October 22, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 2.12.11

So, have you finished all of your leftover Superb Owl snacks yet? Have you taken down your Superb Owl decorations? Had enough football? Had enough of us referring to the Big Game as the Superb Owl? Well, sports fans, here is some good news: Pitchers and catchers report in four days to Spring Training. You have just enough time for today’s helping of Saturday Ramblings before you break out your baseball gear.

Yesterday’s resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak may have little effect on that country’s Christian minority. Christians have been under increased persecution by their Muslim neighbors in the past months. And yet … yet there is some hope, as Ashley Makar of Killing The Buddha relates. It seems that Christians formed a protective ring around a group of Muslims as the Muslims prayed. And then the Muslims returned the favor as the Christians celebrated Mass. Yes, there is hope indeed wherever love is practiced.

Who didn’t see this coming? You can now make your confession without leaving the comfort of your iPhone. The Catholic Church approved an app called simply Confession for use on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Accessible thru the iTunes store, Confession can create for you a custom examination of your conscience and direct you through the sacrament. (I cannot wait for Martha to weigh in on this.) Now if there was just an app that committed the sin for you, you would not be necessary at all.

And that’s a good thing, since according to Ray Kurtzweil, man will become immortal by the year 2045. At that time, computers will have taken over all intelligent work and man will just, oh, I guess read InternetMonk all day. Well, there are worse things he could do. In the meantime, if you want to be able to think more creatively, you can zap your brain with this “creative cap.” Ok, if you actually use such a thing, you had better be creative, because you certainly aren’t very bright. Maybe after using the creative cap you can confess your deed using your … oh, forget it.

Yet another study showing teens dropping out of church at an alarming rate. Yawn. Wake me when someone is willing to say what the problem is. (And it has nothing to do with cold pizza. And yes, I know what it is. So do most of you.)

This book is getting a lot of press. I’m not going to comment on this article, but oh, I know you will. (And perhaps the most interesting thing is learning that the author of the aforementioned book, Jennifer Knust, is an ordained Baptist pastor. A woman Baptist pastor. Next thing you’ll tell me is that the Baptists have come up with a full immersion app.)

Lifeway Bookstores has been placing warning labels on some books it considers theologically unsound. Books by authors like Don Miller, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell. But now they are going to stop. About time. I don’t necessarily agree with any of these three authors all the way around, but who cares. If you only read books by authors with who you agree, why bother?

Hey, don’t ever say that reading Saturday Ramblings doesn’t have its reward. Here is a chance for you to get the new NIV (that would be your new New International Version) digital Bible for free. It’s available for 400 hours (to commemorate the King James Version’s 400th anniversary) starting tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Christianity Today released their Critic’s Choice movie awards this week. Let’s see. Of the top ten I saw, um, two. I don’t get out much. A more fun list is iMonk writer Adam Palmer’s, though how he puts Voyage Of The Dawn Treader on his honorable mention list, but says Ghost Writer was “kind of terrible” is beyond me. There’s no accounting for taste. You can also read Adam’s top music of 2010 and top books of 2010.

One album that most likely will be on many people’s list of 2011 is The Long Surrender by Over the Rhine. Here is a very good interview with Linford Detweiler, half of the husband and wife team that is OtR. Yes, I think it is a great album.

Happy birthday greetings first of all to my grandson, Lex, who is three years old today. Lex, Buppa said not to play with my computer. Let me read this to you. Also, Hank Aaron (the greatest baseball player of all time–just accept my word for it and read on); George Herman “Babe” Ruth; Darrell “Boogity Boogity Boogity” Waltrip; Christopher Guest; Ronald Reagan; Zsa Zsa Gabor; Tom Brokaw; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Garth Brooks; James Dean; Carole King; Mark Spitz; Thomas Alva Edison; Leslie “Don’t call me Shirley” Neilsen; Jeb Bush; and Sheryl Crow.

