Friday, March 29, 2013

Pope Francis video: washing the feet of a young Muslim woman prisoner

News Headline and video: "Pope Francis continued his gleeful abandonment of tradition by washing the feet of a young Muslim woman prisoner in an unprecedented twist on the Holy Thursday tradition".  (Hmm... young, woman, Muslim and prisoner...a quadruple no-no/outcast in some books) See also:

Pope Francis Washes a Muslim Woman's Feet on Holy Thursday: Conservatives Angry - Middle East Experi
From IB Times:
In yet another break with Catholic tradition, Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of two women, one of whom was a Muslim, during a Maundy Thursday ritual that has never before included either.
Pope Francis’ inclusion of two women, one of whom was Muslim, in a Holy Thursday Catholic rite has angered conservatives in the church. According to the Associated Press, Pope Francis’ unorthodox move angered many traditionalists in the Catholic Church who called the decision a “questionable example.” Liberals, however, reportedly welcomed it as a sign that the church is becoming more inclusive.
Pope Francis performed the ritual, which commemorates Christ’s Last Supper, on twelve inmates between the ages of 14 and 21 at a juvenile detention center outside of Rome, instead of performing it on Catholic priests at one of Rome’s basilicas as previous Popes have done.
“This is a symbol, it is a sign. Washing your feet means I am at your service,” Francis told selected participants at the Casal del Marmo facility.
“Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us,” he said. “This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty. As a priest and bishop, I must be at your service.”
Although Pope Francis performed the rite on women more than once while serving as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and archbishop of Buenos Aires, religious experts say that his inclusion of women in the ceremony as Pope marked a groundbreaking move for the church.  continued

Thursday, March 28, 2013

go after lost sheep

Pope Francis:
"Resist the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to God...We must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the 99 sheep; we have to step outside, to search for the lost sheep..
When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light … and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness … living within herself, of herself, for herself...theological narcissism."   link

"Where Have all the Penises Gone?" by Joel McKerrow

I am glad the  above title of Joel McKeerow's article on RED LETTER CHRISTIANS didn't prevent you from clocking to read more (:              Good article, and yes, it's a safe click to read the whole post.
Except below:

I am writing this from Rome, the epicentre of the empire that was. Today was spent walking around Vatican City, the religious epicentre of the empire that was. Aside from the grand spectacle of the place, the magnificent architecture, the stunning frescoes there was something missing that decidedly caught my attention. It wasn’t Benedict. It was the penises. Yes, you did just read that correctly. It was the absence of the penises…on the statues that is.

It became apparent to me today that many of the statues within Vatican City museum have had their penises lopped off and replaced with a fig leaf. I do not claim to be an art historian of any variety, my interest lies more in the social implications of such an act. Historically, as far as I was able to tell through some quick research, the penis’s were removed by order of various popes in the middle ages. It is a sad desecration of these beautiful pieces of art that, in itself, symbolises a sad religious emasculation of all things sexual. Perhaps it was simply seen as improper in their time. Perhaps it was a fearful running away from anything to do with sexuality. A separation of sexuality from anything to do with spirituality. A separation of the person who is good from the body that is not.

I have heard it said that the church offers guilt without sex and that society offers sex without guilt. 

-Joel McKeerow, continued here

Hauerwaus on Pope Francis

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Lillian Gish/ You Wouldn't Understand Anyway" 1994 Demos official re-release

Thanks to Sonya Wainscott and the violet burning for conspiring in this awesome birthday present: autographed CD (vintage and newly it here)

the pope's pipe

Luis Palau is right...and anyone who has been to Latin American knows it:

Why It Matters that Pope Francis Drinks Mate with Evangelicals

Yes, I admit to smoking..i mean, DRINKING this stuff...on Paraguay, with some other saints.
(may be some pics here)

a pope as "simply Brother'

Tony Palmer, on meeting the man who would become pope:

"Here I am in Argentina in a meeting with Cardinal Giorgio Bergoglio, who made it very clear to us during the meeting that we were not to refer to him by 'Eminence' or 'Excellency' as these titles are not found in the Bible and that simply 'Brother' would be better "

when the veil was split

Shane Claiborne:

"As Jesus was dying on the cross, the veil of the temple was split open,  setting all that was sacred free into the world."  -Shane Claiborne, back cover blurb for "How to Become a Saint: A Beginner's Guide," by Jack Bernard

