Friday, February 19, 2010

Hither and thither 2/19/10

Busy week at work, with that particular assignment that makes HT gathering harder. Plus I'm really going hammer-and-tongs at my book on Proverbs. I'm loving it; I really like that book.It's a thorough reworking of material I prepared for seminars some time back. Gosh, I used to be smart. Sigh. Uh... where were we? Oh, yeah — here:
  • Title That Eats Itself Alert. I came across an article titled How to Think for Yourself. So here's my question. If you're not the sort of person who thinks for yourself, and you see this article, you say "Okey doke, sounds good to me!", and you do its six steps — are you now a person who thinks for himself? Because you did what the article told you to do?
  • My dear wife and I love John Wayne's The Quiet Man. This might be fun — but I wonder what it's going to be, exactly. And Roger Moore? Hunh.
  • On the far-opposite poll of the cultural spectrum: is there a way to make American Idol consistently appalling? Turns out yes.
  • DAOD points out: we're #17! Woo hoo! (See if yours rates.) This calls to mind tangentially the recent story in our local DNC house-organ, The Sacramento Bee, lamenting all the closing businesses. This would be The Bee, which itself has always sneeringly promoted just exactly those politicians and policies which have ruined California's economy. Sadder, glance at the comments and you see The Insanity Rule in effect: if it doesn't work, do it harder!
  • So you've got to wonder: did this guy listen to Steve Brown's course on "grace," and take seriously Brown's counsel to pastors to do what their conscience tells them not to do? (Thanks to reader Fred Butler for the link; he says a pastor in Arkansas did something similar... another Brown devotee?)
  • Oh, fine. Now they tell me.

  • We have taken note of Benny Hinn's wife before.  Now Mrs. Hinn has filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." I think it's sad. It's tempting to make a crack, but that's kind of like when a two-year challenges you to a fight. If you took him up on it,  you'd just look like a jerk.
  • You will find, however, that FReepers are not so reluctant.
  • I don't know what Tiger Woods is going to say today. But Mark DeMoss has an idea of what he should say.
  • What birthday is complete without a Jabba the Hut cake?

  • Uh... okay, it makes a sort of sense. Reader Enoch Stevenson points out an atheist's service attempting to take advantage of Christians by offering to take care of pets left ownerless after the Rapture. Because you know you can trust an atheist.
  • Reader Jonathan Vowell has the solution for a businesses suffering the bad economy: print your own money.
  • Uh, okay... good to know....

  • Not comforting. The motto of the Obama administration seemingly remains "Islamic terrorism? What Islamic terrorism?"
  • OTOH, Sarah Palin correctly dubs global warming a snow job. Palin continues to irritate elitists all over the map, which delights me no end. Prissy elitist pet-conservative George Will sees if yet one more sniff of disdain will take her down. I'm thinking no. But here's the mystery: a truly good guy like Justin Taylor is all aglow over folks like Will and Noonan and Brooks, resolutely not seeing what Douglas Wilson, Mark Steyn, and many others have seen right from the start. Go figure.
  • Mike Potemra over at National Review's The Corner has some responses to the elitists, as well.
  • Some of you will want to know how to get a piece of this action.

  • It may not be a title of the week, but I like it: True Weight App review.  Maybe I should have a "write your own article" feature, just riffing off the title. In this case, I picture the versatile iPhone in yet another "there's an app for that" adventure. I think the catch is actually standing on the little phone, to get the "true weight" reading....
  • Om nom nom.

  • My kids have heard me say, "It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools." Now comes a man who rather illustrates my point. Wonder whether he'll see any Proverbs 22:29 come out of it... unless Proverbs 23:20-21 or 13:23 get in the way.



    Fred Butler said...

    he says a pastor in Arkansas did something similar... another Brown devotee?

    Actually, from what I understand, the guy was a Bill Gothard enthusiast. Another fellow did a similar "expose'" on porn at our church on a Weds. night (He too was a Gothardite), except he didn't show videos, he gave detailed descriptions of the sin. It was so uncomfortable I had to leave, and thankfully the pastor was bold enough to stop him.

