June 4, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 10.13.12

Greetings, iMonks, and welcome to the black-arm-band, I’m-in-mourning edition of Saturday Ramblings. After taking two games in San Francisco, the Cincinnati Reds returned home and promptly lost three straight to the godless Giants, thus ending what had been such a promising season. Is it better to have won the division and lost in the playoffs than to never have won (i.e., the Cubs) at all? That is a question too ponderous for me to consider in my bereavement. So if you don’t mind, let’s get to rambling …

Where is Danville, Kentucky, you ask? Who knows. But on Thursday night it was the center of the universe, if even for just a couple of hours, as Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan pulled on their gloves and went at it for 15 solid rounds. It was Catholic vs. Catholic, yet it seemed more like Spy vs. Spy. Is the white Spy the good guy, or the black Spy? Both Spies, or neither Spy? And with two Catholics going at it, who was the Pope pulling for?

Most likely, Pope Benedict XVI was too busy celebrating the the 50th anniversary of Vatican II to watch the VP debate. Here is an article by the Pope recalling the council that modernized the Catholic Church. Ok, the article is not by THE Pope, but it is by John Pope.

Or maybe B16 was busy brushing up on his Arabic.

In any case, we know where presidential candidate Mitt Romney was. He was in Montreat, North Carolina, being blessed by the American pope, Billy Graham. Graham, who turns 94 the day after the elections, stopped just short of giving Romney his endorsement. Well, Billy Graham has earned the right to do what he wants, right? It’s just when people believe that Graham’s endorsement means the same as God’s endorsement that the trouble begins.

Tonight, Romney will be on politicking at the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio (my hometown). The Golden Lamb is the oldest inn still in existence today in Ohio. Old-timers there just call it The Hotel. If you are planning to go, make sure you walk across the street to the Village Ice Cream Parlor for a double-dip cone. Much more enjoyable than listening to a politician.

My goodness. Seems that Rachel Held Evans is creating no end of fuss. How so, you ask? By writing a book. A book about living as a biblical woman. No, not as a Focus on the Family, 21st century America version of a biblical woman, but a woman doing all that the Bible commands women to do. Rachel followed these commands for a year and wrote about her experiences. Now Lifeway Bookstores (your bastion of Baptist theology) is refusing to carry the book. And a reviewer on John Piper’s Desiring God blog weighs in, saying, “As I read the book, it became increasingly clear to me of one theme: God’s word was on trial. It was the court of Rachel Held Evans. She was the prosecution, judge, and jury. The verdict was out. And with authority and confidence, she would have the final word on womanhood.” All I know is, after reading this review, I definitely want to read the book. (Thomas Nelson, are you listening to me? Send me a copy.) And just in case you were wondering what Evans really thinks about the Bible, you can read it in her own words here.

And you wonder why I think politics is about the funniest thing going today. Could it be because of people like Georgia congressman Paul Broun, a medical doctor and a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology? He understands that in politics, most of your days will be spent talking with those who differ in one degree or another with you. That’s why it’s good to learn how to properly respond to others, such as he did while speaking at a church banquet where he said, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.” Look, I don’t if he believes in a young earth and six literal 24 hour days of creation, but good grief man, grow up in the way you say it. Just sayin’…

On the other hand, Adam Hamilton, writing for the Huffington Post, needs to get his facts straight. Broun was speaking at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia, not Liberty University.

It seems the Nones are on the rise. “Religiously unaffiliated” is the fast-growing segment in the faith (or non-faith, as the case may be) community in America these days. Is this a concern, or an exciting opportunity to be able to share the Good News of Jesus more than ever? Discuss.

Ever wanted to win the Nobel Prize? You looked at President Obama and said, “Wow! He won and he hasn’t done a thing. I haven’t done a thing, either. How can I be nominated?” Well, it seems you’ll need to do something more to enhance you chances at winning than just sitting around in your BVDs. You’ll need to eat more chocolate. Well, you didn’t think you would win that dynamite prize without some sacrifice, did you?

