Wednesday, April 27, 2011

i almost agree with a sojo writer?

Say it ain't so!!!

Jane Eyre, Sucker Punch, and Feminism

First, a confession--I think I'm one of the few who saw "Sucker Punch", and thought it was a pretty good movie. Most seem to think it was rather bad.

Here's what the Sojo writer had to say about it.

The other feminist film of the moment Sucker Punch suffers from a similar response. The film itself is a brilliant exploration of the history of the struggle against patriarchy. It portrays young girls who have been betrayed by imposed fathers (stepfathers and priests) being shut away and taken advantage of because they are women. Their attempt to escape this imprisonment is depicted through dream sequences that use Jungian symbolism to show them entering worlds typically controlled by men — church, battlefields, fortresses, and technology — and conquering them in order to escape them. They had to play by the rules of these worlds and demonstrate that they could dominate in these realms in order to move past them. In the end, it is a deconstruction of these realms that leads to a better world for the girls.

Yet the film itself follows the same format. It accepts the genre of fan-boy action films and subverts it. The girls look like the typical mindless sex toy — with the costumes, lollipops, and choreographed moves expected in that genre — but don’t embody these roles. Instead, they are portrayed this way in order to enter an oppressive realm and expose it for what it is. But of course, the average movie-goer can’t get past the trappings and understand the commentary. They want it to be a straight fan-boy film full of babes with guns that they can ogle at, and therefore criticize Sucker Punch for not meeting their expectations. The message is lost on them for they came expecting the very thing the film serves to deconstruct. Who can hear the feminist message when they are upset that they weren’t titillated enough by the eye-candy?

While I'm rather please that someone else seemed to like it, too, some of her statements make me go "Huh?"

For example, "The film itself is a brilliant exploration of the history of the struggle against patriarchy. It portrays young girls who have been betrayed by imposed fathers (stepfathers and priests) being shut away and taken advantage of because they are women." The main heroine of the movie does have an abusive step-father, but he is one of the obvious villains because he is abusive. And to use him as a stand-in for patriarchy seems rather outlandish.

Also, there is a priest in only one part of the movie, in one of the imagined sequences which mirror what is happening in real life. The priest in this part stands in for the girl's step-father, so as you can imagine, he isn't a good guy. He's pretty much handing the girl over to the owner of a go-go club, again mirror the step-father handing her over to the mental institution and paying to have her labotomized so as to keep her from giving testimony to an incident that led to the shooting death of her sister.

Concerning her claim that it all leads to "a better world for the girls", of the five of them, by the end of the movie, three are dead, and one is a mental vegetable. And one is left to wonder if even the supposed happy ending for one of the girls was little more than a continuation of the dreams. While one may say that justice was being served, that the bad guys were being found out and would eventually pay for what they'd done, there is little doubt that the cost was high and could not be refunded.

Perhaps her critique of the critics is warranted, but then, considering how the movie advertised itself in the cinemas, with large posters and standing displays, if her criticism is valid, one could also say that the viewers were subjected to a bait-and-switch. For my own part, when I saw the displays and posters, my thought was that it would be only typical fluff, perhaps some good FX but not very deep, and it wasn't until I saw a trailer for it that I thought there might be much more to it.

So, while not putting it past Hollywood to push feminism, I'm not sold on the notion that this movie is some kind of feminist rant, at least to the extent that she portrays it to be. If one took a movie with a rather similar plot, like "The A-Team" from last year (falsely accused prisoners, escape attempts), would she be so ready to say that it was some kind of polemic about "masculinism", or the military?

Monday, April 25, 2011

calling evil 'good'

Fighting for the soul of evangelicalism

Gen 1:31. – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

God establishes a basis for reality that includes everything. And it’s all good. There is no exception. It even includes the serpent and the tree. That declaration is not dependent upon humanity interactivity or circumstance. God doesn’t wait until we show up and then judge after we act. God judges before. So to operate counter to this original judgment is the true basis for understanding both original sin, and the problem God is solving in the story.