You may have seen this already, as it has made the rounds this week on the web. If so, enjoy it again. If not, well, it should put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQRMvg5TAl8′]


  1. Leaving the specific issues surrounding homosexuality aside, Jennifer Knust says a lot of sensible things in that interview.

    I’m not interested in judging who gets things wrong or right. Instead I would like to convince all of us to take responsibility for the interpretations we are promoting. I would like us to stop pretending that the Bible has been dictating our conclusions to us so that we can evaluate the implications of what we are defending.

    The message that we must think through moral issues for ourselves instead of putting our brains on autopilot and treating the Bible as a laundry list of do’s and don’t’s is something that needs to be heard. Moral maturity can’t be achieved by avoiding rational thought and letting other people form our opinions for us.

    Sometimes biblical conclusions are patently immoral. Sometimes they are deeply inspiring. In either case, we are left with the responsibility for determining what we will believe and affirm.

    Preach it, Jennifer. She’s got courage, that’s for sure.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Moral maturity can’t be achieved by avoiding rational thought and letting other people form our opinions for us.

      But Moral Majority CAN.

      (Sorry, guys, too good a straight line to pass up…)

    • It is that clear Jennifer Knust in no way views the scriptures as having moral authority over her, especially in the sexual realm. Then what can it mean to “evaluate” or “determine” sexual choices on our own? Doesn’t this just mean I get to decide it all myself? And isn’t this exactly what the majority in our country already do? This strikes me as articulate surrender, not bravery.

      By the way, I’ve studied the book of Ruth in the Hebrew, and her interpretation of it is almost laughable. And wouldn’t good Boaz, oh, I don’t know, WAKE UP if Ruth was basically stripping him down? This is her prime example of scripture’s endorsement of premarital sex?? Really?

      • isn’t this example really tiresome? finding the ‘hidden’ implications of one small verse & building an entire theological treatise around it??? as if we need another really, really, really special revelation ‘uncovered’ (pun intentional) in the bible actually stating God’s heart & mind regarding sex outside of marriage? and His anger expressed thru the Prophets to Israel about their unfaithfulness & how they broke covenant with Him in their pursuit of their own ways just misdirected???

        i have no tolerance anymore for such so-called scholarly reinterpretation of such events in scripture to fit the newly enlightened insight into an otherwise inspiring story…

        “Well, you know those frisky Moabites! Just can’t keep their hands off the ‘feet’ (wink-wink) of the noble land owner looking out for a needy, but now questionable woman of character. And, well, God really got Boaz’ attention with such a divinely inspired gesture…”

        nope. i stopped right there. no need to read any further. i get the drift. read it in other such ‘insightful’ postulates from similar writers claiming newer interpretations of otherwise misrepresented perspectives.

        i think one has to simply call such attempts nonsense. useless speculation. silly, wacky, goofy. Lord, have mercy… 🙁

    • “The message that we must think through moral issues for ourselves instead of putting our brains on autopilot and treating the Bible as a laundry list of do’s and don’t’s is something that needs to be heard.”

      People who follow strict, black-and-white lists of do’s and don’ts scare me worse than those promoting situational ethics (who scare me, too). I’m not sure there is any difference between the two. For a very black-and-white rule follower, if there isn’t a specific black-and-white rule prohibiting a unethical behavior, they feel free to do it. I am not exaggerating; I know people like this. It’s like telling a child not to stand on the kitchen table, to which they will reply, “you didn’t say I couldn’t stand on the coffee table”.

      That’s why I like Lutheran teaching on the ten commandments. Luther applied the commandments generally to a broad range of conduct, with the ultimate goal being the love of God and neighbor.

      • In Catholicism, all sins are imagined to be violations of one or another of the Ten Commandments. (With some stretching.) This must be where Lutheranism got it.

  2. “Lifeway Bookstores has been placing warning labels on some books it considers theologically unsound”

    And yet they seem perfectly comfortable profiting from the sale of those books.

