September 22, 2014

Saturday Ramblings 8.24.13

RamblerIt has been a rather slow week here at the iMonastery. Chaplain Mike and Mule Chewing Briars baked cookies. The women spent their time complaining practicing for the iMonk flag football team. Me? I kept busy sewing uniforms and cleaning cookie sheets. An abbot’s work is never finished. Now it’s time to relax with a nice, heaping pile of Saturday Ramblings.

T. M. Lurhmann traveled all the way to Africa to discover why speaking in tongues is so important to some. She came away with the insight that you can fake glossolalia by saying “I should have bought a Hyundai” ten times fast. Go ahead, try it.

Meanwhile, Baptists are greeting Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. by teaching them how to be Baptists. It’s an interesting article, but I need your help. Just what does this line mean? “A new believer who comes out of a Catholic background needs to understand that salvation is a spiritual experience” and not the result of adherence to the sacraments. Sacraments aren’t a spiritual experience? Just what is a spiritual experience anyway?

Remember last week when Baptist Russell Moore wrote about transgender issues? Many of you took issue with his understanding of “transgender.” Jonathan Merritt agrees with you. It’s complicated.

As St. Paul Harvey would say, it’s not one world. Christians in Egypt are running out of food in their homes because they are afraid to go out of their homes. And when they do, the stores they would shop in are closed. It’s not one world.

You answer your phone and on the other end is Francis. As in Pope Francis. And he tells you to talk with him like you would any of your friends, saying that the apostles spoke with Jesus in a familiar way. And you think, “I really really really like this guy!”

So your son is gay, and you refuse to speak against him. Your church a) applauds your compassion, b) encourages you in your difficult situation, or c) kicks you out. Oh, your church is in Tennessee, if you needed the extra hint.

What do we expect when the most honored Christians in our country make duck calls and look like Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top? Seriously, are you going to start your day with the Duck Commander Devotional?

It happened at my alma mater. What better way to start off a school year than to watch a bald eagle attempt suicide? I’m not sure this bodes well for the Golden Eagles’ basketball team this year …

Someday I am going to try to make something up. But with stories like this, I am going to have to work really hard. The Synonymous Rambler pointed this out to me. Cloning John Lennon from his molar. Really. You can go to this guy’s website he set up, but this person is really messed up. Making cloning John Lennon from a rotten tooth your life’s work? Sigh … (But, like bugs drawn to a light, you now will not be able to resist going to the site, will you?)

Happy birthday wishes were wished last week to Mae West; Maureen O’Hara; Robert DeNiro; Sean Penn; Rosalyn Carter; Ogden Nash; Ginger Baker; Isaac Hayes; Robert Plant; John Hiatt; Amy Adams; Wilt Chamberlain; Henri Cartier-Bresson; Ray Bradbury; Galen Rowell; Keith Moon; and Kobe Bryant.

Why not a double feature bonus video today? Why not indeed. Robert Plant and Alison Kraus? Of course. And then there is the superb songwriter John Hiatt bemoaning those entertainers who smash their guitars on stage. Enjoy.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgzs6pT26KI']

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzeoLe6nSrU']

 

 

Comments

  1. Huh, with the big news about a strange attempt at cloning a Beatle, we’d get a video from Badfinger or Oasis.

  2. Those Baptists are hilarious!

    They are going to convert Catholics, who have basically the same co-op salvation theology that they do. That’s a hoot!

    Most Catholics believe in a lot of God and little bit of my efforts, with the help of God maybe. And the Baptists believe the same thing. “You need to make a decision and show God that you are serious.” The Catholics have a Pope…and the Baptists have a paper pope, The Bible.

    Two peas in a pod. They could convert each other all day long, every day, and nobody would really be changed.

    I can’t help it (forgive me, Lord)…but I find it very funny.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      From this, I assume you’re not Baptist OR Catholic, otherwise you wouldn’t be ragging on them like this. I assume you’re some True Church with Correct Salvation Doctrine?

      • I LOVE Catholics AND Baptists!

        I was raised a Catholic and most of my family are Catholic. I have many Baptist friends.

        They (both) are Christians.

        Just would love for them to experience the pure gospel and rest in Christ and have some assurance and freedom.

        I’m a Lutheran. And we have plenty of problems of our own. Which I freely admit.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Problem is, you see so many fanboys of their own church it isn’t even funny. From Hyper-Calvinists to Cage Phase Orthodox, all the (often contradictory) One True Ways. Makes you keep your head down and wonder if you’re living in South Park.

