October 17, 2017

Saturday Ramblings 10.29.11

 

So, Game 6 of this year’s World Series. What a game! Can you believe it? It was such a tense nail-biter that it actually gave our regular rambler Jeff Dunn a bit of a heart condition, so he had to galumph over to the local hospital for observation. Currently his ticker is lub-lubbing along at a good clip, but you can’t be too careful these days. In other words, you’re stuck with me, your junior rambler, for a hurried edition of Saturday Ramblings. Pile in–there’s plenty of room on this here bench seat.

Residents of North America as far south as Georgia were treated to an unusual site this week: Aurorae. There were, like, lights in the sky and stuff. Neato.

A new study from the University of Hong Kong indicates that “complex organic compounds can be created in space even when no life forms are present.” That’s right–that interstellar dust out there in the cosmos? Possibly swirling with organic life. What does this mean for your theological worldview?

NFL quarterback and outspoken Christian Tim Tebow led his team to a big comeback victory last Sunday, but apparently he’s not just inspiring poor defense from the worst team in the league–he’s also inspired a new movement. And yes, it really is called “Tebowing.” Your thoughts?

Since this is a rushed version of Saturday ramblings, let’s skip ahead to this part…

Happy birthday this week to: mouseketeer Annette Funicello (who turns 70 next year!), Ryan Reynolds, national treasure “Weird Al” Yankovic, Johnny Carson, temperamental iconoclasts Bobby Knight and Pablo Picasso, John Cleese, Julia Roberts, and Bill Gates.

In honor of Mr. Cleese’s birthday, as well as that of the argumentative Mr. Knight, enjoy this classic Monty Python sketch:

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM’]

 

 

Comments

  1. Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, 2011 World Champions of the World, and to David Freese, who will never have to pay for a drink in St. Louis ever again.

    And here are a couple of quotes from a 2008 interview with John Cleese that I found interesting:

    (Regarding the movie The Life of Brian): … it’s not in any way against Christ or Christ’s teachings. It’s all about criticizing people who make something of Christ’s teachings, which I think he himself would not recognize. There’s a lovely line that an idea is not responsible for the people who hold it. A lot of people in America who describe themselves without any hesitation at all as Christians are, in my opinion, completely missing the point of most of his teachings. It was like Tom DeLay, who said, with reference to turning the other cheek, that he never understood that bit of theology, which is absolutely the key to everything that Christ says. Here you’ve got a guy who’s made a political career out of being supported by evangelical Christians, and he’s totally missed the point of the teaching. So is he a Christian?

    Here’s what I think in a single sentence: I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature. But in order to do that, we have to slice away at our egos and try to get them down to a manageable size, and then still work some practiced light meditation. So real religion is about reducing our egos, whereas all the churches are interested in is egotistical activities, like getting as many members and raising as much money and becoming as important and high-profile and influential as possible. All of which are egotistical attitudes. So how can you have an egotistical organization trying to teach a non-egotistical ideal? It makes no sense, unless you regard religion as crowd control. What I think most organized religion – simply crowd control.

  2. “A new study from the University of Hong Kong indicates that “complex organic compounds can be created in space even when no life forms are present.” That’s right–that interstellar dust out there in the cosmos? Possibly swirling with organic life. What does this mean for your theological worldview?”

    Psalm 18 (19), Catholic numbering after the Septaguint, Douay-Rheims version:

    2 The heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands.
    3 Day to day uttereth speech, and night to night sheweth knowledge.
    4 There are no speeches nor languages, where their voices are not heard.
    5 Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.
    6 He hath set his tabernacle in the sun: and he, as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber,
    Hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way:
    7 His going out is from the end of heaven,
    And his circuit even to the end thereof: and there is no one that can hide himself from his heat.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “That’s right–that interstellar dust out there in the cosmos? Possibly swirling with organic life. What does this mean for your theological worldview?”

      I can tell you what one very vocal reaction would be. From the comment thread in an MSN Science News article about the first oxygenating microbes about 3.6 gigayears ago:

      “Now we’ll have to put up with all those religious nuts sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming ‘JEESUS!'”

      • I tell you what, the late Sir Fred Hoyle is probably feeling vindicated right now (he was a British astronomer who was a modern propoent of the controversial theory ofpanspermia).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          This is the same Fred Hoyle who was infamous for proposing outrageous theories and daring all comers to “Prove me wrong!” The guy inspired a LOT of important research that way.

