January 26, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 3.9.13

RamblerI’m tired, iMonks. Very tired. Bone tired. Tired in every way tired. I’m too tired to come up with my usual sidesplitting, hilarious opening paragraph. I know this comes as a great disappointment to you, but I’m sure you will forgive me once we get to the end and you see the great bonus video I have in store for you this week. No, don’t skip ahead. If I can endure until then, so can you. All right. What say we ramble?

First of all, we would like to welcome a new sponsor to Internet Monk, EvangelicalBible. There is nothing like the feel of a leather Bible, especially if it is really, really good leather. EvangelicalBible is a “marketplace for the best crafted Bibles in the English language.” I bought an Allan ESV Bible from them and was very impressed with not only the high quality of the Bible, but with the high quality of service I received. So welcome our new sponsor by spending some time on their site.

We have advanced from the Sweet Sistine through the Elite Eight Emissaries to the Sacred Semifinals. Who will get your vote in this round?

Meanwhile, the real selection process for the next pope will begin on Tuesday. How long will it take to come up with a winner? Last time, in 2005, the whole process took only a day. All eyes—and CNN’s cameras—will be trained on the chimney in the Vatican. Until the white smoke emerges you still have time to get in your bets. Paddy Power has odds posted for various cardinals, as well as some, er, interesting lay choices. Check the odds on Richard Dawkins.

The Anglican’s new pope, Justin Welby, is not going to win too many friends among liberal Episcopalians with these kinds of views. I don’t even think a lot of evangelicals would go for Welby questioning whether Jesus would like big fancy church buildings. You know, I think I’m going to like this guy.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died this week of cancer. For some reason, this triggered a lot of rejoicing among vocal Christians. When does one cross the line from disagreeing with the policies of a world leader to rejoicing in his death? Should Christians ever rejoice in the death of anyone, no matter how much evil he has inflicted?

C.J. Mahaney is stepping down as the president of Sovereign Grace Ministries to return to the pastorate. He does not say what church he wants to pastor. SGM is not begging him to stay. And the world continues to spin.

We can all rest safely and securely knowing the American Family Association is protecting us from the evils of advertisers who insist on letting their ads run on shows like Saturday Night Live. I for one will sleep better tonight knowing that the AFA has my back in this.

Well, of course I won’t sleep if I chew the new Wrigley gum to come out next month. I’ll have a venti skinny no-foam stick of mint, please.

Birthday wishes went out last week to Dr. Seuss; Desi Arnaz; Mikhail Gorbachev; Tom Wolfe; Larry Carlton; Karen Carpenter; Jon Bon Jovi; Bryce Dallas Howard; Doc Watson; Chris Squire; Andy Gibb; Bob Wills; Gordon Cooper; Willie Stargell; Rob Reiner; Tammy Faye Bakker; Arthur Lee; and Mickey Dolenz.

Arthur Lee and Love, perhaps the greatest group you have never heard of. Their 1967 album, Forever Changes, is one of the best albums ever released, and yet most people have no idea it even exists. Listen to the complex layers of this song. And then remember it was first released in 1967. No, they do not make them like this any longer. Enjoy.

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


  1. Robert F says

    Ever since Jesus mourned over Jerusalem, that universal symbol and embodiment of our errant and sinful human race, a race which would kill the Lord of Glory on a cross, followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph have lost the prerogative of rejoicing over the death of their enemies and instead been given the command to pray for the bliss of all, especially enemies, even as he prayed for us from his cross.

    Let light perpetual shine upon Hugo Chavez.

  2. Adrienne says

    Jeff ~ are you okay? I won’t even ask if you are working too hard/long. But seriously do you need to go for a check up? I have Fibromyalgia so I live tired. I never knew that a person could be alive and still be so tired. Please take care of yourself and try to get more rest if at all possible. And don’t chew the new Wrigley’s – I will send you some Hershey Chocolate then call me in the morning 🙂

  3. Chavez did do some good things, including getting free oil to poor Americans for years. Some may say it was just a political ploy, but for those needy Americans, I am sure they were just happy to be warm during the cold winters. Rest in peace, Hugo Chavez.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      Chavez was, in the long run, a great disappointment. But this implies that there was something to be hopeful about in him. This is more than can be said of most Latin American leaders, the vast majority of whom will die without North American Christians rejoicing, or even noticing.

    • Yes JoanieD.

      Interesting that many Americans have been the positive recipients of foreign aide while our own people and government are investing in “greater interest”.


    • Dan Crawford says

      Perhaps the greatest contribution Chavez made to politics was describing his political opponents as “rancid oligarchs” – a phrase that aptly describes this country Grand Old Poops and their corporate overseers.

  4. connie odonnell says

    Good point about distaste for a foreign government head versus joy over his death. How it parallels those who rejoiced wrongly over Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Good point, Jeff.

