January 26, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 3.23.13

RamblerPardon me if I am a bit distracted as I ramble today, iMonks. I am celebrating Basketball Christmas as I write this. Yes Virginia (and Washington, D.C.), there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Florida Gulf Coast, my new favorite college basketball team. I love upsets, especially by teams that, before the tournament began, I didn’t even know existed. And have you seen the hideous uniforms worn by Notre Dame? It’s enough to keep me from ever converting to Catholicism. Of course, we’ll all be happy as long as someone beats Duke, right? Lace up your Chucks, iMonks. It’s time to ramble.

First up, let me once again encourage you to check out our newest sponsor, evangelicalBible.com. I was able to check out some of their wares this week, including an ESV and a NKJV Schuyler Bible. Wow. These are things of beauty. I also held in my hands the most beautiful and best-crafted Bible I have had seen: the Allan KJV Longprimer in navy blue. These are investments that you will want to hand down to your kids, and they their kids. No, they are not cheap. But oh are they good!

You know how your friends love to show off baby pictures, and you pretend to be interested so as to not disappoint them? Roving Rambler Adam Palmer showed off some baby pictures he came across this week. Pictures of the universe when it was not even half a million years old. That, in creation years, makes these pretty much newborn pics of our universe. When the universe was born, do you think God handed out cigars?

An installation service was held for an incoming religious leader this week. You may have heard about it. That’s right, there is a new Archbishop of Canterbury. We have had 266 Catholic popes. Before you click on the link, how many Anglican heads of church do you think there have been? Ok, now you can click. Did you get it right?

Oh yeah, there was another installation service this week. Pope Francis is his name. Apparently some Italians are a bit upset that Francis is not Italian. Only he is. But he isn’t. Are you with me on this? Of course, Francis is a born troublemaker. Instead of wanting to hold the traditional Maundy Thursday service in a church, he is going to have it in a prison. How very Jesus-like of him. But then what do you expect from a man who, after elected pope, called back home to Argentina to cancel his newspaper subscription?

Rev. Randy directed my attention this week to this apologetic for TBN by Charisma’s Steve Strang. Color me not convinced. Or am I wrong? Do we say Paul and Jan are innocent until proven guilty, or do we say where there’s smoke, there’s fire?

Did you happen to catch President Obama’s cameo on The Bible mini-series? He played the role of Satan. And no, it wasn’t just a coincidence. God guided the makeup artist’s hand to make Beelzebub look like Barak. No, really. So says this Christian talk show host. And if you can’t believe a talk show host, who can you believe?

Four words I never thought I would put together in one sentence: Mick Jagger, model dad.

Meanwhile, it seems Mumford and Sons are interested in Jesus, but not Christianity or religion. Oh goody. Another cultural icon practicing design-it-yourself religion. But the dude does pick a mean banjo.

Oh my. It seems that for the second year in a row there will be no kosher Coca-Cola available for Jews in California. That will make it difficult for those who will spend this week wondering in the Mohave Desert leading up to Passover.

Finally, the Synonymous Rambler tells me that no one’s Holy Week can be complete with a set of Ten Plagues Nail Decals. Sigh. I can’t wait to get mine.

Installation Week happy birthdays include Pat Nixon; Jerry Lewis; Ray Benson; Nat King Cole; John Sebastian; Mia Hamm; John Updike; Earl Warren; Glenn Close; Bruce Willis; Frank Stanton; Bobby Orr; Holly Hunter; Jimmie Vaughan; Erich Kunzel; Chico Marx; Pat Robertson; William Shatner; and Bob Costas.

I never get tired of seeing this. Even though I’m not a Frenchman, I do like Jerry Lewis. And for those of you under the age of, oh, say, 40, the thing he is pretending to use is called a typewriter. It was a way of putting words on paper. It came between chiseling pictures on rocks and Swype. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ozd6W1wyzo’]


  1. I’m liking how this new Pope operates!

  2. I really don’t know what is up with all this sports uniforms craziness.

    I’m waiting for the day when Oregon changes them at halftime.

    Notre Dame ought take a cue from Francis…and tone it down a bit on the uniforms.

    • Those are truly some ugly sports kits. If Notre Dame want to use green, why not a decent dark green and a lighter green for the trim, not this neon- and acid-green eye dazzler?

  3. Speaking of the Archbishop of Canterbury… You know how everyone has a black sheep in their family history… the uncle who went astray? Well our family black sheep murdered the Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1170. You can read about it here.