Isn’t this why God invented smart phones?

And finally, because I have the keyboard and can write about what I want to, the Rolling Stones have just released their first new single since 2005. Yes, they’re still alive. And apparently kicking. Doom and Gloom is a tune about killing—wait for it—zombies. Well, why not? Hasn’t Mick earned the right to sing about what he wants to? It’s just when people believe Mick Jagger’s words mean the same as God’s words that  the trouble begins.

Happy birthday balloons were sent this last week to Carole Lombard; Tony Dungy; Desmond Tutu; Oliver North; Yo-Yo Ma; Simon Cowell; Walter Lord; Sigourney Weaver; Chevy Chase; Jesse Jackson; John Lennon; John Entwistle; Jackson Browne; Mike Singletary; Sean Lennon; Helen Hayes; Thelonius Monk; John Prine; Eleanor Roosevelt; Art Blakey; and Kirk Cameron.

I have always loved Jackson Browne’s tunes, especially his deep, gritty, thinking-man’s tunes, like this one. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV03illYdTM’]



  1. Can’t bea6t Yo Yo Ma!

  2. Good night, John Pope.

  3. “Graham, who turns 94 the day after the elections, stopped just short of giving Romney his endorsement.”

    And Christianity Today published an article claiming that Mormonism is simply another less orthodox version of Christianity, so those of you hair-splitters who still believe Mormonism is heresy, get over yourselves. 8-|

    • Richard Hershberger says

      This was pretty much inevitable once a Mormon received the Republican nomination. As a though experiment, consider if it had been the Democrats who nominated a Mormon.

      • Poor Billy Graham. Don’t blame him; just look at where the marionette strings lead. And it isn’t far. “When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.

      • I don’t think democrats would care, but I also don’t think democrats would make his religion a selling point.

        Obama may be attacking faith values (I beg to differ, but let’s just say), but Karl Rove is marginalizing the faith. Christianity can survive being made illegal; it has in the past. Christianity cannot survive secularization and syncretization. History is full of examples of that, too. But both sides seem to be trying to force orthodoxy into extinction as an inconvenience to political unity. Rousseau would be very pleased. While evangelicals seem to be checking their tribulation timelines more than ever, both parties are driving us ever closer to the apostate one world religion that worships the ultimate symbol of power.

      • David Cornwell says

        Yes, what would be going on right now if Obama had been a Mormon? The mark of the beast would be just below his skin somewhere waiting to show itself publically. So– Joseph Smith, who is elevated to the level of Moses in Mormonism, is just another less orthodox version of Luther? Makes me wonder if Christianity Today is going to engage a correspondent from Brigham Young University. Or sell them ads.

        • Yeah, Republicans would have vilified a Mormon Democratic opponent.

          I honestly could care less. If Romney had been marketed as a defender of the constitution, the country, and fiscal responsibility, his religion would have not been an issue. But he was sold to the cultural warriors as the Pope-like leader who will sponsor prayer breakfasts and champion the conservative “religious” agenda, so he had to become an evangelical figurehead. The problem is how much of Christian orthodoxy had to be carved out to make that possible. Luther to the rescue yet again! It’s time return to the principle of separation of kingdoms, where the presidency is a civil office and not the defacto leader of a Quasi-national religion. It’s time for the establishment of a confessing church, similar to the one which opposed Hitler’s fake national religion.

    • Dumb Ox, is this the Christianity Today article you’re talking about?

      If so, take a second look. The author Gerald R. McDermott speculates on whether Mormonism is like Christianity and then identifies the similarities, but comes around to declaring the two very different. Here’s a quote from the second page of the online article:

      “So Mormon doctrine is quite different from historic Christian orthodoxy on the Incarnation, the origins of Jesus’ divinity, his relationship to the Father, the Trinity, monotheism, human nature, and the creation of this cosmos.”

      If there’s another article let me know. I’m a big fan of CT and that could change things bigtime.

