Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday Musings

The rain is melting away the snowy nightmares. March has plunged it's slushy blade into February's ample loins, declaring victory in 28 day gasp.

Let's muse.


The Oscars happened last night. I was going to do a blow-by-blow, but such things tend to disintegrate into meditations on the similarity between dresses and drapery.

I have hit upon one key problem, and it contributes to this perception that the program is overlong. As it goes on, it gets a lot more boring. In fact, it is most boring at the precise moment it should be most exciting. The awards go into full spew mode during the most important categories, when the show should be building tension. That's when we should have Doogie doing his pointless "no one wants to be alone" dance.

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Oh, and so begins the Avatar backlash. About time.

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Brian McLaren's recent book, a New Kind of Christianity has been widely (uniformly, in fact) criticized by reliable Christian outlets. The main criticisms are that he is reinventing the broken wheel of the social gospel, and pretending instead that he has located an evolved perspective on scripture.

He also resorts to ad hominems (he accuses evangelicals of achieving their ends via mass murder), and generally disavows fundamental truths (atonement and resurrection, heaven and hell, the original sin).

McLaren responds to a recent Christianity Today piece (penned by Scot McKnight, who is himself a part of the emergent church):

"If those who ask these questions in evangelical contexts are treated with suspicion and hostility rather than hospitality, then inquisitive people will only be able to find responsible and open conversation partners outside of the evangelical community... I hope the opportunity presented by these questions will be seized by many evangelicals – an opportunity for relaxed (or at least non-tense) and hospitable (or at least non-hostile) conversation."

Number of people who criticized Brian McLaren for asking questions: zero.

As someone who belongs to groups McLaren has dubbed racist, xenophobic, genocidal, pro-slavery McCarthyite, he can take his humble request for hospitable conversation and shove it. When McLaren can honestly and forthrightly respond to his critics without couching verbal assaults behind rose-tinted language, he will get real discourse.

Were he to do so, we would see that the emperor has no clothes, and no movement behind him.

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Barack Obama is taking credit for "putting what was broken (in Iraq) back together and getting our troops home, which we intend to do in August of this year."

Setting aside the question of how, exactly, Obama achieved this, doesn't this give lie to the hysterical criticisms of Bush's war policy? According to the left, George W. Bush was a mass murderer who had engaged us in a debacle that overshadows even Vietnam. And yet, it only took one year to clean up?

Really? We're talking about prosecuting the guy for war crimes, and our military was able to right the ship and clean up his mess in one year?

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Okay I'm not setting aside the question above. How does Obama get to take credit for this? How is this "his greatest achievement"? He is doing exactly what Bush said would work, and what he and Biden said would not work. I just want that out there for the record the next time one of my lefty friends wants me to take them seriously on foreign policy.

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Went to Adelitas on Central Friday night. If you took your average tex-mex joint, and gave everything a bit of a makeover, from decor to the bar to the flavors, you'd have Adelitas. Nothing was intolerable, and the portions are absurd, so if that's your bag, you could do worse (like La Casita up the street... Yuck)

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We're saving our money instead for this weekend's Fork the Fire event to benefit for Heidi's and Blackbird restaurants. Lot's of ways to help out and eat great food at the same time. Go do it.

3 Comments:

Blogger brgulker said...

Just curious, do you plan on reading McLaren's recent book? I've read some of his early stuff and loved it, but I've read some of his more recent stuff and found it hollow.

I haven't read the new book, and I may never.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

No. I liked a New Kind of Christian, and a couple of his other books, but even then it was work to navigate his lousy, repetitive prose. I read the first few chapters of the "Secret Message of Jesus", and that was enough indulging him.

He's become a left-wing equivalent of a televangelist, a highly politicized self promoter who often says things that are wrong and crazy.

2:38 PM  
OpenID brgulker said...

Ha! At least he makes his money selling books instead of duping the poor. (Or maybe his books are the dupe ;) )

10:18 AM  

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