradigm of natural law (as Melinda does), it’s probably not terrible to explore whether that paradigm can make sense in context of the current hot-button issue. Which, again, is exactly what she’s doing.

        • Ted Seeber

          Since when is homosexuality “evidently harmless”?

          Have you bothered to look at the CDC’s statistics on diseases for same-sex attracted people at all?

          • Cam

            Ted, I think the test would be a comparison to a similar heterosexual relationship. People who engage in heterosexual intercourse also have to contend with sexually-transmitted infections, last time I checked. You may argue that heterosexuals are also ordered to follow certain restrictions, but the church does not ask people to permanently abstain from heterosexual intercourse, while it does do that for homosexual intercourse. The double standard is not due to STI risk, you can be sure.
            Also, when we’re talking about a monogamous homosexual relationship, STI statistics can be utterly irrelevant. Furthermore, all things in life involve risk, and many people don’t consider the risk of STI’s great enough to abstain from intercourse, and I doubt many would care for you to make that judgement for them. There’s more but that should do it for now, I think.

  • http://www.pensamientosindiscretos.com/ Jose Luis

    Welcome at Home Leah, from Zaragoza Spain
    Jose Luis

  • Pingback: Stories I’ve Found, 11/23/2012 « homiliesandstraythoughts

  • Pete

    I reject your deity because it has demanded a ritual such as
    Baptism in the 1st place, and is picky about the elements
    involved. I extend that to the “sacraments” in general.

    I only accept a deity which will reach in and touch my heart
    without mediation of any kind…no conditions either.

    Give me a god who is not picky about anything in terms of
    rituals, observances, and liturgy. A god that is willing to speak
    with me directly, and the message is clear and indisputable.

    A god that does not need 1356 pages of text to make a point
    about “salvation”.

    • deiseach

      You sound like you want to be a Calvinist, Pete – irresistible grace, perseverance of salvation and unconditional election.

      • Pete

        I was baptized is a Calvinistic/reformed church.

        Been that, done there. I don’t want any spiritual being from
        the Bible; I want a god who will talk to me directly without
        the aid of “scriptures” or liturgy.

        • http://ayearoflivingadventurously.wordpress.com Emily

          That sort of negates “free will”, doesn’t it? The idea that grace is a choice? Because if God is talking to you directly I think it would be quite hard to resist what He’s telling you to do.
          I think your understanding of liturgy is off a bit, too. Liturgy is the worship of God–it is our work, to thank God, to praise Him. It’s what we do as people. You make it sound like a gathering round the tarot cards, where we wait each Sunday for God to reveal some sort of magical plan to us.

          • Brandon B

            I don’t think it would negate free will, but there would be a related problem. If God directly contacts someone, or reveals himself in some inescapable way to him, the human must react – but the reaction can be either positive or negative, acceptance or rejection. If the human is in danger of completely rejecting God, I imagine that God would rather give him some space, and work indirectly. If God can work by subtler, gentler, less overwhelming means, and win over some people who might have rejected him face-to-face, that would be preferable.

          • Pete

            If a person believes in “free will” then maybe.

            I am not speaking as a person who has no experience with
            Christian life, so your “tarot” card analogy does not work.

            Why should any god be “praised or worshiped”?

            And why should we venerate a being that demands “praise or
            worship” as a condition of “eternal life”?…that sounds like a
            small minded divine being to me.

          • http://ayearoflivingadventurously.wordpress.com Emily

            Brandon: Yup, you’re right. I agree with your response.
            Pete: CS Lewis: Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes me. Human example: Do we need to thank people for the things they do for us? No, we don’t. It’s not required. It makes us better people, because it cultivates an attitude of gratitude and politeness. Our worship, our prayer, doesn’t change God. It changes us. It makes us more attune to Him, it makes us more grateful to Him. God didn’t need sacrifice in the OT, either: he wants a “clean, contrite heart.”

    • Maiki

      One could flip this and say: “I reject this girlfriend because she has demanded a ritual such as
      a “dinner date” in the 1st place, and is picky about the elements
      involved, such as choice of restaurant and attire. I extend that to the general category of “romantic gestures” in general.