  3. Is Tebow what religion needs? No. The last thing we need is another inspirational speaker. The jury is still out whether he’s what the Broncos need. A little more defense wouldn’t hurt.

    We’ll see. I’d like to see what happens when enthusiasm and overcoming adversity still results in losing the game. What will happen then? How many so-called Christians will still be on the bandwagon then? Believing in Jesus makes you a winner, right? I think it’s unfair to put him on a pedestal like that.

    • If Tebowing is bowing on your knee in prayer is Eagling giving the fundagelical church the middle finger with pride? 😯

      • just kidding….

      • No, it’s giving the fundagelical church the middle finger, with resignation and perhaps a weary shake of the head. 😉

        • I love this paraody on Tim Tebow and Faith… (lol!!!)

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxkBlCzsVT8&feature=channel_video_title

          • We so set ourselves up for that, don’t we?

            I remember the Here’s Life America/I Found It campaign, more years ago than I care to admit. “We” (as in evangelicals) were encouraged to put “I Found It” bumper stickers on our cars as a witnessing tool.

            The responses included bumper stickers that said things like “I Stepped In It,” and my favorite, one with light blue lines top & bottom and Stars of David on either end, had the words “We Never Lost It.” And frankly, we earned every bit of ridicule we received. After all, the “campaign” was run by a former Coca Cola advertising executive who flat out stated that “we” could create interest in Jesus with modern advertising techniques, all without needing a move of the Spirit like God had to do back in the book of Acts.

            Unfortunately we don’t seem to have learned from that fiasco. Indeed, the “business” of witnessing has become far more prominent than it was even back then.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Oh, yeah.

            “I FOUND IT” and the parodies it inspired — almost as many as the (similar) “BABY ON BOARD”.

            Though the Jewish parody “I NEVER LOST IT” was the most famous, there was also a Lovecraftian version:
            “CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CTHULHU: IT FOUND ME”.

    • Interesting quote from the Christianity Today article:

      “Tebow continuing to have a successful career and a vibrant ministry, we need to give him the grace and the space to be a young man in his early twenties, which is to say occasionally imperfect. A sanctification work-in-progress, like the rest of us.”

      I think this a bit naive. First, many evangelicals don’t believe in sanctification as a work in progress; to them, you either are or you are not. According to them, a rising star doesn’t fall as a matter of sanctification-in-progress but a matter of backsliding.

      But I still think Deborah Braconnier’s question in her article reveals a lot: is Tebow what religion needs? It seems almost trite to say that we need Jesus, not a celebrity quarterback. But it isn’t a trite statement. We want our savior substitutes. We don’t want the gospel; we want the American dream.

      • Many fundagelcals look at sanctification as an instant transformation. You are immediatley perfect, and have no more problems because you are “a new creation”. (Eagle rolls eyes…) How many Christians who have been worshipped were later found out to be invovled in drugs, have alcohol problems, etc.. Wasn’t it a few years ago that Intervarsity had a banquet for a Major League baseball player who was honored for his “Christ like” values and he later was arrested the day or two after in New York for trying to pick up a prostitute?

        And many Christians don’t get it. When I was a fundy I heard story after story of what their life was like “before Christ” and how they had an “instant transformation” after they knew Christ. What I suspect many did was learn how to lie and cover it up better.

        People are human and they are going to make mistakes. I actually feel sory for Tebow becuase of the stress that many fundagelicals are now placing on him. If something happens they will be the first to desert him because fundgelicals do not forgive nor do they forget. You make a mistake and you are marked for life. That’s an awful way to have a faith and very graceless…but its the fundagelical law of the land.

        • Instant sanctification only produces instant hypocrites. It forces one to hide ones true self behind pretentious masks. I think of people like Johnny Cash or even Brennan Manning, who fought chemical dependency their entire lives. They are examples of real people, not fictional caricatures like the mythical perfect, entirely sanctified Christian, which any one of us is a mere ten principles away from reaching.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Instant sanctification only produces instant hypocrites. It forces one to hide ones true self behind pretentious masks.

            Isn’t that what Eagle’s been saying since he started commenting here?

            And JMJ/Christian Monist on his blog with the illustration of “the hundred-story building”?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Many fundagelcals look at sanctification as an instant transformation. You are immediatley perfect, and have no more problems because you are “a new creation”.