    As for Hinn's wife. This may be unkind and unloving, but I told a friend yesterday when the news broke that I hope this is just the beginning of a major scandal for the guy so he can be exposed as the false, soul damning liar that he is.

    DJP said...

    But here's the thing, Fred, and I ask it seriously: do we need to know one thing more about Benny Hinn to assure any Biblically-faithful that he should be NOWHERE NEAR a pulpit?

    But I know what you're saying. You're thinking, False doctrine doesn't matter to the Charismatics to whom he owes his comfy career. (True.) Maybe a moral scandal will.

    Yeah. Maybe. Until he cries and gets a new new revelation.

    zostay said...

    "How to Think for Yourself." Proving yet again that some things just can't be said. My favorite remains, "I'm a very humble person."

    Sir Aaron said...

    Just my opinion, but why would you need to show the depravity or talk about it in detail to Christians? Shouldn't our appeal be to Scripture?

    However, On the other hand, I have often thought that if people actually truly understood the depravity of the gay lifestyle, there would be little sympathy for it..anywhere. Of course, you don't need to show actual porn to do that.

    I love the Sacramento Bee article. It's Bush and the Republicans who drove out all the businesses! It has nothing to do with 1/3 of most city budgets being devoted to welfare payments (not including AFDC and other welfare type stuff) and high taxes.

    trogdor said...

    I grew up in Youngstown, lived in Toledo for a decade or so, spent plenty of time in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Detroit, and now live between Chicago and Rockford and work fairly often near Gary (there's not really any work in Gary, of course). So I'm pretty familiar with 45% of that list, and I think it's off by a good bit. Cleveland is miserable, but anyone in Youngstown would gladly move there in a heartbeat. There's no way Chicago, even with the insanely high taxes and legendary corruption, is worse than Rockford or Gary.

    Any list that includes Youngstown and Gary and doesn't have them first and second in some order is just flat-out wrong. The other cities are all miserable; those two are miserable, have nothing positive going for them, and don't even have hope of improving as long as the EPA exists. Let me put it this way. When I've reconnected with high school friends through Facebook, the vast majority have left Youngstown long ago, many for Chicago or Cleveland or even Toledo, and when I see that someone still lives in Youngstown, my first response is actually a twinge of pity. There's absolutely no way the other Ohio cities can be worse. The end.

    Citizen Grim said...

    Although I really like Palin, I'll cut Justin Taylor some slack, because it's always prudent to be cautious when politicians are employing populist rhetoric. I actually like Sarah least when she's in full-populist mode, because it feels a little bit contrived. (Besides, didn't JT like Huckabee two years back? Huckabee is about as populist as one can possible get.)

    Potemra's column is excellent, though.

    And there's populism in the ecclesiastical world, too, such as those who like to say, "Oh, we're not part of the institutional church." This is pure populist cliche. Makes me want to ask, "The church Christ instituted, loved and gave Himself for? You're going a different direction? Let me know how that works out for you."

    DJP said...

    Fair enough of you to try, Grim, and you're certainly right about that institutional church nonsense.

    But among the many things Taylor is missing is: are the MSM/Dems/WH in constant panic-mode over Palin because she's a populist? Or because she is resonating with voters and landing very effective targeted blows against (A) nationalized health care, (B) resisting mining our own energy resources, (C) global warming nonsense, and on and on?

    jmb said...

    A movie about the making of "The Quiet Man" is a great idea. But it appears that the focus will be on a story about a local Irish lass who falls for one of director John Ford's assistant directors. Whether or not that's a true story, I'd rather that it be solely about the making of the film.

    The title is "Connemara Days." Stacy Keach will play Ford, one of the most talented and strange of all film directors. Oddly, none of the press releases mentions the roles of the other actors involved (including Aidan Quinn and Geraldine Chaplin) except for Heather O'Dea, who plays the love-struck young woman.

    I sincerely hope that Sir Roger Moore will not attempt to play John Wayne.