      “I only accept a grilfriend which will reach in and touch my heart without my tangible reciprocation of any kind…no conditions either.

      “Give me a girlfriend who is not picky about anything in terms of dates, girfts, anniversaries and outings. A girlfriend that is willing to speak with me directly, and the message is clear and indisputable.

      “A girlfriend that does not need to have discussions on our relationship in any lengthy manner.”

      There might be a girl that low maintenance out there, I’m sure. But it seems like a rather one-sided relationship.

      • Fred

        Well at least he can always buy a teddy bear at the store.

        Archaic Man in Modern Man in Search of a Soul by Jung

        “For primitive man ,on the contrary, the psychic and the objective coalesce in the external world….This projection of psychic happenings naturally gives rise to relations between men and men, or between men and animals or things, that to us are inconceivable. A white man shoots a crocodile. At once a crowd of people comes running from the nearest village and excitedly demand compensation. They explain that the crocodile was a certain old woman in their village who had died at the moment when the shot was fired. The crocodile was obviously her bush-soul. Another man shot a leopard that was lying in wait for his cattle. Just then a woman died in a neighbouring village. She and the leopard were one and the same…..In the primitive world everything has psychic qualities. Everything is endowed with the elements of man’s psyche…..Let us not forget, in this connection, that what the Christian sacrament of baptism purports to do is of the greatest importance for the psychic development of mankind. Baptism endows the human being with a unique soul…..I mean that the idea of baptism lifts a man out of his archaic identification with the world and changes him into a being that stands above it. The fact that mankind has risen to the level of this idea is baptism in the deepest sense, for it means the birth of spiritual man wh0 transcends nature.

        Welcome to His kingdom Leah.

      • Fred

        Well at least he can always buy a teddy bear at the store.

        Archaic Man in Modern Man in Search of a Soul by Jung

        “For primitive man ,on the contrary, the psychic and the objective coalesce in the external world….This projection of psychic happenings naturally gives rise to relations between men and men, or between men and animals or things, that to us are inconceivable. A white man shoots a crocodile. At once a crowd of people comes running from the nearest village and excitedly demand compensation. They explain that the crocodile was a certain old woman in their village who had died at the moment when the shot was fired. The crocodile was obviously her bush-soul. Another man shot a leopard that was lying in wait for his cattle. Just then a woman died in a neighbouring village. She and the leopard were one and the same…..In the primitive world everything has psychic qualities. Everything is endowed with the elements of man’s psyche…..Let us not forget, in this connection, that what the Christian sacrament of baptism purports to do is of the greatest importance for the psychic development of mankind. Baptism endows the human being with a unique soul…..I mean that the idea of baptism lifts a man out of his archaic identification with the world and changes him into a being who stands above it. The fact that mankind has risen to the level of this idea is baptism in the deepest sense, for it means the birth of spiritual man wh0 transcends nature.”

        Welcome to His kingdom Leah.

        • Pete

          My problem with the “soul” is that it is not tangible or measurable,
          so why the need for a ritual which will ” endow” me with something
          “unique” which cannot be seen or heard?…I spent 9 months preparing
          for Baptism in a reformation church, and after the event itself I looked
          for evidence of what you are talking about but found none…the next
          year I spent 5 months in RCIA, and after Confirmation and repeated
          reception of the Eucharist ( in good conscience and some measure of faith)
          I still found nothing that you (or any theologian) are talking about.

          I grew tired of your deity and it’s “mysterious ways”, and now I seek
          a being of true power and might.

          • Fred

            “My problem with the “soul” is that it is not tangible or measurable,
            so why the need for a ritual which will ” endow” me with something
            “unique” which cannot be seen or heard?…”

            As far as what i quoted goes, when you make no distiction between matter and the intellect then you wouldn’t even think of measuring anything tangible. The tangible would be filled with your mental categories, and the sun would act for our good

      • Pete

        Can you use something better than “girlfriend” to illustrate
        your point?