          1) Over at Slacktivist, they call this “Say-the-Magic-Words Salvation”.

          2) Doesn’t JMJ/Christian Monist write about this view a lot, and how it screws things up real bad?

  4. By the way is Jeff okay? Can you tell us how he is doing Adam?

    • Second the question…please ask if he can share the update with his I-Monk friends and nurses. Meanwhile, we should all perhaps ask blessings of wisdom on the hands and eyes of his doctors, nurses, and support personnel to make a correct diagnosis and develop a healthy treatment plan.

    • Adam Palmer says:

      Just got off the phone with Jeff–he is his usual witty, self-deprecating self. They’re still waiting on some test results to come back, but they’ve been able to determine he has not had a heart attack, so that’s a good thing. He is apparently not getting enough blood to his brain, so they’re trying to figure out why. There’s a hopeful chance he’ll be able to go home today and spend tomorrow watching the NFL, which sounds like a good plan to me.

      I’ll try to keep everyone posted as my schedule allows. Jeff really appreciates your prayers!

  5. Off-topic: weather in my neck of the woods in Maine:

    Tonight: Occasional snow, mainly after 8pm. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 28. North wind between 6 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

    Sunday: Snow, mainly before 1pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 40. North wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

    OK, so that is a possibility of up to a total of 12 inches before Sunday is over. And October isn’t even finished! Party on, fellow iMonkers. Happy almost Halloween!

    • David Cornwell says:

      I’m for banning forecasts about snow until some more sensible time! Anyway hope you are all stocked up and ready for this Joanie.

      • Randy Thompson says:

        Actually, I’d settle for accurate weather forecasts! We took weather.com seriously about when the snow would start flying yesterday, and my wife and I squeezed in a quick visit with our son and daughter-in-law in Burlington, VT, planning to get back home before it started (after dinner, they said). Unfortunately, our trip back to New Hampshire was harrowing, to say the least. Yikes! Doesn’t anyone plow I-89???

        • Sorry to hear it was a harrowing trip back to your great state of New Hampshire, Randy! Glad you made it home safely.

          We love I-93 in NH. It’s beautiful and hardly any traffic, except when we were coming back from the Sandwich Fair in NH this year (never having been there before) there was a HUGE amount of traffic heading south. I don’t know what event may have prompted all that. We came back that way to avoid getting near Fryeburg which was crazy traffic due to the Fryeburg Fair.

    • …and those of us here in northern Minnesota can only look on with envy and a slightly guilty feeling. The weather here is so nice that no Minnesotan is able to properly begin a conversation. 🙂

      • cool nites here in Chico, CA; lower 50’s-40’s. days in the 80’s. deciduous trees showing color changes by species/varieties. the overall feel is nature preparing to have a wintery nap soon. as the leaves fall, they make the blanket the earth snuggles up under until spring springs forth. here is it an early spring. noticable change begins early February into March. not that a freeze can’t occur after March 1st, it just isn’t the usual weather pattern here. i love this time of year. right now the Meadow Lark outside my window heralding the gentle seasonal pause as the squirrels go ‘nuts’ in the black walnut tree rounding up their winter hoard & dropping them out of the tree onto the roof…

      • cermak_rd says:

        In Chicago, also enjoying super nice weather, we’re able to start conversations by beginning, you know, it’s only going to be so much worse later…

        Upper Midwesterners can ALWAYS find a gloomy side!

    • Its been a mix of rain and snow in the northern Virginia/ Washington, D.C. area….

    • No snow over here; lots and lots of rain, though (the east coast of the country was particularly badly hit with floods). Noticeably colder; we’ve had generally mild winters, but this time it’s definitely feeling chilly and who knows? We could get a repeat of the Great Snows of 2009 (of course, our version of “Ahhh! Blizzards!!!!” over here is “a light sprinkle” by your standards).

  6. How can it be the “Weird Al” Yankovic is a national treasure but Johnny Carson and Julia Roberts aren’t? Is this just Jeff’s opinion? Or maybe yours, Adam? Could we have a vote?

    • I think it’s just that everyone KNOWS Johnny and Julia are national treasures, but not everyone is clued in to the wonder, the majesty, the sheer awesomeness of the career oeuvre of Alfred Matthew Yankovic. And for any doubters: go to YouTube, and type into the search box “yankovic craigslist” “yankovic white and nerdy” or “yankovic cnr”. And prepare to be dazzled!

