Ralph wrote this. It’s true. Read it.
This is a good blog entry on “speaking the truth in love.”
“On Wednesday he shot down every one of the lame defenses and thoughtless pat answers we offered for the Bible in general and for Jonah in particular — every one. The effect that morning was even more devastating than that of the previous class period. Now we had no reason to believe what we believed about the Bible; and we knew it.” (>>)
Better late than never.
“please keep all comments that include ‘just pray about it,’ ‘just trust in God,’ and Jeremiah 29:11 to yourself. been there, done that, need something more sincere, practical, and lil-specific. not that praying, trusting in God, and reading the Bible are bad things, but just a flippant 3-word bumper sticker response makes me feel worse because that makes it sound like it’s just a really simple, easy answer and i’m the proverbial bad Christian for struggling and not moving on like it’s a quick fix.” (>>)
“Questioning the basics of my faith — I’ve never had that. Questioning things of myself and how I fit into that or don’t fit in, or seeing myself differently from how I thought I would and being shaken by that, then yes. And then, I don’t have step one two and three for coming out of that — it’s just a continuing process…” (>>)
“But everything inside you knows there’s more than what you’ve heard,
there’s so much more than empty conversations filled with empty words.”
Every night I get home from work around 9 or 10 and I’m tired, but I don’t go to sleep. I stay up for another two or three hours. I’ll do pointless stuff, like read blogs, but I won’t go to sleep. I feel like I haven’t done anything yet. I’ve actually done lots of things; I’ve been on campus for 4 or 5 hours in class or doing homework, and at work for for another 5 or 6, but that doesn’t count, it’s just work.
“I want to see miracles, to see the world change;
I wrestled the angel for more than a name;
for more than a feeling, for more than a cause.”
I have this vauge fantasy in the back of my mind. I see myself doing something exciting with my life, leaving everything to do something important and all-consuming. Part of me was disappointed when I got into UD; a small part was hoping God would screw up all my plans and take away any hope of achieving the American Dream. But sometimes I think all I want is a great wife and a stable job that’ll pay enough to support a family. I’ll have a couple internship interviews go well and for a few days Corporate America doesn’t seem so sleezy and meaningless. Maybe a normal life isn’t so boring, after all.
There’s a story about a shoemaker who converted to Christianity and asked Martin Luther what he should do with his life now that he was a Christian. Luther told him to make good shoes and sell them at a fair price. But then again, you never saw Luther making shoes.
“I’m standing on the edge of me.” (>>)
P.S. If you’re ever pondering whether or not to write something stupid and personal on your blog, don’t tell yourself that you’ll just write it out and decide whether or not to publish it when you’re done. That same little voice will disable your critical thinking skills just long enough for you hit “publish.”
“And as I turn and tumble over the clever, wonderful, tiresome, and useless modern books, the tide of one of them rivets my eye. It is called ‘Jeanne d’Arc,’ by Anatole France. I have only glanced at it, but a glance was enough to remind me of Renan’s ‘Vie de Jesus.’ It has the same strange method of the reverent sceptic. It discredits supernatural stories that have some foundation, simply by telling natural stories that have no foundation. Because we cannot believe in what a saint did, we are to pretend that we know exactly what he felt. But I do not mention either book in order to criticise it, but because the accidental combination of the names called up two startling images of Sanity which blasted all the books before me. Joan of Arc was not stuck at the cross-roads, either by rejecting all the paths like Tolstoy, or by accepting them all like Nietzsche. She chose a path, and went down it like a thunderbolt. Yet Joan, when I came to think of her, had in her all that was true either in Tolstoy or Nietzsche, all that was even tolerable in either of them. I thought of all that is noble in Tolstoy, the pleasure in plain things, especially in plain pity, the actualities of the earth, the reverence for the poor, the dignity of the bowed back. Joan of Arc had all that and with this great addition, that she endured poverty as well as admiring it; whereas Tolstoy is only a typical aristocrat trying to find out its secret. And then I thought of all that was brave and proud and pathetic in poor Nietzsche, and his mutiny against the emptiness and timidity of our time. I thought of his cry for the ecstatic equilibrium of danger, his hunger for the rush of great horses, his cry to arms. Well, Joan of Arc had all that, and again with this difference, that she did not praise fighting, but fought. We know that she was not afraid of an army, while Nietzsche, for all we know, was afraid of a cow. Tolstoy only praised the peasant; she was the peasant. Nietzsche only praised the warrior; she was the warrior. She beat them both at their own antagonistic ideals; she was more gentle than the one, more violent than the other. Yet she was a perfectly practical person who did something, while they are wild speculators who do nothing. It was impossible that the thought should not cross my mind that she and her faith had perhaps some secret of moral unity and utility that has been lost. And with that thought came a larger one, and the colossal figure of her Master had also crossed the theatre of my thoughts. The same modern difficulty which darkened the