          • One of the unique things about Lutheranism is that even when we are the Only True Keepers of the Flam ™, everybody else (in Christianity) still gets it right enough to be a part of the family. While fiery zealots are quick to fling the “heretic!” charge at even marginal dissenters, we have a much softer term of rebuke: “Heterodox” refers to believers who hold a mixture of right and wrong doctrine. They still go to heaven, but in the meantime, they’re still wrong.

          • “…..everybody else (in Christianity) still gets it right enough to be a part of the family.”

            You mean, according to Lutheranism, anybody with any mixture of “right and wrong doctrine” as long as they call themselves Christian still gets in?

            Interesting.

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      Gotta agree with Steve here. I love Southern Baptists (went to a Baptist university, enjoy their potlucks), but there seems to be something incredibly underhanded about this strategy of reaffiliating Hispanic Catholics to the Baptist church. Their approach is overburdened with loads of unexplored stereotypes, none of which accurately represent Catholic doctrine.

      And now, for a list of some of my favorite eyebrow-raising “Huh?” statements:

      Discipling former Catholics is a process, not a program. …and the system of classes by which Catholicism is “compared” to Southern Baptist doctrine (real Christianity) is not a program? Reparative therapy for Catholics?
      Scripture makes it clear that Jesus is the only mediator to God …and that, apparently, the only way to the church (which is the only way to Jesus) includes being not gay, getting married before you’re 30, joining a small group, and voting Republican.
      A new believer who comes out of a Catholic background needs to understand that salvation is a spiritual experience” and not the result of adherence to the sacraments, Gonzales said. …like Jeff, I’m just not sure where to start with that one. The Baptist tradition doesn’t use sacraments to create a spiritual experience. Did they change that overnight and not tell anyone?
      It must entail encouraging them to stay in the Word so they understand that everything flows from the Word, not just tradition (about the Word). …and Baptists are known for ensuring that tradition doesn’t confuse their interpretation of Scripture…wait a minute…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Discipling former Catholics is a process, not a program. …and the system of classes by which Catholicism is “compared” to Southern Baptist doctrine (real Christianity) is not a program? Reparative therapy for Catholics?

        “Reparative Therapy” or “Re-Education Camps”?
        With some of these guys, it’s hard to tell the difference.

        • Mark Kennedy says:

          Headless Unicorn Guy: How do you get that pretty text box for your quotation? I’m jealous.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            It’s the “blockquote” HTML command tags. I cannot reproduce it here without it triggering a blockquote instead of showing the command, so you’ll have to look it up or ask around.

      • A big part of this stems from the tendency in the SBC and similar circles to view Catholics as not actually Christian. Having gone to their college, studied Bible with their professors, and served their churches for five years, you will find a lot of good guys among their ranks, but I just can’t bring myself to take their doctrine with a whole lot of seriousness. I don’t think Catholics are better off for joining them at all.

        • tendency in the SBC and similar circles to view Catholics as not actually Christian.

          Which I suspect is where landmakism comes from. If you don’t think Catholics are Christian then you have to come up with a path that gets you from Acts to the reformation and isn’t dependent on the RCC and the other Orthodox faiths.

      • Mark Kennedy says:

        Scripture makes it clear that Jesus is the only mediator to God …and that, apparently, the only way to the church (which is the only way to Jesus) includes being not gay, getting married before you’re 30, joining a small group, and voting Republican.

        Yup. Gotta have correct ‘doctrine’.

        • Marcus Johnson says:

          Let me know when you find scriptural evidence that proves anything other than that first one. I’ve been reading the Bible in English and Greek, and I haven’t found it yet.

          • Mark Kennedy says:

            That was a quote from your post. I was seconding what you said, hence the sarcastic ‘correct doctrine’.

          • Marcus Johnson says:

            Don’t worry; I spotted the sarcasm.

            Seriously, we need an emoticon for sarcasm. Perhaps a smiley face with animated rolling eyes?

          • Lets see if this works.

            @@

    • Christiane says:

      I’ve been visiting on Southern Baptist blogs for years, as my maternal grandmother was of that faith, and I originally wanted reassurance that they were nothing like the Westboro folk I saw on television protesting soldiers’ funerals.