    • Wow! You can trace your family line back to the 12th century…too cool.

      • On most sides of the family line I can go back to the 1600s. My father-in-law’s direct ancestor stopped the French from invading Newfoundland in the late 1600s. The family lived in the same community for over 300 years. The church in the community was built in 1835, so using the church records alone I was able to get back into the 1700s.

        On my mother’s mother’s side of the family, we are descended from a Swiss German who immigrated to the U.S. in 1727. My mother’s father side is where the get the story above. After Fitz-Urse killed the archbishop, the family name was changed to de Berhem, based upon the town where they lived. The family name eventually morphed into Barham which is my mother’s maiden name.
        On my father’s mother’s side we are descended from an Englishman who immigrated to Barbados in the 1600s. Both slaves and slave owners in my family tree.
        Ironically the only name I can’t trace back is my own. There are just two many Bells out there and I can’t bet past my Great grand parents in Ireland.

        • Ironically the only name I can’t trace back is my own. There are just two many Bells out there and I can’t bet past my Great grand parents in Ireland.

          I’m a Ross. We know my great great grandfather came to western KY from Maryland in 1824 in his twenties. But I can’t imagine trying to track back into that history. Especially with so many Ross’ who came over as indentured servants in the prior century or so. They came as serfs with no last name and so they got assigned the name of where they were from. Ross county Scotland.

    • Michael, my 36th great grandfather was Rollo the Viking, who, along with all of his men, “converted” to Christianity when Charles the Simple of France offered him what is now known as Normandy and other riches. Perhaps that is where my evangelical roots began???

      • Good old Charles the Simple.

        And Rollo the Viking made it all the way to the New World, being the first European to sail up the Hudson River and hike the path of the future Erie Canal from present-day Albany to present-day Buffalo. He met an unexpected end, though, after deciding to build a viking ship and sail back to Viking Land via Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. The Mohawks forgot to tell him about Niagara Falls. Surely you’ve heard the song they wrote in his honor — “Rollo Out the Barrel” ??.

  4. I don’t have all the context on the Mumford and Sons thing, but it sounds an awful lot like “Jesus shaped spirituality”. I’m a missionary, but it took me years of struggle to accept that label. Just like “Christian” it does come with a lot of baggage.

  5. From the Welby article:

    in a ceremony that mixed age-old pageantry with contemporary praise and worship songs.

    Dear Jesus. Please tell me they did not process to “Shine Jesus Shine.” When they said they had elected an evangelical pope, they really meant it! Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    • Ric Schopke says

      No, they didn’t process to “Shine Jesus Shine” (a very meaningful text, by the way). The music was great, though, for Archbishop Welby’s (no Anglican pope) enthronement. Actually there was a lot of music, including the modern hymn “In Christ Alone”, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, several choral selections and a beautiful organ improvisation. The printed order of service and several video clips are available online. The musical highlight for me was Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be” as they processed out of the Cathedral.

      • ‘In Christ Alone’, eh? Nice choice. If they’re going to use modern songs, they certainly picked a quality one. And a Wesley hymn too! From the news reports I had a very different picture in my mind of what this enthronement was like. But your description makes me actually wish I had been there.

      • I went and looked at the service (couldn’t find video, though). I did not see any “contemporary praise and worship songs.” Work by Keith Getty is considered hymnody. I’m sorry, I heard that phrase and I thought they were going all out like Holy Trinity Brompton, or something. “Shine Jesus Shine” is certainly not beneath me to use from time to time, but I do kinda hold the CoE to higher standards: they’ve generally done a much better job of preserving their doxological treasures than the LCMS has. And from the looks of that service they aren’t changing course either.

  6. Is the pope making a eucharistic statement by celebrating Maundy Thursday outside church building? I know some of the Orthodox I’ve talked with say the sacrament must be celebrated IN the church to be valid, but silly Protestants can do baptism or communion on the street corner. Where’s the RCC on this?

    • Well, I certainly don’t know everything there is to know about Catholic teaching, but I have not read anything saying that the Eucharist must be consecrated in a church building. I’ve read a few grumbles on Traddy Catholic websites about this (Trad Catholics grumbling…never!), but their objection is that the Holy Thursday Mass is always conducted at the Pope’s parish church, St John Lateran–nothing about Mass outside of a church.

      But on the other hand, a couple of months ago, someone broke into my parish church and, according to the priest, desecrated the altar. He didn’t say anything about how it was desecrated, but he did say that they had to move the Saturday morning Mass into the chapel in the parish hall and bring the bishop in to reconsecrate the church building, which took a couple hours. So maybe there is something to it? Or maybe you just shouldn’t celebrate Mass in a desecrated place?

