October 19, 2017

Saturday Ramblings: Simpsons Marathon Edition — August 23, 2014

homersapienGood morning, iMonks! If you have cable or satellite and have the FXX network, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING SATURDAY RAMBLINGS?

Why aren’t you watching the FXX Simpsons Marathon?

For the remainder of the month, basic cable newcomer FXX is celebrating its status as the new, exclusive, syndication home of The Simpsons by airing every episode ever made (and the movie), back-to-back-to-back, with no repeats.

The animated classic kicked off Thursday with the pilot from December 1989. The marathon continues through all 552 episodes, going all the way up to the 25th season finale on Sept. 1. They will also include a showing of “The Simpsons” movie on Aug. 29.

In celebration of this high point in Western civilization, today’s Ramblings will have a Simpsons theme. And our questions of the day are:

What are your favorite Simpsons episodes? Moments? Quotes? Characters?

Because this is a religious blog, we’ll begin with a favorite “God” moment from The Simpsons:
 

 
53513Throwing Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge

You’ve probably seen lots of videos of people dumping ice on their heads to raise awareness and get people to donate to research for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Some Christians think believers should not participate, and this article tells why.

TODAY’S QUESTION: Would the fact that the ALS Association supports embryonic stem cell research keep you from donating to them or encouraging others to do so?

Here’s what happened when Lisa tried to get the citizens of Springfield to support a good cause:
 

 
53513What Writers Can Learn from Goodnight Moon

Thanks to Trevin Wax, I saw this wonderful little article in the New York Times opinion pages recently by Aimee Bender about the literary excitement she got when reading Margaret Wise Brown’s classic children’s book, Goodnight Moon. She thinks writers can learn a lot from Brown’s style.

Bender likens Goodnight Moon’s gentle story to a sonata that creates a world of both form and variation, one which leads us to an enchanted place and provides a “way for us to close our eyes metaphorically with the bunny and be in that state right before slipping off to sleep, that magical drifting moment after floating out with the stars and the air, when we only hear noises and next is sleep . . .”

In the following clip, Lisa remembers an Irish lullaby and succeeds in bringing the fighting Irish to a similar place of peace on St. Patrick’s Day, if only for a moment:
 

 
53513Really? Now You’re Saying This?

Pastor Tim Keller was quoted in another New York Times article this week — this one about Mark Driscoll and the precipitous fall he has taken lately. Here’s what Keller said:

He was really important — in the Internet age, Mark Driscoll definitely built up the evangelical movement enormously. But the brashness and the arrogance and the rudeness in personal relationships — which he himself has confessed repeatedly — was obvious to many from the earliest days, and he has definitely now disillusioned quite a lot of people.

And I say, can you believe this? It “was obvious to many from the earliest days? And yet you, Dr. Keller and other members of The Gospel Coalition continued to support Driscoll and even give him a place of leadership on the TGC Council until 2012, when he resigned?

I’m sorry. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

Homer got mixed messages too, when he tried to make the team with a group of All Stars:
 

 
53513Loaves and Fishes . . . and Calzones

Here’s a pastor who gets it. And has a generous imagination to boot. Meet Margaret Kelly, a 33-year-old preacher’s kid, ex-French chef and former mental health case manager. She’s now an Evangelical Lutheran pastor in St. Paul, MN, and a food truck is her church.

According to the Bemidji Pioneer:

Last year is . . . when [Kelly] came up with the idea of a food-truck church. When she was a mental health case manager, Kelly found that people in poverty often lack access to healthy food, reliable transportation, meaningful work and meaningful community.

She thought that one solution could be a church on wheels that drives to where people are, offering free food and prayer to the poor, homeless and near-homeless. The people helping to serve the meals would be from the community that the truck is serving.

After handing out calzones without charge, she offers a simple church service of prayer and Scripture to those who want more. Right now, the mobile pastor is using a borrowed food truck and doing this one day a week. In the winter, she hopes to use a heated tent. She hopes to get her own truck and offer services on more than one day, perhaps also offering curbside counseling and health services along with traditional rites such as baptisms and communion.

