October 22, 2017

The Internet Monk Saturday Brunch: 4/22/17 – Open Table Edition

THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH

”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

The Conversation. Photo by Nicki Mannix

 The Internet Monk Saturday Brunch – Open Table Edition

This has been an extraordinarily demanding week, filled with a variety of happenings both pleasant and distressing. Another granddaughter arrived, I had extra responsibilities on Easter Sunday, we had a house inspection, I started a new round of infant loss support groups, our hospice team was taxed with caring for some difficult cases and working long hours, and I’m getting ready for a book signing on Saturday.

Other than that, not much has been happening.

So, I’m going to take a back seat at this week’s Saturday Brunch and turn the conversation over to you from the start. Welcome to our Open Table edition of the brunch! Think of it as a pot-luck, or as they say in Indiana, a pitch-in. That means you bring the items we’ll chew on and digest together.

I only ask that you follow basic kindergarten rules:

  • Take your turn
  • Be polite
  • No hitting, kicking or biting.

• • •

Photo by Nicki Mannix at Flickr. Creative Commons License

Comments

  1. Klasie Kraalogies says:

    Bookshops: I love a good one. The kind where you can just get lost for hours. Where the staff is really knowledgeable. We have one such place in Saskatoon – McNally Robinson. Yes, the last few years have culled a lot of places. But the ones that survived are often really good places.

    A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
    – Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

    • Almost all the independent bookshops, new and used, here in Metro DC have bitten the dust. It’s all Barnes and Noble, and a few small holdouts like Politics and Prose downtown. Even the Family Jesus-Junk stores are gone now. Thank goodness for McKays in Manassas, but that’s more of a warehouse for used books and not a place to just pull a book off the shelf, grab a chair, and read.

      • Dan from Georgia says:

        I personally like Barnes and Noble, but I love’s me a good old used book store much more!

        Here’s what is really sad: Fayetteville, GA couldn’t even keep a Barnes and Noble open. Guess they are more interested in their nail salons and dollar stores. Used to live there. I can attest.

        More encouraging: Also used to live in MN, and on occasion visited used book stores in Dinkytown (the U of M cultural district). Really miss those book stores!

        • Dan from Georgia says:

          Oh, in the spirit of full disclosure, Fayetteville does have a used book store….full of romance novels.

          • My wife may request a roadtrip. 😉

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            SPARKLY Vampires, 50 Shades of BDSM, knockoffs of the above, or just the usual Harlequins?

            In any case, Bored Housewife Sexual Fantasy materials.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        That is opposite the national trend thankfully.

        More than 500 independent book stores opened across the Nation last year. Which means the net number if bookstores went UP [contrary to the online-sales-killing-everything narrative].

        My home city is +3 bookstores in the last year; and a fourth that didn’t even survive a year. They are still small businesses after all.

    • My favorite bookstore — I can easily spend an entire afternoon in Poor Richard’s attic.
      http://www.poorrichardsbooksky.com/

      • Palace Avenue Bookstore, Santa Fe, NM. We go to Santa Fe once a year for the food and the art, and a fabulous massage, plus great day hikes, etc. But that book store is smaller than most bathrooms, and the guy who runs it has amazing books–has an eye. I only buy used books ( ok, once in a while I have to buy a new one?) and we always find more than a few things there…for us and for our adult kids. Dusty, dirty, and soooo worth it.
        This is what we do when we travel–domestic and abroad–gotta find a good used bookstore.

    • Robert F says:

      University towns, or areas in cities near a university, usually have a couple good used bookstores. Anywhere else? Going or gone extinct.

      • Dan from Georgia says:

        What I liked about one particular bookstore in Dinkytown in Minneapolis was that they had books on EVERYTHING. Romance, non-fiction, political, textbooks, travel, theology, you name it. It was a great place to find some real gems if you are a book-lover.

        • It’s still there too, though everything else around it has mostly changed.

          • Dan from Georgia says:

            Nice! I can’t recall the bookstore’s name, but cool that you know of which store I speak of!