So, one would rightly be left wondering "What the heck?"

For one thing, can we take a statement about how God saw things before the Fall and the entrance and effects of sin, and extrapolate that out to how things are now? When God first made the world, yes, it was good and very good. Can anyone say that it is now?

For example, in the account of Noah, we have this.

Genesis 6
5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

So, a bit of time after the Creation, we have the Fall, and then after that we have God saying that He was going to wipe out humans except for Noah and his family. Something had changed, and pretty drastically, too.

But, as well, there is the statement in the EV article that the serpent was something good. Given how the account speaks of this serpent, it was something different from snakes in general, but rather somehow an appearance of Satan. As such, then, to speak of it in the same was the created world, to claim that it was good as regular snakes or fish or humans were good, is not feasible.

In the context of the Genesis 1 account, we know that God is speaking of the Creation of what we know as the physical or material universe--planets, stars, the Earth and moon and sun, and all the things God made to inhabit our world. To take a statement about this Creation, and to say that thus everything that has happened is good, that even the serpent or Satan are good, is to go too far.

But I'm not really surprised that an attempt should be made to make the serpent something good. Look at the recent entries to the Emergent Village blog, and you'll see what I mean--one writer has said that he would rewrite the book of Hosea so that God is the prostitute, while the church is asleep because it believes the myth of God's faithfulness. Another has compared the righteous judgments of God to the actions of an abusive mother. Given how much they hate (I do not use that word lightly, and I mean it very strongly) the God of the Bible, is it any wonder that they should, even in a small way, try to make a good the thing the God of the Bible is opposed to?

I think I found your fail.

Friday, April 15, 2011

the unfaithful god of emergent village

In praise of an unfaithful God

This is just pathetic. When you have to go here, you may as well just fall on your own sword (metaphorically, of course).

If Hosea were written today, God should be the harlot, and Hosea the church, with God forever slipping out at night, undressing in the alleys and making holy love in hell to the beggars, infidels and outcasts. God is a street walker, with too heavy mascara and the smell of a thousand lovers on those divine lips, a clandestine whore who returns home at sunrise, sneaking back into bed without a shower but with a lingering wine-soaked kiss on the sleeping bride, their toes touching until morning, unashamed. And God whispers the divine confession, but only while Hosea slumbers.

God the Harlot invites us to be corrupted by love but is content to let the bride sleep, whispering reality only within the realm of deepest dreams. But God waits, hoping all things, for Hosea to be awakened from the myth of God’s monogamous love for the Church, the bride.

It's short, so by reading it yourself, you won't have wasted too much of your valuable time.

One can only imagine what this EV writer would do if he were to re-write the whole Old Testament. I can see him being ok with the whole David and Bathsheba thing, and maybe making her husband ok with it, too. Or maybe re-writing the rules about sex and marriage, making the prostitutes ok and the regular wives the outcasts. In the prophets, he would make all the statements about Israel's harlotries to be paeon of praise, not statements of condemnation and coming judgment. All the statements of God's faithfulness would be removed. Wisdom in Proverbs would be the harlot and not the good woman.

One good thing here, though, is that I get to reference Tim Stoner's book in a good way. That's that one I was a bit critical of a few posts earlier. But it's a good book, and I'm happy to say that he puts paid to his blasphemous emergent tale.

The marriage vow is a promise that ruthlessly puts to death every other rival. It puts a symbol of mutual ownership on the fingers of two people who now have covenanted to belong to each other, categorically, exclusively. Wedded love is a jealous love, and rightfully so, for the beloved's love is not to be shared. The heart of the beloved is to be capivated exclusively by her lover. This, all of us who have been in love, understand. This is how romantic love works.

This is also how the divine love affair works, too.
Timothy Stoner, The God Who Smokes, p 126

Your logic is so sideways.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

another emergent parable, and one of my own

Emergents love stories. They must work as a substitute for thinking.

Here, for example, at Emergent Village (yes, the name of this blog is similar, and that's intentional) has come up with a story he thinks is a response to the biblical idea of Hell.