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Rob Bell as the new James Dobson"

Fascinating quote by Branson Parler:

" a way, you could consider Bell to be the new James Dobson, of Focus on the Family. Both Dobson and Bell seem to think that the culture will be (or should be) a coherent whole regarding views of sexuality, marriage, etc. Both seem to believe Christians and American culture as a whole should basically have the same view and account of what marriage is for, how to understand sexuality, etc. But when I read the Bible, I don't see that.  -LlNK -by
Branson Parler ,Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Kuyper College and author of Things Hold Together: John Howard Yoder's Trinitarian Theology of Culture. A longer version of this piece can be found on Branson’s blog, With and Against the Grain. .

Friday, March 22, 2013

video: a crazy art museum docent dude we met in San Francisco

Dedicated to Mark DeRaud, who  has  taught me a lot about art appreciation.  This dude in the video is brilliant at recognizing the nationality and era of the paintings he is showing us:

entitlement to no title

It must be a sign from God that the
"title" of this song  I was playing in the car was glowing with Shekinah as I took the photo. (:

The two words at right are  just about everything I need to know about...well, check the category I tagged this post with below(:

Kindle is not God

I know you know that..but since we bibliophiles/Kindlephiles can be tempted..

I thought you might get a kick out of this:

Scot McKnight posted a prayer on his blog; a great prayer that should be prayed, but I couldn't help chuckle at the  unintentionally funny (and convicting) opening line...must be read carefully, so do click the link to get the context!: (:

Almighty God, kindle, we pray.... (continued here)

PS: He could've prayed to a Kindle Fire, that would totally make sense, too..

Pope Francis on the "sinful abetment of clericalism"

2007 sermon:
I have told my priests…:«If you can, rent a garage and, if you find some willing layman, let him go there! Let him be with those people a bit, do a little catechesis and even give communion if they ask him». A parish priest said to me: «But Father, if we do this the people then won’t come to church». «But why?» I asked him: «Do they come to mass now?» «No», he answered. And so! Coming out of oneself is also coming out from the fenced garden of one’s own convictions, considered irremovable, if they risk becoming an obstacle, if they close the horizon that is also of God. This is valid also for lay people…

BERGOGLIO: Their clericalization is a problem. The priests clericalize the laity and the laity beg us to be clericalized… It really is sinful abetment. And to think that baptism alone could suffice. I’m thinking of those Christian communities in Japan that remained without priests for more than two hundred years. When the missionaries returned they found them all baptized, all validly married for the Church and all their dead had had a Catholic funeral. The faith had remained intact through the gifts of grace that had gladdened the life of a laity who had received only baptism and had also lived their apostolic mission in virtue of baptism alone. One must not be afraid of depending only on His tenderness ... link

"Francis Among the Evangelicals "

Three evangelicals weigh in:

Francis Among the Evangelicals
Tim Gombis:

My Questions for the Pope

"Does the Mosaic Law have a role in the Christian's daily life?"

Book giveaway...great book....enter here ..
but if you are reading this book a few decades after the contest is over, the question at that post is still relevant:

Does the Mosaic Law have a role in the Christian's daily life?

Comment on that below, or on my Facebook  (I know FB will still be active in 2034, or whenever you read this)...

Rabbi Adam J. Bernay may get the conversation started.
You can guess he will say "yes" (:

In most translations of the
Apostolic Writings, it says Messiah Yeshua said, "Do not think that I came to
abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."
(Mat 5:17). Dr. David Stern, the man behind the “Jewish New Testament”
and “Complete Jewish Bible” translations exploded this myth. In his
introduction to the CJB, Dr. Stern explains that, in the Greek text – since
that’s what he had to work with – the word normally translated there as
“fulfilled” really means “to fill,” and therefore he says that it should be
translated not to fulfill but rather to fill fully or to complete, as in completing
a manuscript… which is fully in keeping with the ancient Jewish tradition
that the Messiah would explain fully difficult Torah passages and even
change completely our understanding of them!

But let’s say it really means “fulfill.” To argue that fulfilling means
cancellation is faulty reasoning. Many seem to have no ability to see
Messiah’s statement for what it plainly says. Our Messiah was clear:
fulfilling has nothing to do with destroying or annulling, and, in truth,
fulfilling is the opposite of annulment. Fulfilling means to complete or make
whole; to bring to the full; to provide what was lacking. Messiah Yeshua
came to make sure the Torah had all the necessary elements in it, especially
the principal thing: His death and resurrection.