    • We have two very good ones here in St. Pete, FL, which is quite surprising. We’re mostly connected to vacationing and beaches. beaches.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Regarding “Places to take Twilight Sparkle on a date”:

      The only major one we have left in OC is Bookman’s on Tustin Blvd in Tustin.

      Book Baron in West Anaheim was bigger, but they closed down some years ago.

      Then there’s Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg, which I try to make when I’m on the East Coast.

  2. 2nd.

  3. Robert F says:

    yellow pansy pot
    rotund yellow bumblebee
    find love at first sight

    • You should get yourself tested. I think you may be a homo.

      • Robert F says:

        But I’m a woman….

        • MIND…BLOWN…

          Wait a minute, women can be homos. I’ve seen tapes.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            “Are you a Homo? We don’t have Homos in Texas.”
            — line from Soap (soap opera parody) delivered in a THICK Texas accent

            • HUG, you must be the only person I know who remembers Soap. I think it was Billy Crystal’s first gig. He was the gay in the family (or transgender, but that was way ahead of its time) but his redneck brother wouldn’t believe him. He thought it was hilarious when Crystal gave an update about his estrogen injections, nylon stockings, etc. Then there was the really weird brother, the ventriloquist who thought his dummy was human. Late 70’s or early 80’s maybe?

              • “confused? You will be – after this week’s episode of… Soap!” (da-da-da da-da da-da da-da)

                (It reached the UK as well)

  4. Robert F says:

    invisible birds
    sing in the still dark morning
    anxious for the day

  5. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Autumn leaves drift down
    smoke from burning leaves drifts away
    snow will fall in May

  6. Wish I could travel to Greenwood today! Enjoy, Chaplian Mike!

  7. Susan Dumbrell says:

    I would have come too but all the flights were fully booked.
    Should be a great day.
    All the best Chaplain Mike.

  8. So did anyone else see this week that Hank Hanegraff, aka the Bible Answer Man, has joined the Orthodox church? I don’t know about other folks, but this surprised me. Listening on the radio he always seemed about as Protestant as a person can get.

    • I saw that and wasn’t sure if it was serious or a spoof. Yes, surprising, but I’m predicting not an isolated anomaly for people who take their theology up a serious notch beyond intellectualism. It is only in this century that the Orthodox Church no longer is being considered as crazy old Aunt Geraldine up in the attic. We are fortunate to have congregants hanging out here, tho likely they have a different word than “congregants”, as with many things.

      • And it does seem going beyond intellectualism was the driving force. According to the article I read in a visit with Christians in Chine he was moved by their love for Jesus, which led to reading Watchman Nee, which led to an interest in the teaching of theosis, and thus to attending an Orthodox church

        • Robert F says:

          Visit to Christian Chinese, results in reading Watchman Nee, results in change to Eastern Orthodoxy? What a long strange trip! I think you have to find plenteous space in that trip for a wife who was already on the road to, or at the destination of, Orthodoxy to make sense of the connections that would have to made from station to station for that trip to be completed.

          • Ronald Avra says:

            Agreed, that is a rather unusual circuit, but many paths in the faith are.

            • Robert F says:

              True. And there is nothing wrong, or automatically suspect theologically, if domestic influences are an important leg of the journey. In fact, it would be bad thing if the faith of a spouse had no influence on our own faith, wouldn’t it? We are not creatures that make decisions, theological or otherwise, in a world of perfectly abstract intellection, after all, although sometimes we like to kid ourselves that are.

            • I do hope he doesn’t bring into the Orthodox Church with him the palpable anger I used to hear in him as he answered difficult phone-callers on his radio call-in program. I hope he dealt with that long ago, because if he didn’t, he is at risk of being more stridently Orthodox than cradle Orthodox, just as I’ve seen so many evangelical converts to Roman Catholicism becoming more stridently Catholic than lifelong Catholics. It seems to be a tendency that former evangelicals are at high risk for.

              • Robert, in the past several years I would listen to his program while driving. I didn’t catch that “strident anger”. Several times I remember thinking that he was extremely patient with certain callers. I also noticed that his take on Revelation was NOT Pre-Disp–quite unusual and refreshing.