subject-matter of Anatole France also darkened that of Ernest Renan. Renan also divided his hero’s pity from his hero’s pugnacity. Renan even represented the righteous anger at Jerusalem as a mere nervous breakdown after the idyllic expectations of Galilee. As if there were any inconsistency between having a love for humanity and having a hatred for inhumanity! Altruists, with thin, weak voices, denounce Christ as an egoist. Egoists (with even thinner and weaker voices) denounce Him as an altruist. In our present atmosphere such cavils are comprehensible enough. The love of a hero is more terrible than the hatred of a tyrant. The hatred of a hero is more generous than the love of a philanthropist. There is a huge and heroic sanity of which moderns can only collect the fragments. There is a giant of whom we see only the lopped arms and legs walking about. They have torn the soul of Christ into silly strips, labelled egoism and altruism, and they are equally puzzled by His insane magnificence and His insane meekness. They have parted His garments among them, and for His vesture they have cast lots; though the coat was without seam woven from the top throughout.” (>>)
“To sum up our contention so far, we may say that the most characteristic current philosophies have not only a touch of mania, but a touch of suicidal mania. The mere questioner has knocked his head against the limits of human thought; and cracked it. This is what makes so futile the warnings of the orthodox and the boasts of the advanced about the dangerous boyhood of free thought. What we are looking at is not the boyhood of free thought; it is the old age and ultimate dissolution of free thought. It is vain for bishops and pious bigwigs to discuss what dreadful things will happen if wild scepticism runs its course. It has run its course. It is vain for eloquent atheists to talk of the great truths that will be revealed if once we see free thought begin. We have seen it end. It has no more questions to ask; it has questioned itself. You cannot call up any wilder vision than a city in which men ask themselves if they have any selves. You cannot fancy a more sceptical world than that in which men doubt if there is a world. It might certainly have reached its bankruptcy more quickly and cleanly if it had not been feebly hampered by the application of indefensible laws of blasphemy or by the absurd pretence that modern England is Christian. But it would have reached the bankruptcy anyhow. Militant atheists are still unjustly persecuted; but rather because they are an old minority than because they are a new one. Free thought has exhausted its own freedom. It is weary of its own success. If any eager freethinker now hails philosophic freedom as the dawn, he is only like the man in Mark Twain who came out wrapped in blankets to see the sun rise and was just in time to see it set. If any frightened curate still says that it will be awful if the darkness of free thought should spread, we can only answer him in the high and powerful words of Mr. Belloc, ‘Do not, I beseech you, be troubled about the increase of forces already in dissolution. You have mistaken the hour of the night: it is already morning.’ We have no more questions left to ask. We have looked for questions in the darkest corners and on the wildest peaks. We have found all the questions that can be found. It is time we gave up looking for questions and began looking for answers.” (>>)
“Life is characterized by long periods of tedium punctuated by moments of frantic action. Sometimes, I will lament my busyness and lament the fact that ‘I never have anytime to read anything, or read my Bible.’ Then, in a moment of tedium, I’ll sit and whittle away precious minutes sitting in front of my computer and staring. Not even doing anything, just sitting. It irritates me to no end that so much of my life is wasted on things I don’t even enjoy doing. There is this grand paradox about human existence that we will pursue exactly that which will destroy us. And it isn’t a fast destruction like Sodom or Gomorrah. It is the slow, plodding asphyxiation of banality. It is the crushing weight of motionless air and human fat.” (>>)
“I never, ever, EVER want to hear from another Evangelical that Catholics aren’t Christians.” (>>)
Chanda witnessed a black hole ripping a star apart. No, not the overpaid, melodramatic brats in Hollywood (entertaining as that would be), but an actual star. There are some animations of what it looked like here (the first is very cool).
“Half the pious ramblings on this site about Predestination, Salvation, Perverse Understandings of Truth, etc etc are just idealistic portrayals of how RealScott knows he should, and wishes he could act and think. And to say ‘Half’ would be flattery. It’s a more than fair consideration that I might not actually believe a single thing written on here. An unhealthy portion of my alleged expressions of humility exist only to ease my strain of guilt from pride. If PretendScott talks to people about how arrogant and prideful he is, then RealScott can avoid having to adjust his actual sentiments, as such supposedly carthatic mournings over sinfulness void out real repentance. Much of what people know of Scott are only ‘crocodile tears.’ ” (>>)
Well, I’ve got co-op interviews tomorrow and Thursday (plus several others that aren’t scheduled yet and a few resume-based positions), and I haven’t had time to prepare BS answers to all the BS questions like, “What are your greatest strength and weakness.” So, I’ll probably go out in a blaze of “uhh”s and “I don’t know”s.
Wouldn’t it be nice if having the skills and character to do a job well was what determined your hiring, rather than how expensive your suit is and how well you can lie? Ah, beautiful America!
