Sunday, February 01, 2015

Some Links For A Snowy Sunday

Thanks to the decidedly un-fiercely named Winter Storm Linus there is not much going on around the area so we are, for a change, home and not fielding calls from Amish looking for a ride every five minutes. So how about some links I have been sitting on for a while?

I actually just read this one today, The Way We Eat Now. I appreciated the author's look at some of the issues surrounding the "organic" food snobbery in America. She is responding to another article that defines the food wars as somewhat a class issue, sort of like what we see in the movie Food Inc. Her point is that eating decent food is less an issue of money than it is a lack of time and knowledge. People don't think they have the time to eat well by preparing food and fewer and fewer families have someone who knows how to prepare food from scratch. In our haste to avoid any thing that looks like traditional gender roles we have an entire generation or more of women who are utterly unprepared for traditional motherhood so they subcontract out the basic tasks like child care to daycare centers and meal preparation to pre-prepared food that tends to be cheap but also not terrible nutritious. We can eat better than we do but it is going to take some time and some effort to relearn the art of making decent food from basic ingredients.

An Ohio parent was banned from high school sporting events for berating students who were, in his opinion, insufficiently respectful during the national anthem. He of course is getting praise from many people who weren't at the actual event. I would have probably have agreed with this parent a few years ago, people who didn't stand or remove their hats as a gesture of respect at events would irritate me to no end. Now? The whole thing smacks of collectivism and fascism. You are required to provide a show of loyalty to the state by following a particular observance which includes standing at attention for a flag. As someone who values liberty I can think of little less in line with liberty than people being forced to make a largely empty public gesture toward a piece of cloth. As a Christian I find the idea to be at odds with following Christ alone as King. The Pledge of Allegiance, which when you think about it has kind of an ominous sound to the title, standing at attention in a quasi-military posture in front of a flag, along with other required cultural shows of obedience to the state, really have no place for me anymore.

Recently Jorge Bergoglio, aka "Pope Francis", visited the Philippines. Ahead of his visit there was a parade where a statue intended to look lie Jesus Christ was paraded through the street. The results were horrifying in multiple ways.

A raucous Roman Catholic procession in which up to a million Filipinos packed the streets of the capital for a chance to get close to a centuries-old statue of Jesus Christ left two men dead and about 1,000 hurt, officials said Saturday, in a prelude to a much larger turnout expected during next week's visit by Pope Francis.

Huge crowds jostled for 20 hours Friday around a carriage carrying the wooden Black Nazarene with a cross along Manila's streets. The faithful threw small towels at volunteers on the carriage to wipe parts of the cross and the statue in the belief that the Nazarene's mystical powers to cure ailments and provide good health and fortune will rub off on them.

One volunteer accompanying the statue died of a heart attack. Another man was found lifeless on the ground, apparently pinned by the people's massive surge toward Quiapo Church at the end of procession before dawn Saturday, said Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Nearly 1,000 were treated for cuts, bruises, dizziness and hypertension, said Gwen Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross.

That is simply primitive paganism on display. My heart aches for those deceived into adoration for a carved idol. I pray for workers to take the true message of Christ to these lost souls and for the Holy Spirit to draw them out of paganism dressed up as the Way and into the light of Christ that needs no rituals or idols.

Three great posts from Dave Black I wanted to share: Discontinuity Old Testament To New; Applying Amos and How Those Who Have Should Give. I really liked all three of these, especially the first one. I think a great deal of the differences between the various denominations and streams of the church can be pegged to how each understands the continuity or lack thereof between the Old Covenant and the New. I would say, speaking rather broadly, that most of the high church, infant baptizing parts of the church tend to overlook the discontinuity of the two. Dave agrees (or perhaps I should say I agree with Dave in deference to his having been studying these questions longer than I have been a believer). I liked his inclusion of Anabaptist Pilgram Marpeck's view of the two covenants:

Marpeck’s point is that revelation was progressive and partial before Christ. He felt that the Reformers had mistaken the foundation of the house for the house itself. Marpeck’s two-covenant theology was based on Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the Epistle to the Hebrews, which taught that the highest court of appeal for all teaching concerning the church was the New Covenant. In short, he argued that the Scriptures must be interpreted Christologically.

Exactly, All Scripture is of equal worth and value but how we apply the text under the Old and the New is different and failing to distinguish between the two causes all manner of problems. Check out his essays, the essay on Amos and on finances are likewise quite convicting. 

An interesting post in an unexpected place, Biblical Reasons to Doubt The Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods. Justin Taylor writes for the Gospel Coalition on the topic of six-day, young earth creationism and suggests that perhaps the Scriptures don't give us a literal 6, 24 hour day series of events. This is unusual in that creationism is usually a line of demarcation. Liberals reject it, conservatives embrace it. I hold to a six 24 hour day creationist position and I don't find Justin's arguments to be terribly persuasive but I appreciate that his approach is based more on Scripture than the lame attempt to not be thought ignorant typically seen from "progressives". The only compelling case I have come up with for an "old(-er) earth" position is not one I have seen in print anywhere, although I am sure it is somewhere, that Adam and Eve were in the garden for an indeterminate length of time prior to the Fall. I don't think it totally makes sense that God creates Eve from Adam and then a few hours or days later the Fall happens. Pre-Fall they would have been essentially immortal so who knows how long they were in the garden? Anyway I think it is a better hermeneutic to accept the six days as actual days rather than starting off the Bible by explaining why it doesn't say what it says. 

This is a pretty good essay from what is probably an otherwise sketchy source: Putting Away the Sword of Self Defense: Scriptural Reflections of a Pentecostal Pacifist. I am not anyone's idea of a Pentecostal so I assume that a lot of what this guy writes and thinks I would disagree with but this was a pretty decent post on the topic of the sword and self-defense.

Enjoy and stay safe in the face of the fury of Winter Storm Linus (unless you live in the South)

1 comment:

Aussie John said...


Some good stuff. The Philippines matter was a disgusting display of paganism, people worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.

It was a display of a mere mortal revelling in the adulation which is alone due to the Lord,Jesus Christ!