                • Robert F says:

                  Perhaps the journey that has taken him to Orthodoxy has also taken him away from the anger. God bless him and Godspeed.

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                    If he gets stuck as “Cage Phase Orthodox”, it’ll just reinforce it.

                    Except the justification will be “ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY!” instead of “SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE!”

                    Though “Cage Phase” is usually a Calvinist or Fundy way for a noob to flake out. According to Fr Orthocuban, the Orthodox way to flake out is the “Monk-a-bee”, imitating an ascetic monk and then some without actually putting yourself under the authority of an Abbot.

          • Perhaps, I’d have to read the article again to see. I didn’t really pick up on that the first time through.

          • Good God, what’s next for this poor man–the Moonies?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          “What a Long, Strange Trip it’s been…”
          — The Grateful Dead

          Though during my time in-country, Watchman Nee was the 68th Book of the Bible (Late Great Planet Earth was the 67th), and Nee triggered a LOT of X-Treme strangeness among his followers/fans. Not just “Holier than Thou” but “More Godly than God” extremism.

    • That’s very interesting… but I’ve seen quite a few thoughtful evangelicals jump ship for older traditions, so I can’t say I’m really surprised.

      • Robert F says:

        I never really thought of the Bible Answer Man as a thoughtful evangelical. He always seemed like a hidebound fundamentalist, defending Biblical inerrancy with his last breath, and using every kind of tendentious argument in doing so. What made him seem different was that he was not a predispensationalist in a world (evangelicalism) filled with them, nor was he Reformed, in the new or old ways. But he was definitely a very angry guy; you could hear him clenching his teeth over the radio airwaves sometimes when dealing with phone-callers who just wouldn’t see things his way. It was palpable. The anger is what made me stop listening to him a long time ago.

        • Dan from Georgia says:

          As much respect I have for Hank, I too could tell that he really got frustrated with callers that didn’t see it his way. I listened to Hank’s program a lot back in the late 1990s and even subscribed for a year to the CRI Journal, but the heavy-handed funds solicitation that came my way really turned me off.

          • To be clear: when I say that I never considered the BAM to be a thoughtful evangelical, I don’t mean that I didn’t consider him to be an intelligent and well-informed one. What I mean is that he had a very closed mind. He had his answers all lined up, and if you were a caller to his program, you could not expect him to in any way change his opinion based on what you had to say. No, it was you, dear caller, who should bow to the superior knowledge of the BAM, who had his Bible and his correct interpretations of the essentials (he always stressed that: he was right on the essentials; on the periphery there was room for charitable disagreement [of course, it’s confounding that there is so much disagreement among Christians about just what the essentials are, and he ran afoul of this problem again and again with callers; this is where he really lost his patience]) all worked out.

            • Dan from Georgia says:

              Yes, that is one aspect that really frustrated me with his program. All his answers were packaged and there was no wiggle room

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                That describes EVERY Christianese radio host except Rich Buhler.

                You should have heard some of the Calvary Chapel Mini-Moses’ personal radio shows. PastorRaulReesCalvaryChapelWestCovina (all one word) was among the worst of them.

            • From my understanding of the Orthodox in this country…it takes time before someone is chrismated–perhaps several years. Hank has been on the EO trail for awhile. This didn’t happen overnight.

      • At the end of the day, probably very few people commenting on Hanegraaff’s* announcement have ever attended an Orthodox Church service. I know I haven’t.

        My wife and I met at a Christian camp where for many years, one of the key section heads, who also served on and went on to chair the board of directors was a woman who had left a Christian Reformed Church for an Orthodox Church many years prior. When we spoke about doctrine and Biblical interpretation we were clearly on the same page, but when she described her church service it seemed very alien.

        Hanegraaff’s announcement came a full two years after he started attending the church with his wife. So nothing really new to see here. Still, a Midwest Christian radio network took the knee-jerk-reaction approach and dropped his program. (I doubt he got as much as Bill O’Reilly for having the contract broken.) I think for most of us, the Orthodox branch of Christianity is shrouded in mystery (some of that intentional) and we’re very quick to execute judgement.