    I, for one, will be one of the “white smoke watchers”! Hopefully they will elect someone to take the tortured Catholic Church forward with leadership.

    GREAT MUSIC! Very 60s, and I will look for their album on Amazon. Thanks for a great Saturday post, from one tired person to another. Get some rest!

  5. Well, I’m sure glad that the new chewing gum is sugar free. That practically makes it health food — doesn’t it?

    No, Christians should never rejoice over the death of anyone, *especially* an evil person. We are to be like God, and he is not willing that any should perish.

  6. Marcus Johnson says

    EvangelicalBible is awesome, especially for those like me who are looking for ways to pimp out their Scripture (you know, for the ladies). My Bible’s got platinum rims and the alligator backside (beat that, Jeff Dunn, with your wimpy leather). The pages are edged with 24K gold, and the first page of the book of Romans comes with a seal of authenticity with the apostle Paul’s thumbprint on it. So, when I step into the church, sporting that Word, all the church says, “Word!”

    Now, all I have to do is actually read the thing…

    • Funny, Marcus!

      • Richard Hershberger says

        Such things can have an air of the Codex Purpureus about them: luxury Bibles on purple vellum with gold or silver ink. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_parchment. Note in particular what Saint Jerome had to say about them.

        That being said, humans are sensuous creatures. The Bible matters for what it says,not the physical volume, but there is undoubted pleasure in a good quality physical volume. Within limits, a good volume shows respect for its contents. Beyond these limits we have conspicuous consumption and, in the case of a luxury Bible, overweening irony.

    • Point well made, Marcus, about reading the thing. There are some who get upset at those who spend more than ten bucks on a Bible, though. For those, I suggest they read this.

      • Josh in FW says

        I love the new sponsor’s web page. Thanks! Now it’s time to start saving my nickels and dimes. I also enjoyed this line, “I hated how badly the average late twentieth century Bible was made, its vestigial decorative touches about as authentic as the timber on a suburban Tudor facade” from the above linked blog post. It reminded me of why I’m such a huge fan of old homes.

        I wanted a small travel size Bible for daily devotions and made the mistake of buying a cheap paper Bible a couple of years ago and it’s already falling apart. I think I paid ~$20. $20 every 3 years or $200 for 30 years are equivalent expenditures. But if you factor in the inevitability of inflation the $200 well made product is the better act of long term stewardship. IMO

  7. Richard McNeeley says

    My money is on Father Guido Sarducci to be the next Pope.

  8. from the CT article:

    “However, when Mr. Chavez returned home after his last cancer treatment in Cuba, he made an impassioned plea to God for help.”

    If he begged for mercy as the thief on the cross begged for mercy, should we not also rejoice in his penance? Why is the thief exonerated while Chavez is condemned? Who truly knows the heart of this man other than God himself?

    Most of us live lives just as unjust, though we don’t see the consequences of our own actions (ie: most coffee farms or imported clothing rely heavily on unjust labor practices which oppress people just as much as Chavez did directly).

    • Yes, the death of Christ is sufficient even to save Chaves, but without repentance, it is not applied to him, period. Asking God to make your life better is not the same as asking him to forgive your sin. And I’m sorry, but if buying discount coffee at Wal-Mart is just as unjust as exploiting slave labor directly, then you are essentially arguing that justice does not exist since it is an impossible ideal anyways. We ought not even complain about the villains of the planet.

      • Robert F says

        I have to agree with you. Moral equivalence is a dangerous road to go down; in WWII, it would have made Hitler and Winston Churchill equivalent for both bombing civilian populations. All actions become morally gray in such a dim light. In my estimation, Chavez was a bad guy, using socialist propaganda to acquire unwarranted power to himself and side-stepping democratic checks and balances in heavy handed ways.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Chavez was just the latest in a long line of Banana Republic Strongmen who started out with a Populist (and Socialist) line. I’d hoped the Castro bros in Cuba would be the last of them, but…

          And instead of being buried, Chavez’ body will be embalmed and displayed in a glass coffin to the Masses just like Lenin & Mao. Again, straight out of the 20th Century Dictators’ playbook.

      • Miguel,

        OK. I stand corrected on the Chavez/Coffee argument. But let me string it out a little further and I’d appreciate your response. American importing practices are driven by a constant demand for more for less. Our greed and covetousness drives us to consume more and more, but our incomes wouldn’t sustain it if things were made locally or in America. So big box stores like Walmart export the labor overseas, in typically unfair circumstances to those they “employ”. The items are brought back to the US to fuel the materialist machine and the cycle keeps going. Same with non-direct trade coffee. The coffee shop I frequent in my town buys directly from the farmers themselves; farmers they’ve gone to visit in South America and Africa, whom they have real relationships with. Their coffee prices are fair (about $10-13 / 12oz bag in their store) and a larger portion of the price goes back to the farmer than say what Starbucks or Folgers would pay their coffee farmers.