In fact, in the language spoken at the time of Yeshua, for someone to say
you’ve “fulfilled” the Torah meant simply that you’ve interpreted it correctly.
; likewise, to “destroy,” “abolish,” or “nullify” the Torah meant that
you’d interpreted it incorrectly
! -Adam J. Bernay, "B.S."  pp, 167-68 , continue reading here

Rob Bell and Michelle Shocked on gay marriage

It was ironic and interesting to catch these two headlines in the same feed (click each to read article):

Just when I was sure Bell's new book tour wouldn't be even close to as controversial as his last one!

Turns out this issue, and not the universalism issue may be the reason his Christian publisher dropped him last book out).

Some reflections by Tony Jones (and David Fich) can be read by clicking "Why Rob Bell Matters."
 (BTW, on that book title, a great book about Rob Bell is this..but it will now need a new chapter ...already!

Bell has now done  follow-up interview below:

What we’re seeing right now in this day, I believe God pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and co-workers. And we’re realizing that God made some of us one way and some of us another. And it can be a beautiful thing. And so instead of throwing stones and causing more pain and suffering in the world by excluding some and writing off others and speaking in incredibly unkindly about some, we embrace that we’re all on a journey and all of us together, whatever our particular perspective is, let’s work together on the real problems we have ahead of us.
A lot of people when they say, by God ahead, do you mean like same sex marriage and – yes. And we live in a world where we have friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, people we’ve journeyed with for years who are gay. And we need to love, affirm and all of us together work on the real problems we have in the world.
And I think that’s one of the things you’re seeing right now, is you are seeing God pulling us all forward into a greater realization that we need more love. We need more fidelity. We need more monogamy. We need more people who are committed to each other. It’s not good for us to be alone. So this is a huge moment when I think lots of us are realizing the old way of seeing things doesn’t work. It causes so much pain and heartache. And God’s inviting us to see things in new ways. And we need to say yes and then we need to step into the future together.
Probably every generation had this sense of, “Man we’re living in the midst of history.” What’s interesting about this – and if you look through history, generally great new technological breakthroughs caused a ripple effect across culture. So technology seems to spur all sorts of social, economic, cultural and religious effects. And I think what has happened with the Internet – and lots of people are saying this – is simply you cannot live in your own tribal bubble anymore. You cannot stay cocooned off from how the world actually is.
And what happens when you are all suddenly exposed to thousands of different viewpoints is it can call your own into question and it can have this refining fire sort of dimension to it when you realize, “Wow, I’ve been living with a bunch of views and perspectives that don’t actually work and don’t actually bring life. So I need to be honest about that.” And that can be painful, but it’s also liberating. It’s where the life is.  -link

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bono's 2013 TED talk on poverty

more on Ezekiel/chariot meditation and the "chariot of ire"

See Doubting Thomas' post (HT Mike Morrell):
 “Jesus and Ezekiel’s Chariot” by Bruce Chilton

I first posted some background to this here:

Loud farts in Moses' interior chariot of epistemology, soundtracked by U2, The Cure and Michael Been

misundertaking spiritual warfare: reading in context and in (anabaptist) communitas

 “If we are going to grow up into Christ we have to do it in the company of everyone who is responding to the call of God.” (Eugene Peterson)

On the seemingly neverending list of "misundertaken" scriptures (especially due to
              verse-itis ,
              not reading in context,
                                        and reading through Western lenses)..

 How many times have you heard

"greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world?"

...and you KNEW that
  • the "He who is in you" is...of course, Jesus?
  • the "one who is in the world" is...of course, the devil?
  • the "you" is ...of course, the individual believer?
Read  1 John context, and get back to me.

The first two questions are partly true.
For example, simply reading the previous verses (unheard of!) suggests the primary answer to #2: "This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."  The devil is mentioned nowhere in the context.

It's the third question I'd like to focus on.
I wish everyone could read biblical Greek and Hebrew.
But speakers of language like Spanish GET the idea of a plural "you."
In fact, you should learn spanish JUST to read 1 John 4:4:

Ustedes, queridos hijos, son de Dios y han vencido a esos falsos profetas, porque el que está en ustedes es más poderoso que el que está en el mundo.  link, context
"Greater is he who is within you all" doesn't do it justice.
Just ask anyone from Texas.  "How are y'all doing?" usually means a single 'you".
To ask about a group, it's "y'all of y'all."