        —-
        *For the record, it’s one N, two As and two Fs; much like my Grade Six report card. I always try to spell a person’s name right, though I still have to look up Tullian’s surname. Fortunately, Thabiti Anyabwile has been mostly off the radar lately. Do I digress?

        • I expect that he may lose his entire gig, since most of his callers are Protestant, and mostly evangelical. These are people who want authoritative answers to their questions based on the Bible, not Tradition. I don’t see how his answers can be those that a Protestant evangelical would be looking for; his interpretation of the Bible would naturally flow through the prism of traditional Orthodox interpretations, at least, if he’s really going Orthodox. I can understand why an evangelical radio network would either drop him, or not renew his contract, or whatever. These are very different orientations to faith, and its content and interpretation. I speak as a non-evangelical.

          • I haven’t listened to him in years, but that’s just because he is not on the radio where I live now. However, I think I would be more interested to hear him answer questions now than I was then, just to see how it has changed his thinking, if any.

            • I would like to hear him now, too. I would expect a change in his answers; if I didn’t hear one, I would suspect that his Orthodoxy was superficial.

          • And well they should. Christianity is about your relationship with Jesus, not the Pope of Russia. You can’t get to heaven by lighting candles, huffing incense, and chanting mantras.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I expect that he may lose his entire gig, since most of his callers are Protestant, and mostly evangelical. These are people who want authoritative answers to their questions based on the Bible, not Tradition.

            Judging from the fanservice in those shows, the target audience wants “IT IS WRITTEN IN THE KORAN!”, except in Kynge Jaymes Englyshe instead of classical Meccan Arabic.

    • Robert F says:

      I saw a news item about it. There were a few short quotes from him, wherein he said that his understanding of Christian faith have been “codified” in many books over the years, and that it has not changed. He also said that, after a visit to China where he saw the deep faith of believers who, though having poor theological education, were deeply in love with the Lord, he came to feel that his own faith was too cerebral, and not affectively committed and intimate enough. He said he believed that this change to Orthodoxy, with its focus of liturgy and sacrament, would balance the character of his faith. Some of this doesn’t add up for me, but then, he didn’t really add up for me; that’s why I stopped listening to him a long time. One thing may provide a key: his statements seemed to imply that his wife was already Orthodox, or headed in the direction of Orthodoxy, and that by becoming Orthodox he would now be on the same page as his wife, which would be a good thing. The desire for domestic spiritual harmony can result in many institutional accommodations.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        He said he believed that this change to Orthodoxy, with its focus of liturgy and sacrament, would balance the character of his faith.

        Then why Orthodoxy per se, and not one of the more familiar Western Rite Liturgical Churches? Too ROMISH?

        Or is the dynamic in-play that of an extremist personality going to as total an opposite as possible? Communism begets Objectivism?

        If so, I would expect him to flip into Cage Phase Net Orthodox.

    • I understand the draw to Orthodoxy. I myself have been drawn that direction, but more by bloggers than the liturgy. I would be very interested if they were able to practice as intended, a Parish church where members were located very close and the liturgical life blended with the community. But most American parishes seem to be a growing group of ex-Protestants who drive in from suburbia.

      One of the articles on Hanegraff mentioned the concept of Theosis (union) with God. I believe that may be the central concept that draws me the most. The idea of Theosis over the “Law/Justification” concept is the only thing keeping me in Christianity.

      So, for me, I found something that works, but imperfectly. I commune with a local Lutheran congregation for the Eucharist and the liturgical cycle, but in my daily devotions I focus on the concept of Theosis. It is a imperfect practice, but the only thing keeping me connected.

      • >> The idea of Theosis over the “Law/Justification” concept is the only thing keeping me in Christianity.

        Yes, welcome to the 21st century!

      • Robert F says:

        I subscribe to the idea of theosis via grace. In this idea, it’s like when the home team gets up to bat, and the they yell, “EVERYBODY HITS!!”, only here everybody’s on the home team, so when they yell, “EVERYBODY HITS!!”, they mean EVERYBODY!! I think it’s also called universal reconciliation.