Homer had a great idea revolving around food too. Well, maybe more of a wish-dream and not as generous as Pastor Kelly’s food truck church:
 

 
53513We close this special edition of Saturday Ramblings now, leaving you to meditate on The Simpsons’ timeless reminder of the ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanity. All is vanity.”
 

 

Comments

  1. Not sure if I should be proud, or embarrassed that I have never seen a Simpsons episode (cartoon?).

    Of course I know who ‘they’ are. Bart and co.. (I’m not a complete goof)

    __

    I like the Lutheran pastor in MN who is thinking outside the box.

    I wish she were around here. I could use a good truck cooked meal.

  2. Favorite Simpson’s episodes? Hmmm….

    the one with the teacher’s strike
    the one where Homer steals a gummy Venus di Milo
    Tomacco
    22 short films about Springfield
    the one where Homer is worried about being Left Below
    any of them w/Sideshow Bob
    the Treehouse of Horror that came out in 1996 where Homer accidentally ejects Bob Dole and Bill Clinton into space

    • And the one where Homer becomes an astronaut. How could I have forgotten it?

    • “You have to vote for one of us – it’s a two party system!”

      “No I don’t! I can vote third party!”

      “GO AHEAD – THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY!!!”

  3. Season 5, episode 4 (1F01): the Ramones make a guest appearance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6C7QgSUW7g

  4. Again, what is most astounding about Tim Keller’s comments is that the problem is not with what Driscoll preached but with how he preached it; to do otherwise would require true self-criticism, which the young, restless, and reformed cannot do.

    • I’ve seen the Driscoll kind of thing play out often in so-called “orthodox” circles although in a different way (LCMS is my main frame of reference because that wasmy background). Pastors and laypeople who don’t seem to care if they are rude, condescending, or have made some very poor lifestyle choices because their doctrinal stances are a-ok and that is all that really matters. One clergyman defended a fellow clergyman who was kicked out of his church because of he preached orthodox doctrine, he was certain, but in the same conversation mentioned that this pastor had been involved in some spousal abuse. But that didn’t matter because he was “orthodox”. This is just one example, but I know of others.

      It seems for a number of people, evangelical or not, lifestyle and manners aren’t all that important.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Pastors and laypeople who don’t seem to care if they are rude, condescending, or have made some very poor lifestyle choices because their doctrinal stances are a-ok and that is all that really matters.

        Purity of Ideology, Comrade.
        Purity of Ideology.
        (Ask any survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields.)

        • Exactly, which is why it frightens me so much.

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says:

            I think I touched on this a few threads ago. It is the same philosophy that empowered slavery in the US. The idea that you can divorce following Jesus from “good doctrine”.

            As for Keller et. al., however, I think that they will bear the fruits of their silence. This isn’t 1956, and quaint ideas about wagon-circling honor are generally held in disdain by a populace that has been hurt all too many times by this approach.

          • I think your conversation at the Baptist seminary is very telling. There’s this idea that salvation by faith means that when we “do theology,” we are talking about realities that pertain to the individual’s mind and what happens there. Everything else is mere “application” and is accidental. Any attempt to move the accidental into the center of the conversation intrudes upon doing correct theology, by making the supposed non-essential into the essential. Slavery (and most social issues, or even questions of personal conduct) is supposedly on the outer rim of the calculation. So George Whitefield or John Wesley are heroes at “faith;” slavery is just a rock they trip over while thinking and feeling things about an incorporeal God. And its a pretty big rock! But then again, whatever: it’s just about money, and suffering, and having a body that works and eats and dies. If one evangelist said, “ouch” and the other “umph” after tripping over such a trivial rock, no matter. Move along, folks. Let’s talk really important things, like the Wesley-Whitefield spat over predestination.

            Likewise, we see so much sentiment that how you treat someone matters, yet not quite as much as being right matters. And treating someone poorly may matter mainly because it will fail to advance your persuasive powers.