I sometimes suggest to Spanish speakers that  the "singular plurals" of the Bible are almost like an
"Ustedes va" --a grammatically incorrect phrase, the "you" is plural and the verb is singular--  a community as one, not one (individual) as the community as English forces us to think.

On the singular plural, see A Crash of Rhinos...a Committee of Buzzards.

It is ironic and should be obvious that one of the groups we can learn the most about spiritual warfare is Anabaptists/Mennonites, nonresisitants and pacifists!  How do folks who don't "do war" actually "do war" with the devil.  Secondly, they GET community/communitas.  I was privileged to spend a week in community (ahh)  studying spiritual warfare and worldview with a great Mennonite Brethren scholar, Paul Hiebert.
I may upload some of his notes.  There are also at least two helpful related resources:

Not to mention....okay I will... that high up on the list of misunderstood scriptures is the "spiritual armor" of Ephesians 6: "take up the shield of faith," which we usually read as addressed to an individual.
But it's addressed to a group/church...grammatically and theologically. 



"All men" watch porn?/The Great Porn Experiment

Brad Williams posts:

Men Like to Look At Naked Girls On The Internet. Here’s Why They Should Stop That.  (yes, it's a safe click)

Here's  the video he linked:
The Great Porn Ecperiment TED Talk

Pope Francis and humble power

In 2008, on the Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation center in Buenos Aires, Argentina(in this Pic).

As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he showed compassion for the victims of HIV-AIDS and in 2001, visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients.  Link:

Catholic Charismatic Renewal'

 One of the first things I noticed about the new pope is that when he first came out on the balcony,
he tried to hold the microphone himself.
(microphones themselves raise crucial questions; see chapter 38 of Pagitt's "Preaching Reimagined"),

 He eventually let his (literally) righthand man )  (=servant)take it.

But as is obvious with what we know so far about Francis I...

 (has always insisted on speaking on same level as his audience,  went to evangelical pastors meetings in Argentina and asked for prayer,  asked for prayer from the crowd at installation, rode the train and subway to work as arcbishop, checked out of the hotel himself, and then took the bus with other bishops after installation

....  the guy is humble with his approach to power.
And he doesn't seem to be proud of his humility.
This will be interesting to see how we navigates all the trappings and pompenstance.

How far can he/will he take this?

   "No title, Just call me Francis "  (:
    (on titles, see this, this, this, this  and  especially this )

See John Thavis' post, reflecting on How does Pope Francis understand “papal power”?
Observations on his first mass:

-- He eliminated the offertory procession, which typically features many Catholics or groups of Catholics bringing gifts directly to the seated pope. Vatican officials said this, too, was a move designed to save time. I can’t help but think it also reflected Francis’ desire to remove himself from the center of the liturgical stage.
-- He decided not to distribute Communion, leaving that task to priests and deacons. Some have suggested that the pope may have wanted to avoid the embarrassment of giving Communion to VIPs – including some international politicians – who may disagree with some church teachings.
My own theory is that, again, he was removing himself as a celebrity celebrant. For years, people have pulled strings to get into the pope’s Communion line, and it’s often seen as some kind of reward or sign of prestige.
LINK:complete article: Simplicity and compassion front and center How does Pope Francis understand “papal power”?

As character (or not) has said in concert:
"We got the show,
We do the business.
But this is not show business." (video)

Another of my first thoughts on Francis was the famous apocryphal (?) story of St Francis visiting the Vatican.  A quick googling shows others have connected these dots:

G.K. Chesterton tells the story of the time that St. Francis of Assisi visited Rome and the pope of the day proudly showed him all the wondrous treasures of the Vatican. Referring to a story in the Biblical Book of Acts in which St. Peter spoke with a beggar in Jerusalem and told him he had no money, the pope pointed to the treasures around him and said, “Peter can no longer say ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” 
St. Francis’ response: “Neither can he say, ‘Rise up and walk.’” 
... St. Francis’ point was that the triumphal, institutional church of his day was prestigious and wealthy, but it had lost the inner fire and dedication that made Christianity a world-transforming faith. 
So now we have a Pope Francis, and we are about to see what he can make of the papacy, and whether the Catholic Church in his day will be able to rise up like the beggar and walk. In some ways, Francis was a typically canny choice by the oldest electoral college in the world.  link


"What if the Pope was one of us..."