    • Hey, we used to have one of those! The Index Librorum Prohibitorum:


    • David Cornwell says

      Thank God I had parents that didn’t attempt to stop me from reading certain things. Then again, they didn’t always know what I was reading. So, thank God again for public libraries and ways to hide things.

    • I belonged to a megachurch for a number of years that did the same thing to some of the books in the church library. Not the “obvious” ones like books by theological liberals. Rather, something far more sinister and dangerous.: books by Charismatics and Pentecostals. I remember Jack Hayford’s “The Beauty of Spiritual Language” being one such book that had a “warning” label.

    • Certainly the Bible should be banned. There is a whole lot of sinning going on in that book. Crimony, just think of the Song of Solomon!!

      • Incidentally, Song of Solomon (or Songs, or whatever you wanna call it) was a favorite book for the early and medieval church, and many commentaries written and homilies given on it. As for sinning… I’m not sure what how you get that out of Song of Solomon, but I’m sure I must be misreading you.

        • My tongue was planted firmly in my cheek, Tim! Some of my friends told me in their church they weren’t allowed to read it as teenagers because it was too racy. (And you can imagine that of course they read it right away after a prohibition like that!) I read it as my pursuit of Christ as his pursuit of me. It is a beautiful book, but it is strangely missing from messages from the front.

          • “My tongue was planted firmly in my cheek”

            funny choice of words considering Song of Solomon’s explicit endorsement of certain specific sex practices.

  3. “You can now make your confession without leaving the comfort of your iPhone.”

    Not quite, Jeff, and this is the kind of mistake that the critics of this app seem to fear will be commonplace. After all, even a news reporter on CNN got it wrong, and if the likes of such deep-pondering intellectuals make a mistake, what about us mere mortals?

    Okay: based on the little I’ve read about this in the Catholic blogosphere, good points – it’s the old-fashioned notion of the examination of conscience, just revamped for new technology, which is sorely needed due to the abysmal state of catechesis over the last thirty years. It also walks you through the whole procedure, which is excellent for those who haven’t been to confession regularly, or at all, or have fallen away from this practice and are thinking of coming back but are unsure or nervous about facing into it once more.

    Useful for all of us as a help, as a reminder, as a check-list, or even if you don’t think you need the intermediary of a priest, just to go through and think about what your habitual faults are and remind you to pray about them.

    Bad points: as above, people making the mistake that this replaces the sacrament or the obligation to confess altogether. People getting very huffy about “I don’t see the need to confess sins! God loves me as I am!” (yes, there appears to have been some reaction along those lines).

    Possible bad point: it seems old-fashioned in its use of language and concepts. Now, I like that, but young people today (or even the not-so-young; see my comment about bad catechesis) may not be able to get the gist of it: e.g. one’s station in life. Something to be worked on?

    Review of it here from a very traditional viewpoint on Fr. Z’s blog:


    Conclusion: eek! this really brings it home to me that I need to go to Confession soon. The sooner, the better, especially with Easter looming ever nearer.


    • I’m glad you said something. Earlier this week, MSN’s homepage linked to an article where someone from the Vatican said “No this doesn’t replace Reconciliation, it has to happen in person.”

    • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

      So, you’re saying there’s not an Absolution app? 😉

      • For a moderate feescaled on the usual rates, Isaac, the Selling of Indulgences proceeds as normal 😉

        (Sorry, I’ve just this minute had an encounter with a commenter on another blog who makes his usual anti-Roman Catholic Church point by stating that the current Pope and his predecessors tolerated a lot of garbage in the church as long as it was lucrative. Feeling a bit vindictive in consequence).

    • I knew you would offer the best insight into this, Martha. We can always count on you!

    • But what about Drive-Thru Confession? That still valid?

      (“Express Lane–5 sins or less”)

  4. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/confession-a-roman-catholic/id416019676?mt=8#
    I notice from the webpage above that the Confessions app has the “Ability to add sins not listed in standard examination of conscience.” Funny! It’s for those creative folks out there who sin in very unique ways. 😉 (Notice, folks, that you STILL have to go to the actual priest for confession. This app helps you prepare, I guess.)