    DJP said...

    Indeed. The best criticism I ever heard of Moore was from Moore himself, who said that he basically had two expressions: one where he raised his eyebrow, and one where he didn't.

    J♥Yce said...

    Toledo was awarded the 3rd most liveable city in the world in its population category in 2007(go ahead ~ Google). 15th most miserable? SF Compact blog/groupie types ~ am guessing someone is driving the bus. ~8*[

    Looking forward to the Proverbs book.

    Tom Chantry said...

    A story:

    When I was a kid (which is getting to be a good, long, time ago), our town had a Sunday School Association. It was heavily infiltrated by liberal churches, and my Reformed congregation did not participate. However, the choir from the local public high school was invited to sing for their annual meeting each year, and we did so.

    We did, that is, until one year when the speaker was an anti-pornography crusader who stood at the pulpit and gave explicit, blow-by-blow descriptions of various pornographic tapes which he had viewed (in the name of "ministry" of course). All the while a hundred teenaged kids from various backgrounds were seated behind him - some snickering, others blushing, and a few of the girls nearly fainting from embarrassment.

    And so of course we never went back. Our public high school's mild involvement in the Sunday School Association was bound to end sooner or later when some liberal do-gooder protested our singing hymns in a church, but instead it ended when secularist parents protested, quite rightly, that they couldn't allow their children to fall under the vile, immoral influence of those crazy Christians!

    As I reflect I have three thoughts. One is that by God's grace I never looked at porn, so my mind was not filled with its filth. Instead, when anyone mentions porn I have to drive out of my mind the wicked mental image of one of the scenes described that night. That fool-of-an-"evangelist" filled my mind with smut, and I don't know that it will ever be entirely gone short of heaven.

    Second, a lot of the boys who were there were already undisciplined, unprincipled children, but living in a place and era in which it was difficult for under-aged people to ever see pornography. I wonder how many of them began lusting after and seeking out pornography - how many lives fell under that terrible spell because of that fool-of-an-"evangelist's" introduction?

    Thirdly, and worst of all, I know that for some of those kids that was their one and only experience with church. I know for a fact that one good Catholic girl vowed that she would never set foot in a Protestant church/den-of-iniquity again, and for all I know she hasn't. If any of those kids came away with the impression that evangelical pastors are a bunch of sex-crazed hypocrites, I really couldn't blame them.

    So it's been going on for a long time. I always thought the reason was obvious. The man was a voyeuristic pervert. No other explanation can account for his repeated and graphic detailing of the movies he had watched. That made up the majority of his presentation. I hope he has repented, but it is hard even so to imagine how he could undo all the harm he must have done in the course of his "ministry."

    Paula said...

    Five of the "top" 20 are in Ohio! DH works in Cleveland and having grown up 13 miles outside the city, I can say unequivocally, we blame Dennis Kucinich for plunging the city into default in the 1970's. Last year Ohio voters decided to solve it's budget shortfalls by bringing casinos to the blighted cities. Worked for Detroit, right? Oh, wait...that made the list

    George Will...he's in a class with Obama, isn't he? Ross Douthat wrote a piece earlier this year citing no less than William F. Buckley and claiming the OPPOSITE

    But he [Buckley] would probably acknowledge that a populist spirit — the same spirit that gave us talk radio, Fox News and “drill, baby, drill” — has hung over postwar conservatism from its inception. The National Review founder was personally highbrow, but he was more than happy to yoke his intellect and self-conscious intellectualism to small-d democratic enthusiasms: Buckley began his writing life, after all, as a quasi-apologist for Joe McCarthy and ended his career as a great friend to Rush Limbaugh. And he spent most of the intervening decades championing Reagan, the greatest right-wing populist of all — more authentically middle-American than Bush, a cannier player of the “jes’ folks” card than Palin, and as roundly disliked and disdained by the liberal commentariat as either one of them.

    DJP said...

    Mercy, Tom. Thanks. Sobering.

    Paula, thank you. Now go tell Justin. He's not listening to me.