            Missing in this is a serious grappling with what the incarnation means, or community, or the ‘sacramental’ aspects of reality.

            Circling back to slavery and race, your comment reminds me a bit of Charles Marsh discusses a similar malaise. So here you go: Marsh discusses how Douglas Hudgins (context: influential Baptist pastor, white congregation, Civil rights era Mississippi) exemplified what Marsh called the “theology of the closed society.” Hudgins’ main priorities were faith, the individual’s experience of God, church decorum, and personal morality; he was theoretically apolitical (but actually he did care about racial purity, as well as moral purity, and about the inviolability of the individual; to this orientation, civil rights activists seemed at best distractions and at worst marauders). So, despite explosive events happening all around him, he didn’t think the civil rights cause or the violence occurring were consequential to his own message or work.

            In 1967, after Rabbi Nassbaum’s synagogue and house (located in the same city) were bombed, the Rabbi tried to get Hudgins to take a stand about Klan violence, and he didn’t get anywhere. As Charles Marsh puts it, Hudgins’s theology—and the particular way he deployed it–fostered “a piety that disconnected language from reality, which fashioned a serene, self-enclosed world, undisturbed by the sufferings of blacks and Jews.”

            It is worth asking questions about this orientation.

          • Danielle,
            This divorce between lived reality and theological system is something I’ve encountered on those occasions when I’ve picked up books on self-help or popular spirituality published by evangelicals (although, to be fair, I’ve found the same disconnect in some books published by Catholics). I’ve read (perhaps skimmed would be a more accurate word) a couple of books by Tim Keller, too, and despite the fact that he’s sometimes thought to be a more sensitive and perceptive popular Reformed evangelical, I found the same thing.

            And to be more precise about what I thought while reading them, it’s this: The world is much messier than can readily, or possibly, be fit into the neat theological categories or systems that are espoused in these books, Keller’s included. However many cases the theological generalizations may cover, they miss all the ones that don’t fit into the categories, and in missing those, they miss the particularity and messiness of real human being’s lives in real situations, and they paper over real suffering that they cannot give an account for.

            They don’t speak into the reality of these cases, because their systems are inadequate to them. But because they refuse to acknowledge, even to themselves, that their systems are only partially adequate at best, they become blind to the worlds of living and suffering that are excluded by any neat systems and categories in a messy world of incarnation.

            Instead, they just keep pushing system, system, system, and, inevitably, they elevate their systems to a higher status than people and reality. It’s no surprise, then, when theological orthodoxy, however it’s defined, is given a more important place than seeing the messy world as it really is, which would require admission of poverty and limitation, and taking a humble posture of silence before an often inexplicable creation.

            And so we end up with the Driscolls, and with the Kellers who, without losing a step, disown them once they no longer fit into the neat theological template.

          • However we want to slice-and-dice-it, the reality is that whatever it is that I am doing or not doing right now is exactly what I “believe”. What I think and what I do can only be separated in a Modernistic/Dualistic paradigm. Reformed Theology-in what ever form–is an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Neo-Puritanism is the worst form of that dissonance.

            We are not saved by what Jesus taught, and we are certainly not saved by what we understand Jesus to have taught. We are saved by Jesus himself, dead and risen. “Follow me” he says. It is the only word that finally matters.

            Robert Capon, end of chapt. 6, The Parables of Grace

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Instead, they just keep pushing system, system, system, and, inevitably, they elevate their systems to a higher status than people and reality.

            Just like the Communists and their Inevitable Marxist Dialectic system.

          • Robert, I’m coming back to the thread late. But in case anyone returns to it: I think your observation of the self-help literature is spot on. I’ve spent some time with it for research purposes, and I’d venture that one of the most interesting things about it is the way it allows for the articulation of certain kinds of experiences, while making others unspeakable.

            “But because they refuse to acknowledge, even to themselves, that their systems are only partially adequate at best, they become blind to the worlds of living and suffering that are excluded by any neat systems and categories in a messy world of incarnation.”