    Where is the place to download the free NIV? I read the article about it, but didn’t see where to get it.

    • Exactly. I’d like to get it, but the article isn’t specific on where.

    • But JoanieD, I do believe the NIV is missing a couple of books…. but it is very readable…

      • Thanks, Matthäus (and John below). I don’t have an iPod or a smart phone anyway, but I was thinking this was something to download to the PC as well. But I don’t think it is. Usually, I just go to biblegateway to look up a verse in a number of translations of the BIble. Or, if a translation is not there, I can find it elsewhere on the internet. I do have copies of the NIV in regular book format and like Radagast above says, the NIV is missing a few books (seven, to be exact, I think!) but is very readable.

    • Another confusing feature is that the correct app on the app store is actually listed as being made by LifeChurch.tv, not by YouVersion. Just look for the square maroon icon of a Bible with “Holy Bible” written on it and a small bit of red bookmark sticking out from the bottom.

  5. How about Cheney and Rumsfeld getting booed at CPAC? That made my entire week.

  6. Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

    OK… so the NIV download is to commemorate the KJV’s 400th anniversary? That’s kind of funny to me.

  7. Instead of “Nihl Obstat”, most items in Christian Bookstores should be labeled “Nihil Substantia”.

    • …or “non potest imprimere”?
      …nun imprimatur?

      • Your “Nun Imprimatur” made me think of stickers (like the Parental Advisory ones) depicting a nun in habit brandishing a ruler and the statement “This book has been passed by Sr. M. Assumpta as fit spiritual reading”.


        • “Your “Nun Imprimatur” made me think of stickers (like the Parental Advisory ones) depicting a nun in habit brandishing a ruler and the statement “This book has been passed by Sr. M. Assumpta as fit spiritual reading”.”

          I see stuff like that all the time over at the Catholic Answers forum 😉

    • …or “non potest imprimere”?

    • Or “Caveat lector: hic stulti sunt” with a sticker similar to Mr. Yuck.

  8. I remember seeing those stickers/markers at Lifeway. What a hoot!

    The next time you’re in your local Lifeway Bookstore, ask them if they carry this book (they don’t, but they should):


    (If you buy and read it, prepare yourself for a nightmare in print.)

  9. It’s DW’s birthday this week. The 18th (Friday) will be the 10th anniversary of the death of the man in black, aka the intimidator, aka #3, or you may have heard him called Dale Earnhardt.

  10. Well, Jeff and especially you CM. After being very quiet all week, I must say that I very much enjoyed last Sunday’s game as I watched my favorite team win:).

  11. I laughed out loud about he warning labels on books at Lifeway!!!! I am soooo glad I didn’t find one of those on the shelves because I would have asked the manager why they were selling it at all if they didn’t believe it……..”are you telling me money is more important than values/principles?”

    The other way for me to look at it, i guess, is to look for the books with warning labels….I’ll probably enjoy them.

    One more……glad baseball is coming soon! Go Colorado Rockies!!

    • They should actually have wanrings on John Piper, John MacArthurs, Andy Stanley, etc.. Sonething to the effect of this…”

      “Consuming this material will give you false hopes, toy with your emotions, and set you into a religious system where you will constantly beat yourself up in your effeort to be sinless and perfect. The end result could be agnositcism or atheisim if you follow their formulas…”

      Or how about ratings….is there a theological equivilent to NC17? Could it be BS17?

