procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Friday, October 27, 2006

the allure of monasticism

i've been thinking again about the allure of monasticism.
when i start losing my hair, in the familiar pattern of the bald patch sort of postero-superiorly (you know where i mean...), it could be quite nice to just hang out and, well, just hang.
we never seem to get the time to just focus on the important things - as opposed to King Edmund, who took a year off to learn the Psalms off by heart (he later became St Edmund, after being martyred).

i talk i once heard stuck with me, where the point was that knowing we're in the last days should be a spur - not to go out and tell everyone, but rather,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:25

so, has anyone else shared this longing?
can i up and go join the taize community? who's with me?

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Friday, October 20, 2006

U2 : above the rest

i very nearly wet myself listening to U2's new single.
check it out here.

unless you really like them that is...

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Monday, October 16, 2006

the nature of the incarnation

i thought people might apprectiate this quote from Augustine. i'm not sure where it's from - it's quoted here.
    He it is by whom all things were made, and who was made one of all things; who is the revealer of the Father, the creator of the Mother; the Son of God by the Father without a mother, the Son of man by the Mother without a father; the Word who is God before all time, the Word made flesh at a fitting time, the maker of the sun, made under the sun; ordering all the ages from the bosom of the Father, hallowing a day of today from the womb of the Mother; remaining in the former, coming forth from the latter; author of the heaven and the earth, sprung under the heaven out of the earth; unutterably wise, in His wisdom a babe without utterance; filling the world, lying in a manger.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

cool music. uncool musicians.

sort of following on from the previous discussions, how do we sort out the discontinuity with the cool-ness of music, with the un-cool-ness of the musicians?
a couple of cases in point are:

  • miles davis: drug addict, child neglecter, wife beater
  • queen: hopelessly amoral. not just the obvious reasons either
  • foofighters: support a "charity" claiming AIDS is a conspiracy
  • janis joplin, jimi hendrix, jim morrison: members of the so-called "27 club", all who died drug-related deaths (at age 27)

  • now, i love the music these people make, despite their (a)moral standing, but i sometimes ask the question, if they would have made the music they did, were they not the type of people they were?
    i wonder whether their life of excess, and the resultant polarising affect they had (have) on people, actually drove them to create the kind of music they did

    (of course, this applies to artists aswell - think brett whitley, h.r.geiger et al)

    whilst i have nothing against the sons of korah, the creative edge we see in these others is often breathtaking.
    perhaps it's all to do with the closeness between genius and madness.
    maybe someone can point me in the direction of a morally upstanding, well-collected, widely renowned, genius? i, as always, am happy to be reproved.

    this isn't about dissing these people who i regard as gifted. however i'm quite happy for you to diss the idea

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    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    the question of the phoenix

    following my most successful post ever (one of these days i'll crack 10, is there anything more gratifying? that's a retorical question, btw), the question below was raised from my good friend alphabet soup:

    "Some Christians are against embryonic stem cell research. For argument's sake, if such research were approved in Australia and did yield cures for some diseases, should those same Christians refuse the resultant treatments e.g. for Alzheimer's?
    "Should Christians who have a problem with Maccas also not use Ronald McDonald's House on principle?"

    i guess i would argue that the genesis of the technology may be less important than the technology itself.
    that is to say, from my interest in science history* that the way particular inventions came about were often at best chance, often by-products (think alchemy) of ingenious, yet mad, or greedy, or misled "scientists", would lead me to say that there would be very little we could continue to use, were we to determine the morality of the wakening of each invention. not that we shouldn't be discerning. that is something i believe each person should be, rather:

    Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[...]

    we know that when men do things we may perceive as evil, intended for evil (such as Joseph and his bro's), God uses them for his good purposes. we can have confidence, so long as it does not offend our consciences - for that is sin, that God uses all things for the good of those who love him.

    just as the phoenix was reborn from the fire, alzheimers sufferers may be reborn from embryonic stem cell research, and go on to love and serve the LORD. that we may disagree with their means and methodologies, may believe that the same, or even better result may be gained via use of adult stem cells, reflects on our views now towards research. not towards the good that may be gained thru it.

    again, Acts 24:16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
    if your conscience is not clear, don't do it. if it is, especially towards God, then that's between you and God.

    (and no, i'd probably see if there was someone who would be able to show hospitality to his brother in Christ and stay on their couch rather than at ronald's place. i think.)

    * read the left hand of the electron by isaac asimov. just do. you won't regret it!

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    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    one-stop shop two

    A quote from John Chapman at the MTS Challenge Conference (formerly known as Club 5):
    We need to be like the Americans and plant churches next to the Golden Arches.
    I think this may have been borrowed by him from someone else, but nevertheless it is something to think about; how different to the world do we need to be? If there's nothing wrong with Maccas, why not use them for us?
    (if you really believe this, don't look here!)
    welcome to St Ronalds. here's your outline. would you like fries with that?

    (i especially like the reminder of the promise God made with Noah in Genesis 9! any out-there theories of what the rainbow may have to do with Maccas are welcome.)

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