            This describes so much, not just the self-help literature!

      • Joseph (the original) says:

        …but then that is the very doctrinal stance of the RCC or EO, is it not?

        no matter how morally repugnant the ordained priesthood, all sacramental unctions are considered ‘okay’ since the spiritual umph they provide is completely separate from the man himself. he can be a closet pedophile, but heck, he sure officiates over a wonderful marriage ceremony!

        so, you can claim to be an excellent representative of God ‘on-the-job’, but what is done in secret after work does not in any way diminish the holiness factor one iota…

        same as the Mike Warnke’s and Marjoe Gornter or even Todd Bentley and Benny Hinn! remember, if there is something that can be determined to be ‘good’ associated with their ‘ministry’, then it must be God’s approval, correct???

        however, if every ‘saint’ is also a ‘sinner’, how does the fruit and water quality remain untainted?

        hmmm…I think those that claim to be God’s servant and yet deliberately deceive, use their position to abuse, hide behind the robe of title and authority, or continue in the hypocrisy of lip service, then I doubt they have any ability to be the vessel of grace and blessing to others…

        yet I understand the conundrum though of wanting to make sure whatever the position or title or authority held does not negate the efficacy of the proclamations officially performed. in the case of a corrupt civil Judge, they do still have the authority to make judicial decisions. however it could be such rulings would be revisited, and possibly reversed, once the corruption is discovered and past findings now brought into question…

        • NO “fruit or water quality” EVER remains untainted. That is why even the Book of the Law had to be CLEANSED by blood. (Heb. 9:19-22) Sinless Perfection is a pipe dream in this life.

          • Joseph (the original) says:

            “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:9-10

            I suppose the concept James addresses in his epistle points out the conundrum of both blessing and cursing springing forth from the same source. And then he does make a similar point as I was trying to point out:

            “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

            Could be we are more deceived than we care to admit in all the religious posturing that goes on in the name of tradition or orthodoxy or whatever flavor of the moment is in the limelight. Not sure who is chasing down the Sinless Perfection route. Maybe the Nazarenes? Which sect or denomination emphasized ‘holiness’ as the perfect goal to pursue? I know the Pentecostals championed this, but the idea of building up rules and warnings meant to keep oneself from being stained by the world is another topic for another day…

            Does the ‘sin’ of the sinner at any point negate the goodness, or anointing, or whatever perceived spiritual benefit that is dispensed from that very same saint? If so, how does one recognize such a point of demarcation? Is this part of being shrewd as snakes, but also innocent as doves???

    • Saint Francis put it this way: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Another way to say that may be this: “Your manners betray your true message”. If you preach patriarchalism (I am God’s chosen and the world must bow to me), it will be difficult to hide that in your actions. One would hope that for us who are save by grace without merit or special dispensation, this would be manifested in grace, mercy, and humility.

  5. Mr. Plow, and Homer’s trip to ask the guru three questions. I also like the Baby on Board one.

  6. If someone wants to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge but send their ALS dollars to someone who helps PALS entirely in the present and doesn’t do research funding at all, I’d recommend http://alsguardianangels.com/aboutus.html

    ALSA does a lot of good, and I wouldn’t have a powerchair if it weren’t for them. (I have a related disease to ALS.) They do a lot more than fund research, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for donating to them. ALSGA, however, is an amazing outfit that deserves all the support it can get, and doesn’t come with those questions.

    • Thanks, Tokah, that’s good information. I’ll post it on the IM Bulletin Board.

    • The John Paul II Medical Research Institute is another place where someone can donate money to fund research for ALS. This institution will not use embryonic stem cells in their research.

      I want to say that there is a difference between donating money to and purchasing products from an institution who may participate in ethics that differ from my own, but I’m not sure how to articulate it. If I were to cease purchasing products or services from outlets who differ in their ethics because I considered it to be immoral, I was be severely limited in my options for food, shelter, clothing, and medical assistance.