      • The problem is that the article approaches Mormonism as “different” or “objectionable”, meaning the problem is not with Mormonism, but with those darn intolerant, uptight orthodox types. They don’t really clarify the earlier statement, “But are these evangelicals right to think that Mormonism is not Christian?” or “But if we should not ignore the differences, we must also not ignore the overlap between Mormon views and mainstream Christian views. For one thing, Mormons insist they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.” Evangelicals cannot build bridges with Mormonism as with Catholicism. There is no foundational credal commonality, as there is with Catholicism. Without that foundation, the meaning of Jesus as “Savior” or “Lord” is meaningless. Jesus is not our savior because he teaches us how to progress to divinity, although that is what the faith-prosperity teachers also seem to teach. It takes more than using the same words; we need to apply the same meaning to those words. The Moonies also believe Christ is savior; they just happen to believe Sun Myung Moon is the Christ. I suppose that’s splitting hairs, too.

        • If Romney is not a Christian, then he has to be evaluated solely on his policies and platform. With the religious superstition out of the way, all I see is his Randian, social Darwinistic agenda. So, if I have to base my decision on my convictions as a Christian, rather than on the claims that the candidate is a Christian, I have a real dilemma to deal with. It would help if there was a third option.

        • The other news this week was Romney’s efforts to distance himself from pro-life legislation. Tell me again why a faith-based vote would be cast for him? Trust me, I am not stating this because I think Obama is a better choice. This decision is not as clear-cut as religious conservatives are claiming it is. I am sick and tired of going into a voting booth with my nose plugged and casting a vote for the lesser of two evils. How can so much money have been spent on this campaign – particularly by religious conservative organizations – and these are the choices we get???

        • Thanks. But I see the article as pretty objective, asking the questions and arriving at the answer that no, Mormonism is not a branch of Christianity, no matter what Mormons think they believe. We can be friends with them, but I agree with you that we can’t really build theological bridges if their understanding of God, creation, Christ, the Trinity, etc, can’t be reconciled. Jesus as “lord and savior” would mean something entirely different if John 1:1 weren’t true.

          I share your frustration about the candidates and I’ll voice my frustration about how my fellow Christians are handling it. How can either candidate be in God’s will more than the other? Why can’t Christians acknowledge this without all the self-deception, schizophrenia and vilification? Why can’t we just go and vote (firstly praying, of course) while admitting to ourselves, “What I am about to do, I’ll go and do quickly” (and may God forgive me, for I know not what I do)?

          Or go and vote and leave the presidential box blank. That IS a third option.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Funny how Mormons were CULT! CULT! CULT! CULT! CULT! until one of them secured the nomination for God’s Own Party opposing the Obamanation of Desolation enthroned in the White House. Then suddenly Christianity Today starts echoing the Mormon urban legend of the White Horse Prophecy.

      There’s an older essay on a similar subject:
      Mormons = Southern Baptist Zombies?

  4. I heard the new Stones tune earlier this week. I really like it. Mick still sounds as good as ever.

    • Chip Shephed says

      I can not believe the Stones are still together after all these years Fred, Barney,Wilma, and Betty Oh you mean Rolling Stones Never mind that is completely different….. Emily Lattila

  5. Jeff,

    Brandon Belt, Santiago Casilla, Ryan Vogelsong, Angel Pagan and Jeremy Affeldt are all solid Christians. Barry Zito became a Christian last year. All shared their testimonies at this years Christian fellowship day after the Giants Dodgers game.

    Just thought you’d want to know the Giants aren’t completely godless ; )

    – Giants fan

    • Marc, I label as “godless” anyone who plays the Reds…

      Yet your Giants live to play another round. Congrats…

      • I feel your pain, Jeff. Last night the Republic of Ireland got hammered 6-1 by Germany in our first World Cup qualifying match.

        “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.”

        Hey, hang on, I know the originator of the Big Bang theory was a Belgian Jesuit, but I thought we were all friends now?

      • Take heart, Jeff. All we need is a solid Christian leadoff hitter, and now we have all winter to find one. God is merciful.

