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Showing posts from May, 2006

Punk Rock Blog Break

I need a short blog/internet break to engage the concrete things in my life: my work (until grades are due next week) my family and my friendships...myself, really. Now this break may last only a few days, but I've been on it a few days already and know I need more rest.

Right now, the rage churning inside me as I break through, listening to the New Bomb Turks...Mr. Suit, Id Slips In, ah, such sweet release as the music rips through me, taking pieces of pain with it. Anger is such a powerful component of my suffering, or anger repressed. I know some of the Cognitive people actually say that there is little scientific proof for this, repressed anger beneath depression and anxiety, but they, frankly, are full of it and themselves. Therapy, like martial arts, requires diverse approaches. Not all truth comes out in empirical studies. Releasing emotion has worked for me for years, most therapists know the truth, and I'm trusting it.

Anyway, be back soon. Pray for me to do well…

Three Things Thursday

1) I just reconnected with my anthropology professor friend on the phone and find myself wondering where the evidence is that religion is predictable based on culture. Some of religion, surely. Some of it can be predicted based on individual psychological make up. But all of it? My sense has long been that anthropology is mostly speculation, culture filling-in where no precise record exists (it is hard enough to grasp previous cultures when extensive records to exist, as with Rome). Perhaps he will enlighten me and send me to the right texts. And by religion does he mean theology, metaphysical belief, or praxis, ethic, sense of the sacred? For surely many cultures have known the holy, the holy good or the holy awful. I continue to hope that God has spoken to all or most of them throughout history, but I have no way of knowing.

2) I'm ten days from another weekend on the sea! My last two days of Bareboat are Memorial Day weekend. How cool is that! I spent a half hour thi…

Ehrman and Reader Presuppositions

When I first heard Bart Ehrman on Fresh Air I was surely shaken: here's an ex-evangelical turned 'happy agnostic' after years of critical NT scholarship, primarily textual scholarship, but also studies in gnosticism and Christian origins. Fear poured through my body like heavy water.

Then I sat down (in Barnes and Noble, natch) and read chunks of Misquoting Jesus and thought, this is it? Ehrman stirs up the emotional pot and then actually notes himself that almost all of these textual variants mean absolutely nothing? And the ones he fixates on...I noted these have nothing to do with anything I believe or consider essential.

But it's Dan Wallace's review HERE which lays Ehrman's book out for what it is. I try to avoid polemic here (and Dan, may I say, does a fine job in his review of not blasting) and so I'll leave it at that. But in terms of NT scholarship, I find MJ almost without interest, amateur that I am.

What is most interesting is that Ehrman n…

Chesterton

BW3 (and the fact that I use that epithet...where did I first see it...is a sign of respect...there's only one BW3) notes on his blog (someplace) that Chesterton discusses other world religions in Orthodoxy. I remember that book, and Chesterton. The "Riddle of the Gospel" chapter in Everlasting Man was an important part of my own discovery of Christ. The gospels are in fact historical and literary riddles with enormous answers lurking in their pages; questions which must be answered one way or another, but not quickly dismissed.

I was very critical of other parts of Chesterton in the past. I felt then he was something of what I have discovered Emerson to be last year: a verbal wizard without inductive argumentative force. Perhaps I distrusted the way Chesteron simplifies things, or his casual attitude towards mental illness or anthropology. Oddly, reading him, like reading Lewis (who openly drew on Chesterton) makes me feel too safe, too like Mole in Badger's ho…

Feeling, Writing, Thinking (On the OT 1.0)

'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.


Okay, I'll speak.

You see, writing relaxes me; work settles me.

For some reason this evening has turned hard. I've had a good week, even a very good one, even two or maybe three. I've gone into pleasant places inside myself I once only hoped were real. 'Don't quit before your miracles:' I haven't.

But, still, tonight.

Sometimes my faith flies through and past me like the gust from a shut door. This evening, for no reason, I feel anxious about God. I think the cure for me is to put something onto paper, well, e-paper.

***

First, the OT is not the product of a single divine mind as I was always taught. To say so is absurd. Many who believe that have never read the entire thing; this I can understand. Those who have read it and still believe it, I can't understand. Even if we accept the harsh covenantal God, the conditional love and salvation, th…

Light in August

Right now I have no time for a long post, but I'm reading Faulkner's Light in August and I'm absolutely hypnotized. I never read him, except for "A Rose for Emily," which shows up in every anthology; in grad school, even though I chanted Dylan Thomas in the shower, I wouldn't read Faulkner because of the modernism, the obscurity, in works like The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying. My best friend in school was a huge fan, but he never got me to try WF.

Light in August, granted, isn't that experimental; it provides quickly understandable point of view. Still, it is one of the most remarkable American novels, and, as Robert Penn Warren also is, deeply male (not that women can't enjoy this book). In fact, the opening passages, a pregnant teenage girl who sets out on foot to find the lover who abandoned her, certainly a feminine theme. While the woman's point of view is represented (say with Mrs. Armistid also) there is some unspeakable manful …

Sandalstraps' Sanctuary Blowing Up

Just a quick note to suggest all check out the Exodus thread at Sandalstraps' blog, link to the right. Great stuff happening.

(Sorry for the so. cal. slang in my title here; blowing up is a good thing).

Floyd's The Wall on napster, online papers ready to grade...life is a composite of opposites, surely.

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Father Water, Mother Sea

First, I must say that I read a short story by Anthony Doerr called "The Hunter's Wife" yesterday. A student gave it to me. It is one of the finest pieces of short fiction I've read in a long time. It's highly recommended. It has nothing direct to do with the rest of this blog, but I had to throw it out there.

***

I spent two and a half days this weekend sailing on San Francisco Bay. It is hard to describe how good I feel after this. I don't know what it is about the sea and about sailing in particular.

A significant piece is that the steady sea-wind soothes me and has done so all my life. Once, when my high school girlfriend went to Wyoming with her family for two weeks in summer and I flung into a genuine grief state, unable even to eat, it was only when my mother, by then absent from the family for a year or two, bought me Arby's and took me, providentially, to the beach for the afternoon that I was able to get down the roast beef sandwich and th…