here are not necessarily final.
Weight and worth? So much for "Fat Cats".
According to 15 years of data,
study found that both weight and weight changes were related to people's
net worth. Overweight people who trimmed down substantially appeared to
have not only improved their health, but also their wealth. Cross out
Chinese buffet for this weekend ...
Noli Novak, pointilist.
J. R. R. Tolkien on human sexuality
In 1941, Tolkien wrote a masterful
letter to his son Michael, dealing with marriage and the realities
of human sexuality. The letter reflects Tolkien's Christian worldview
and his deep love for his sons, and at the same time, also acknowledges
the powerful dangers inherent in unbridled sexuality. From albertmohler.com.
Check out the
link to the gallery.
Baltimore Museum of Art's exhibit celebrates what might be a dying
art -- the
slide show. Kodak stopped making carousel projectors last year.
Show is a series of 18 installations that range from single-carousel
pieces to more cinematic presentations created with multiple projectors.
Through the remarkably simple technology of a slide projector and color
transparencies, artists found a tool that enabled them to transform space
through the magnification of projected images and text.
My Momma always said, "Stupid is as stupid does"
An Italian couple stole 50,000 euros from a woman in
the Sicilian city of Palermo after convincing
her they were vampires who would impregnate her with the son of the
Anti-Christ if she did not pay them.
Bellowing Ho-Ho's in Denmark
- Mon Jul 25, 4:57 PM ET
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - More than 100 Santa Clauses and their little helpers
danced, bellowed ho-hos and raced up a rapidly melting hill made of snow
Monday at the annual World Santa Claus Congress.
July 26, 2005 Experience quotes-
'Experience is not what happens to a man. It's what
a man does with what happens to him.' - Aldus Huxley
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from
the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination
to do so.
Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad
Rita Mae Brown
Emergents: Emerge from your experiences.
This is a response to a typical emergent blog posting. In reading several
of these regularly, I keep running across statements that make me think
that Experience is the new idol of the emergent church. This one is from
Pastor Joel at Water's Edge.
truth = perspective + relationship + reality
Joel: "Randy's on target to point out the obvious 'truth' that the
scriptures are all about things that happened to people and how God made
ways for people to know and experience God and to learn how to live--to
really live--as part of the rest of creation."
Pastor Joel:I think the issue of truth is important, but not in
the ways that I've heard that it was important in the past. This may help
point out part of the problem in the conversation between those who are
coming from a more modern/enlightenment/foundationalist perspective and
those who are coming from a post-modern/post-enlightenment/post-foundationalist
perspective--we're not talking about the same thing when we say 'truth.'
AF: Obviously? All about? No and no. Paul says we know God because of
the Imago Dei in Romans 1. Those who would suppress the truth are without
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness
and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since
what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it
plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualitieshis
eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood
from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
AF:Scripture is not just a pastiche of experiences, though experiences
are communicated as one way by which the Holy Spirit shines the light
on Truth. The record of the experiences are a record of the mighty acts
of God previous to the experience itself. Goliath experienced God's work
in a different way than David. To affirm that it is only experiential
is to read the Bible eisegetically. God reveals himself to man to His
glory and to graciously allow man a pathway back into that glory.
What Joel is characterizing as truth is his experience- only. We must
always remeber that Reality is apprehended in a fallen state. It is always
to be measured by revealed Truth- not just the way things are but also
in the light of the way things were created to be. Then perspective must
be accounted for in apprehending the Truth of the reality one experiences.
Perspective is one thing we want to subdue and use to Gods glory.
It is not about us or our perspective- the Gods-eye view rules all
of life, and thus defines how we interpret experience. That is not modernist
All of us have not primarily been related to a church of absolutist arrogance
he describes. For all its brokenness and sin, which are to be repented
of, there is real community among the real saints. Much of the faith once
delivered to the saints is affective in nature. Of course experience is
involved, but all behavior to be shaped and measured by the system of
truth found revealed in scripture. There are stories there, but there
is much propositional truth revealed as well.
Donald Carson writes that a majority of Emerging Church leaders and thinkers
hold "that the fundamental issue in the move from modernism to postmodernism
is epistemology--i.e., how we know things or think we know things. Modernism
is often pictured as pursuing truth, absolutism, linear thinking, rationalism,
certainty, the cerebral as opposed to the affective-which in turn breeds
arrogance, inflexibility, a lust to be right, the desire to control. Postmodernism,
by contrast, recognizes how much of what we 'know' is shaped by the culture
in which we live, is controlled by emotions and aesthetics and heritage,
and in fact can only be intelligently held as part of a common tradition,
without overbearing claims to being true or right."