And don't get me started on Francis' marvelously mssional mindset:
"Jesus goes out to meet people, instead of waiting for people to come looking for Him...Today the place for Christ is the street; the place for the Christian is the street." -Pope Francis/ Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 3/21/09LInk, along with many sermons

The Power of Seduction in Our Everyday Lives: Chen Lizra at TED

see also:
  1. holy heteroclite:: Reduction of Seduction Part 1
    PART ONE: INTRODUCTION "My theme is seduction, resistance, and the cultural consequences of both." No, this is not a quote from God on ...
  2. holy heteroclite:: The Reduction of Seduction: Part 2: Gleaning from ...
    You have accidentally reached the blog of heteroclite dave wainscott, ... How then to "reduction of the seduction that so insidiously infiltrates the ...
  3. holy heteroclite:: does open source invite sexual indiscretion?

Can a Scientist Believe the Resurrection? (NT Wright)

RSA Animate videos

Complete collection and info here
(they also have  a ssries like the TED talks here)

Zimbardo on The Secret Powers of Time:

Pinker on Language as a Window into Human Nature:

Do Arely on The Truth of Dishonesty:

Roman Krznari on The Power of Outrospection

Žižek on  Chartable Giving,  First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Monday, March 18, 2013

SK: 'to be known by God in time makes life so strenuous"

Søren Kierkegaard was examined for his theological degree on  July 3, 1840 at the University of Copenhagen. His thesis was titled "On the Concept of Irony with Constant Reference to Socrates." How did he feel as he went into the exams? An early writing, The Fork, gives a clue: " also seems to me that to be known by God in time makes life so strenuous. Wherever he is, there every half hour is of tremendous importance. But to live in that manner is not endurable for sixty years; it is scarcely possible to endure even for three years the severe study required for the professional examinations which is however not nearly so strenuous as such a half hour."  LINK

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dave Matthews on God....and monkeys

He really gets "Kingdom on earth"...never heard it said like this, though: "the good s___'s HERE" Most of the God content is from 27 min mark

Vintage Rob Bell sermons at Willow Creek:

We're Over Here:
Between Two Trees: Nazarite vow:


Complete 5-part conference sessions below
Notes by Kevin Neuner
Notes on 1-4 by Marcus Tutt
Notes by Leon Bloder (includes the Shane Hipps and  Peter Rollins sessions also)
Session 1 Notes by Tim Ghalli

Lon posted this photo of a bucket of cash collected at the conference for a pastor who was fired..just for attending the conference

But DVD here

 1)The Original Guerilla Theatre

2)Beginning in the Beginning:

3)The Science of Homiletical Architecture #3 :

4)Radar Buckets and Chunks in the Marinade:

5) Death by Paper Cuts:

Jesus Wants to Save Christians

Rob Bell and Don Golden:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bono on the pre-show ritual/prayer

The pre-show ritual never changed either. Each night, before they go on stage, U2 do exactly the same thing … ‘We always have half an hour before we go on stage,’ said Bono. “It’s a hard thing to describe, but we sort of pray. We tell each other how lucky we are. In that way that one shouldn’t be public about private matters of faith, where we say is secret, but it’s important. We are grateful for what our music has given us, and above all, what God has given us … This is the only time that it’s just us together, heads together, praying, and we do it every gig.” -From the Ground Up: U2360° Tour Official Photobook --LINK

Drawing Numbers in the Matrix Sand / U2 with Aaron's lipstick case on the ground at 8:17

An interviewer once asked the Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy if all the biblical allusions and references people spot in the movies were intentional.

I am guessing many fans were anxious for the  (hardly orthodox Christian) brothers to deny or at least defuse such expectations

They said something like:

 "Yes, and there are more than anyone knows!"

As examples, just trace the license plate references,

and the Nebuchaddnezzar's plaque.

One can go overboard and into numerology tracing number references in U2.
They begin with the name of the band itself.

Many of the number references are chapter and verse.

We've found different ways of expressing it, and recognized the power of the media to manipulate such signs. Maybe we just have to sort of draw our fish in the sand. It's there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't." -- Bono - atu2, click for list of U2 Bible references

 One can see demons behind every bush, and fish on every beach.