        Hats off to the Giants! …you’ll have your hands full with the Cards.

        Now, I think I’ll go outside and eat worms.

      • Well, we do have a “Pagan” on our team….(who ironically happens to be a believer)

        That said, after what happened to the Giants in the 2002 World Series, I know your pain. I do wish Dusty the best and hope he eventually gets his ring (as long as the Giants are not in it).

    • Randy Thompson says

      As an old Dodger fan, I get where Jeff is coming from.
      Nonetheless, I’m glad to hear that there are believers among Sauron’s minions there in San Francisco.

      True confession: Now that I’ve lived in the East for the past 35 years, I’ve been a Yankees fan. Christians: Andy Petite,and Mariano (no last name needed).

      • Randy — a fan of the evil empire east AND west? : P

        All kidding aside, it blew me away when Zito shared his testimony at fellowship day….God is good : )

  6. I love Rachel’s blog about why and how she loves the Bible. And her husband recently wrote a post on her blog without her knowing it in support of her. It was touching. Rachel is an excellent writer. I read her book Evolving in Monkey Town and stop by her blog from time to time.

  7. It was the court of Rachel Held Evans. She was the prosecution, judge, and jury. The verdict was out. And with authority and confidence, she would have the final word on womanhood.

    Aww, poor li’l Protestant doesn’t like it when someone goes off and interprets Scripture. And is it cynical of me to think that they had a woman do the review to deflect potential criticism?

    • prosecution, judge, and jury indeed… and presumptive theologian to boot! Stick to washing the dishes!

    • “Poor li’l Protestant”? Really?

      As for RHE and the reviews, I seriously hope every last review that is critical isn’t mentally blacklisted by half of the ever-increasingly divided and tribal Christian blogosphere.

      And for Desiring God, I assume they’re going to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Don’t review it = They’re too afraid. A man reviews it = He just doesn’t understand, that complementarian literalist. A woman reviews it = That’s cheating!

      I don’t always agree with Piper, but they got someone who has had good rapport with RHE and friendly things to say about her. It’s not exactly a hit piece.

      • The emphasis wasn’t on the “Poor li’l Protestant” as much as the “doesn’t like it when someone else interprets Scripture.” As in, well, you are Protestant, so don’t be shocked or dismayed if someone interprets Scripture for themselves and comes to different conclusions.

    • I am a big fan of Rachel and link to her frequently on my blog. But this time around, i figured that if anyone in our house would read this, it would be my wife.

      But now that I know that Piper doesn’t like it, I gotta say I’m dying to get a copy.

  8. Richard Hershberger says

    “Is it better to have won the division and lost in the playoffs than to never have won (i.e., the Cubs) at all?”

    Phillies phan here. It is definitely better to win the division, or at least a wildcard spot, then lose in the playoffs. In baseball, a short series is essentially a crap shoot. Bad teams beat good teams all the time in baseball. You might think that a good team can ramp it up for the playoffs, but there isn’t really any evidence for this, and anyway, even the worst team in the playoffs is pretty good. So if you lose in the playoffs you have that as a consolation: yes, your team lost, but this is the luck of the draw. Not getting in at all does not allow this. If you didn’t make the playoffs, that is because you weren’t good enough.

  9. Marcus Johnson says

    I just ordered the book from Amazon. It’ll have to go onto my holiday reading list because the semester is so insane right now, but it will be read by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

  10. I like Rachel H. Evans. (I read and make comments on her blog now and then)

    I just wish she’d get off this gender fixation thing.

    Short fat white guys are people too, and loved by God, but it’s Christ and His forgiveness of sins that ought to be in the center ring and not some physical attribute that we might or might not have.

    “In Christ…there is neither male, nor female…”

    • Steve, there are plenty of books for short, fat, white guys. Lots more than for conflicted fundagelical white women. Stroll the Lifeway aisles and do a survey. Or better yet, search the titles on CBD and see who gets the lion’s share of print aimed at them. Women get Karen Kingsbury/Janette Oke fiction. Men get athlete biographies. The stereotypes loom large at Lifeway.