    CR said...

    DJP: But here's the mystery: a truly good guy like Justin Taylor is all aglow over folks like Will and Noonan and Brooks, resolutely not seeing what Douglas Wilson, Mark Steyn, and many others have seen right from the start. Go figure.


    {s}But first let me say, this whole H&T is beneath you... making fun of the people you make fun of, and let my offer my apology to you that it is beneath me to say it is beneath you.{/s}

    That is what is so puzzling about B2W. It seems that I'm always reading articles there from conservative (so-called) establishmentarians like David Frum, David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, George Will or a Charles Krauthammer. Actually, I don't know B2W has ever cited Krauthammer because Krauthammer doesn't always toe the prissy, raised pinky, conservative, establishmentarian line...which is probably why I don't recall B2W quoting Charles. Charles is somewhat critical and skeptical of Palin sometimes, but that's where is prissiness ends.

    I never see, at least I don't recall, B2W quoting much from Bill Kristol or Fred Barnes or Stephen Hayes or dare I say Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh?! What are you nuts, you say? Well, if I'm going to use the argument of some that can't a prissy elitist be right on certain arguments, then I can use the same argument that can't a Rush Limbaugh (a person I'm sure is not liked by conservative elitists) or a Bill Kristol be right?

    Paula said...

    Wow! Totally missed the dust up over at JT's blog.

    Regarding Mark it wrong to have a 'pundit crush' on him? Not like a boyfriend-I-think-he's-cute crush, but an I-wish-Rush-would-stop-talking-and-they-whould-replace-him-with-the-much-smarter-and-pithier-and funnier-Mark-Steyn crush.

    BTW, please remind DAOD that at least you see the sun more than two months out of the year!! Today we were actually above freezing for the first time in a month-ish. I live in a Bermuda Triangle of three of these miserable cities with the benefit of neither decent weather nor decent football.

    @ Tom Chantry...I know of a similar story from a mere Porn Sunday that the seeker sensitive church we used to attend held a couple years ago. The entire sermon time was a rap session between two of the pastors, one of whom had struggled with porn addiction. Everyone (even the 90-year-old woman next to me? Even the 3-year old behind me?) was strongly encouraged to get an accountability partner to prevent porn addiction.

    Most of the congregation had no idea this was coming and many families arrived with young children in tow. My friend's son, who was 11 at the time (and homeschooled) had never heard the word "porn" (or if he had, had never had reason to linger on the idea for more than a second). That day, he went home and googled the word porn. I don't have to tell you what happened next.

    Christian malpractice.

    Gilbert said...

    Hey Dan,

    Rockford, IL, #11. OK, 25 miles southeast. This morning, got jolted out of bed by a text message, stating that there was a shooting at my workplace.

    For the second time in a little over 2 years.

    When you have to hide under your desk for 30 minutes at your workplace and pray you won't meet Jesus earlier than you wanted to,
    then I'll sympathize.

    Google "Northern Illinois University". Sigh. Love my job, hate the shootings.

    DJP said...

    Paula, right there with you on Steyn. He's really amazing. Of all of "that set," you think this or that one would be interesting to talk to... but Steyn, you think "He'd be great to have over for dinner." He's witty, he's sharp, he's articulate, his interests are broad, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

    lee n. field said...

    "So you've got to wonder: did this guy listen to Steve Brown's course on "grace," and take seriously Brown's counsel to pastors to do what their conscience tells them not to do? "

    Interesting. If Wikipedia is to be believed, church growth guru and New Apostolic Reformation soi-disant "apostle" C. Peter Wagner says something similar:

    "Wagner proposed what is known as Wagner's paradigm,[1] in which the evangelist attempts to persuade a sinner to do something which he has no desire to do. His nature demands that he rebel against the gospel, rather than respond to it.....Thus, man must embrace the bloodlust and brutality of human nature in a state of nature in order to transcend sin....."

    Wikipedia, so YMMV, but "say what???"

    Brad Williams said...

    Go Picard!!!