Saturday, May 11, 2013


Comic Art

Color me bumfuzzled how to even apporach the character of the "The Slug." He's just another fat gangster. Boring really, but the 'ol Slugster seems to be a bit of a presence in the Marvel Universe. I can't joke about him, becasue there is not enough anything there to joke about - he's just a lame villain.

The only thing that makes him slightly interesting is his size - and that I actually find troubling. Marvel Comics has a tendency to equate fat with evil. IN fact, back in the day when one of the New Mutants went all evil she gained a few hundred pounds as a part of the whole turning evil package.

Regular readers of this blog know I fight the battle of the poundage personally - and while never Slug-sized, I was Kingpin sized at one point in me life. It gave me a lot of problems, but it did not make me evil.
I find it troubling in our society that we cannot separate health problems from ethical problems. I don't want to say being obese is a good thing - it's not, but it is not an ethical lapse, it just creates a bunch of health issues.

Come on Marvel, lighten up on the fat=evil thing. How about a fat hero? Maybe even an honest depiction of what it's like to struggle with weight. You've tried in the past, but believe me you have never hit the emotional resonance with the issue like you have with other important things. Give it a shot, I know you can do it.
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Friday, May 10, 2013


More Mundane Than We MIght Think

Jon Acuff, who always tries to be funny about church, tires to be funny about tongues:
Out of nowhere, Mike started to understand what she was saying. Her words suddenly made sense to his ears. Like a switch had been flipped, he could interpret what she was saying. Overwhelmed with the joy of what he assumed was the arrival of a new spiritual gift, Mike turned to his wife, beaming. “I can understand her! I can understand her! I have whatever gift that is! I can hear exactly what she’s saying now!”

Expecting his wife to hug him with excitement, thrilled that her husband was so gifted, she turned instead to Mike and said simply, “We can all understand what she’s saying. She’s talking in English now, not tongues.”
I did not laugh. In my experience, tongues causes more problems than it selves - unless it is so utterly mundane that the general reaction to it is like the wife, "Yeah, big friggin' deal." Most people with tongues are like a kind with a hammer - everything looks like a nail. Doesn't work that way most of the time. Usually it is just something between you and God. It is also far more prevalent than people might expect. Issue is, the people that get it right, don;t really make it a point to let you know they got it.

It strikes me that generally, the miraculous should be mundane for the mature Christian. If we are close to God, He is going to work. Just remember it is him working.

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Friday Humor

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Thursday, May 09, 2013


Got To Agree

CT interviewed Jeff Foxworthy when his show "The Great American Bible Challenge" was starting. The pullquote from the interview, used as the headline:
Jeff Foxworthy: 'You Know I'm an Idiot'
AMEN! to that. I could not make it through a single episode. The show was idiotic, majoring in trivia rather than deep Bible themes or understanding. It was shallow beyond shallow - I don't think the souls of my feet got wet.

This was a chance to portray the people of God to the nation and we showed a bunch of imbeciles arguing over how many angels fit on the head of a pin.

Frankly, I consider this show one of the most shameful moments in public Christianity.

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Interesting Concept

CP says that the whole Chick-Fil-A thing back about 8 months ago was an example of the "faith-driven consumer." I find that fascinating, but troubling. It is an obvious marketing concept one that has been around for a long time. We see it in every Christian bookstore and the retail outlets that exist in mega-churches.

Problem is our sinful nature tends to cause such faith-based consumption to become how we define faith instead of a expression of faith. If I had to think about it, the issue really centers around Christian maturity. A mature faith can shop without it becoming a defining factor of faith, but when one is "young."

I wonder how the church relearns to provide access to some and not to others?

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Following on a theme

Chaplain Mike responded to what we looked at recently about "worship highs":
But where in the Bible or in the wise counsels of the saints over the centuries do you find that a regular pattern of ecstatic encounters with God is the recommended path to spiritual formation and maturity?
When I read his phrase "ecstatic encounters" it dawned on me what we have become - Pentecostalism Lite. All the ecstasy, none of the Holy Spirit.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the oft used phrase in Bible Study, "What does that passage mean to you?" You know, most Bible passages I read are not about me - they are about God. Ecstatic encounters like those described are about me, not God.

WORSHIP should be the time when we most focus on God, not least. Isn't that the very definition of worship?

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We Urge...


Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, May 06, 2013


Is this why we go to church?

A University of Washington study posits that worship services at megachurches can trigger feelings of transcendence and changes in brain chemistry – a spiritual “high” that keeps congregants coming back for more.

“We see this experience of unalloyed joy over and over again in megachurches. That’s why we say it’s like a drug,” said James Wellman, an associate professor of American religion who co-authored the study.
Lovely. Church is a drug, a high. It is not worship, it is not submission, it is not sacramental - it's a buzz. WOW!

Of course, this is not universally true. There are exceptions to every generalization. But the essential problem is the same one I used to worry about with the camping program at Young Life. So, we produce a high that leads to some sort of acknowledgement of Christ. Does the acknowledgement of Christ last when the high is gone? Are we selling Jesus, or the high?

Is bait-and-switch a legitimate technique for the church. Such techniques are based on high turnover of leads. The bait produces a lot of traffic, but the percentage of that traffic that buys is pretty low. Nor is it likely to produce a non-sale that returns when in the buying mood becasue they feel like they were misled by the institution. It is a short term gain at the cost of a long term relationship kind of approach.

That's where I have a problem, it leaves a lot of disenfranchised and dissatisfied in its wake. That is not good for the long term prospects of the church.

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