Here's a summation (read the whole thing, it's...interesting). A woman has five kids, and the youngest four run away. One finally returns, and she sends the eldest to find the others, but he can't find one of them, and those he does find will not return.

Years passed, and finally she sets out to find the missing ones, and eventually does. She brings them home, has some hired hands put them in a barn, and sets the barn on fire with them in it, while she and the eldest son and the child who returned on his own have a feast.

I'll give the author's closing remarks here.

And, if you’ll excuse me, I need to throw up and hug my kids; as a father of three kids, I feel sick and suddenly have a restless desire to love-on ‘em).

So, in response, I want to try my hand at this parable-making business. It looks like fun.

A man has a large house. It's a good house, with lots of rooms and a full pantry. He decides to have a party, and invites some people. In the invitations, he sets some rules of how they are to behave, not to restrict their enjoyment but to enhance it, because he knows that, for example, beer and wine are best enjoyed when they are not drunk too much, and that hangovers are not good things.

The party begins, but it quickly goes sideways. The guests just won't behave themselves. For example, the host provided some very fine wine, which was meant to be enjoyed in a responsible way, but he sees guests drinking far too much and encouraging others to do so. He has provided places for married couples to stay, places that are private so that they could do what married couples do, but he sees people not married to each other flirting with each other, entering rooms with each other, and even commiting sexual acts out in the open for all to see. There are murders, rapes, thefts. People say that another man, a figment of their own imaginations, has thrown the party for them, and that this person they've created is ok with their actions.

Some remember the rules, but they mock the rules, saying they no longer apply, that they are old rules and that the people at the party are not really expected to act that way anyway.

As you can image, the man's home is soon a mess. Even the best of the guests make a mess of things.

Finally, the man has had enough. He calls the law, who come and arrest the people, taking them off the jail.

The guests are surprised, and even angry. "Were we not invited to your house to enjoy your feast and your wine?" They cried against the man who owned the home. "Are we not your guest? Is it not your responsibility that we acted this way? You are not fair, you are not just, to have us put in jail and imprisoned! You are a bad person, you are evil!"

The man said nothing more than that these enemies of his should be taken away.

And so, my little parable end.

You see, the EV parable is a lie. It's aim is to portray us as pitiful little victims, a classic ploy among such people. In the story, we are all God's children.

Neither of these is true. We are not victims. The Bible's language about those who do not have faith in Christ is rather different--workers of iniquity, children of wrath, enemies of God.

Also, not ever person alive or who has lived is a child of God. Those who do not have faith in Christ are children of the devil, slaves of sin, enemies of God.

This is a hard truth. It is unpleasant. But it is true, nonetheless. Our attempts at righteousness on our own are like filthy rags, we can do no good, none of us does what is right.

The same Bible that tells us that God is loving and just also tells us, quite plainly, that this just and loving God will throw those not found in the Book of Life into the Lake of Fire. To take what we like while discarding what we don't makes God to be like a cosmic grandfather, and rather unreal.

This Emergent Village author has had the arrogance to put God on trial, and to find Him to be unjust. I think God knows far more about justice than the whole human race combined, let alone one Emergent Village writer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

slightly disappointed

It's not like I changed all of a sudden and went out to the backyard to burn my draft card (there was no longer a draft, and I was too old anyway), plant an organic garden, or stop eating steak. I didn't even switch political parties. Not that I wasn't tempted on many an occasion. (It's difficult--one side sees beauty in fifty-six baggies of multicolored urine and a mural of Mother Mary with shellacked elephant dung, while the other sees it in burning mosques. While one favors killing the unborn, the other favors doing in the born. I guess, at present, I have to side with the most obviously innocent and defenseless. I know this is all a gross over-simplification, but how else can one make a choice between evils. It's possible Jesus wouldn't vote at all. He advocated paying taxes--that seems to be about the extent of His commandment to good citizenship).
Timothy Stoner, The God Who Smokes, pp 151-152

I picked up this book some time ago, and frankly have been pleasantly surprised by it. It's a collection of essays, so I've kind of skipped around, not reading it through.