        • Robert F,

          Who / what has been the influence in coming to this view? Church fathers? Contemporary theologians?

          I asked this of someone who holds this same view and their answer was Theodicy.

          • Robert F says:

            My own sense of the moral appropriateness and inappropriateness of things (including with regard to theodicy), along with the universalism of some contemporary theology and theologians, including Rowan Williams and David Bentley Hart; the openness to universalism of Karl Barth, Julian of Norwich; there is also openness to universalism in the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy and adumbrations of it in the development of the traditions concerning purgatory in the Roman Catholic Church.

            • Thank you for these solid references Robert F.

              • I also think the New Testament is open to universalism, with the exception of a few texts. I don’t think the NT is univocal in its treatment of the subject, despite a long tradition of churches giving a few condemnatory texts more weight than they should have, and working them into theological positions that are foreign to the intent of the NT narrative arc as a whole.

                • This seems reasonable. I’m just beginning to research this position. The exchange between Jesus and the disciples in Mathew 19:25-26 gives me hope. But there’s also Jesus’ words in Mathew 7:23 and Mathew 25:41-46 that give me pause.

                  I have to believe Gods mercy in Christ goes beyond the boxes of theologies and traditions. I don’t think Lewis is far off when he writes “The doors of Hell are locked on the inside.”

                  I’m looking forward to learning more about this by Gods grace.

                  • Robert F says:

                    Humanly speaking, it’s very hard, if not impossible, to not speak and act in terms of exclusion, no matter how hard we try not to. I have no doubt that these texts of exclusion, and others, have at least some degree of origin in the very human words of Jesus during his mortal lifetime (although I also believe that the church community embellished, connected and interpreted them in the writing and redacting of the New Testament, to some degree).

                    After the first reports of his resurrection reach the gathered and hiding Apostles, they do not come out of hiding. On the one hand, they were continuing to hide from the Roman and Jewish authorities. On the other, if they remembered harsh sayings of Jesus like the ones in question, I think they must also have been hiding from the one whom they had all betrayed, in their all too human fear thinking that his return must spell doom and judgement for them as much as for his killers. “The Lord has returned in glory,” they must have thought, “and there is nowhere to hide from his wrath!”

                    But the new reality that dawns on them as they encounter his resurrected presence is not one of judgement and exclusion. His first words are, “Do not fear,” and he forgives them rather than judging them. He embraces and loves them in a way that goes beyond even what they knew of and from him in his mortal life. The merely human expectation of judgement and exclusion is replaced by a new divinely transformed human experience of absolute grace and inclusion, even of betrayers.

                    It is this new reality, this new arrangement, this new kingdom, that keeps me focused on Jesus as he is present in our midst even today. The harsh sayings, so humanly limited, which seed some of the memory of his teachings, even the teachings themselves, could not hold me. They are altogether too hard, not just the texts of condemnation but the rest of the teachings too. It is the forgiving and embracing risen Jesus, the new reality, that makes me constantly turn around and face him. I’m trying to build my own theological understanding on that experience of his presence.

      • So Hanegraaf thinks he’s God, huh? That’s just sad. It’s like Shirley MacLaine.

  9. I’ve been trying out a couple of different podcasts lately, other than my usual “Stand To Reason” podcast, just to see what is out there. I have discovered that there are just as many religious podcasts as there are political views. In fact, I have begun to wonder if people let their political views inform their religious views, or vice versa.

    On the far left I have found “The Liturgists” podcast which, to MY ears, is just a religious version of the usual NPR crowd. They make some good points but, by and large, I’d rather listen to NPR (not really) than some religious version of it. The question is: “Is there really a difference between the two?” “The Liturgists” has been deleted from my list, but I am sure some here may appreciate it.

    More to the center, but still leaning left, is “The Bible For Normal People”. I have to thank this site for the recommendation, but even though it leans left of center it is still palatable enough to include it in my normal queue of podcasts that I listen to while driving around on the job.