Some of the emergents I traffic with are fond of declaring that knowledge
puffs up, so it is to be avoided, as if there is some deterministic demand
of arrogance that the pursuit of the knowledge of God requires. Humility
as well as holiness is commanded. There is a certain poor-snobbery that
pervades that untrusting approach, and ultimately mystery is elevated
to a form of idolatry. God has spoken. True knowledge of God shows us
a proper view of ourselves. Indeed the chief study of Man should be God.
Pastor Joel: For me, truth used to be something you could possess.
It was propositional, absolute, and undeniable--it was there for me to
stand on. Truth was like Gibraltar. I saw postmodernity (through the eyes
of watchmen of modernity) as quicksand. If postmodernity thought there
was truth at all it would be like warm Jello: slippery, slimey, oozey.
These ways of thinking and talking about truth objectify truth--they make
it into a thing.
AF: This was a very simplistic and reductionistic view,
and one that ultimately has to fall apart. Truth is propositional by its
nature. The very name of God, I AM is a proposition. I
am the Truth is another proposition. God is first revealed propositionally
and then we experientially appropriate the Truth. We shall know the Truth
and the Truth shall set us free. One without the other is meaningless
in human terms.
AF:First, a problem of definitions. truth with a capital
T is transcendent first- God is transcendent before he is imminent. That
is God was true before there was a creation to be present in.
Secondly, caricaturing anyone who believes experience
is not preeminent as coming from "a modern/enlightenment/foundationalist
perspective" begs the question- what is the role of experience before
modernism. It is easy to determine that Paul was not a modern and yet
relegated experience to its proper place.
Pastor Joel:I think now that truth is like holding
someone's hand. I remember the first time I held Torie's hand. Actually,
a fonder memory is the first time we almost held hands. It was thrilling.
So much mystery, so much fear and trembling. ... I'm not hung up on proving
to everyone--or even myself--that she's there beside me--not a rock or
a foundation or a pile of quicksand, but a living, breathing, growing,
What about the commands of Christ- do they not weigh in here- to know
and love him demands declaring Him as well. Christ is Lord, as well as
lover. He is Rock, Fortress, Strong Tower, a very present help as well
as Mystery. We live and move and have our being in the one it is to through
by and for. And he is known not only in intimacy but in community.
Pastor Joel:When I hold Torie's hand, I hear what she's saying to
me when we talk--or not. I don't know what she's thinking until she tells
me--and even then there is often misunderstanding, miscommunication--but
the more I know her, the more I can pick up on unspoken communication.
My perspective on what she is saying is shaped by a long history of experiences
as I learn how to better interpret the spoken and unspoken ways of communication.
We get better at it, but I find that I am still often wrong about what
she's feeling and thinking about--and so we talk more and understand each
other better. There's so much that can be picked apart in this analogy
by those who care to, but for me, to reduce truth to abstract statements
is not only unhelpful and unsatisfying, it is unreal. It may even be a
form of idolatry--replacing a mysterious relationship with God with propositions
one can place respectfully on a shelf (think about how 'absolute truth'
can become an idol...). We all trust something and/or someone--maybe even
many 'someones'--so let's just be honest about it get busy living.
As you brush knuckes with Reality, may sparks fly between your fingertips.
AF: Here Joel has given an analogy- analogy is not Truth, it is a way
of pointing one to Truth it is not exhaustive or even right if
taken far enough, and abstraction need no occur for this to attain. To
experience the loving touch demands there is a knowable person on the
other end of the touch In fact the touch is more abstract and subjective
than the greater reality of the being that is touching. Proclaiming mystery
where there is certainty is to call God a liar. Because some have made
absolute truth into an idol does not abrogate the reality of God. Men
have always sought to worship reflections rather than the real to their
doom. To say that emergents have a lock on the authentic when in fact
the evidences say contrary is dangerous. I am not satisfied with brushing
knuckles with reality-any more than the relationship described above would
have flourished had that defined reality. I want to drown in it, to be
held fast forevermore by Him. I want to KNOW Him- His likes and dislikes,
His passions and joys. I want to know the color of Gods favor, to
taste Him and see He is good. But I can only measure those experiences
as real or authentic in the light of the revealed realities testified
to in scripture.