        If our American demand for cheap products which is driven by a compulsive need for more oppresses those in foreign countries who are forced to work in slave like conditions, how are we “off the hook” for the effects of our spending habits?

        I know this is a complicated issue, but it seems pretty directly related to me.

        Some info on garments can be found here: http://www.free2work.org/trends/apparel/

        • Its quite a bit more complicated than that, mr s. I would be the first to admit our greed and unsustainable consumption patterns, but as for production, consumption, and labor, the scenario you present is far too simplistic to be a useful model. I have two Indian classmates in my b-school, and they admit freely that the jobs brought over by US firms were the only thing that gave their parents the money to send them overseas to study. They are both quite happy with the situation. Furthermore, the “fair” price argument doesn’t work in the real world. In Bolivia, “fair” quinoa prices led the locals to export all their produce, resulting in undernourishment for the local children. While I support putting people ahead of profits, I would encourage you to read up some on contemporary business and econ theory so that you can make choices that don’t accidentally hurt those you would help.

  9. Ahh, 1967! …I remember it well. Those were the days before real brass and strings could be cheaply replaced by electronic keyboards. There was MUSIC back then, by cracky. Can’t help but feel for all those now unemployed trumpeters and violinists, though.

    Only old guys get to say things like “by cracky”. 🙂

    Thinking of you today, Jeff.

  10. Love the new sponsor website! But, I am in the mood for a good war about translations!

    Do you pick the masculine pronoun bible, the moderately gender neutral bible, or the very gender neutral bible? Do you order the Calvinist Bible, the non-denominational Bible, or the Southern Baptist bible? Do you order the word-per-word translation or the completely paraphrased Bible? Do you pay copyright fees to Lifeway, Zondervan, or Crossway?

    I am very glad the sponsored website doesn’t have Marine bibles, Army Bibles, Air Force Bibles, Hunting Bibles, Teenager Bibles, Fisherman Bibles, Underwater bibles, Women’s Bibles, Couple’s Bibles, Men’s Bibles….

    • Robert F says

      “I’m all lost in the Bible bookstore,
      I no longer know what I need.
      It’s not just enough to look for
      guaranteed translation accuracy.”

      Sung to the tune of “Lost in the Supermarket,”
      by The Clash, written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones.

  11. Should Christians ever rejoice in the death of anyone, no matter how much evil he has inflicted?


    Resigned. Sad. Accepting. But no rejoicing.

  12. When it comes to sex abuse scandals and leadership:
    You say Mahaney, I say Mahoney
    Let’s call the whole thing off.

  13. I’ve made the case before and no one seems to agree with me that the very concept underlying commercials (and not just one’s that appear on SNL) is a violation of the 10th Commandment. For some reason covetousness and acquisitiveness are not vices in our society. Listening to Preachers of a Certain Sort, they are godly virtues.

  14. Help required at http://www.christianforums.com/f83/
    Defenders of the true faith are in a minority on this calvinist recruiting forum.
    Please join up and help out the beleaguered Christians there.

    • nobdysfool says

      An assault in progress…
      An assault in progress…Christianforums.com/soteriology

      by nobdysfool

      It seems that the anti-Calvinists have decided to launch an all-out assault on Calvinists in the Soteriology forum. Many of us Calvinists have decided to just sit back and let them run with it for a while, and true to form, they have begun making fools out of themselves. They are trying to bait and goad the Calvinists, in the hopes that they can report us and remove some of us from the field. In that, they are failing miserably. The sheer amount of misinformation displayed is staggering!

      It seems obvious to me that so much misinformation about Calvinism is being promoted because Calvinist theology is a true threat to the status quo of many churches in America, as well as the UK, Canada, and even Australia. And yet the predominate theological understanding of Christians in China, is Calvinist. China is a field ripe for harvest, there is a real hunger there, and the Calvinist teachings have taken root and have grown very quickly in China and the Far East.

      So much for the claim by these yobs in the forum that Calvinism is a failed, false theology. They simply do not know what they’re talking about. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be comical….

  15. Nobdydfool says

    To me, it has just become an exciting, fun challenge. I honed my Calvinist teeth in Free Republic, where there was a time when the Religion Forum was a rollicking, free-for-all, a regular punch-fest.

    I learned how to take it, and how to give it. I learned how to insult someone subtly, how to read someone’s pedigree nicely, and how to cut to the heart of a matter. As I said, it was a verbal punch-fest, so these wimps in Soteriology wouldn’t have lasted a day there. I can’t use but maybe 20% of the methods I learned, or I would be perma-banned in less than a day. As it is, I have had action against me by the mods here, some deserved, and some not.

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