    • Short fat white guys are people too

      “The Science Fiction aisle is over there sir…”

    • You’re indeed a Lutheran.

  11. I’m suffering, too, Jeff. The O’s just failed to beat the Yankees. Having lived in Newport, RI for 36 years I’m still a dedicated Red Sox fan even while living in the heathen wilderness of Central PA. But we have a saying in the Red Sox Nation: “I cheer for two teams – the Sox and anybody who beats the Yankees.” I was born and raised in Baltimore, so it was natural for me to cheer on the Orioles in the playoffs. Unfortunately, today there is no joy in Mudville.

    • And the Cards came back to beat the Nats. I was pulling for both the Os and the Nationals, as I lived in the DC area when I was a wee lad. Now who do I root for? I guess the Tigers.

      In other news, Oklahoma-Texas kickoff is just a few hours away.

      • Richard McNeeley says

        You wait to cheer until April 1 when the Reds open against the Angels.

        “People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
        —Rogers Hornsby

    • “I cheer for two teams – the Sox and anybody who beats the Yankees.”

      There’s room on our Tiger bandwagon – feel free to hop on. Now we just need our starting pitchers to throw complete games for the rest of the playoffs…

  12. That Other Jean says

    Several things:

    I don’t really care whether or not a Congressman from Georgia believes that evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell”—unless he is on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Particularly when he’s on there with W. Todd Akin, the “a woman can’t get pregnant if she’s ‘legitimately’ raped” idiot. Then I care a lot. When did the House of Representatives become an alternate universe?

    Yo Yo Ma ROCKS! As does Desmond Tutu, but differently.

    Helen Hayes and Kirk Cameron share a birthday week? From the sublime to the ridiculous!

    Alas for the Orioles! No joy, indeed.

    • David Cornwell says

      “When did the House of Representatives become an alternate universe?”

      Around 2000? Maybe way before that.

    • And you wonder why I think politics is about the funniest thing going today. Could it be because of people like Georgia congressman Paul Broun, a medical doctor and a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology?

      Must be something in the Georgia water.

      for another example of the great intellects making our laws. The most impressive part of this is how the fellow with all the gold braid managed to keep a straight face.

  13. From the RHE review:

    In this book Evans is trying to build a bridge, but I wonder if it is not rather a comfortable bridge for shaky evangelicals to find their way into theological liberalism.

    Well there you have it. If someone starts questioning certain evangelical beliefs and practices, they’re well on their way to liberalism. This is why I can’t take stuff written on the Desiring God blog serious. Questioning the doctrine of inerrancy does not make a liberal. Disagreeing with Piper or one a Reformed Christian on secondary matters of faith does not make one a liberal. Such utter silliness.

    • ROFL! Evangelicals will fight the silliest imaginary battles against liberalism but will sell out the faith to promote its own agenda.

  14. Hmmm. Didn’t someone once write about the challenge of our heart is to love our neighbor for in that is the culmination of . . .God’s law. I am sooo short of that.. Help us Lord.

  15. “Broun spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti told the Athens Banner-Herald (http://bit.ly/Us4O0Z ) that Broun was recorded speaking off-the-record…”

    If you are a public figure, there is no such thing as “off the record”.

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    And a reviewer on John Piper’s Desiring God blog weighs in, saying, “As I read the book, it became increasingly clear to me of one theme: God’s word was on trial. It was the court of Rachel Held Evans. She was the prosecution, judge, and jury. The verdict was out. And with authority and confidence, she would have the final word on womanhood.”

    Reviewer or Witchfinder-General?


    • – If she weighs the same as a duck…
      – she’s made of wood.
      – And therefore?
      – A witch!
      – A duck! A duck! – Here’s a duck.
      – We shaIl use my largest scales.
      – Burn the witch !

  17. A little under an hour south of Lexingtom as I recall.