      It’s been quite a journey. I am Roman Catholic to the backbone through my father’s French Canadian family, and I have learned quite a lot from the Southern Baptists I have communicated with . . . such as, like they are real people with diversity and human problems and a great need for their faith in Christ. I think folks from other faiths need to ‘be with’ another denomination for a longitudinal period in order to understand more about them . . . the short-term doesn’t really help that much in understanding, nor does judging on surfaces, or basing opinion on the ‘worst of the worst’ examples, no. Spending time on blogs is no substitute for personal engagement, but it is better than nothing, and has been rewarding and humbling.

      Are they ‘anti-Catholic’? Some are. What I found out is that many get their info about Catholicism from sources that aren’t Catholic, and often of the ‘Matt Slick’ variety . . . so I often remember what Bishop Sheen said famously, this: ”
      “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” ( Fulton J. Sheen)

      He understood. I am seeking to understand. And to appreciate the goodness that is in the Southern Baptist people of good will, and it can be found, and it gives hope that at some point, fundamentalist hubris and judgmentalism will fade in strength, and Christian humility and joy will find a home more securely in that denomination.
      There are some beautiful Southern Baptist Christian people out there. The goodness of my Southern Baptist grandmother of blessed memory led me to think that there might be, and I was not disappointed.

      • Are they [the SBC] ‘anti-Catholic’? Some are. What I found out is that many get their info about Catholicism from sources that aren’t Catholic, and often of the ‘Matt Slick’ variety . . .

        Christiane, I belong to an American Baptist (ABC) church, and in Sunday classes there is often mention of “what Catholics believe.” You’re right, much of what we “know” about you guys comes from non-Catholics, but much also comes from former Catholics who left as teenagers, and I suspect at that stage they didn’t really know what it was all about anyway. I’ve come to wonder what people in other churches are saying about Baptists, and what former Baptists (who left as teenagers) are saying about us.

        In my outside-of-church world however, a lot of my close friends are Roman Catholic, are strong believers in Christ, and some refer to themselves as “born again”. With a few doctrinal exceptions(and I have those with fellow Baptists, believe me) I’m very comfortable around them and feel that we stand side by side in the kingdom.

        As for the majority of Catholics, I can’t say what they believe or don’t believe, but that goes for Baptists too. There’s a lot of plain ol’ showing up on Sundays in all camps. Jesus will sort it out.

        And thanks again to HUG for recommending Tom Howard’s book Evangelical Is Not Enough (former
        Gordon prof of mine who crossed over to Rome).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Though at the time he wrote that book, Howard had only gotten as far as Canterbury.

          Evangelical is Not Enough is one of the best introductions to Liturgical Church traditions and practices (and the reasons and rationale behind them) for non-liturgical Christians I have ever come across.

        • It surprises me that I haven’t seen Richard McBrien’s “Catholicism” referenced here on Internetmonk . When I hear non-Catholics explain “what Catholics believe” I’m amused and dismayed – mostly amused. In his introduction on faith he says: “Christian faith is that gift of God by which we freely accept God’s self-communication in Christ.”

  3. This is the phrase that struck me: “Still, he noted, discipling former Catholics is much like discipling any new believers, Gonzales said.” New believers . . . I can imagine, however, that the people who are most interested in the Baptist class are those least satisfied and involved with their own faith. Perhaps they were “new believers” — but it still sounds funny to me.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      That’s because Romish Papists couldn’t possibly be Christians.
      Only Baptists.
      Remember Landmarkism and “The Trail of Blood”?

  4. The lady can go to another Church of Christ–”don’t ask don’t tell.”

    Personally, at age 44 I was glad to be shut of that “restoration movement”. Wrong assumptions with predictable results.

  5. “She came away with the insight that you can fake glossolalia by saying ‘I should have bought a Hyundai’ ten times fast. Go ahead, try it.” Funny!

    I get a kick out of “Duck Dynasty.”

    • I take it more as a “cheap shot” towards us thoughtful, reasonable charismatics out here.

      • No cheap shot intended by this charismatic, Ron. It’s just funny …

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Best outsider’s description of glossolalia I’ve ever heard was “Sounds like scat-singing in Hebrew.”

        • THAT is hilarious.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I think it came from a reporter who was covering Pat Robertson’s Presidential run in the Eighties.

        • A friend of mine pastored a Baptist church in Massachusetts that began to lend the building to a Brazilian congregation during off-hours and days. Some of the gringos were a little skeptical, and after my friend attended one of the Brazilian services, they asked him, “They weren’t speaking in tongues, were they???” He said, “I don’t know. They were speaking in Portuguese. I wouldn’t have known the difference.”

