Friday, February 20, 2009

Slacker Truth

I love Fred Clark. Srsly. If he weren't already married, I'd propose to him. In his latest Left Behind (ok, Trib Force) deconstruction, he totally pwns LaHaye and Jenkins and RTC theology:

This reimagining or repackaging of the TF's mission seems to show that the authors recognize, on some level, that their normal concept of the Christian life isn't very exciting. ... LaHaye and Jenkins' version of life, mission and ministry is neither difficult nor adventurous.

It's pretty dull, actually, consisting mainly of sitting around praying and abstaining from a long list of things until finally Jesus comes back to get us before we die.

Even Jerry Jenkins seems to realize that prayer, compulsive abstention and lots of sitting around and waiting would make a lousy plot for a series of novels. I'm not sure he appreciates that it also makes a lousy plot for anyone's life story. As such, it also makes a lousy basis for evangelism. "Want to join us?" "Join you doing what?" "Um, well, not much of anything, actually." Not a compelling invitation.

In earlier posts this week, Fred addresses Young Earth Creationism. YEC is one of my personal peeves. Fred's peeved too. And dismayed. All I can say is, Fred articulates what's wrong with YEC far better than I ever could.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Sense and Sensibility, thus far:

Seven Chakras:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A man, a plan, a really cool YouTube

Posting this just because I can.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I knew that new Pepsi logo was lame...

... and apparently someone else thinks so too...

love (eleventy bazillion and one)

Sense, Sensibility and Getting Incensed

So on teh Rav I got sucked into Yet Another Fiber Club... the Castle Fibers Jane Austen yarn 'n' book club. The first installment came last Friday in a cute little box... the Sense and Sensibility sock kit. Pretty, isn't it? Plus it came with really cute stitch markers. I'm on about the 4th rep of the cuff pattern, it's a ripple/lace sort of like (but not exactly) Feather and Fan. Also I'm on about chapter 13 or 14 of the book. I can really relate to Elinor's and Marianne's romantic woes...

Meanwhile over the weekend I finished up Seven Chakras, a/k/a the tsuspense project. It's drying after being blocked so no pics yet. EDIT to add: At top of post is a pic I took today (Thursday) with my phone... yes that is my foot :-D

On getting incensed... somehow yesterday I wound up in a shitstorm on teh Rav. I won't go into the details, but the Readers' Digest version is that I got massively triggered by a discussion of Biblical submission in marriage, and should you submit to a husband who clearly doesn't deserve it, and blah blah blah, and I posted some stuff I probably shouldn't have. Or more accurately, the stuff I posted, I posted in anger or as a reaction to being triggered, not in love.

So. How does one keep one's cool when being triggered? Shit happens, even to the best of us. Paul wrote,

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Rom. 7:15-20. A few verses later, Paul posits the question and the answer: "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Hm. Wonder if it's time to reread Romans? After all, it liberated St. Augustine, and it liberated Martin Luther...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Deep thoughts, or not

One should not have deep thoughts on a Friday morning. Especially not while driving to work when one can't write out those deep thoughts. Guess I should have dictated them into my Blackberry... oh well...

I finished reading Searching for God Knows What by Don Miller over breakfast. I got a lot out of it. I'll have to reread it, prolly in the not too distant future.

I wonder what God thinks about the people who get his message wrong, the people who screw up his message to the point that it drives other people away. I look at some of the posts on Ravelry to the effect of "this _________ (fill in the blank) bullshit is why I'm not a Christian (or why I'm not religious)." Yesterday one of the topics was a site that sells t-shirts that say things like "ex-adulterer" or "ex-fornicator" or "ex-hypocrite." I looked at the t-shirt site, didn't see any of Jesus' love anywhere on there.

Having been exposed to rigid, extreme, legalistic religious views, I now have only pity for those who hold those views to the point of driving others away from God. They're going to have an interesting conversation with God at some point...

All I know is, God wants a relationship with us, and I've let the stumbling blocks keep me from that for way too long.

More on this later...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dyed, redyed, and renewed

'K, you know the sock yarn I dyed with Kool-Aid, that I blogged about here? I decided I wasn't happy about it and decided to overdye it with Jacquard dye in a mixture of vermilion and sky blue. The results:

Pretty, wouldn't you agree? A lovely wine-dark color, with some lighter reddish-purple highlights. I like it much much much better than the original.

And here's some Bare sock yarn I dyed in sort of a spruce green, blending Jacquard dye in sapphire blue, yellow sun, and a little black to mute it:

Been doing a lot of reading and thinking the past several days. Philip Yancey and Donald Miller have given voice to so many of my concerns, stumbling blocks, bĂȘtes noires, etc. On the question of why God allows screwed-up teachings and heretical theologies: Yancey observes in Disappointment with God that God delegated His work on earth and His holiness on earth to us flawed humans. God takes a huge risk in doing so - the risk that we will "badly misrepresent him." And Christians have misrepresented God throughout history - the Crusades, anti-Semitism, slavery, misogyny, homophobia, the Religious Right. But that was still God's plan. Paul referred to that as "the foolishness of God" and observed. "And yet the foolishness of God is wiser than men." Somehow, it works more often than not, even if we humans screw it up from time to time.

On the subject of how some of God's delegates on earth really screw it up and make God look bad: Donald Miller writes about how Robert Tilton was exposed on TV as having stolen money from his flock, was disgraced, and lost his ministry. Miller observes, "[G]uys like Robert Tilton make me like Jesus more because the people Jesus had the least patience with were the people who said they represented God but didn't." Miller finds that he actually feels sorry for Tilton, for what Tilton will face when he goes before God at the final judgment. He notes that "God-imposters" don't really worship God, they worship their own little god that they have made in their own image, instead of the other way around. I'm still not sure what the answer here is, except that we shouldn't try to make God in our own image, not when He did it the other way around.

Anyway. I'm kind of feeling like my overdyed yarn. Not happy the way things came out originally (or the way things were for several years), but I'm being overdyed and coming out better. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense. I guess I'm still in the dye pot and haven't been rinsed and dried yet, so I don't know exactly what color I'll come out as. I just know it'll be better than what was.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

High brow and middle brow faith...

Andrew Sullivan is teh awesome:

When theoconservatism inevitably retreats in the face of evolving human thought and enduring human faith, the full implications of Darwin for Christianity will emerge. In my view, both will be strengthened. Christianity can and will survive by embracing the truths of science for what they are. Faith and Truth cannot definitionally compete. What we are going through is an evolutionary moment of theological transformation. As it happens, we see more dust than light. In the future, more light.

Sullivan is commenting on this post by Jim Manzi on The American Scene, in which Manzi criticizes a Jerry Coyne review of two books on science and religion in The New Republic. Most trenchantly, Manzi writes:

By about the year 400, Augustine described a view of Creation in which “seeds of potentiality” were established by God, which then unfolded through time in an incomprehensibly complicated set of processes. By the 13th century, Aquinas — working with the thought of Aristotle and Augustine — identified God with ultimate causes, while accepting naturalistic interpretations of secondary causes. Today, the formal position of the Catholic church, incorporating this long train of thought, is that there is no conflict between evolution through natural selection and Catholic theology. So, in this example, we’re describing an orientation supported by those esoteric theologians Augustine and Aquinas, and promulgated today by that so-liberal-he’s-practically-an-atheist Pope Benedict in that weirdo minority Roman Catholic sect. You know, “unrecognizable as religion to most Americans.”