The Quest for the Historical Jesus

The “Quest for the Historical Jesus” is neither historical nor a quest.  Discuss.

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm  Comments (2)  

We Hate the Wedding

“Which do you hate more,” I asked, “the wedding or the jewelery store?”

She replied, “That’s like asking who was meaner, Hitler or Stalin?!?”

We’re 35 days away from the Big Day.  I now approach it with stoic resolve.  Then again, I don’t have to wear the dress.  Or go to the fittings.  Or suffer through the shower.  Or have my gender identity questioned because of failing to embrace glitter and glam, but that is exactly what jewelery stores do to women with simple tastes.   And so the love of my life now hates the day that everyone tells her should be the best day of her life.  Damn.  We should have eloped.

Bratz vs. Barbie

Special guest-contributor the Future Mrs. Faithfool.

“What’s the point of Bratz? To get girls excited about dressing like whores. At least Barbie dresses with class.”

27 Ways to Lose your Balls

Few movies promise to be as utterly emasculating as this year’s 27 Dresses. As the title and trailer indicate, this movie ought to contain nothing that appeals to the typical male viewer. It’s refreshing, really, to see a major studio sending out a big #$&* you to their primary demographic.

“But it’s got Katherine Heigl,” some might argue. “She’s supposed to be hot.”

So was Princess Diana. Do you see me reading the biography?

What baffles me is that they’re not even trying for cross-over appeal. This isn’t a date movie. This is a cut-off-your-balls-for-a-few-hours-and-sew-them-back-on kind of movie. (Don’t ask me how they get sewed back on; I’m not a doctor; and yes, it’s “sewn.”)

In short: the title says it all. If your girlfriend/wife/signif-oth drags you to this one, she owes you big time. You just surrendered your manhood.

If you don’t believe that Jesus is God, why not Tom Cruise? Or FM-2030?

If you’re not sure Tom Cruise is crazy, check out his interview expressing his hope to “create a new reality… with enough love, compassion, and toughness.”  I miss Jesus already.  (Helpful explanations of his jargon here.)

Yet Scientology is part of the larger movement of transhumanism, and they’re not even the craziest ones in the movement.  Not to be confused with transsexuality, which this is not the place to discuss, transhumanists hope to incorporate advances in technology and “spirituality” to become immortal, post-human entities (and sometimes cyborgs).

I originally entitled this post “Science Fiction + religion – God = 😦 ” but changed when I realized that some might infer atheist non-cult-members, many of whose views I greatly respect, as being lumped along with self-theist psychos. I value dialog with people of other beliefs, but even I have my limits and and some point have to cry, “Dude, that’s loco!”

Worship someone, please, but not your future self.

Expect More Stupid

Deep down, I wish I had been an English major.  Nowhere is that more clear than on my morning commute.  

I am slighly distressed when I see the sign from the casino: “Lose track of time.  And inhibitions.”  I realize that I wasn’t keeping track of my inhibitions in the first place. 

I see the sign “Prairie Rehab” above a patch of grass near the overpass, and I stiffle laughter at the imagined, crack-smoking prairie dogs in my head. 

But I cannot tolerate the bank slogan : “Expect more easy.”  Now, “Expect more.  Easy!” would have been fine.  While ineffective in an ad, “expect more easily” would at least have been grammatically correct.  But this verb needs a noun for an object, and “easy” is not a noun.  What were they thinking?  Do they not know that people with degrees in this stuff are looking for jobs?

Facebookworm

I said I never would, but here I am, fixated by facebook.  One more e-habit to kick.  It sucks you in, offering flimsy connections to solid friends (and solid connections to flimsy friends?).  What will they think of next?  And how long will it take before I cave in?

“Service” = Sales = Suck

We live in a “service-based economy,” they say.  This sounds like a great idea, but the sad reality is that service equals sales.  Health insurance companies are not a services, they are businesses.  Their goal is to turn a profit, not to help you.

And so it was that I wasted half an hour yesterday at a cell phone store, trying to buy an accessory that they have in stock, but walked away empty-handed because I was not allowed to buy anything unless being directly helped by a sales representative, and the one sales rep spent 30 minutes serving two people.   

But it isn’t as if they didn’t have enough of a staff budget.  Just inside the door was Ad Girl.  I asked her to help me, but she said she couldn’t do anything but show me how I could watch T.V. on my phone, an utterly amazing, utterly useless feat.

I’m a strange shopper, I suppose.  I decide what I want before I walk in the door, I go in, buy it, and get out.  But require me to work through your sales staff, who will attempt to suggestively sell me things I don’t need, and I’m liable to take my business somewhere else.  Thanks for wasting my time.

Can you hear me now?

“God Loves Me, So I Can Do Whatever I Want…”

The Problem With Catchy Slogans

I have a friend named “Joe.”  While he would claim to be a Christian, Joe thinks that he can do whatever he wants.  Anything.  He life lacks any sort of responsibility or accountability.  His response: “Once saved, always saved” and “God loves me the way I am.”

Catchy slogans are useful, because they can express truth in memorable ways.  But the problem is that, taken in isolation, they can represent falsehoods.  Joe’s slogans are derived from the Bible, but without the Bible they are misleading, just as freedom of speech does not function apart our other legal rights and responsibilities:  you cannot say whatever you want whenever you want (shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater, etc.).

I do believe that the Bible teaches that God will protect his own until the very end (John 17;  Romans 8:38).  Calvinists call this the “perseverance of the saints,” although many other groups hold to similar beliefs.  But how can you know that you are “saved” if your life does not reflect your professed faith?

God loves you, he really does.  But his is not the love of a dismissive and permissive parent (Deism?).  His is the love of an actively involved father, working in the lives of his children, calling them to himself.  His is the love of an artist, wooing his creation ever more into his own image. 

I think of the prophet Hosea, called by God to marry the prostitute named Gomer (what a name!) to be an example of the kind of love God has for his wayward people.  “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one. ‘I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ”You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.'”” Hosea 2:23Yet we want something for nothing.  The offer of grace, of God’s forgiveness, is free.  It costs nothing to grasp hold of it.  But it costs everything to keep hold of it.  The better slogan is “God loves you the way you are, but he is not content to leave you that way.” 

Bonhoeffer called the cop-out “cheap grace.”   It is “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,… grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ” (The Cost of Discipleship).  Cheap grace is not grace.

Lazy faith is not faith.

Speaking of Conspiracies….

 Chris Paine has given us one more reason why open-minded Republican-sympathizers (they exist!) should be careful what they watch.

His 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? only mounts a secondary attack against right-wing politicians.  Big business and big oil are center-stage.  They seem to have screwed over the little guy, yet again.

I feel angry and sad, but mostly angry.  I tried to think of other historical incidents when the very technology we had longed for was within our grasp – we already had it! – and we let it slip away.  I tried, but I couldn’t find anything else this collosally depressing.

We have lost great technologies before, only to later regain them.  But have we ever lost them on purpose?

Kind of reminds me of what Dark Helmet once said: “So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”

Evil can be pretty dumb, too.  If we were not dependent on foreign oil….