  6. What was ORU thinking? Were they thinking?

    “It had practiced five or six times,” she said. “When the time came, we’re not sure what happened. It flew around the room and then hit a window.”

    Really! Practicing with an eagle in a quiet environment at a different time of the day (lighting is huge with birds of prey) is the same as lots of noisy people who are moving around!

    Not a bright idea.

    • “I swear, God as my witness. I thought turkeys could fly”- WKRP in Cincinatti

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Sounds like that YouTube of the live camel in that Megachurch Xmas Paegant who when being led in, stopped and sat down right on top of about half a dozen of the audience. Live animals plus church service equals (Discord/John DeLancie voice) “Opportunity for Lovely Chaos”. Especially if they’re not a domesticated species.

      • Christiane says:

        I saw a video of a special service where there was a live camel on stage that lifted his tail and answered a call of nature right in the middle of someone’s sermon . . .

        God has a sense of humor sometimes :)

      • Christiane says:

        I have to admit a great love for the Blessing of the Animals services . . . now they really know how to handle things well at those events when there is a ‘clean-up crew’ that follows the processions into a sanctuary, out of respect for all concerned . . . yes, even the animals they love :)

        ‘Ask of the beasts, and they will tell you of the beauty of the Earth’ . . . St. Francis of Assisi

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpR4dD9zsQg&feature=youtu.be

      • St. Michael’s, Charleston, SC was founded in 1751 and is one of the oldest Episcopal churches in SC. For the procession of the palms during Palm Sunday, they have a live donkey. They also have a pooper scooper that comes in the procession as well. It is spray painted gold.

  7. Regarding cataphatic vs. apophatic prayer: my own experience and observations lead me to believe that the reason most people prefer cataphatic prayer, especially speaking in tongues, is that it generally leads to ego-inflation, subtle or not so subtle, but apophatic prayer leads to ego-deflation. Apophatic prayer requires the development of a deep silence that undermines the self’s tendency to put itself at the center of everything, and this is a painful process; cataphatic prayer, though good for some purposes, tends to confirm the importance of the self and empower it as it guides the prayer process.

    Apophatic prayer requires one to come into confrontation with one’s difficulty in silencing the chattering from within; this is a sobering experience, not the stuff of drama queens. We all tend to have an innate sense that we are in control of our consciousness; apophatic prayer disturbingly shows us that this is not so.

    Cataphatic prayer, especially speaking in tongues, has a tendency to reinforce our sense of control. It puffs up our sense of being in the driver’s seat.

    • “Cataphatic prayer, especially speaking in tongues, has a tendency to reinforce our sense of control. It puffs up our sense of being in the driver’s seat.”

      On the contrary. Sometimes my prayers come in tongues. It is not something I ever feel in control of. In fact it feels as if I have been jerked out of the driver’s seat and put in the back seat. It is not something part of my faith tradition. It is not something I asked for or even hoped for, just something given because there are times I do not know what to pray, even though I like to think I do. It seems a way for God to get me out of the way. Ego-inflation? Not so much.

      • I understand your point, and I should have been clearer about what I meant. Even where the experience is of being jerked out of the drivers seat, there is often (note, I’m not saying always, because God can work where and how he pleases) the reinforcement that one is at the center of the spiritual drama, that one was ever in the driver’s seat to begin with, or that the drivers seat is where the sense of self naturally sits. The experience itself of being jerked out of the drivers seat subtly confirms that the self has had some kind of mastery, before and unless one has been jerked out from it, and that what God wants us to do is to learn to “let him” take control or get us out of the way.

        To put it bluntly, God doesn’t have to remove you from the driver’s seat because you were never in it, and you never had “control.” There is a subtle reinforcement of the sense of the importance of self in such experiences, and I’ve encountered it in many of the charismatic Christians I’ve known (notice, I didn’t say all).

      • And I’m not trying to discourage anyone from praying in the kataphatic way, or speaking in tongues; in fact, my comments about the danger of apophatic prayer point in the opposite way. I pray using the kataphatic method myself (which includes using the method developed by John Cassian, wherein the cultivation of silence is rooted in and orbits around a sacred word or phrase [although a rigorous pursuit of this practice should also be done under the guidance of a director{I'm not so rigorous about it}]), since I’ve never been able to find a reliable director in the Christian tradition to guide me in the apophatic way (the Christian directors that I’ve encountered have been very influenced by Jungian thinking, and I think of Jung as an occultist).