By and large, I've rather liked it. Which kind of makes the part above even more of a disappointment.

He is very welcomed to whatever political convictions he wishes, but his statements do make me wonder about a thing or two.

For example, when have Republicans found beauty in burning mosques? It would help if he were to give specific examples of Republicans or Conservatives saying they enjoyed setting mosques on fire. For my part, I can't think of any such rhetoric ever being used, but I may have missed it somewhere along the line.

Also, what does he mean by Republicans favoring killing the born? I can think of only two things he may mean--capital punishment, or military action.

I'm willing to respect someone who cannot support capital punishment. But can we please, please, please stop with the arguments that capital punishment and abortion are equivalent. Capital punishment is punishment for a serious crime, something like murder, and the person being executed should be proven guilty. Abortion is simply the murder of the innocent for whatever reason, and there is no support for it in me.

If he means military, I'm not sure what to say. He can take the pacifist position, if he wishes. I don't know if that is his position, but if it isn't, I'd like to know what he meant by that statement.

As someone who is strongly conservative, I find it bothersome that someone should use apparently bogus or fringe reasons for saying that people like me are only the lesser of two evils, when compared to those who favor and defend the continued killing of the unborn, whose moral position could be stated as "Find what the Bible says and say the opposite", who deal in lies and spread fear, and promote dependence on a 'big brother' government. To my mind, the lesser 'evil' here seems rather a good thing, while the other, slighty greater 'evil' is a great evil indeed.

sojo's over-the-top rhetoric

The Ryan Plan: A Declaration of War on the Poor

Remember how, a few months ago, we were supposed to excoriate people like Sarah Palin because one of her campaign maps had bulls-eye like targets on certain states? That somehow such a thing was suppose to be responsible for certain acts of violence? So we were suppose to avoid certain words and phrases, usually somehow involving shooting or guns or anything violence?

Well, remember, that only applies to conservatives, like Palin. Liberals like Sojo can continues to use such rhetoric, like "war on the poor", to their hearts content.

Then, on April 5, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a 2012 budget that is much, much, much worse than H.R.1. Ryan’s budget would put all the burden for balancing the budget on poor people, while at the same time cutting the tax rate for people in the top income bracket from 35 percent to 25 percent.

If you read the article, you'll not see those claims supported in any way. The only thing the writer goes on about is taxes.

In 1945, at the end of World War II, the top marginal tax rate was 94 percent.
In 1954, when Republican Dwight Eisenhower was president, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent.
In 1980, the year Reagan won his presidential election, the top marginal tax rate was 70 percent.
By 1989, the year Ronald Reagan’s presidency ended, the top marginal tax rate was 28 percent.
When Clinton took office in 1992, he raised the top marginal tax rate to 39.6 percent, where it stayed throughout his presidency.
Clinton balanced the budget and left office with a surplus.
Bush Jr. chipped away at the top marginal rate until it rested at 35 percent in 2003, where it remains to this day.

If you get the impression she thinks that 90% tax rate is a good thing, I think you're right. It's all about sticking it to the rich, the achievers, the producers.

Did you know the top 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 50 percent combined? someone who is solidly in the bottom 50%, I can only say, I don't care. She gives this stat (again, without support) as if it's suppose to mean something in and of itself. It doesn't.

Did you know CEO pay has increased by 20 percent to a median pay of $9.6 million for top executives at 200 major companies since 2009, while worker pay has remained virtually unchanged (decreased by 0.1 percent) in the same period?

Again, so what? Such a claim, devoid of any context, is meaningless.

The Ryan plan is not fiscal responsibility; it is a declaration of war on the poor. The GOP is currently being led by blind ideology that has potential to literally kill people — real people made in the image of God.

So such irresponsible rhetoric is ok, because according to her, tax cuts may kill people?

Here's another take on the Ryan plan.