        I don’t have a problem with a 2 way relationship in terms of
        deities or even an impersonal pantheistic force/energy…I have
        a problem with man made rituals and liturgy which are old and
        creeky, and perhaps don’t work the way they are intended.

      • http://delphipsmith.livejournal.com Delphi Psmith

        Interesting analogy. A more comprehensive God/girlfriend analogy might also include “A girlfriend who tells me deeply contradictory things and expects me to wholeheartedly believe all of them…who demands that I follow arbitrary rules that have no rational basis…who claims she can fix everything in our relationship but declines to do so…who says she will send me to hell if I don’t love her.”

    • Richard

      The rituals, observances, sacraments, liturgies and the like are not for God’s sake but for ours. We are not disembodied intellects or spirits or seraphim or any other kind of angel. We are flesh-and-blood creatures. That is one of the things the Incarnation is all about: God mediating the gap between Him and us so that He can speak to us directly.

      • Fred

        So then why are we in the world but not of it?

        • Richard

          non sequitur. That doesn’t make rituals, et alii any less necessary for us mortal creatures made of flesh and blood and not made of pure spirit or intellect.

          • Fred

            I’m not denying the flesh, but are your bones connected because they love each other?

            You didn’t answer the second question.

      • Fred

        And how do you expect to discover gravity, which is not a mental category, when all you do is launch mental categories onto nature?

        • Richard

          non sequitur again. Tools which enable us to determine or at least to approximate Truth in one discipline may not be appropriate for determining or approximating Truth in another field. The problem with that approach is illustrated by the old Polish proverb that if all you have is a hammer, everything else is a nail.

          • Fred

            You didn’t read what i quoted. For pagans, all that exists are mental categories, everywhere. Does the moon orbit the earth out of friendship?

      • Pete

        An omniscient being should have no need for any object of
        mediation to reach us. There should be no need for them on
        our end either. I have been attempting to bridge the “gap”
        for 30+ years, with or without religious systems there has
        been the same silence, which tells me that divine power
        does not care about me, or does not exist.

        • Fred

          Don’t bridge the gap or you’ll think flowers love sunshine.

  • JesusHimself

    And then Jesus said, “Brethren, I can’t believe that the fucking Muslim won again!! I suppose that if I hadn’t been so busy masterbating to my Sarah Palin pin that I could have prevented this epic disaster.
    Although I’m not worthy of your devotion, please remember that I hung on that fucking cross for a long goddamn time for your fucking sins!!!”–Jesus Christ, as told to Chuck Norris.

  • http://www.evolutionarylandscapes.net Jeremy Johnson

    Hilarious bit about the Pope and coffee. My partner is Muslim, she’ll love this.

  • deiseach

    For this Saturday, a link to this morning’s conferral on the six new cardinals of the Church; to remind us that it’s not just Roman or Latin Rite Catholics (the Syriac Maronite Church in Lebanon and the Syro-Malankar Church in Kerala, south-west India, which traces its lineage back to the Apostle Thomas) and not Euro-centric (an American who is titular archbishop of Memphis in Egypt, and cardinals for Nigeria, Colombia and the Philippines).

    It’s easy to get wrapped up in the local events of the North American/Irish/wherever church, but that’s not the whole of the story at all.

  • Pete

    @Emily

    Despite my apostasy from Christianity/Catholicism, I do agree that “prayer” is
    an agent of transformation…even with my current deity of choice, I find that
    opening my mouth and having a dialogue is therapy…I have no evidence that
    anyone is listening, but I always seem to expel some negativity after a nice
    long talk with my personal conception of a deity.

    However, I am not polite or grateful at all; I have no evidence that my deity
    cares about my attitudes and dispositions.

    “Pete: CS Lewis: Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes me. Human example: Do we need to thank people for the things they do for us? No, we don’t. It’s not required. It makes us better people, because it cultivates an attitude of gratitude and politeness. Our worship, our prayer, doesn’t change God. It changes us. It makes us more attune to Him, it makes us more grateful to Him. God didn’t need sacrifice in the OT, either: he wants a “clean, contrite heart.”


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