    But my old standby is still “Stand To Reason”. It is more standard Reformed, but not quite “Biblicist” in nature. It is a call-in show that fields all sorts of questions that the host, Greg Koukl, tries to puzzle out using the bible text as his guide. Sometimes it gets tiresome for me, but that is where “fast forward” comes in handy.

    These three can be found on iTunes.

    Any other recommendations out there?

    • PZs Podcast (Paul Zahl) is a real firecracker. It has its ups and downs, but it is my all-time favorite.

    • Burro [Mule] says:

      I’m always pleased when Ravi Zacharias’ “Let My People Think” comes on the AM radio. He’s like a more benevolent, more humane RC Sproul.

      I don’t know much more about him except that he’s more than somewhat Reformed.

      But yeah, every media outlet in the country except AM radio seems heck-bent on making a Democrat out of you. Just last week I remember wondering if voting for Jon Ossoff’s redistributionist platform would fulfill the almsgiving requirement of Lent after listening to Richard Beck on some website or another.

      I decided it wouldn’t.

      • If you had to pin a denominational tag on Zacharias, it would be Christian and Missionary Alliance. The C&MA in Canada, under which he was first launched into ministry, has a position of “middle ground theology” that gives its ministers latitude in areas like (for example) Calvinism vs. Arminianism. You have to ask each pastor where they land the plane on each one. Their belief in divine healing makes them Pentecostal-friendly. Their dual structure as a network of churches but also a missionary-sending agency is akin to the Salvation Army’s having both churches and a family services ministry. They’re often grouped among holiness denominations like the Church of the Nazarene or Free Methodists. A unique history. C&MA is probably stronger per capita in Canada, having some of Western Canada’s largest megachurches. If you listen to The Phil Vischer Podcast, Skye Jethani and Phil Vischer are C&MA, but we’re not sure about Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber.

        • Michael Bell says:

          You forgot about their Presbyterian influenced governance structure! Having been in the denomination for many years I would say that it does lean Arminian. I know Ravi’s brother in law is a C&MA stalwart.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I don’t know much more about him except that he’s more than somewhat Reformed.

        Clever choice of title, though:
        “LET MY PEOPLE THINK!”

    • Grace Choong says:

      A bit late to the party but this podcast which i listened to recently was pretty good and i couldn’t stop recommending it…

      [With Friends Like These] “Let’s create messy coalitions”
      http://podplayer.net/#/?id=33493983 via @PodcastAddict

  10. I’m heading up to the SF March for Science soon.

    Whether I listen or not
    trees fall in the forest
    a diverted stream floods.

    • The sound of one hand
      whether it’s clapping or not
      is quite hard to hear.

    • Just wondering, is this to promote science or just another I Hate Trump event?

      • To promote science in this country right now it’s necessary to oppose the policies of the Science Is a Hoax president.

        • Science is a hoax.
          The news has become a hoax.
          Truth is now a hoax.

          • Scientists believe whatever you pay them to. There are Democrat scientists and Republican scientists. I bet there were even Communist scientists back in the old days. I’ll just stick with God’s word, thank you very much.

            • Robert F says:

              Who’s paying you?

            • Isn’t that a slur on the scientists I marched with or that I’m related to? Good scientists have a vocation for it; a dedication for knowledge. They are human; they have biases; some are corrupt; they do make mistakes (but one of the rules of science is things must be checked whether theory or experimental setup).

              The march was a mix of people, young and old, families with kids or groups of colleagues or singletons like me. Religion didn’t show up much on the signs (many of the signs were handmade and some required a bit of science/math knowledge to figure out the meaning) though I saw one saying Christians supporting Science (another about UUs for Science). A lot of feeling that both political parties lack knowledge of science (e.g., some prominent anti-vaxxers are Democrats).

            • Klasie Kraalogies says:

              A small portion yes. The rest of us – we just do our best.

              God’s Word says nothing about science. That old qip – “It tell’s us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go”, comes to mind.

      • oscar the former was the business of the day. The latter was simply a fringe benefit.