      • It’s like the subtle, but real, difference between gambling and participating in a sweepstakes, or the stock market.

      • OldProphet says:

        Aryl, you bring up a point that I have been struggling with years. Where do I put my financial resources? How do I decide? Most of the time scriptures are silent on a particular issue. Sometimes I need to base my decisions on my own theological bent or my own personal ethics. Sometimes its just a cause that I have a personal affinity for. For instance, there is a soup kitchen locally that feeds the poor but is run by a group of caring but not religious people. So the conundrum is thus; if the pool get fed but there spiritual condition is not changed, they go to hell. If the poor are not fed and there spiritual condition is not changed, they go to hell, but they go hungry. So, what’s the point? Should they be fed just to improve the human condition? I’m always not sure. Maybe good works toward your fellow man is spiritual in itself? After all, Jesus did say to feed the poor and care for the widows. He didn’t say how

  7. To the best of my memory — and I may be wrong here — the original Evangelical response to the biomedical ethics of stem cell technology had to do with the fact that the research was being done on aborted fetuses; that is to say, the issue got entangled in the abortion issue.

    It’s a tough call. Today, the practicefor cancer patients involves stem cells produced in their own bodies and this could certainly be considered “pro life,” but the embryonic studies continue as well.

  8. The food truck story reminded me of a recent newspaper column about the Sisters of Mercy and the St Vincent De Paul Mobile Kitchen in St Louis, Missouri. This bus has been serving meals to the homeless for some time : http://bit.ly/1tqYypl

    Of course, another part of the story that stayed with me was the columnist noting that he’d written about the bus earlier, in 2009, “Not about the kindness — kindness doesn’t sell papers.” A good reminder, with everything we’ve been seeing in the news lately.

  9. Klasie Kraalogies says:

    I have also never watched a single episode.

    And neither can I watch the above clips – apparently they are only available to viewers in (or with IP addresses in) the US…

    There goes my favourite Saturday morning activity, enjoying the ramblings…..

    • Neither have I watched a single episode. And I’m sure my tradition of not watching TV will continue, since I have no cable or satellite, so I will not be converted to the Simpsons.

      Recently, Nielsen selected our household for their survey. You wouldn’t believe how many phone calls and mailings I received from them trying to convince me to participate, nay, insisting that I MUST participate, though we watch no TV and had no interest in wasting our time on the survey, and told them so. They even sent a survey booklet through the mail, with $4 in crisp one dollar bills as an incentive (why 4 singles instead of a crisp 5 dollar bill?), which was not sufficient inducement. I returned the cash and the uncompleted booklet to them in their self-addressed, post-prepaid envelope.

      The self-important tone of authority and command, the cultural gravitas, that came across in their communications with me were both funny and eerily unnerving. One day these things may be made mandatory…or maybe I’m just starting to think like a Ruby Ridger.

    • Sorry, Klasie, I wasn’t aware of any restrictions outside the US. I’ll remember that before using Hulu clips again.

  10. Marcus Johnson says:

    “It is noble to combat a deadly disease, and the ice bucket challenge definitely puts a fun spin on philanthropic efforts. That’s why it’s such a shame that the ALS Association, while striving to save some people, chooses to support research that thrives from experimenting on and killing tiny, innocent human beings,” Lila Rose, president of the pro-life advocacy group Live Action, said in a statement.

    Which Rose immediately followed with, “That’s why our organization is actively searching for scientific organizations that can conduct research for an ALS cure without violating our religious convictions. Why, you ask? Because although we don’t support this kind of research, it is currently the only option available that is making any progress to cure a debilitating, painful disease. And let’s face it, if we only dumped on current ALS research methods without suggesting a reasonable alternative, or actively funding/searching for scientific organizations interested in a reasonable alternative, then Live Action wouldn’t really be a pro-life group, just an anti-abortion group. And who would want to be part of an organization that’s only interested in condemning, rather than finding better solutions? Not me, for sure.”