Bono himself admits the J33:3 on an  album cover is a tip to Jeremiah 33:3, what he calls "God's phone number."  This would  almost certainly also cover the "3:33" on the clockface in "Unknown Caller."...see this classic video of fans wanting to help other fans with that interpretation.

A case can be made for the "Uno dos tres catorce' intro to "Vertigo"   being a throwaway...or:

This may sound like a stretch, but i think it may be the case.

Recent albums have included bible references, chapter and verse.  Bono has admitted as much with the J33 on the ATYCLB cover, etc.

UNO/ONE:  first testament
DOS/TWO: second book
TRES/THREE: third chapter
CATORCE/14: 14th verse

which=Exodus 3:14, where God reveals his name, Yahweh, or I AM.

If you see the notes for the book included in the deluxe album, Bono's scribbles make much of this name.  Of course the last song, "Yahweh" is named by this name..and "All because of you, I AM" as well.


Listening again to audio of an Oakland 2011 concert I attended, I noticed that in the prophetic  rap in the outro where Bono usually says   "Your case as you put it down 8:17 on the ground"  (see discussion here and here), he offered "8:17 as you put it down on the ground."

This resurrects several debates, but  as I googled to verify this change, one of the returns was:

 Exodus 8:17 : "They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust on the ground."


Often it sounds like the case (sometimes "lipstick case" is what is put down on the ground.
Could we make the case that the case is Aaron's staff?

Does Bono love
Click here for interp of the song
Exodus or not? 

As a bonus find, Genesis  8:17 also has "on the ground' !

Whether he is found Bongolesing, glossolalia-ing, nigun-ing  and keening...or just plain forgetting the lyrics on a night like Oakland when he was sick and wonder.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

an impossibly bad ending that's good news

"They [left the tomb] said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid."

Uh, no, a biblical gospel can't end like that.

Unless it does.

As it must.

One of the arguments in favor of this probable ending   of Mark's gospel (16:8) is that it's

  • real
  • really real
  • honest
  • not nice and tidy
  • subversive
The gnotty theological problems with the verses 9-20 ending are notorious.
The main problem with the (yet) other alternative ending (which hardly anyone treats as orignal):

"But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation": it DOES wrap things up (too) nicely.

It is brutally and graciously honest.

These short videos on Mark are helpful:
   Joe Dongell
   Ben Witherington

Ben Witherington: Gospel of Mark

At least it doesn't leave Jesus dead..though we need to do that once in awhile.
Ask Peter Rollins about that sometime.
Or Bruce Cockburn and Monty Python.
Or Ray Bradbury.
Or Walter Wangerin:

Reading in seminary the chilling passage in Wangerin's "The Orphean Passages" where the pastor can't even speak on Good Friday has hopefully cured me once and for all of the extreme end of the"It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" spectrum.

From the book:

"Jesus was dead. There was absolutely nothing left to say."

That's not the expected Good Friday sermon.

But it's the only one we have.

I wrote in my response paper, realizing I didn't get Friday grieving:

"Do I know or love Jesus?"

I don't always love lament, but lament loves me. I grieve not grieving.
Here's my Good Friday message from a years ago.."The Lord Be With You..,,.Even When He's Not!"   -
  Yes, I know he's not not with us.
But even though that's the point, it's sometimes not the point.
It's partly Friday on Sunday sometimes.
                -Link: Well-Ended Stories That Don't End Well

If you think this is crazy, you probably aren't ready to hear that Jesus died naked. either.

But that's the good news.
It's the only way the veil is ripped,
and the only means of death being subverted..
and me being converted.

"The Joy of Being Wrong"

An amazing book by Catholic theologian James Allison drawing heavily on  René Girard and: mimetic theory;
and suggesting all theology--especially original sin--must be seen through the resurrection.

St. Francis: ‘Open your mouth and I will shit in it’"

St. Francis' advice to Brother Rufino:

But when the devil says to you again: ‘You are damned’,  you answer him confidently: ‘Open your mouth and I will shit in it’, and let it be a sign to you that he is the devil that when you say those words, he will immediately go away…
             -St Francis, Little Flowers, Part 1, Section 1. chapter 29 

holy synesthesia happens at El Pollo Loco

Even  El Pollo Loco Mexican Restaurant gets  the idea of synesthesia.