Paul Ryan's Adult Conversation

Ryan's budget would reduce domestic federal spending to below 2008 levels, restoring pre-stimulus, pre-bailout spending, again as promised. Federal spending is reduced to below 20% of GDP, the long-run, postwar, historical level, by 2015. With that level of federal spending prevailing on average for 60 years since World War II, to call it radical, irresponsible, and extreme is itself unprofessionally irresponsible and misleading.

To achieve that, Ryan's budget would defund and repeal Obamacare. It would eliminate hundreds of duplicative programs, and slash corporate welfare. That would include President Obama's "expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy," establishing instead "a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration," as Ryan explained in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. Ryan also explained that his budget "gets rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year," in President Obama's Dodd-Frank so-called financial regulatory reform bill.

Ryan's budget reduces the federal deficit to below $1 trillion by next year, while President Obama proposes his fourth year of federal deficits over $1 trillion, at $1.2 trillion according to CBO. CBO projects that under Obama's proposed 2012 budget, the federal deficit is still $1.2 trillion by 2021. That's not radical, irresponsible and extreme? Ryan's deficit by that year is $385 billion, after achieving what is called primary balance by 2015, meaning that the budget is balanced apart from interest on the national debt.

Ryan's budget achieves full, permanent balance soon thereafter, with federal spending reduced to 15% of GDP by 2050, less than half the level of federal spending by that year under President Obama's budget. Indeed, by 2050, President Obama's budget would double federal spending as a percentage of GDP from the long-run, postwar, historical average, which is disgracefully radical, irresponsible and extreme.

Ryan's budget reduces the national debt by nearly $5 trillion relative to the President's budget in the first 10 years alone. As result, the national debt as percent of GDP is reduced every year, until the national debt is ultimately paid off entirely! President Obama's budget, by contrast, would double the national debt in his first term alone, and triple it by 2021. That's not radical, irresponsible, and extreme?

A lot of that sounds pretty good to me. Less federal spending, less debt, and getting rid of the already declared unconstitutional Obamacare.

Sadly, for Sojo, fiscal responsibility seems to mean a chance to pontificate about people dying the streets. But, hey, they have Moby on their side. A has-been pop star makes any other argument void, right?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the right can do no right?

Caputo hates the Right. The Right can do no right. Nothing.

Take, for example, a bit of what he writes here. It's in a part of his book that's suppose to deal with abortion, but he ropes in a few other things, too.

It is hypocritical to oppose abortion while simultaneously opposing the vast support system such a ban would require.
What Would Jesus Deconstruct, p 114

What what would this 'vast support system' entail?

They would include full and free prenatal care of poor and uninsured pregnant women, of unemployed and unwed mothers,... It would further include a comprehensive system of government-supported adoption agencies....comprehensie system of day care...dramatic increase in support for the public schools in the poorest neighborhoods...fair labor laws, living wages, medical and vacation benefits, and good pension funds.
p 114

And what would these require?

All that would require funding, which means taxes, which conflicts with the greed of the Right, religious and secular.
p 114

So, let's see.

Could we imagine how this would work for, say, some other moral issue?

Let's take, for example, theft. Is it not hypocritical to oppose theft while simultaneously opposing the vast support system this ban on theft requires? For example, does not opposing theft mean that we must make sure that people get all the things they want? If a teenager wants a pair of really expensive atheletic shoes, is it not incumbent upon us to make sure that he or she receives them? Perhaps we should set up a social program which makes sure that teens whose families are of a lower income should receive a free pair of really expensive sport shoes of their choice?

Or what about fornication and adultery? Does opposing those things mean that we should also do other things about the issues, too? Should we, for example, set up a matchmaking service, so that people in their young adulthood can find mates, so as to deal with the temptation to fornication? Or should me maybe legalize prostitution, to make sure that those who are determined to commit sexual sins can do so in a relatively safe, legal, and affordable setting? Should we make sure the government provides free condoms, free hotel rooms, and free abortion services?

