September 23, 2020

Internet Monk Radio Podcast #32

podcast_logo.gifWhat I mean when I say “Macarthur-type.” Yes, I stutter. Are the rules for male friendships coming next? (Thanks Pastor Ted.) Thoughts on poetry and literature.

UPDATE: This note from a listener: “Michael – a technical comment: your podcast (and several others) kept crashing and resetting my iPod before it could start the podcast(I have the 30GB Video with the 7.0.1 iTunes, so all software is up-to-date). Apple now says that some podcasts that are recorded in mono will crash an iPod when it also has the equalizer turned on.

I turned off the equalizer, and now I can hear the podcast just fine. I would love to hear the iMonk in stereo, but until that time, you can tell other listeners with similar besetting-resetting issues to turn off their iPod’s equalizer and the problem will go away.”

Comments

  1. I appreciate your honesty about stuttering. I stutter also, from a head injury as a child. I did therapy and the whole bit, and when God called me to preach I am not afraid to admit that I was wondering if God knew what He was doing

    I stutter frequently and it is quite obvious, and I don’t know why people feel the urge to point ums and ahs. I doubt you will get an apology, but I grew used to that a long time ago.

    My stuttering serves to humble me, becuase there is no doubt I would have been an arrogant jerk if I did not, because that is my natural leanings. But it keeps me humble, and lets me know I am not hot stuff.

    All of that to say, it is nice to hear someone talk honestly about it. I don’t find very many stutterers around the blogosphere.

  2. Michael – a technical comment: your podcast (and several others) kept crashing and resetting my iPod before it could start the podcast(I have the 30GB Video with the 7.0.1 iTunes, so all software is up-to-date). Apple now says that some podcasts that are recorded in mono will crash an iPod when it also has the equalizer turned on.

    I turned off the equalizer, and now I can hear the podcast just fine. I would love to hear the iMonk in stereo, but until that time, you can tell other listeners with similar besetting-resetting issues to turn off their iPod’s equalizer and the problem will go away.

  3. You raise some very good points regarding Evangelicalism and creativity. These are the same problems I have with CCM. I remember hearing the term before, “Jesus Quotient,” referring to how many times the name of Jesus was sung in a “Christian Song.” Essentially, “Christian Music” is only allowed to be praise music. If you want to write about other parts of life, well, they might let it slide, as long as you’re promoting “good Christian living.” But a song about doubt? Well, doubt is a lack of faith!

    When I began to notice this sort of thing, I began to refer to it as “party-line Christianity.” Everyone has to think alike and look alike and dissension can’t be tolerated.

    By the way, I thought your post on how others see us was very insightful. For some reason, it seems like we have all these assumptions, one of which is that everyone else shares the same assumptions. One of my favorite Sunday School lessons addressed this, actually. Our teacher took on the role of an unbeliever, and the class was supposed to witness to him. Eventually, it got to the point where he said, “Why should I believe all this?” and the response was a quick, “Because the Bible says so!” When he asked why he should believe what the Bible says, the answer was a very confident, “Because it’s the living word of God!” The teacher’s response was to take a Bible and toss it in the air. It fell to the ground, and the proceeded to not move any further. The teacher then said, “It doesn’t look very alive to me.”

    Had I been quicker on my feet, I should’ve said, “That’s because you’ve stunned it!” but I suppose we all have our regrets…

  4. hey Michael. just wanted to say that i am a long-time reader, albeit in a lurking capacity.

    i truly appreciated your comments on literature and your broader statements about Christians and the arts that you’ve made over time.

    being a songwriter and being a Christian has a lot of baggage with it. like you were saying in regard to literature, those same boxes exist in the musical realm.

    if i had a dollar for every blank stare that my music & lyrics have gotten from many Christians, then i’d be quite well off.

    there is indeed a tremendous pressure to stay away from certain topics, avoid honest critique of problems within the faithful, and heaven forbid you don’t tie up all the loose ends in your song lyrically before it is over.

    the positive for me, is that ironically non-Christians receive my musical art better than Christians do…even when the topic is explicitly Christian.

    this tells me that perhaps non-Christians are very much interested in an artistic dialog with Christians, but they demand a certain amount of realism and authenticity that is sorely lacking in the Christian marketplace.

    instead of a shiny package and a powerpoint presentation about how great the Christian life is, what the lost world really wants to see is transparency. they want Christians who admit that having faith is impossible in our own strength.

    for all the secular critique i hear about ‘fundamentalists,’ it almost never is about the true fundamentals of the faith. i find that people are less skeptical of the truth of God’s Word than they are of people who trivialize it by focusing on things other than Christ.

    anyhoo, just thought i’d throw in my 2 cents (’cause that’s about what it is worth) from an artist on the fringe perspective.

    keep up the good work Michael. keep on fighting the good fight brother.

  5. “Why can’t evangelicals write this level of liturature?”
    excellent questions Michael! For years I’ve often wondered
    about this…70 million Left Behind “novels” sold
    is disturbing enough.

    Peter Leithart has a very interesting article in Credenda Agenda
    “Why Evangelicals Can’t Write” – Blame it on Marburg

    http://www.credenda.org/issues/18-2liturgia.php

  6. In my opinion, Leithart is making a baseless, false assumption to describe a real phenomenon. There is plenty of symbolism left in Christianity without the “sacraments” to give us the needed symbols and metaphors to play with. It comes down more to the sharp distinction between sacred/profane and sanctified/secular that is taught almost subconsciously today. If you think it has always been this bad, go read some anti-slavery poems from the early 19th century and see who couldn’t write or who could.

    “Secular” (there’s that forbidden word I just used in a different sense mind you) poets and artists can be prolific about frivolity. Look at the Beatle’s “Rubber Soul” album….
    Christian contributors must take on grander themes due to grander subject matter…but with so little real world conviction played out from such grand metaphysics, our over dramatic songs and writings border on sappy. Put Christians near suffering and the soul will come back to their art, crush the flower to harvest the perfume…