Saturday, November 29, 2008

Satan's Fetus

This monstrosity concocted in the vile imaginings of the most sinister of minds has many names: Satan's Fetus being the most accurate, although it's also known as a Jerusalem Cricket or (believe it or not) a "potato bug". This is no bug and potatoes are completely irrelevant to the story. Whoever called this thing a "potato bug" needs to be slapped vigorously with a wet fish.

One of these Spawn Of The Evil One showed up in our patio area while Wendy & I were (yet again and somewhat futiley) attempting to persuade our new puppy that pooping outside is immeasurably preferable to, say, the carpet in our bedroom. The Creature From Nuclear Experimentation Gone Bad -- several inches long and butt-ugly -- crept noisily out of the darkness, and we discerned immediately it was a demonic presence.

Normal attempts at "casting it out" didn't seem to be bearing much fruit, so I looked up www.potatobug.com, and discovered the following perfectly rational and immensely practical advice on dealing with these six-legged nightmares:
"Drench your entire yard with gasoline and set it ablaze. Once the fire has burned itself out and the ground has cooled, cultivate the soil to a depth of seven feet, saturate the area with battery acid and top the surface with gasoline. After a few minutes, most of the surviving potato bugs, now irritated, will burrow up for air. Set the yard on fire again, and let it burn itself out. The remaining bugs should be crisped. Add water."
Since we don't actually have a yard, and setting concrete on fire didn't seem all that prudent, I just dropped a brick on The Thing.

But I had to STAND on the brick before it did any good, if you catch my meaning (crack-goosh).

This insectile abomination will now be added to my list of things that are in all likelihood a direct consequence of the Fall of Man in Genesis 3: brussel sprouts, mosquitoes, country music, and now, potato bugs.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

25th Dating Anniverary



It was this month, 25 years ago, that I spoke tentatively and awkwardly to one of the most beautiful girls on our college campus, and our friendship morphed into a romantic relationship, and 18 months later, marriage.

I can't imagine life without her these past 25 years. Wendy is an incredible wife, lover, friend, confidant, encourager, mother, artist, and spiritual journeymate. I'm glad I finally worked up the nerve to ask her out, and even more so that she said yes.

And we're still dating!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Irony & Davey Jones' Locker

Pintel (menacingly): "The last we saw of ol' Bill Turner, he was sinking to the crushing black oblivion of Davy Jones' Locker."

(more thoughtfully) "Course it was only after that we learned we needed his blood to lift the curse."
Ragetti (subdued): "That's what you'd call ironic."

From DashHouse:
(Leonard) Sweet became a popular Church Historian/Futurist in the early days of the Emergent/Emerging Church and, in many ways, encouraged the “Emergent Turn.”

Recently, it should be noted here that Sweet offered the criticism that the “turn” may have gone too far with Emergent. So far, he asserts—rather than reach back into 2000 years of Church history, Emergent stopped at the “liberal turn” wherein the Gospel became all social and no gospel. Sweet emailed me:

"The emerging church has become another form of social gospel. And the problem with every social gospel is that it becomes all social and no gospel. All social justice and no social gospel. It is embarrassing that evangelicals have discovered and embraced liberation theology after it destroyed the main line, old line, side line, off line, flat line church."
People have been tossing around the "liberal label" in the direction of Emergent™ ever since critics first heard the word "postmodern". And as many charismatics attempt to shush their critics with bumper-sticker jargon like "you're too religious", the standard reply to the liberal label has been a similar "shut up" line, usually to the effect of "you're still trapped in modernism".

(Iron - E. Get it?)

It's been intriguing to see people who were "big names" in the emerging conversation ten years ago now applying the assessment of Emergent™ just being good, old-fashioned theologically liberal. Mark Driscoll's bizarre form of zealotry (linking pastoral adultery to fat lazy pastor's wives, and declaring that stay-at-home dads should be brought under church discipline) made it fairly easy to write off his comments about Emergent™=Liberal, but Len Sweet is a different matter.

Just suppose, for a second, that they're all correct; that Emergent™ is just Liberalism with a new marketing campaign. Theological Liberalism came out of the "higher criticism" of theologians in the late 1800's, and really came into its hey-day during the early part of the 20th century. The whole controversy between theological liberals and the early "fundamentalists" was one of the big dividing lines in the church of the first half of the 20th century.

So, where's the irony, you say? It's simply this:

IF liberal theology is one of the last theological developments of modernity, and

IF Emergent™ really is the new face of theological liberalism,

THEN Emergent™ itself is trapped in modernity.

Davey Jones' Locker may or may not apply, but if Emergent™ is actually stuck in modernity, then I'd have to agree with Ragetti: "That's what you'd call ironic."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post-Charismatic Now on Amazon

It's news to me, but apparently Amazon.com has finally begun to carry Post-Charismatic (!). The only puzzling thing is that I think I need another disclaimer on my blog:
I am not now, nor have I ever been, Robin McAlpine. Any other books by said author are not me.
But, erroneous namesakes aside, it's a pleasant surprise!