Weekly Meanderings, 15 June 2019

Weekly Meanderings, 15 June 2019 June 15, 2019

Good morning!

Words matter … alot!

The most common words used by Beth Moore are: Christ, love, attitudes, accepted, serve, respect, know, misogyny, alongside, asking, sake, scripture, good, want, challenges, say, bible, serving, sexism, leaders, etc.

The most common words used by Strachan and his ilk are: church, teaching, word, order, headship, authority, scripture, teach, preach, called, leadership, design, gathered, says, rules, biblical, exercise, etc.

They are both talking about the same subject. But Beth Moore is concerned about Jesus, love, service; how misogyny has hurt the gospel of Christ. Owen Strachan, Al Mohler, and Denny Burke, in contrast, are concerned about hierarchical structures, maintaining order, authority, and who gets to be in charge.

By their words, complementarianism is about hierarchy, authority, and power. It always has been about power, it always will be about power. How Owen Strachan and Al Mohler responded to Beth Moore clearly shows this. Beth Moore threatened their power hierarchy and they were afraid. 

Jesus told us in Matthew 20 that the quest for power was the exact opposite of his message.  “The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high official exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…”

Powermongers monger, and lovers love. And don’t forget that the term “complementarian” was originally used by the egalitarians until the Neo-Complementarians realized hierarchy and patriarchy were bad for branding. So they swiped “complementarian.”

Rich Haridy:

A landmark study, led by a team of scientists from King’s College London and the University of Cambridge, has described the mechanism responsible for the hardening of arteries. The research also points to a common antibiotic as a potential new treatment to prevent this condition.

As we age, calcium deposits tend to build up in the walls of our arteries. This arterial stiffening is associated with a number of diseases, from heart attack to stroke and dementia. Until now scientists did not know exactly what was causing these calcium aggregations in arteries.

“This hardening, or biomineralization, is essential for the production of bone, but in arteries it underlies a lot of cardiovascular disease and other diseases associated with aging like dementia,” explains Cathy Shanahan, a researcher from King’s College London. “We wanted to find out what triggers the formation of calcium phosphate crystals, and why it seems to be concentrated around the collagen and elastin which makes up much of the artery wall.”

Using a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the scientists discovered the culprit behind the entire process was a molecule called PAR, or poly(ADP ribose). It was revealed that PAR is produced when a cell dies, and once released it begins mopping up calcium ions until they ultimately aggregate into crystals and stick onto artery walls.

“We never would have predicted that it was caused by PAR,” says Melinda Duer, co-lead on the new research. “It was initially an accidental discovery, but we followed it up – and it’s led to a potential therapy.”

Seeking that potential therapy led the researchers to investigate a series of molecules that could block the release of PAR, and they ultimately homed in on a commonly used antibiotic called minocycline. Animal experiments revealed high doses of minocycline blocked the production of PAR and subsequently inhibited calcification of the arteries.

Slave trade, and perhaps for many a little-known perspective on where those slaves were sent:

To put this in context, by far the most intense period of the mainland British North America [African slave] trade fell between 1725 and 1775, which brought in some 225,000 slaves. In a comparable fifty year period, the peak years between 1801 and 1850, Brazil imported 2.05 million, roughly nine times as many. Overall, Brazil accounted for 46 percent of all slaves imported throughout this whole period, compared to a mainland British North America figure of just 3.6 percent. That includes all the slaves brought into the Carolinas, to Georgia, to the Chesapeake, all combined.

Am I the only person to be surprised that the slave trade to the Dutch colonies involved significantly more victims than were brought to mainland North America? Among other great centers of importation, British-ruled Jamaica “disembarked” over a million in the whole period; French St. Domingue (Haiti) 773,000; Spanish Cuba 778,000. The single island of Barbados (British) brought in 493,000, far more than all imports to North America. I am not sure how many of those were imported to work there, as opposed to being traded further afield.

The bigger the home, the more the comparison, the less the happiness:

American homes are a lot bigger than they used to be. In 1973, when the Census Bureau started tracking home sizes, the median size of a newly built house was just over 1,500 square feet; that figure reached nearly 2,500 square feet in 2015.This rise, combined with a drop in the average number of people per household, has translated to a whole lot more room for homeowners and their families: By one estimate, each newly built house had an average of 507 square feet per resident in 1973, and nearly twice that—971 square feet—four decades later.But according to a recent paper, Americans aren’t getting any happier with their ever bigger homes. “Despite a major upscaling of single-family houses since 1980,” writes Clément Bellet, a postdoctoral fellow at the European business school INSEAD, “house satisfaction has remained steady in American suburbs.”This finding, Bellet reasons, has to do with how people compare their houses with others in their neighborhood—particularly the biggest ones. In his paper, which is currently under peer review, he looks closely at the construction of homes that are larger than at least 90 percent of the other houses in the neighborhood. By his calculation, if homes in the 90th percentile were 10 percent bigger, the neighbors would be less pleased with their own homes unless those homes grew 10 percent as well. Moreover, the homeowners most sensitive to such shifts are the ones whose houses are in the second-biggest tier, not the ones whose houses are median-sized.
To be clear, having more space does generally lead to people saying they’re more pleased with their home. The problem is that the satisfaction often doesn’t last if even bigger homes pop up nearby. “If I bought a house to feel like I’m ‘the king of my neighborhood,’ but a new king arises, it makes me feel very bad about my house,” Bellet wrote to me in an email.The largest houses seem to be the ones that all the other homeowners base their expectations on. In neighborhoods where the biggest houses are more modest, Bellet told me, expanding the size of one’s house can be 10 times as satisfying as undertaking such an expansion in a neighborhood where the biggest homes are palatial.

Ecumenical relations can be tricky, especially when it comes to theological differences, but not praying the Lord’s Prayer — c’mon man, you gotta be bigger than that Mr Patriarch Daniel!

But during the press conference Francis went further. As he explained on the plane, “there is already Christian unity,” according to the National Catholic Reporter. “Let’s not wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.”

Is the pope signaling his willingness to move toward Eucharistic sharing without total theological agreement?

This would be consistent with everything else he is saying. If it is the journey, not the destination, that is important, then why not share food during the trip? Why wait until we arrive?

Such a view would see the Eucharist as a unifying sacrament rather than a celebration of unity.

Ironically, during his visit, theological divisions made it impossible for the pope even to pray the Lord’s Prayer with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, as right-wing Orthodox objected to their praying together. As a result, the pope prayed it first in Latin, followed by the patriarch saying it in Romanian.

But the pope revealed that from what he could see, most of the people at the service in the Orthodox cathedral prayed both times.

“The people went beyond us leaders,” explained Francis.

Well done Frederick Schmidt.

At Wade Burleson’s blog, a Donald Johnson asked this question about the SBC little debate on women teaching/preaching from the pulpit on Sunday AM:

In Eph 5, husbands are told they should love/agape their wives and in 1 Cor 13 Paul tells us that love/agape does not insist on its own way. Why then do you think that husbands charged with loving their wives get to insist on their own way?

#boom … here’s why: because love is not their paradigm, authority is.

I’m very proud of the CofC leaders who have made the decision to acknowledge the gifting of women in a tradition that has not done that.


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