  7. Tebow is probably the greatest college Player ever. He also is part of what maybe the worst 1st round pick ever.
    Tebow seems like a nice guy. I just worry he will let the “Great Evangelical Hope” tag go to his head.
    If Tebow makes a mistake off the field he will become the national whipping boy. it would be nice if he professed to be a follower of Jesus who is constantly falling short. Maybe he says this, but I have never heard this. All we hear is how he is a model Christian, that can be dangerous for anybody.
    ***Warning*** do not go the Kirk Cameron route. That guy gives me the creeps!

    Purely Football:
    Tebow may become an odd-ball NFL player dedicated to the Wild-Cat, but he will never make it as a NFL quaterback. Not enough arm for the quick-slants.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Tebow seems like a nice guy. I just worry he will let the “Great Evangelical Hope” tag go to his head.

      Celebrity Convert Syndrome. Take a CELEBRITY who converts, make him THE Example of Celebrity Christian, and burn him out until he crashes.

      If Tebow makes a mistake off the field he will become the national whipping boy. it would be nice if he professed to be a follower of Jesus who is constantly falling short. Maybe he says this, but I have never heard this. All we hear is how he is a model Christian, that can be dangerous for anybody.

      Again, CELEBRITY Convert Syndrome.

      ***Warning*** do not go the Kirk Cameron route. That guy gives me the creeps!

      Kirk Cameron, Greatest CHRISTIAN Actor of All Time (TM), wrote the book on Excessive Scrupulosity. Even for big-name showbiz types, he’s in the top one percent of Neurosis. Most of it expressed as Excessive Scrupulosity (ask Martha for the definition) expressed as Extreme Enclaving and Negative Holiness.

  8. When those interstellar particles start forming committees, call me. While exciting conceptually, it is light years from impacting any serious religious discourse. I’m prepared right now to take on all those particles combined to a friendly game of softball. If true, it really doesn’t change the question. How does that organic miasma morph into a sentient soul?

  9. If you remember in last Saturday’s ramblings there was discussion about the branding of Mars Hill. There is a good article about the follow up over that fiasco over at the Wartburg Watch.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/10/28/the-branding-of-mars-hill/#comment-29963

    • Interesting. And the best part was reading the comments about Mark Driscoll hiding “behind the skirts of his elders.” The man who built this de facto denomination won’t even issue his own apology, or admit that his denomination has become the neighborhood bully!

      Ah, but ain’t fundagelicalism grand? 😉

    • Yes. Let’s bring it up again so we can bash him more.

      • Mark Driscoll is being cast as the Emmanuel Goldstein of The InternetMonk discussions… when John Piper isn’t.

        • Remember John Piper is quickly becoming Pat Robertson’s replacement. With the stuff he has said about the I-35 bridge collapse over the Mississippi, tornadoes, and cancer; he is most certainly Pat Robertson’s replacement. I don’t know why Christians have to do this. Why can’t they just look at something that happens and grieve and empathize. Not find a spiritual meaning for absolutelty everything.

          Watch this…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wG0dhA_RT8

          Now isn’t that just sick? When i was throwing away a lot of my Christian material I knew someone who asked for my John Piper books. I gave them away. In retrospect maybe that was the wrong approach.

  10. Tebow is in a no-win situation. I wish him the best but I think he will be “piled on” more and more.

    • Unfortunately much of it comes within the Christian community, as can be seen with some of the above comments. Any chance to pile on, many people will take it.,

      • How are people going to react when the Muslims start to do their prayers in pubic? Oh wait…

    • I had never heard of Tebow or tebowing, but it sounds like he supports lots of good causes and it sounds like he is a good guy. I wish him well.

  11. Adam Palmer says:

    I visited Jeff in the hospital today, and while his spirits are up, his physicality is down. He is very weak and, according to him, has never felt worse in his life. Tests have shown he has not had a heart attack, and his heart is the correct size, so they’re going to give him a stress test tomorrow to find out what’s what. He would definitely appreciate your prayers, and I’m sure he’s itching to jump on here and let you all know for yourselves how he’s feeling/doing.

    • Thanks Adam….

      I sent him an email. I’m thinking about him out here in DC. And hope for the best ……

    • Thanks for the update, Adam. SOMETHING is definitely going on with Jeff. I hope the doctors figure it out soon and give Jeff the treatment he needs.