Oh well, if you feel like praying, it’d be appreciated :)
“Although I do not doubt the possibility of God choosing to show a person ‘the light’ so they can see the error of their ways, I think we should consider how many people make these sorts of claims, and how different their views are on what God revealed to them. While [one] person’s apparent God-given revelation might let them in on the fact that homosexual action is sinful, another person might be equally convicted that God revealed to them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with homosexual activity.” (>>)
“I suspect the answer there is ‘no, not at all, [off] to the stake with you, heretic.’ But I’m not entirely sure why.” (>>)
“Sitting silent wearing Sunday best /
The sermon echoes through the walls /
A great salvation through it /
Goes to the people who stare into nowhere /
Can’t feel the chains on their souls.
“Someday we’ll trust Him /
And learn how to see Him /
Someday He’ll call us /
And we will come running /
Fall in His arms /
The tears will fall down and we’ll pray,
‘I want to fall in love with You.’ ” (>>)
Alex has written a good entry on legalizing gay marriage. He concentrates mostly on the legal aspect of denying a certain group of people rights based on their sexuality.
I picked up Better Than This by The Normals and Alien Youth by Skillet for $2 each last night @ Half Price Books. They’re both better than I expected.
I had listened to a couple of the songs off The Normals newest album awhile ago and didn’t like it too much. The vocals were kind of awkward, and a lot of the music was boring, but I remember Rob saying that their older stuff was better, and it was only $2, so I decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The vocals on Better Than This are still a bit awkward, but I think they’ll grow on me as I get more familiar with the songs, like with Carry Away. The music is more full and interesting and the lyrics are intimate and honest.
I was skeptical about Alien Youth because it seemed like it might be a bunch of whiny, angst-ridden Goth songs targeted at teenagers, but their worship album is really good, and, again, it was only $2. The music isn’t as as Nine Inch Nails-ish as I was fearing; a lot of it is just semi-hard rock (ala The Benjamin Gate).
So, $4.30 (after tax, of course) for two good albums. All in all, a pretty good night. Well, that is until Ralph kicked my butt at Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit.
Magoo and I are trying to plan an Anti-Valentine’s Day tomorrow. We’re going to get a bunch of single friends together and complain about being single while watching movies and eating lots of ice cream. So, we need 1) a bitter anti-love movie; 2) a hopelessly romantic movie; and 3) two very good flavors of ice cream. Suggestions?
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Red Auerbach
I’m looking for summer internships/co-ops in IT, ideally working with networking, Linux or web design, but I’m open to anything. So, if any of you know of any opportunities I’d be very much abliged if you hook a brother up.
Modern Christian Culture and Spiritual Boredom parts one and two, and then two good responses, the first from Christine and the second from Kristi.
“The band is loud and I’m wandering the shadows wishing I was never here.” (>>)
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” (>>)
“Loneliness and the overwhelming desire for magic and romance will drive people to sanity sometimes.” (>>)
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (>>)
I’m such a jerk.
“Who do i think I am? Who do you think you are? Maybe some kind of better breed of sinner than they are.” (>>)
“I guess in that sense I adopted the motto of Augustine and Anselm (my heroes, by-the-by): credo ut intelligam. I believe in order to understand.” (>>)
“If I could be so bold as to agree with McClaren’s major premise: much of what mainstream evangelicalism offers today as ‘Christianity’ is severely lacking. In fact, I have faced the same problems that Daniel Poole is facing in this book, and I expect that the good pastor’s dilemma plays itself out in the lives of pastor’s all over the world. What I am interested to see is what McClaren proposes as an alternative to Christianity as practiced today.” (>>)
“If R.C. Sproul, Jr., son of a better man, starts announcing things ex cathedra, I won’t be surprised.” (>>)
Five Iron Frenzy is releasing a live recording of their last show in Denver called The End is Here. It’ll be a two-disk set and also contain their last studio album, The End is Near.
The United Devices screensaver is pretty cool. It’s a grid computing project that uses your computer to work on fighting cancer when you’re away from it. Plus, it shows a really impressive, scientific looking image that’ll probably make your boss think you’re hard at work.
“What makes this latest upheaval so disorienting for Americans is its speed. Agriculture jobs provided decent livelihoods for at least 80 years before the rules changed and working in the factory became the norm. Those industrial jobs endured for some 40 years before the twin pressures of cheap competition overseas and labor-saving automation at home rewrote the rules again. IT jobs – the kind of high-skill knowledge work that was supposed to be our future – are facing the same sort of realignment after only 20 years or so. The upheaval is occurring not across generations, but within individual careers. The rules are being rewritten while people are still playing the game.” (>>)
When I was in high-school, my counselor told me that I’d start out making $60,000 a year when I graduated.
“Many Americans have reacted negatively to the Patriot Act’s Orwellian nature. Indeed, 234 cities, towns and counties have now passed resolutions, ordinances or ballot initiatives prohibiting their local police from complying with the Patriot Act.” (>>)