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books

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If you haven’t read The Man Who Was Thursday, do so now. I’m not sure of what it means. I’m not sure that Chesterton was sure of what it means. But I am sure that Terry Gilliam really needs to make this his next movie project. Drowning in echo amid the stained glass towers

Postman’s argument is that childhood is the creation of the printing press, which led to a culture in which learning to read was necessary to become an adult, and thus children became a separate group. In the same way, he argues, the emergence of television, which requires no special training to view, is destroying the distinction between children and adults and bringing us back to that pre-literate age. The Disappearance of Thought (Aaron Swartz’s Raw Thought)

A book is like a mirror: if an ass looks in, you can’t expect an apostle to look out. G. C. Lichtenberg

Being Christian consists in realizing that we don’t “owe” God a single thing; it’s not as though, in giving, he’s parted with something, and become poorer or more diminished because of it. I would argue that this perversion of our relationship with God lies at the root of the American Dream, the delusion that the endless pursuit of libertas and wealth is an offering to God. Turning God into a ruthless creditor, we pile up money, achievements, property, and empire to settle the debt. And when the money runs out, the achievements fade, the property depreciates, and the empire crumbles, we wail about losing his favor, as if he’s found us unworthy of lending on account of a low cosmic credit score. Love Is Stronger than Debt

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In a nutshell, Florida is one-upping Karl Marx, casting the creative class as the rightful inheritors of the fruits of the Earth. The creative class is distinct from the service class, who occupy low level McJobs with virtually no upside potential, and the working class, whose prospects have been and continue to be in decline. Like Marx’s proletariat, the creative class is currently a class in itself—a class having a common relation to the means of production—in need of evolving of the collective consciousness of a class for itself—a class organized in pursuit of its own interests. 'The Creative Class' Rises Again

Evangelical Pastor Seeks “Third Way” on Church and LGBT

My review of A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus

Vineyard Church (Ann Arbor, MI) pastor Ken Wilson reconsiders his evangelical church posture toward LGBT community in a book-lengthy reflection. Wilson wrestles with how to strike a “third way”, one that does not pledge full allegiance to either “love the sinner, hate the sin” (which means exclusion) and “open and affirming” (this is, “inclusion”, without total sanction and approval). Wilson, in each chapter, wrestles both with scriptural admonitions and the Holy Spirit. Though he is honest in affirming that aversion to “open and affirming” is based in large part the fear of being branded a “heretic” by evangelical cohorts.

Wilson addresses the biblical clobber passages fairly well, and attempts to bring to light the nuances of biblical culture and language that’s either glossed over or totally ignored by traditionalists on this matter. He’s not a biblical scholar but he cites the takes of various qualified scholars. Still, I thought the treatment was a tad incomplete, though a more comprehensive study would have bloated this, and transformed into something different than A Letter to My Congregation. Again, his approach is more aligned in arguing for a “third way”, to treat this matter as a “disputable”, not as a schism triggering agent, as seems to be in so many churches. I believe it a commendable act, and one likely to inflict derision from both sides, as what typically and tragically besets peacemakers in their quest.

A bit of the chapter content is redundant. And Wilson omits, or is just unaware, historical themes and truth that would buttress his “third way” case. Particularly, the whole Victorian model of marriage more representative of cultural mores of those peering in than actually reflected in the ancient texts. He touches upon this very briefly, but a stronger emphasis should be made about the patriarchal, misogynistic nature of not only ancient cultures, but of most of church history. That the sands of what constitutes marriage are shocking to modern sensibilities, including traditionalists who zero in on a narrow romanticized slice of history as a model for “the ages” to revere. Also, was disappointed not to see more pushback on biblical sexual ethics, from the work of bible scholars like Walter Wink and/or others.

But, on the whole, this a worthy, heartfelt account of Wilson wrestling with this issue and wanting to be true to the way of Jesus.

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