procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, March 31, 2008

prophets, philosophers and apostles

the expander of the prophecy, of the discourse of signs, is a prophet.
the wise man, the philosopher, explains the wonders of wisdom, of cosmic order.
that leaves the apostle.
what do they do?

only one week till my theology/philosophy group meets. (we're reading Saint Paul: the foundation of universalism)


Friday, March 28, 2008

Jülicher on 1 Peter

Just finished my 1 Peter essay.
Didn't get to put this quote in.
(What else are blogs for?)

Every word of the Epistle is directed towards encouraging and strengthening the readers in the face of persecution and suffering: they were not on that account to lose sight of the great hope or to fall back exhausted into the old ways, nay rather, by dwelling in light, love and purity, they must provoke the admiration of their enemies, and advance the victory of the Gospel.
Adolf Jülicher (obviously before Adolf was a name only for tyrants), An Introduction to the New Testament Smith, Elder, & Co.: London, 1904. p206-207

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

would you go back and kill hitler if you could?

this very clever short story, wikihistory, revisits this ever recurring question.

H/T John

sort of reminds me of the youtube vid of wiki at the time of the london bombings:

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

today tonight is not on this weekend

probably just for programming reasons, but still - convinced that Jesus was a crazy, or if not, then a con, what do you do with the resurrection?

what do you do with THAT, Anna Coren?
my guess, going off "current affairs'" form, is to just ignore the past, and turn it into a puff piece, a nice break from the harsh exposés of the last couple of days. I could imagine it going a little something like this:
little palestinian battler, the boy from the bush made good, the unassuming chippie from the north-west keeps a promise that was made a long long time ago
all they then need is a few emotional friends and relo's talkin' him up, maybe a party, and a slow-mo with some moving background music, perhaps even Jessie, or something similarly moving; a montage of key events - hanging out in the temple with the grown ups (the little rascal), reading from Isaiah in the synagogue, losing it in the temple, healing blind Bartimaeus, holding the little children in one arm, a lamb in the other (or perhaps even a velociraptor, and of course the plethora of emotions flowing out of his arrest and crucifixion.
of course the climax (of the montage, as well as the song), comes when Jesus is running out of the tomb, magically transported to the beach, running towards Mary and the disciples, who all fall down in slow-motion, giggling and laughing and crying because they're so happy.

can you think of a better reaction? i can't.
this post probably makes a little more sense in the light of Friday's and Saturday's posts. and if you've read C.S. Lewis anywhere on Liar, Lord or Lunatic
Christ is risen;
He is risen indeed!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jesus the Crackpot

Jesus the confused, Jesus the deluded.
he was just trying to figure out who he was, what his mission on earth was.
it wasn't that he was deliberately trying to mislead people, for he did want to help them, guide them to happiness, to self-empowerment.
as John Carrol's the existential Jesus reveals, all that he tried to do failed. his kingdom failed. his disciples were let down, ashamedly dissociating themselves from him in his last day.

in contrast to today tonight's revelation yesterday that Jesus was a failure, it seems Jesus was perhaps not so much a failure as deluded.
and when you look at it that way, maybe we should give this man a break.
perhaps he too, like Moses, had been on a hallucinogenic road-trip, that ended worse than any teenage road-trip movie could imagine.

who knows? Jesus' embarrassing death shows he was either a crackpot or a con-man.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Today Tonight reveals: Jesus the Fraudster

Jesus the con artist. Jesus the failure.§

the inscription in the photo reads "the King of the Jews", according to John in Aramaic, Greek and Latin (John 19:20)
who he claimed to be, who his disciples were built up to believe he was - he let them all down.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mark 15:29-30)

if A Current Affair, or Today Tonight*, were around in the fourth decade AD, you could picture them standing around the cross, joining in the insults.
Anna Coren, Today Tonight: tell me, Mr Of Nazareth, what do you have to say to your disciples? What do you have to say to the people to whom you promised so much? if you really are who you say you are, why don't you get down off that cross right now and do what you said? you can't, can you. just admit it - you are a con artist. Just say sorry, ok? that's all we want. A simple apology for the way you.....

and the passers by, the chief priests and the scribes, would have been urging her on.
we too, sitting on our couches, eating our T.V. dinners, would have been laughing at those shmucks who were conned by this defrocked fraudster.

§ this post's theme is borrowed from Tony's talk this morning at St Albans, after C.S. Lewis' threefold Liar, Lord or Lunatic distinction.

* A Current Affair, and Today Tonight are two really dodgy shows purporting to investigate the pressing issues affecting Australians today. much credit for this post must go to Anna Coren's interview of Corey Delaney, which is very inspiring indeed. watch her hard-hitting interview here

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vale Arthur C. Clarke

checking the tv guide, i noted with sadness that Arthur C. Clarke has died.

i have much to say on him, see here, here, and here. in his writing he has greatly shaped the way i think of science fiction versus science fact, and he has given me much cause to think, with regards to his humanistic thinking.

i am especially fondly reminded of the Asimov-Clarke interaction, particularly manifest in the Asimov-Clarke Treaty, whereby Asimov would dedicate his books, "from the second-best science fiction writer, to the second-best science fact writer."

a recent collection i picked up, Report on Planet Three: And Other Speculations (1972), showed just how broad his interests and areas of expertise were. the way he describes the richness of his life in his adopted home, Sri Lanka is particularly colourful.

he is someone i would have loved to meet.
i'll wrap up this post with his three laws (an obvious act of one-up-manship to Asimov),
  1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
laws cut and pasted from here