    • This landed in my mailbox yesterday as one of twelve signs to carry in the march for science:

      SCIENCE
      DOESN’T CARE
      IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT

      • That Other Jean says:

        Yes! I don’t want to have to “believe” that something is true, only that it is the closest to truth that we have yet been able to reach..

      • “But I don’t believe in reincarnation!” he protested.
        SQUEAK.
        And this, Mr Pounder understood with absolute rodent clarity, meant: reincarnation believes in you.”
        (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)

  11. I’m still in that lonely spot–somewhere between leaving evangelicalism and worshipping in the Lutheran tradition (stole that from CM), with no one to converse with theologically, spiritually, deeply. My friends nod and say isn’t that nice, good for you, but won’t engage in conversation, my family thinks I’m sliding into hell, an I think I’m slightly crazy cuz unable to verbalize and discuss…as is done here on IM. Especially daily or at least to run something by, to bounce an idea or two off of.
    Want to start a book club, but again…no one commits, it’s not that I want just like minded people–just thinking people! Hard to find these days.
    Ahhhh, I guess that’s why I love IM so much, still my go-to.
    Thanks for listening.

    • The only thing less popular in our workaday world than a serious, open-minded discussion about theological issues is one about philosophical issues.

      • I don’t mond when others don’t want to do it, only when they don’t want me to do it.

  12. Burro [Mule] says:

    Since moving to a predominantly Black, and not gentrifying, part of Et-lennuh, we have been visited four times by Black Baptists doing door to door evangelism.

    I think they were as surprised to see us as we were to see them, but they were all wonderful people. You could tell that Orthodoxy was definitely “crazy Aunt Geraldine” territory for them, but they were polite and listened. We have four new churches we have promised to visit, though.

    Black people either have a refreshingly old-fashioned vision of being Evangelical, or their social networks are strong enough to support door to door evangelism.

    • Guess who’s coming to Coffee Hour…

    • I’m thinking that if church-going Christians adopted a policy of visiting one different church a month, the world would change overnight. Well, could take a little longer with some.

      • Or even once a year. Thanks for the encouragement.

      • Laura W. says:

        My son, when he took the required Comparative Relgion class at his Jesuit college, was required to attend a religious service at a church “other than the tradition you grew up in.” When he hosted fellow classmates at our chuch, their comments were illuminating as well as amusing. ” ‘This church has so many cantors!’ ‘Oh, you mean the worship leaders?’ ” I believe that visiting churches of other traditions is a good exercise to undertake once in a while. It keeps us out of the proverbial echo chamber.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      > Black people either have a r

      It may simply be that they are more acclimated to urban spaces of traditional form – where door to door everything is still a “normal” thing to do. People knock my door regularly, and I return the favor.

    • Mule, I’m visiting that fine city this summer for a project, I’d love to meet you and visit your parish!

      My email starts with my name here, then no space, fang@ and is a gmail account. Write me if that sounds fun!

    • Dana Ames says:

      Does that mean you have had a job offer? Or are there simply more opportunities there?

      I have prayed to Mat. Olga of Kwethuk for your daughter.

      Christ is risen!
      Dana

  13. Susan Dumbrell says:

    STOP THE PRESSES
    LATE ENTRY.

    Mike Pence is visiting.
    Seems an intelligent guy.
    Good people skills.
    How come he isn’t President?

  14. An open note to Damaris. It’s been too many months since you’ve written for iMonk. I know you must be busy with book-signings and real life, but writing for iMonk in the near future must be like a mini-vacation, as reading it usually is.. Based on comments to your past writing, your words are treasured here.

    Just one of many of my faves: http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/58221

    and http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/53862

    • Funny you should mention it . . .

      As Chaplain Mike and I sat at our book-signing table yesterday, we talked about my posting more on the website. I have been working on poetry and a second book of essays, neither of which is specifically religious. I wasn’t sure if they would be appropriate for iMonk, but I’m willing to run them by you all and get some feedback — and give Mike a vacation, too. You may be seeing some soon.

      Thank you for your kind words, ACrisp.

  15. senecagriggs says:

    Mule, there looked to be about 9 Orthodox churches in the Greater Atalanta area. I wonder how they are doing?