        God seems to work in most people through the kataphatic way of prayer, and the fact that most of us have egocentric consciousness throughout all our lives is not an impediment to him bringing us into his Kingdom. I was just noting the reason why I believe most people prefer the cataphatic to the apophatic way of prayer, as indicated by the linked article.

        In addition, those advanced far along the way of prayer, and who want to grow in greater and greater prayerful intimacy with God, for instance St. John of the Cross, almost universally report that the kataphatic way is necessary to trod. They do not, however, insist that it is necessary to trod that path in this life; but the movement from the psychological experience of a self-centered universe to that of a God-centered reality will most assuredly take place sooner or later, albeit on the other side of death for most of us.

        And when that experience occurs, it will be a stripping away and a darkness and silence, a real, felt death. It probably would be a good idea if we accustom ourselves to some measure of it in this life, maybe keeping some silence, however uncomfortable, fifteen minutes before the service on Sunday morning. But I know that’s just too much to expect from chattering Americans.

        • I meant to say, that John et al say that the apophatic way of prayer is necessary to trod either now or later.

    • But something further needs to be said: there is a subtle and deep form of inflation that can occur from the practice of apophatic prayer. When one has moved through the initial stages, which may take years, into a place of some degree of deep silence, there is a very real danger of interpreting this as mastery, something one has accomplished through one’s efforts, and at this juncture a very deep, subtle spiritual form of ego inflation can occur. In this case, the devil that has replaced the devils that have been swept out is far more dangerous, crafty and unmanageable. That’s why all spiritual traditions that employ this technique of prayer/meditation have always insisted that it only be undertaken under the guidance and direction of one who has already walked this path and has reached a level of maturity and humble wisdom regarding its dangers and rewards. Where no such direction is available, it is better not to undertake apophatic prayer because there is such a danger of getting caught in the subtle and powerful ego-trap of perceived mastery. The spiritual pride that develops from such ego-inflation is a frightening thing and extremely difficult to undermine.

      Furthermore, even where such direction is offered, there is still a danger. During my time at Zen centers when I was undertaking this kind of practice, I saw many who were caught up in this subtle trap of ego-mastery, among them some of the teachers. But even where the teacher did not seem to me to be caught in this state, some of their students, despite the teachers best efforts, did get caught in this impasse. I became all too aware, by God’s grace, of the danger that I myself was in of being ensnared in just this trap, and made a painful break away from my practice and study of Zen. Subsequent scandalous developments among formerly respected teachers in the world of American Zen have borne out my decision to part ways with that practice; I’ve also learned just how pathological the master/student relationship tradition has been in the context of Zen and Japanese culture, with masters traditionally having almost absolute control over their students, up to and including injuring and even killing students without suffering any legal consequence.

  8. Dan Crawford says:

    In seminary, one impressed others with “gotta get a Honda”. Japanese seemed more in accord with glossolalia.

    • The two I recall were:

      A) The Italianate “Who stola my Honda?” and
      B) “O, won’t you come and see my new bow tie?”

      That these were jokingly related by confirmed tongue-talkers themselves has always given me a generous attitude towards charismatics.

  9. Dan Crawford says:

    Love the story about the eagle at ORU. Obviously, someone failed in the Prayer Tower.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Remember this is the same Prayer Tower that hosted the Oral Roberts Deathwatch fundraiser….

  10. “Just what is a spiritual experience anyway?” I had a spiritual experience in 1978-79 when I went to a performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on the campus of Michigan State University. It was the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” tour, and during that performance, having entered the concert hall as a non-believer, I became convinced that Bruce was in command of the secrets of the universe, and that having experienced this performance, I could happily die and go to The Promised Land.

    As it turns out, it was a spiritually misleading experience.

    • That must have been quite a concert, Robert F! I do love Springsteen.

      • Yes, Joanie, it was quite a night; Springsteen was……charismatic in an overwhelming way.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      All too often, “a spiritual experience” is “whatever I have that YOU don’t.”

    • Aside from your accurate conclusion, this sounds quite a bit like what many of my friends expect out of church.

      • I read in an interview somewhere with Springsteen that he used to watch and study the big televangelists, like Jimmy Swaggart, back in the day for cues on how to make his stage show as dramatic (not to say melodramatic) and compelling as possible; to produce a kind of religious experience. Springsteen’s goals were innocuous, but he could have studied the history and film footage of the rallies of National Socialism during the 1930′s and 40′s for the same kind of cues. Somewhat scary.