I hope these show how ridiculous Caputo is here. Opposing abortion does NOT mean that we must support the liberal social cradle-to-grave government handout agenda.

I understand why many Christians would want to discourage women from ever chooseing to have an abortion in any circumstance. But such people have the responsibility to put their money where their faith is, to do everything they can to provide these women and the children they will bear with a comprehensive system of support, and to address the deeper structural issues of povety that spawn so many unwanted pregnancies.
p 116

Yeah, because it's not really the responsibility of those who go around having sex and getting pregnant, it's the responsibility of everyone else. But, then, maybe I'll just quote Caputo one more time.

There is no one right answer. Life is not fair.
p 116

I'd take responsibility...

Monday, April 11, 2011

is it wrong to hope he gets audited?

My Letter to the IRS: ‘I Reserve the Right Not to Kill’

Shane Claiborne is not paying his taxes, well, not all of them. Yep, while we conservatives have to pay for the liberal's nanny state, abortion, perverted art, and a failed public education system, not to mention continue to hear the liberal's demands to increase taxes even more, they seem to think they reserve the right to NOT pay for what they disagree with.

For this reason, I am enclosing a check for $227.11, which is, according to the form, 70 percent of what I owe. The remaining $97.33 represents 30 percent of my tax payment, the amount that would go toward military spending. I will donate this remaining 30 percent to a recognized U.S. nonprofit organization working to bring peace and reconciliation. My faith also compels me to submit to the governing authorities, which is why I am writing you respectfully and transparently here. I am glad to discuss this further if you have any questions.

Hey, Claiborne, I got a solution for you...EMIGRATE!!! Leave the country you hate so much, that does so many things you despise and can't support. I'm sure there's someplace out there that would more than welcome you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the rollins waffle

Ah, yes, right when I think there is no real fun left in the emergents, I have only to stroll over to Peter Rollins' spot on the net, and my faith in humanity is indeed damaged again.

Do you “really” believe, or really believe? (with some thoughts on Rob Bell)

Let us take each of these in turn. Firstly our modern reflexive self-awareness hides the fact that such an “enlightened” mode of suspicion was not so much missing from the past, but unnecessary for it. It is only with the development of a technological discourse that we needed to introduce brackets into our cultural, political and religious claims. One of the side effects of this development was a fundamental change in how we understood the beliefs of the ancients. Because the techological discourse is ubiquitous to us we end up viewing our ancestors as operating with a type of proto-technological language that would have actually been totally foreign to them (this kind of reading is rife in the work of people like Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris as well as Christian apologists).

He starts by making use of a Norse myth of creation. His point here seems to be that people long ago didn't care about the truth of their beliefs, it wasn't important to them. So, for example, if the ancients believed that the world was created through some hanky-panky among the gods, or the demiurges of the gnostics, or that God created the world in six days and on the seventh rested, the important thing isn't whether any of those things happened or not, because those people long ago didn't really believe them to have happened.

Secondly, our contemporary need to distance ourselves from what we believe (so as to avoid the reduction of our beliefs to the level of some technological discourse) can lead to a distancing from the power and truth of the story. We end up trying to untangle a knot that is a necessary part of such beliefs, a knot that cannot be undone without the loss of the truth itself. When the knot is untied one is left with nothing but a metaphor or an archaic proto-scientific proposition rather than with the transformative truth of the story.

Ah, here we go! That important thing isn't the story itself, but the story inside or above or beyond the story! To put another way, the important thing isn't what the ancients said or what they believed or didn't believe, but what we today can make of their stories. It's simply uncouth to say that the Norse creation story is a myth, something made up, and that we should teach them the truth of how the world was created. We should, instead, let them keep on believing their fables, seeing as they mean so much to them.

Finally, when one takes a story that is deeply true to people and place brackets around it the effect can be so unpleasant to the supposedly naive believers that they end up going in the opposite direction and claiming a direct literalism (actually becoming naive believers). Here their very attempt to protect the power of the belief in question results in them losing it.