    Wait…she didn’t say that? Because Live Action is happy just being anti-abortion, you say?

    Oh, well…

  11. Regarding the Simpsons, I have never “been there, done that” either. Don’t think I have ever watched a single episode (I’m 73 so I may have forgotten.) or South Park either, for that matter. I do know that Julie Kavner, who played Valerie Harper’s younger sister Brenda on Rhoda, provides the voice of Marge Simpson. That is the extent of my Simpson trivia knowledge. From what I hear, doesn’t The Simpsons seem highly irreverent though? Or is that the point?

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says:

      Gmphlllttphphphktt. Please don’t ever compare the Simpsons with Southpark!

  12. Well, aside from the concerns surrounding embryonic stem cell research, there is another ethical dimension to the ice-water bucketing that needs to be explored: Since these ice-water bucketings have resulted in a significant increase in giving to ALS research, there is a temptation to emulate success by upping the outrageousness of stunts performed to increase givinf even more. In view of the slippery slope, one must ask how far the distance actually is to self-immolation as charitable event (Insert smiley face emoticon here)?

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      Let’s add my concern to yours: if our primary impulse to donate to ALS research was because the stunt craze was so enticing, what does that say about our inner moral compass, and whether or not it naturally leans toward social justice and ending pain and suffering? Is it so fundamentally broken that we need an outrageous stunt before we can be motivated to be charitable? Especially for Christians, shouldn’t our acceptance of the gift of salvation be reason enough?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        RL breaking news last week:
        CELEBRITY Kim Kardashian is coming out with a book entirely of her Selfies.
        Big name publisher, big print run, predicted Best-Seller.

      • There has been a big aspect of this that is increasing awareness. As someone with a related disease to ALS, and thus part of that community, I have a list of friends I have lost one by one over the years. Every couple of months at least one more friend passes away. For those outside our community though, you don’t see the dying – they are at home in their hospital beds, in hospices, etc. It tends to be an invisible plague. The challenge reminded people it exists.

      • Brianthedad says:

        So true. If it has to be fun for us to participate, what does that say about us? Sounds like youth group. Seriously though, I have been a conscientious objector in the ice challenge, responding with pics of women carrying buckets of water long distances or posting links to my favorite clean water charities (water282.org and lifewater.org) I’m in the water business and protecting and conserving it is a big deal to me, and the hype and fad thing just ticks me off. But I’m turning into an old curmudgeon.

        • Brianthedad, I’ve always been curmudgeonly about food-fights. Yes, I laughed at the Animal House food-fight along with everyone else, but I do have a real problem with food being used as a prop in a world where so many people go to bed hungry night after night. I feel the same way about hot-dog eating contests and whatnot.

          Oh, I know, I know: Our economy produces enormous quantities of food that gets thrown away anyhow, so what’s the big deal if some of it is used for other purposes, even frivolously?

          Food is serious business: The exchange and distribution of nutrients and caloric energy is life and death in this creation. The symbolism involved in a food-fight is just too close to the reality of a world where starvation is a pervasive threat for me not to see a moral dimension to it that makes me deeply uncomfortable, that makes me cringe.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          So true. If it has to be fun for us to participate, what does that say about us?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFPOKZ2SaOU

      • Well, Marcus, I was sort of joking about this, though there is a kernel of seriousness in my comment.

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says:

      Very sad, but here locally some firemen were doing the challenge, and as they went up in the cherry-picker, a high-voltage line arced, and sent two of them to the ICU. The whole thing sort of went sour for me after that.

    • And let’s not forget that pouring buckets of ice and water over a person’s head could be viewed as a waste of a resource that’s in short supply in parts of the U.S. and world.

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And I say, can you believe this? It “was obvious to many from the earliest days“? And yet you, Dr. Keller and other members of The Gospel Coalition continued to support Driscoll and even give him a place of leadership on the TGC Council until 2012, when he resigned?

    I’m sorry. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

    I do. He’s a CELEBRITY(TM), just like Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian, and a CELEBRITY Can Do No Wrong.