        • I meant, clues, not cues.

        • And have you noticed how Joel Osteen sounds like Billy Graham?

          Except for his message…

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Springsteen’s goals were innocuous, but he could have studied the history and film footage of the rallies of National Socialism during the 1930?s and 40?s for the same kind of cues. Somewhat scary.

          Reminds me of Rabbi Boteach’s account of Michael Jackson watching Nuremberg Rally footage and giving a running commentary/analysis on the big Hitler speech/centerpiece in terms of a performer working his audience. The Rabbi related this account to counter inaccurate reporting of a garbled version.

  11. Lurhmann still has her glossolalia wrong. The correct phrase is, “I bought a Mazda, but I should have bought a Honda.” THAT will get you sounding real spiritual in no time!

    • Clay Crouch says:

      No, it’s, “see my tie come tie my tie”. Trust me on this.

      • Have heard both. In telling and retelling the joke, we expanded it:

        “She came in a honda. She left in a Mazda. She should have bought an Isuzu.”

        The important thing is to rush the last sentence. :)

  12. That Other Jean says:

    I am very far from being Catholic, but I really, really like Pope Francis. He is bringing some extremely long overdue humanity and humility to his post, which I hope will translate to fresh approaches to the problems in his branch of Christianity. I hope the office doesn’t change him too much, or frustrate him to the point that he retreats into it, away from the rest of us.

  13. These ramblings are dangerous to concert budgets. I’m glad you posted this video AFTER Plant came through the area. (But Knopfler tix go on sale tomorrow…) Is Raising Sand as good as that video?

    • Christiane says:

      I love ‘Raising Sand’, as Alison Krauss has ALWAYS been at the top of my favorites list . . . and ‘Polly Come Home Again’ is a treasure waiting to be discovered . . . what a powerful sound !

      and the poetry . . . ‘if the wild bird could speak . . . ‘ love it!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf7GZq7PJAE

  14. “Imagine cloning Lennon,
    it’s not that hard to do,
    then Paul McCartney,
    George and Ringo, too…”

  15. But seriously now, should I buy a Hyundai? I’m looking at buying a new car. Need opinions, as I know nothing about Hyundai’s.

  16. scrapiron says:

    I haven’t stepped foot in a Christian bookstore in years, nor during those years have I watched more TV than a handful of college football games. Recently, I was working late and joined the custodians at my workplace for dinner as they watched Duck Dynasty in the breakroom. I thought it was innocuous, but fairly pointless, like most TV. Imagine my surprise when last week I accompanied my wife into a Family Christian Store and found that Duck Dynasty merchandise was front and center and the most heavily promoted materials in the place. As she searched for the music she wanted, in ten minutes I found over 100 items related to Duck Dynasty, but could not locate any book by the authors I’ve been shopping for recently (NT Wright, Greg Boyd, JI Packer or Eugene Peterson [other than a half-dozen varieties of The Message]) or any book on church history. Quickly remembered why Barnes & Noble or Amazon is where I shop for books.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Imagine my surprise when last week I accompanied my wife into a Family Christian Store and found that Duck Dynasty merchandise was front and center and the most heavily promoted materials in the place.

      And before Duck Dynasty it was John & Kate Plus Eight.

      As she searched for the music she wanted, in ten minutes I found over 100 items related to Duck Dynasty…

      Like you’d find over 100 items related to Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey in a Wal-Mart book section. Wal-Mart stocks its book section according to the NY Times Best-Seller List and Duck Dynasty is just the Christianese Best-Seller List. (Sucks to NOT be the best-selling author du jour; if you’re not, welcome to the world of self-publishing and selling out of your car trunk.)

      Talk about signs of the times — I remember that Jesus Junk store in Harrisburg when I showed my writing partner how Left Behind had become a shared-universe with two additional sequel trilogies by different authors…

      • I have several friends and relatives that think Duck Dynasty is the greatest thing since the last greatest thing. Their admiration mostly centers on the fact that they PRAY at the end of every show. I watched it once and that was enough. The Simpsons go to church, too, and pray.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          But do the Simpsons wear treebark camo and ZZ Top/Taliban beards?

          • I love the beginning of the show with ZZ Top’s song “Sharp Dressed Man” being played while the actors make their entrance. Good lighting and photography and a catchy song for a funny show.

  17. Jeff – many thanks for linking to Jonathan Merritt’s article. It’s a good start, I think.