Weekly Meanderings

Weekly Meanderings January 31, 2009

Some of you may be surprised by that opening image, but I’m following the apostle Paul today: “When in Canada, do as the Canadians.” Kris and I are up in Edmonton at Break Forth, where that one famous hockey player once played — can’t recall his name, but I’m here to do some speaking and teaching. But, while here, “Go Canada!” (When we get home, I’ll get back to my usual self.)

When we got to Edmonton, I wondered if we had been diverted to Seattle – it was raining and gray. Haha! Friday morning about 8am the sun began to break — not used to those late sunrises.

Avery Dulles and John Neuhaus are now gone; what will happen with the Catholic and Evangelical dialogue? And Dave Gibbons makes a case for “Third Culture” as a third way approach to culture and change.

Cheryl Schatz with a funny statement by a 4 yr old boy on the difference between a male and a … you read it.

Sharifa Stevens on the inauguration. Thoughtful.

CT has a good roundup on the inaugural prayers. Many of our students were there (and not in class!). While we’re talking about NPU, good for our nursing program and students.

Love this guy.

In the world of blogs: Did you see that a newspaper idea is to convert blogs into micro-local newspapers? (The Printed Blog) Eugene Cho is in South Africa with some great pictures … and we’re going back in May (down to Stellenbosch this time). JR Briggs asks a pointed, and important, question about missional in a consumer society. Fr Rob and the evidence for angels. Tread lightly — this one is serious about the Ukraine. When it comes to numbers, count on Michael Kruse (this one on joblessness). One of the most important themes that needs to be heard today: God is not safe. Is Christianity cool? Bob’s fighting. Michael Krahn does some satire — of which I’m rarely a fan — about Tony Jones that is funny.

And Bob Robinson says he voted for Obama but

I’ve been thinking of what it means to be called “reverend” and how pastors are to think of themselves, so these words — from a pastor — are a very good reminder for me.

Christian and the state: John Stackhouse is always thoughtful. And Ed Gilbreath is thoughtful too — the Joshua Generation (I like that).

Ilinoisans no longer play “Where’s Waldo?” They play “Where’s Blago?”

Speaking of church and state: one of my former students, Tim King, has a blog that gets into the political issues; he’s in DC and works with Jim Wallis.

With the change of parties in power comes the rise of a whole new cadre of newspaper critics — and we will only be good citizens if we listen to both sides.

1. Not sure if you saw this: an atheist praises the good impact of evangelism and missionaries in Africa.
2. Stanley Fish examines President Obama’s speech: “he carries us from meditative bead to meditative bead, and invites us to contemplate.”
3. Red wine and our health.
4. David Waters on the Catholic ad about abortion. I’m with Cardinal Francis George on this one.
CafeLatte.jpg5. No promises that I’ll live long, but if I do, my chances of dementia are less.
6. Religious responses to the inauguration — quite an array. These are the optimistic words of Jim Wallis: “It was acknowledged that it was time now for the new President to go to

work. And so would the religious community. Our job now is to offer
prayers and support for the new President, as we did in the Cathedral
yesterday. But it will also be our job, our prophetic religious
responsibility in fact, to offer challenge, when that is necessary, as
it certainly will be for this President like all Presidents before him.
But I think this President has the capacity to understand that
challenge can be the deepest form of support.” Amen.
6. Michael Novak throws on some cold water: “The job of president is to cope with his own coming
tragedy. No man can fulfill all the hopes that go with the office. His
own strengths often undo him.”

7. Two women writers speak against abortion: Frederica and Kathryn Jean Lopez.
8. This is our President’s biggest challenge: the States and unemployment figures.
9. San Diego conservative writer, Ruben Navarrette Jr gets after Congress: Do your job!
10. Now for a crackpot link: The Blog GenderAnalyzer.


Cubs.jpgDon’t look now, but the Fightin’ Illini have one very good basketball team.

The new owner of the Cubs met his wife in the bleachers at Wrigley. Now that is cool. And good ol’ Mike Imrem reminds the new owner that he won’t change Cubs history. (Mike Imrem is a truth-teller.)

Joe Torre comes out swinging, NY style.

We’ll miss the SuperBowl and we’ll miss the ads.

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  • ivh

    Wayne Gretzky. Might not want to forget that if you’re in “The City of Champions.” You can see a statue of him at the Rexall Place.
    (A large part of me is hoping that you were being sarcastic.)

  • David Fitch

    Have a Tim Horton’s coffee, double double, for me 🙂

  • A Canuck to the east warmly waves from the snow-blanketed farm fields…
    Thank you for these meanderings, Scot. A weekly highlight.
    And as we say up here: “Keep your stick on the ice!”

  • Your Name

    I’m not sure Waters has his facts straight on the pro-life Obama ad. If I recall correctly from Obama’s autobiography, his mother’s pregnancy was the catalyst for the marriage.
    However, it was before abortion was legal right? So the point Waters misses is that with legalized abortion every woman with an unintended pregnancy asks herself a different set of questions than she would have previously. To suggest that it doesn’t matter by comparing outcomes with Timothy McVeigh is silly. Do we have any evidence that McVeigh was the result of an unintended pregnancy? And if we did, would we say his mother should have aborted him? I don’t think so. We’d say, get some early intervention into that boy’s life.
    I like the catholicvote.org explanation that the ad campaign is based on the idea that abortion is the enemy of hope. In these situations, anyone who chooses life hopes for a good outcome. We’re not promised that in this life under any circumstances.
    Having said that, I, myself was a little uncomfortable with the description of Obama’s home life as broken. I’m doubtful the grandparents who raised him would have described it as “broken.” Maybe “challenging.” If anything the ad could have argued that with adequate support, more women would choose life.
    As to the exploitation charge, I’ve grappled with this as someone who’s written personally on this issue. I only did so after my child was an adult, and with his permission and editorial review. Obviously Obama didn’t give his permission here, but he’s a public figure and has talked and written about and sold us on hope “exploiting” the circumstances of his life, so I think it’s fair.
    The question I have is how else do we talk about any important public issue without using concrete examples? Eg. parents have been at the forefront of advocacy for both embryonic stem cell research and were featured in the anti-prop 8 ads in California. Were they exploiting their children by arguing from personal experience? Should they have only argued theoretically? I don’t think so, as long as there is, for private citizens, informed consent.

  • cas

    #4 was me. Com box timed out again.

  • Dan

    Welcome to Edmonton. I wasn’t able to do breakforth this year, but have a good time in our awesome and strangely warm city.

  • Michael Krahn

    Thanks for the link. BTW, I’m Canadian so you have good theme going here.

  • Matt

    Try Kicking Horse or JustUs coffee. You won’t regret it. Tim Horton’s coffee is overrated; Canadian hockey is not!!!!
    Matt in Nova Scotia