    And he puts butts in seats (and TITHING), just like the pro wrestling angles on Wrestlecrap. Not just a Megachurch, but a Gigachurch which was GROWING like Wal-Mart franchises. Money Talks.

    And he has brand name recognition: Song of Songs, Esther, oral and anal, can’t go without for three days without being twitchy, punch you in the nose and throw you under the bus, MMA cage fight OOOH-RAH!

    And his books are Best-Sellers, never mind the plagarism or paying $200 grand to juice them onto the Best-Seller List, MONEY TALKS! And his plagiarized theology is Utterly Correct and Perfectly Parsed from Calvin Calvin Calvin.

    And last but not least, “ME MAN! RAWR! WOMAN, SUBMIT!!!”

    • Hopefully this won’t show up twice. I posted but it went away.

      I’ve seen Driscoll /Tim Keller type behavior often from people of the so called “orthodox” mindset (my background was LCMS, so that’s my reference). Bad behavior is swept under the carpet as long as the preaching follows the correct doctrine and the liturgy is done right. Marital problems, spousal abuse, rudeness, anger issues, etc. don’t matter all that much if the doctrinal stances are viewed as correct and sound.

    • just like Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian

      This comparison has probably done the most to temp me to defend MD…. But I think I can resist this time…

  14. I think this whole Simpsons marathon thing is a vast conspiracy by the millennials to suck us in so they can take our jobs.

  15. I admit, I love the Simpsons. And let’s be honest, they are an intact family and they DO attend church regularly!

  16. Ah, the Simpsons. Kinda like the Rolling Stones — amazing and the best ever at their thing, still around and it’s a little sad to see them now, but they still surprise you now and then.

    I kind of gave up watching around season 11 (which I guess makes it their “Tattoo You” season), but that first decade was epic.

  17. Richard McNeeley says:

    I haven’t ever watched the Simpsons and I don’t plan on starting now.

    I think I can paraphrase Tim Keller
    We new their were issues with Mark Driscoll from the beginning, but he was the new young superstar pastor and he agreed with or theology so we used him for our benefit. Now that he has become an embarrassment to us we will willingly throw him under the bus and find a new young superstar pastor to exploit.

  18. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    South Park: SIMPSONS DID IT! SIMPSONS DID IT!

    (I was going to post a YouTube link, but I watched the first five minutes and, well, it’s South Park — NSFW and NSFIM. Though the secondary links included a parody of “The O.J.Simpsons — How I Did It” done in a Groening style which I did not preview.)

    • Dana Ames says:

      (slightly off topic)

      HUG –

      Did you know about this? http://doxacon.org/

      It’s a bit” closer to home” than the one on the east coast I mentioned to you previously. Small world department: E. Lewis, one of the keynote speakers, is the daughter of the former choir director of my church. Fr Tryphon of Vashon Island also has a history with my parish and drops in whenever he is in the neighborhood – delightful man.

      Dana

  19. What if we like South Park? :-p

  20. I’m a bit late to this party and site, but I guess I’d put in a plug for my book, “The Gospel According to The Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the World’s Most Animated Family” (Westminster John Knox). The latest edition, 2006, has short sections on “South Park,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “King of the Hill.” Watch the web in the next few days for a piece on “The Simpsons and the Jews,” based on a chapter in the book. I still write a bit about religion and pop culture, religion and politics, and faith and disability. But mostly, I am now writing true crime books about murder. And yes, there is a connection: See my piece, “Juggling Faith and Forensics,” on HuffPo. Cheers, all

  21. smashed hat says:

    Thing about The Simpsons is they are the real Average Amrrican Family. Bumbling through.

    Haven’t had a TV connection in years but I do remember one of my favorite Simpsons episodes
    was when Maggie led a revolution at the Ayn Rand School for Tots.
    Another memorable episode is when they are in church and the icicles are forming inside because
    it’s so cold. Maybe that is the same episode where Homer stays home drinking beer while the rest of the family goes to church.