(maybe it's the chicken [=pollo] connection; or the spanish connection)

Hope a full blown theology of  holy synesthesia will happen soon.

I can taste the shape of it now!

 Jesus had holy synesthesia and wants to infect us ...

and posts tagged synesthesia below


His tweets (or facebook status) must be followed.

Cover Photo

Breaking news: Jesus is bigger than the Bible

I was honored that one of my heroes, "Antioch" Shawn Spiess, quoted

 and namechecked  me in a sermon recently at New Destiny Church, Kansas City on the topic of bibliolatry (see  1:32:25 below).  

It's my infamous list of "misundertaken" Scriptures  (read the list complete list here, along with some shocking quotes by John MacArthur I've collected.  I'm sure MacArthir is a great guy, but maybe someone needs to confront him I once tried to do with Chuck Colson here)

Kudos to Shawn for being a pastor brave enough to quote me...uh jk...brave enough to, in a sermon from the Bible,
teach the flock that the Bible itself points to something bigger.

Watch live streaming video from ndckc at


René Girard videos: mimetic theory


René Girard

History, desire, conflict, Christianity: on Peter's denial:

is violence ever OK to protect a loved one?

The question is an old and classic one. Folks like John Howard Yoder have suggested  that the question, as practical as it is, is a false place to start.  He tackled various responses in a book (book link here; see also this link ). Greg Boyd's take  on the extreme nature of the question in the four minute video below 

"It’s Biblically Impossible to Be Biblical" by Ed Cyzewski


Thursday, March 07, 2013

"blowing all the other kids away": song interp

Bono once told me he would take me to church.

He made good on that offer he made to me...and 40,000 other fans gathered in Sacramento.
(if you groaned at that cheap shot, you should know that I really did go shopping with Paul Newman, and Keltic Ken really did go bowling with the Captain and Tenille.  See this)

Like many good friends do, Bono also tipped me off to some good music.
He once told me (and anyone else reading the interview in a book) about The Secret Machines.

One website called them something like "Sounding better than The Killers before The Killers; Pink Floyd meets Duran Duran at the cross by way of The Who".
Even though I knew they couldn't live up to that, Bono's recommendations have a  proven track record
(The sticker on the Silverchair "Diorama"  album quoting Bono as saying "Swim to Australia to hear these guys if you have to"  along with  the Narnia-themed band sold me).

So when I saw a  $1.95 CD by them the next day, I didn't hesitate.

One of the songs that captured me is "The Road Leads Where Its Led ".
If it's a new song for you, try listening to it first (video below) before reading lyrics and possible interpretations (further below)
Cultivating sounds for all the mothersWho come near to find outCalling post bombs of responseWith cotton in their earsAnd goodbye kisses for the ones in the ground
Collecting fallout from the blastThe road leads where it's ledAnd all the darlingsCover earth with bare handsThey're blowing all the other kids away
Oh angels, stole the showThe roaring seraphs singingThunder called the mothers children home
Blowing all the other kids awayBlowing all the other kids awayBlowing all the other kids awayWith all your charmBlowing all the other kids awayBlowing all the other kids away
We communicate by semaphoreNo language, we've got flags of our ownThe road leads where it's ledAnd all the darlings cover earth with bare hands
They're blowing all the other kids awayThey're blowing all the other kids away
Oh angels, stole the showThe roaring seraphs singingThunder called the mothers children home
Blowing all the other kids awayBlowing all the other kids awayBlowing all the other kids awayWe won't be fooled
Blowing all the other kids awayLike all of your charmsBlowing all the other kids awayUncertainty failsAs heaven surrounds you
Blowing all the other kids away(Blowing all the other kids away)Blowing all the other kids away


On what it's about, you can decide..or check out the Song Meanings website here.
(as usual, some of the suggestions will remind you of what Linus saw in the clouds).

It works on several levels for me.   I sometimes hear  it as a spiritual  army of prophetic children/spiritual warfare, for example.

One of the answers given on Song Meanings
has to do with the band's  war with a  record label who offered them lots of mammon to compromise.

Bet you didn't read it that way as you read the lyrics a minute ago.

But it is a word for pastors, eh?

It connects me to two songs from my day

  • "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd  (see posts here)
  • ""Down and Out" by Genesis (ironic in that it spoofs  a manager tempting a band to sell out commercially, and it's the lead track on what some see as the first Genesis album to sell out.

Other song examples?