Greetings from the infirmary here at the iMonastery. Your Rambler has the crud once again. Allergies? Raging cold? Cooties? Who knows? I just know my nose is running more than a Kenyan preparing for the Olympics. My head feels like a brick smashed into it. Or at least like a brick itself. John Michael Talbot, who is singing to me right now courtesy of iTunes, sounds as if he is singing from inside a tunnel. And other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? Still, your needs and interests must come ahead of my own, so I will shoulder on. Or, at least, elbow on. Shall we (cough, hack!) ramble?
Tomorrow afternoon I will be sharing with you a new feature for November—the iMonk book club. We’re going to read and discuss four different books next month. I think you may be a bit surprised by the selections.
One book that we probably should include—but aren’t this time around—is Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”. It is amazing how many people are putting up a fuss about the content of this book without even having read it. If you do read it, we would love to hear your thoughts.
Rachel did make Christianity Today’s list of 50 Christian women you should get to know. Who on this list surprises you most? Who was left off you think should have been included?
And while Lifeway bookstores refuse to sell Rachel’s book because she used the “V” word, Lifeway Christian Resources is no longer considering selling their Glorieta camp in New Mexico to Olivet University because of concerns over the school’s ties to David Jang. Jang, you may remember, has been accused of allowing himself to be seen as the “second coming of Christ” by his followers. Jang and his followers also have deep ties to the Christian Post and the World Evangelical Alliance. Am I the only one who is really concerned about this?
The Billy Graham Evangelical Association is buying ads in major newspapers encouraging voters to cast votes for those candidates that support “biblical values.” I don’t recall Billy Graham ever doing this before. Does anyone else get the idea Franklin Graham and Larry Ross are running the show now with no input from the patriarch? I wonder if he even knows this is going on. Meanwhile, Franklin wrote an editorial for Decision magazine asking if an evangelical Christian can vote for a Mormon. Nothing new here except this line: “We need a “moral majority” – made up of Christians, Jews, Mormons, Catholics and many others of faith – to come together to take a stand for our religious freedoms and rights.” He separates Christians, Jews, Mormons … and Catholics. Anyone else troubled by that?
The Catholic Herald notes the TV series Downtown Abbey will address anti-Catholic sentiment in this year’s episodes. I just want to know if Matthew and Mary will finally get married.
I want to go to Vatican City someday. Now I really want to go to Vatican City. How cool is this?
Seems Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan got caught with his pans down. After a campaign stop in northern Ohio, seems the Ryan clan went to a local soup kitchen. Since it was closed at the time, they decided to get their picture taken washing some dishes. Dishes that were already clean. The director of the charity was not amused.
There were two daredevil feats attempted this week. The second was a free-fall from more than 24 miles above the earth’s surface by Felix Baumgartner. But the person who cheated the hangman in the greatest way this week was this man who, for one day, ate nothing but pumpkin products from Trader Joe’s.
And finally, God must not like Texas. First, the Longhorns get a beat-down at the hands of the Sooners last week for the second year in a row. Then yesterday, Big Tex burned down at the Texas State Fair. Not quite the same as Big Butter Jesus, but … well, let me take that back. In Texas, Big Tex was probably greater than Jesus. Now both the Longhorns and Big Tex are toast.
Birthdays, happy and otherwise, were celebrated this last week by Herblock; Nipsey Russell; Paul Simon; Jerry Jones; Sammy Hagar; Jerry Rice; Dwight Eisenhower; Paul Simon; e.e. cumming; John Wooden; Winnie the Pooh; Roger Moore; Justin Hayward; Mario Puzo; Angela Lansbury; John Mayer; Arthur Miller; Chuck Berry; and George C. Scott.
There are very, very, very few artists alive today I would call a “national treasure.” Paul Simon is one of them. Enjoy.