  12. Today is also the birthday of Lincoln and Darwin, both born in 1809, both ‘Emancipator’s’ in their own way…

    • The way the Rambler counts, Rita, we go from the previous Saturday thru Friday. Lincoln will get a birthday mention next week. Darwin too, if you like…

  13. In the interest of accuracy of reporting, if the Christians whom the Muslims shielded during worship were Coptic, what they were doing was not a Mass; it was the Divine Liturgy. It’s a small point, but saying “Mass” infers that the group was Roman Catholic; they may have been, but it’s more likely they weren’t. Though they have basically the same framework and one could recognize the same roots behind them, what gets hung on the framework is different enough that they’re different sorts of critters. It would be like calling a Methodist service a “Mass” – reflects the same lack of understanding.

    That was a loving sacrifice of time on the part of those Muslims, by the way. I understand that the Coptic Liturgy usually runs at least three hours.

    May God bless and help the people of Egypt.


  14. Apologies for the nitpick, but the editor in me just can’t help it.

    Yesterday’s resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak may have little affect on that country’s Christian minority

    Should be effect

    As for the content, regardless of the widespread celebrations, power vacuums are always uncertain and scary, and with good reason. Please pray for Egypt.

    • You are absolutely right. That will teach me to ramble after midnight…

      • I salute your courage and fortitude. I sometimes ramble after midnight, but usually the only beings in earshot are the dog or the occasional teenager, so it’s much safer. 🙂

  15. Chip Shepherd says

    “Lifeway Bookstores has been placing warning labels on some books it considers theologically unsound”

    Reminds me of the “Parental Advisory” labels that were put on CDs those flew off the self.

    If I were Don Miller ect… I would take this as a badge of honor.

  16. I’ve had trouble focusing on anything besides Egypt these past few weeks and the Christian-Muslim cooperation has warmed my heart. This photo showing Christians protecting Muslims during Friday prayer has to be one of my favorite photos I’ve ever seen. If only we could act like this all the time. http://twitpic.com/3w3lt8

  17. The Lifeway warning labels read, “Read with Discernment”. When is that NOT good advice? I guess the books without this warning were labeled, “Go ahead. Drink the Koolaid”.

  18. ” ‘I blame the parents, who didn’t grow up in a church culture’, says Jeremy Johnston, executive pastor at First Family Church in Overland Park, Kan.”

    Rev. Johnston nailed it, although I don’t think he realizes it. The typical youth group is churchianity: make youth group your life, your summer, your circle of friends. I think kids NOTimmersed in church culture stand a fighting chance.

    Here’s a thought: treat being a son, a daughter, a student as a vocation, which it is. Invite the kids to the big table with the adults and feed them on the Word and sacraments – giving them the means and grace to be the face of God in their neighborhoods and schools – rather than just in the church youth enclave or gymnasium. Students who grow up with no concept of vocation become adults with no sense of vocation. Teach them that being a Christian is about being someone, not feeling something or experiencing something. Too radical? Probably so. Considering most adult worship services are a mirror of the typical youth service – Peter Pan spirituality – it is going to be tough righting this ship.

  19. ” Wake me when someone is willing to say what the problem is. ”

    Fine. If more youth leaders were taking their kids to the Justin Beiber movie and buying the subsequent study, things would be different:


  20. I don’t know Justin Beiber or the movie he is in. To the three people above this note: he is a “poor” example of what parents want their teens to be like?

    • Justin Bieber seems to be a perfectly nice young man, and his music doesn’t have really anything objectionable that I’m aware. He’s typical bubblegum pop. It’s not Bieber, but developing a study guide to teach kids about Christianity from a movie about a 16 year old pop star, that is so…disgusting? Pathetic? Typical? A lot of adjectives would work.

  21. http://www.biblegateway.com/niv/Translators-Notes.pdf
    I found it interesting reading about the changed which were made to the new NIV. One of the things says, “We are more certain than we were forty years ago that the Greek word kataluma used in Luke 2:7 means ‘guest room,’ not ‘inn.’ “

  22. http://asksistermarymartha.blogspot.com/
    Sister Mary Martha on the app for Confessions. She is so funny! I love her blog.

    I know this post is almost a week old, but for you folks who get comments in a “feed” YOU will see this and maybe get a kick ouf of Sister Mary Martha.