Yeah, because believing in something too strongly means you're not really believing in it at all.

(Why am I reminded of the Spice Girls' song, "Too much of something is not enough..."? And, yes, I'm as disturbed by that as you are.)

In this reading we can see that the predominant form of fundamentalism today arises as a direct result of this contemporary act of bracketing. For with the introduction of brackets and caveats to theology the unintended result is the rise of a group who attempt to protect the belief through the assertion of literalism. No matter who wins the main casualty is, of course, the power and truth of the belief in question.

And the casual slap at those who believe the Bible to be God's literal word. Oh, yes, Mr. Rollins is so superior, that he can condescend to let those little literalists keep their little beliefs, aren't they so cute.

There is not space here to discuss the way out of this impasse, however we might want to see Rob Bell as someone who is courageously offering a way forward with his new book Love Wins. Rob understands the knot that exists in belief and attempts to remain true to it in both the style of his communication and the content. He is however under constant pressure at the moment to ‘clarify’ his position (meaning to rob it of its truth). Hopefully his talent and insight will enable him to avoid what people on both sides (liberal and conservative) seek.

So, actually stating what you believe meaning robbing the belief of its truth?

Welcome to the mumbo-jumbo world of postmodernism, where clarity is the greatest of sins.

I berry disappoynted hoomin

Thursday, April 7, 2011

for whom the bell whines

Hell-Questioning Pastor Rob Bell Says New Book Has Led Him to ‘Profound Brokenness’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Evangelical megachurch pastor Rob Bell said he did not anticipate the firestorm he would stir with his book that questions the traditional Christian belief that a select number of believers will spend eternity in heaven while everyone else is tormented in hell.

Bell said Tuesday that he not only didn’t set out to be controversial, he had no idea his best seller, “Love Wins,” would bring condemnation from people like Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler, who claims Bell is leading people astray.

“The last couple of weeks have been most painful in my life,” the pastor from Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., told a crowd of about 1,600 at Nashville’s Belmont University on Tuesday after an audience member asked him about the criticism he has faced. “It has taken me to a place of profound brokenness.”

Well, I guess he's learned that he can't go toe-to-toe with any real Christian thinkers now, because he's playing the ultimate "I can't win" card--the VICTIM card.

"Oh, poor little me, I just kinda wondered into writing a book that I didn't really think was all that bad, I didn't expect people to really read it and argue that I'm wrong, why can't they just believe what I wrote, and stop trying to say that I took things out of context and that I'm plain wrong, that's just mean of them, stop it all of you!!!"


Real, Bell, if you're going to go down, go down swinging. This little whining act is sad.

“I kept meeting religious people who were incredibly dogmatic about heaven and hell when you die but didn’t seem to care about the fact that 800,000,000 people will go to bed hungry tonight.”

Oh, you mean the same religious people who start charity works, go to places to build houses and dig wells, preach the Gospel and try to keep people from going to the Hell you don't believe in, Mr. Bell?

Victimhood and slander. Were I able, I'd stand on the door of your 'church' and shake the dust from my feet. But driving to Michigan isn't worth it, so I'll content myself with showing how much of a post-masculine thing you are.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

defending the bad

It's rather amusing, in a sad sort of way, to read Caputo's extreme waffling in his book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct, when it comes to abortion.

Abortion is always a bad and difficult choice,but making a bad choice is better than making a worse one, and sometimes making a bad choice is better than being forbidden to choose at all.
p 113

Yeah. If I may sum up his position in a typical postmodern way, "Abortion is bad, therefore we must defend it".

But nothing is simple, nothing is just black and white, no one can ever say, "Thou shalt not kill," which is also a crucial idea of deconstruction, which I am reading as the hermeneutics of the kingdom of God.
p 113

Funny, but someone did dare to say "Thou shalt not kill". It was God. You know, that thing called The Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not kill" is one of those ten.

To employ a bit of logic, if deconstruction means no one can say "Thou shalt not kill", and God has said that, then perhaps deconstruction is not really about the kingdom of God.