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Monday, March 31, 2008

It's a Fire....Save the Books!

OK...BryanL tagged me with the save the books tag. Here is out here goes:

Books are scarce in the world. They are illegal in some provinces. They are not easily replaced if not impossible to replace if lost in many if not most circumstances. If you can replace a book or buy one it is usually through the black market at astronomical costs that you cannot afford. Yet you have been able to maintain one of the best collections in the world. If your entire library was about to burn up (think of the firefighters in Fahrenheit 451 invading your home) and you could only have one* book to take with you other than the bible, what would that be and why?

Simple Rules
Answer the question. Offer one quote that resonates with you. Tag five people whose response is of genuine interest to you and inform him or her that they have been tagged. Cheers!

*And it cannot be an entire series of something, that’s cheating.

So...I choose Pascal's Pensées. I know, I know, it's obvious. I may as well have chosen the Bible, even though it is against the rules.

Here is why I have chosen the Pensées:

1. There is always something to think about. Pascal really gets you thinking and wrestling.

2. My cat is named Pascal, so if I chose a different book she would be giving me the eye for the rest of my life.

3. This is the main reason, and it is going to sound a little corny. When I read Pascal, it is like I am talking to a friend. I cannot explain how it happened, but when I was first introduced to him in my Philosophy of Religion class, I immediately found a theological soul mate. Reading Pascal is like sitting down with a lifelong friend over a cup of coffee and talking. It is like we really relate, and I look forward to meeting him some day. I know this sounds really flaky, but when I think about Pascal, and the relationship we have formed (both the physicist/theologian and my cat), it makes me kind of misty. I can't explain it, but he is truly one of my best friends.

Wiki has this on Pascal: On November 23, 1654, Pascal is said to have been involved in an accident at the Neuilly-sur-Seine bridge where the horses plunged over the parapet and the carriage nearly followed them. Fortunately, the reins broke and the coach hung halfway over the edge. Pascal and his friends emerged unscathed, but the sensitive philosopher, terrified by the nearness of death, fainted away and remained unconscious for some time. Upon recovering fifteen days later, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, Pascal had an intense religious vision and immediately recorded the experience in a brief note to himself which began: "Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars…" and concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: "I will not forget thy word. Amen." He seems to have carefully sewn this document into his coat and always transferred it when he changed clothes; a servant discovered it only by chance after his death. This piece is now known as the Memorial. The story of the carriage accident as having led to the experience described in the Memorial is disputed by some scholars.

Here is the Memorial:
The year of grace 1654
Monday, 23 November, feast of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr, and of others in the Martyrology.
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others.
From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.

'God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,' not of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
God of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Thy God shall be my God.'
The world forgotten, and everything except God.
He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospels.
Greatness of the human soul.
'O righteous Father, the world had not known thee, but I have known thee.'
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have cut myself off from him.
They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.
'My God wilt thou forsake me?'
Let me not be cut off from him for ever!
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I have cut myself off from him, shunned him, denied him, crucified him.
Let me never be cut off from him!
He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Sweet and total renunciation.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and my director.
Everlasting joy in return for one day's effort on earth.
I will not forget thy word. Amen.
Hmmm...who to tag, Prince Muddy Paws, Pastor Rick (for whom I will have to post), Mikaela, and if your name begins with L or S, you are tagged.

(Prince Muddy Paws is a cat, so that should be interesting.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Typical Christian

I've been chatting with BryanL on the Obama/Jeremiah Wright issue. In our conversations, we briefly chatted on the "typical white person" statement by the senator. I'm not trying to start a political fight; that's not what this post is about.

The statement got me thinking about what is a typical anyone. And then I started thinking about the relationship to Christianity. Is there a typical Christian? What does that look like? How would we describe one? How would the world describe one?

Here are my two questions for you:

1. What is a typical Christian?
a. from the Christian perspective
b. from the world's perspective

2. How would you say Scripture describes what a typical Christian should be?

I don't even know if those questions can be answered, but I'd be interested in what you think.

Again, this is not a political battle.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pick Two

Today I was listening to a Christian radio station and some band has done a U2 song remake. Now if this is your second cousin or something, please forgive me, but I wanted to puke. It just sounded like some Christian band trying to remake a U2 song...which I guess it was. The song was not particularly bad, it is just that they are not U2.

There are certain artists and singers who just can't be redone, especially if the song sounds a lot the same and there is no original sound to it. Maybe if a song is completely redone it might be OK, but just leave certain artists alone. No one will ever sound like Bono, so don't even try.

I'm picking Billy Joel and U2 for artists that just should not be remade. When Garth Brooks did "Shameless," I thought it was shameful. Billy Joel should never be sung with a twang. There should be a Constitutional amendment on massacring Billy Joel songs.

Oh...and Jimmy Buffet, too.

Here is my question for you: If you had to pick two artists that you think should never be redone, who would they be?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Valley of Shadow of Death

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,

Friday, March 7, 2008

Is God Bipolar?

It started with BryanL posting a video called "Jesus Love You." (Bryan got it from Celucien L. Joseph). James wrote about God having a split personality. This caused me to remember an article in "The Onion" called "God Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder." Check it out:

For those of you who do not know, "The Onion" is a satirical newspaper. It is not Christian, and their articles often contain profanity. If this offends, I would not visit their site.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm Backslidden

I took this test on the Lark News web site that evaluated my "Evangelicalness." It turns out I am backslidden.

I think most people who know me will not be surprised, but I had to make a public confession of my lacking Evangelicalness.

The questions are cute, such as this:
Your car bumper sticker reads
a. Pro-Child, Pro-Choice
b. My child is an honor student
c. My boss is a Jewish carpenter

Since I have a bumper sticker that says, "My Cat is smarter than your honor student," I chose B.

Anyway, it looks like my Evangelical status is in question. Pray for my soul.