Monday, March 17, 2008

martin luther - moi? reports,
Auf den Spuren des Reformators: Lutherweg wird Ende März eröffnet

  • you too could nail the 95 theses to the church door

  • you too could yell at Charles the 5th in Worms (if you could stop laughing at being in a place called Worms, "it's pronounced vurms, you dolt")

  • you too could sit locked up in Wartburg, imagining you are translating afresh the holy scriptures

as you join with thousands of other holy pilgrims on this 410km pilgrimage, you will surely be made holier than any thou

so sign up now, send blank cheques to:
1 King St
or leave banking details in the comments section.

more details here

Thursday, March 13, 2008

top played songs?

from, here, he posted his 25 most played songs on his ipod/itunes.
there are obvious slants, ie how old the songs are (eg dzihan&kamien was the first album i uploaded)
i've also cheated - i included a couple that were the same number count - the last 6 all being played 15 times

  1. Love Power – Skeewiff
  2. Twisted – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
  3. This Year – The Mountain Goats
  4. Thin As Clouds – Chokebore
  5. drophere – dzihan&kamien
  6. Weightless – Chokebore
  7. Take a Bullet – Dan Brodie
  8. ABC – Jackson 5
  9. Another Rainy Day – Corinne Bailey Rae
  10. I've Been Loving You Too Long – The Hiptones
  11. Caravan – Nueva Manteca
  12. The King Is Dead – Kent
  13. 11.30 – Mattafix
  14. thrill – dzihan&kamien
  15. Music Non Stop – Kent
  16. Why Didn't You Call Me – Macy Gray
  17. Heaven Is a Halfpipe – OPM
  18. airport – dzihan&kamien
  19. Good Times Bad Times – Led Zeppelin
  20. don't go there – 24-K (from Dangerous Minds)
  21. Choking – Angus and Julia Stone
  22. White People For Peace – Ben Lee
  23. Celebration Day – Led Zeppelin
  24. Underground – Ben Folds Five
  25. New Wave – Ben Lee
  26. It's Not Up To You – Björk
  27. Heirloom – Björk
  28. Kerb Krawler – Ed Rush & Optical
  29. Friends – Led Zeppelin

(if someone can post html hints on how to do this properly, i would be grateful)

please post at least your top 5, or at least a link, and i'll add them as they pile in!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

little boxes

i remember back in 1994 being in a car driving through rural england, listening to the song "little boxes" on the radio; in my mind it was Bob Downe singing (although that would've been very odd), here is the song complete with claymation:

thanks to Trevor Cairney, the director of CASE, i was reminded of this song via his post reflecting on the "ticky-tacky" nature of existence, the search for meaning therein.

one of the things we always feel we must fight against is the sameness that our circumstances often require of us. the conformity necessitated simply by our needing to fit in, to be accepted, to not cause waves. (of course, i can't help but think of Monty Python's Life of Brian, "yes, we are all individuals!" click here for old time's sake!)

but to what extent should we desire that individuality? to what extent should we seek to put off the identifying features of ourselves that we might better work towards a common goal?

sure we should all be the members of the body we were made to be (c/f 1Cor12), but there is also a good sameness required of Christ-followers, an adherence to Jesus' teaching and example, a like-mindedness, a unity of spirit, a unity in spirit, as stars in the same sky doing the same thing.

do you see where i'm coming from?

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Monday, March 10, 2008

slowly emerging

on the emerging church, Rick McKinley writes,
This is a new thing that God is doing and we should respect it as such. When we force the emerging church to define themselves in order to put them into camps it is the equivalent of telling a ten year old to declare what his major in college is going to be. Telling him that if he does not hurry up and figure it out, then there is no telling where he will end up. We are essentially scaring the hell out of him. Putting a yoke upon him that will crush all the life and creativity that is, by nature of being young, the thing we are all attracted to in the first place.

i like a lot about Rick - he's a thoughtful guy, trying to think stuff thru, and being up-front and honest about it. check out his (very infrequently updated) blog, or, probably better, his talks.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

N.T. Wright and wrong

apologies for lack of recent blogtivity

been thinking about N.T. Wright (haven't we all?)
did a quick search on him, found out some very interesting facts:

  1. If you chew gum while peeling Tom Wright then it will stop you from crying.
  2. The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten Tom Wright.
  3. The first domain name ever registered was Tom
  4. Tom Wright can sleep for three and a half years.
  5. Tom Wright can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated!
  6. Tom Wright has only one weakness - the colour yellow!
  7. Tom Wright is the oldest playable musical instrument in the world.
  8. All the moons of the Solar System are named after characters from Greek and Roman mythology, except the moons of Uranus, which are named after Tom Wright.
  9. The Tom Wright-fighting market in the Philippines is huge - several thousand Tom Wright-fights take place there every day.
  10. All swans in England belong to Tom Wright.

from here, H/T John

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

empty church or full mosque

that's the question raised by a senator in Hamburg,
Karin von Welck said,
"Bevor ein Gotteshaus abgerissen wird, würde ich es lieber als Moschee an eine islamische Gemeinde abgeben."
full story here
("before a church gets torn down, i'd rather give it as a mosque to an Islamic congregation.")

and you can understand it - i mean, churches turning into mosques? - it's been happening for millenia.
just never in a Christian-state-sanctioned way.
and new churches starting up in Germany are using non-church premises like cinemas or other premises because of the negative connotations tied up with the traditional idea of church and church buildings.

or should i care? i'm not sure.
do you?

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