      Basically, I don’t think it’s an issue, but I definitely could be wrong. Is there a Martha who could help me out?

    • Miguel, I don’t know if the Casal del Marmo has a chapel, but seeing as it’s a detention centre in Italy, it probably has one. I imagine that is where the Mass will be held.

      As for celebrating Masses outside of churches, in some instances (e.g. the Penal Laws in Ireland, Elizabethan England) where Roman Catholic ceremonies were banned, Mass was celebrated wherever it could be, whether this was in a private house or elsewhere.

      The tradition of Station Masses (where the Mass would be held in a private house in each locality, and the neighbours would all gather for the Mass and then the meal provided by that family afterwards) continued up until into the 1980s in Ireland.

      At minimum if you have an altar stone or portable altar (at the very least and most minimal, a piece of linen with a relic sewn in), then you can celebrate Mass.

      I don’t know what the Orthodox do about visiting the sick and housebound or giving them the Sacrament; when I was a small child, the parish priest came every week to visit my crippled grandmother and give her the Blessed Sacrament, and a small makeshift altar was set up where he could lay out the pyx etc. containing the Eucharist (every home kept blessed candles, linens, a crucifix, holy water and so on which could be set out like this).

      I imagine even for the Orthodox churches there must have been times and places where the Divine Liturgy could not be celebrated ‘properly’, so what did they do? For instance, travelling in America and Canada before churches were built?

    • I don’t know where the RCC is, but that’s not quite where Orthodoxy is on the subject. There is something called an antimension. It’s name means something like “instead of table”.

      “The antimension is a substitute for the altar table. A priest may celebrate the Eucharist on the antimension even if the altar table is not properly consecrated. In emergencies, when an altar table is not available, the antimension serves a very important pastoral need by enabling the use of unconsecrated tables for divine services outside of churches or chapels.”

      It is true, however, that for areas outside the church, when possible it is much more likely the priest will bring presanctified Eucharist with him.

    • According to the RCC, the Eucharist may be celebrated outdoors or in a tent when necessary and fitting, though celebration on a duly consecrated altar and in a duly consecrated building is preferred; obviously, convicts cannot be bussed to a duly consecrated building with a duly consecrated altar, so celebration in the prison is considered completely appropriate, and for many other pastoral reasons celebration of the Eucharist is allowed in many settings besides church buildings.

    • The Pope is celebrating Mass at the youth prison instead of his cathedral, St John Lateran because he has not yet taken possession of his Cathedral.

  7. And those of us over 40, who remember manual typewriters, will notice that Jerry was slapping the return lever on the wrong side.

  8. I read the apologetic for TBN, which is part blind denial, part conceding what everyone else has realized for a long time. When Charisma finally seems to be getting tired of you, you may have burned your last bridges.

    This isn’t judging too soon or judging unfairly. There’s not just smoke, but a forest fire they’re trying to tell us is mostly contained.

    Besides, get with the program! GodTv is where it’s at for the younger set these days! Who needs 70-year-old greased up televangelists when you’ve got Todd Bentley punching people and C Peter Wager talking about Japan making love to the Sun Goddess?

    • It was indeed a strange “two-handed” article, a feature shared by the breadth of the comments that followed.

      Regarding GodTV, with which I’m mercifully unfamiliar, I believe Mr. Spencer once wondered aloud in a post, “Is there anyone under 30 who watches TBN?” Or maybe it was 40.

      TBN must certainly have influence of a sort, but if you think about the controversial figures most often discussed here at iMonk (e.g., Driscoll, Bell, Piper, etc.), the influence of TBN on the broader religious dialogue is apparently difficult to quantify. If Driscoll says something over the top, there’s the understanding he was actually trying to say something specific. If the Crouches say something bizarre, one just rolls one’s eyes.

      • I used to say that some of the outfits Jan Crouch wore made her look like Little Bo Peep. But as I matured in the Christian life I stopped doing it. However, I did laugh out loud recently when a friend referred to her as Antique Barbie.

        I suppose this could be called an ad hominem argument, compeltely off-subject, but it needed saying.

  9. From the TBN article;

    “Thankfully, the issue went away—it must have been false.” Wow. He should get a Peabody for that aggressive level of investigative reporting.

    “As a family friend told me about the Crouches, they built an empire but didn’t build a life.” Of course. How much of a life can you have in a 5,6 Million dollar mansion? Or was Habakkuk right in this case: “Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity!” (Hab. 2:12).

