Friday, December 16, 2016

Think again

My fatheads! What, in your opinion, is more significant:

  • the belief of one people, the Jews, in their witness to one God and his personal presence and judgment in the world and in history; after all it has been four millenia of that;
  • or, the belief that the forgiveness of sins and eternal life is extended to all people through the death and resurrection of Jesus? After all, "your sins are forgiven" would likely be what most people would want to hear....
It may seem rather turgid -- or no, that's the wrong word ("bombastic, grandiloquent"), let's say it seems rather screechy and killjoy-ish perhaps? -- to broach such a terribly serious topic. I think of twelve-year-old Harriet in Louise Fitzhugh's The Long Secret peering at her new summer-vacation friend, the hyper religious Jessie Mae Jenkins, and thinking 'what kind of a pill brings a Bible to the beach?' What kind of a pill brings a Bible anywhere, into anything?

Yet after years of contemplating Bible things, trust me, years, I find it can all be pared down to a few queries like these above. Whether or not the answers matter much to you will be for you to decide. And in what impoverished world is the Bible not important? In our own, often, regrettably. Even at Christmas. And then here come the Muslims, with a far different holy book prompting in them far different behaviors. This is mostly why we're asking.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


My fatheads! What, in your opinion, is more significant:

  • that the Jews should deny the resurrection of Christ as a fact, even though it was testified to, to the death, by men who knew him and saw him; and even though this testimony became the basis of Western civilization;
  • or that the Jews should bear probably the best record of moral behavior across four millenia that I know of, precisely because they do not believe in a vicarious redeemer? -- in other words they accept no safety net? Isn't moral behavior across time after all the point?

Think about this.

Their faces move

It pleases me to imagine that, in a very small way, I understand the experience of St. Paul in the agora -- that is, in the public square, b...