Long ago, I blogged about how ‘impactful’ is not a word. And yet it spreads through our language like a cancer. Now Bill Gates is using it! Also, check out the caption to the picture in this story. “Discerningly” where it should read “disconcertingly.” Language idiocy is spreading fast.
I had coffee yesterday morning with an Anglican brother who I have only recently met. Yesterday was his 28th anniversary. Then in the afternoon we went up to D.C. for a truly beautiful wedding at our old church, the Church of the Resurrection. I thought it was a nice picture, provided by God, of one marriage that has matured and survived for many, many years, and another one that is just starting out on its way.
The Anglican wedding liturgy is just the best. We’ve seen it done twice this summer and I think it can’t be beat. I wish Rach and I had been Anglicans when we were married because I think it would have been perfect for us. Being at Resurrection was very painful for us, because our church situation is less than ideal. We are in the wilderness looking for churches, and Resurrection feels like home. It seems like maybe we should do whatever it takes to move closer to the city and reconnect with the church, because maybe that is what God called us to Virginia for in the first place. I just don’t know. So the wedding was bittersweet – seeing real joy and a lovely bride and groom, and yet wishing we were part of the church again instead of being stuck in the lame suburban churches that we are encompassed with.
Holy smokes, the Verve are back together again! The stars have aligned, the planets are singing, one of the best bands ever is back together!! Buy some feelings from a vending machine and hang on.
Good words from one of my favorite Catholic brothers:
We are facing an entire re-configuration of civilization, a manipulated social revolution of unprecedented proportions. On every level, it is fundamentally a crisis of truth (and therefore also a crisis of love). Certainly, the specific field of Education is greatly in need of a revitalization of the formative and evangelical dimensions, if we hope to give the full riches of our Catholic faith to the coming generations. St. Paul reminds us in one of his epistles that teachers will be judged on the Last Day with a particular stringency because of their great responsibility. I would say, moreover, that all of the cultural life of man is education in its broadest sense—and so the responsibility is also very great for those who write and speak and preach and create in any form. For all of us, it is never enough just to impart “dead letters”, not even true dead letters. We are all called to impart true living words. In order to do this we must plunge deep into prayer, sacrifice, humility—and courage.
Why don’t missionaries ever hand out Doctrine and Covenants? Why is it always (only) the Book of Mormon?
We canceled Dish a couple weeks ago so I now have two channels to watch. I don’t watch much TV anyway, mostly just EWTN (the Catholic channel). I watched Mass and the Journey Home on ETWN quite a bit. But now I have two lousy channels, and to make matters worse, they are from Charlottesville, not D.C. That means that instead of the best in the nation kind of reporters you get on the D.C. channels, we have right out of college hicks from Charlottesville reporting the local bake sale on the news at 10. It makes me feel like I live in the sticks and it depresses me, so I watch even less.
Although I don’t watch TV much, I do like the feeling of having it all there and available to be watched if I wanted to watch it. Don’t ask me why. I have been comforting myself by watching clips of Sports Center on ESPN online and clips of Colbert at Comedy Central.
I’m working on a paper that looks at the Temples in the Book of Mormon (BOM). At first glance this seems like a pretty cut and dry issue – Deuteronomy forbids sanctuaries outside of the one that God chooses, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem. Deuteronomy 12:13-14 says:
Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, but at the place that the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.
The story of the BOM is that Jews from the tribe of Manasseh who live in Jerusalem immediately before its fall head to America. They are called the Nephites. One of the first things they do is build a temple – and later others. But this violates the law right? I believe so, however, there are objections, such as:
1) There were other Jewish temples, such as the ones at Elephantine and Leontopolis in Egypt.
2) Perhaps these Nephites were not aware of the law in Deuteronomy – witness the finding of the law in Josiah’s day.
3) The law has a wide range of interpretations and we don’t know what those interpretations consisted of in those days.
4) The Nephites held New Covenant views of the coming of Christ and held the ‘Melchizedek priesthood’ which enabled them to do things that those in Judah could not do.
There are other objections to. I believe all of these can be answered, but it is more of a thicket to work through then it appears to be at first glance. If anyone has knowledge on these topics, please let me know.
I had never heard of dog fighting until the story about Michael Vick surfaced a few months ago. Now I know more than I wish I did. From ESPN:
Sometimes, dogs weren’t fed to “make it more hungry for the other dog.”
Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.
I am not surprised that this happens in our country or our world. Think about it, 1.3 million babies are killed in the womb each year – out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps 17,500 human beings are trafficked to the U.S. annually. Degradation abounds in the pornography that we supply to the world. We are a culture of barbarism, covered over by a veneer of respectability and middle class ‘normalcy.’ Sometimes this veil gets lifted – look at the aftermath of Katrina when New Orleans turned into something out of Mad Max.
The Vick case is yet another example that our society is in need of re-evangelization – every generation needs to be evangelized anew. Dog fighting appears to be big in the Bible belt states, if that means anything. It’s obvious that our culture doesn’t care about life outside of our own lives. I’m really not sure what can be done about any of this other than prayer. We’ll hear a lot of sports talk radio and TV going on and on about the horrors of dog fighting – rightfully so. But I am willing to venture that a lot of those same citizens think that killing babies in utero is a choice that a society grants to adults. The blindness and callousness is hard to take.
Oleg Grabar on the Islamic attitude towards art:
In order to test the Queen of Sheba, and ultimately to demonstrate his superiority over her, Solomon orders the construction of a sarh covered with or built of slabs of glass or of crystal (Suran 27.45)…The peculiarity of whatever it is that Solomon built is that it is supposed to be interpreted by the Queen of Sheba as a body of water, as something different from what it really is. The pious implications of the story need not concern us here, but what is important is that a work is manufactured in order to create an illusion of reality. Two aspects of the story are pertinent to Islamic attitudes toward the arts, in partial contradiction with each other. One is that a work of art is something to wonder about, to be amazed by; it belongs to the category of wondrous things that become known as the ajaib (pl. of ajib, “wonderful” or “astonishing”), a term used constantly to praise manufactured items of all sorts. The other implication is that a work of art is a falsehood, a lie, because it gives you the impression of something that is not. It can be seen, therefore, as reprehensible, and some Muslim thinkers, even in our own time, continue to argue this point.
The unique omnipotence of God is an essential feature of Islam and one of its corollaries is the absolute opposition to idols (for instance 6.74). The artistic representation of life was seen as idolatry and eventually considered sinful by most theologians. According to many traditions, artists would be expected on the day of the Last Judgment, to put life into their creation and to be tossed into the fire of hell when they fail to do so.