    How can they not hold themselves accountable to their donors? $400M??? Do they know how many ministries not even a quarter of that size, which are doing real, accountable ministry, are struggling to keep their doors open? How can they call it a faith-prosperity ministry when it exists on the sacrificial giving of its contributors? Perhaps they are so convinced of the “seed faith” doctriine that they see themselves as performing ministry by just taking the money, so that the donors may receive that two-fold return – regardless of what is actually done with that donation in the first place? There is another agency which believes it performs a service by separating a person from his or her money; its called the federal government.

    • Was that a slam at the federal government for taxing citizens, comparing it with shameless religious hucksters? Last time I checked, state and local governments were doing the same thing as the federal government. Every form of government must in one way or another collect revenue from those subject to it. Of course, there’s always anarchy; but I’m not sure too many people’s property would be secure under such an anti-polity, unless human nature is much sunnier than evidenced up to this point in history.

  10. Matt Purdum says

    Anything that would shut down Paul and Jan Crouch is good. I can’t understand why they aren’t in prison. Oh yeah, have a great weekend.

  11. Sorry Jeff, but since Florida Gulf Coast has to play my San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday I cannot root for the underdog as I usually do. Sure, its a great story, but loyalty trumps sensationalism every time!

    As for the Crouch family, as a new Christian 40 years ago I considered them to be Christian clowns with their ostentatious display of false (now, actualized) prosperity. I reject them as a representation of the normal Christian life. They are entertainment (for SOME) but they are no model for anyone to imitate.

  12. It’s hard not to like how this new Pope has comported himself so far; I would hope that he is not merely going to celebrate Maundy Thursday mass at the prison in order to bring Christ to the prisoners, but, more importantly, to find Christ among them.

    That’s where Jesus told us to look for him; not in immense and richly appointed cathedrals, not in St. Peter’s basilica, or in the mega-churches dotting the suburban American landscape, but among the prisoners, the poor, the dispossessed, the widows and the orphans.

    I pray that Pope Francis may find Christ among those he goes to serve, and that he may continue to do so throughout his ministry.

  13. Regarding the pictures of the universe: this is the first miracle, that there is something rather than nothing. And then how immense and mind-boggling is that something is the second miracle!

  14. The new Archbishop of Canterbury is an unknown variable to me. So far I’ve liked some of the things he’s had to say, taking a critical tack on the the relationship of the Church of England to the British government and big business, and supporting traditional Christian doctrine and ethics at the same time. I can’t quite get his pulse on the issue of civil unions and GLBT inclusion in the life of the church; it may be that he would support civil unions but not marriage, while striving for greater inclusion. That would be my own position and of course I’d like it if he was of the same view. So far, all I know is that he seems to be opposed to gay marriage, but that leaves much room for nuance in his views. We’ll see. As an Episcopal Anglican, I pray that he will be able to lead the worldwide communion through the difficult days ahead.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Did you happen to catch President Obama’s cameo on The Bible mini-series? He played the role of Satan. And no, it wasn’t just a coincidence. God guided the makeup artist’s hand to make Beelzebub look like Barak. No, really. So says this Christian talk show host. And if you can’t believe a talk show host, who can you believe?

    Welcome to NEWS OF THE WEIRD.

    (Apparently the Obamanation of Desolation has been promoted from just The Antichrist to Satan himself…)

  16. “God guided the makeup artist’s hand”

    The artist should have told “god” to try again.

    • Actually, the article explains that the actor portraying Satan has performed similar roles long before Obama became President. And those involved in the production are Obama supporters. Chalk it up to coincidence.

  17. The article on the infant image of the universe was fascinating. I was particularly interested in the explanation of the satellite’s orbit around the second Lagrange point. That got me to research Lagrange points a little. It turns out Joseph Louis Lagrange first discovered the phenomenon in 1772 – long before Einstein’s theory’s of gravity. What is even more amazing is how the satellite maintains an orbit over the second point, which along with the first point is considered unstable compared to the other three. I knock the Age of Enlightenment quite a bit, but there is no doubt that science made giant leaps forward during that time.

  18. MelissatheRagamuffing says

    Pope Francis gets major cool points in my book for doing Holy Thursday’s mass in a prison.

  19. I have the very KJV Longprimer in Navy Blue that you mention. It is indeed fabulous. Any of their Allan bibles, and their new Schuyler lines, are just fabulous.

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