January 27, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 4.21.12

Greetings one and all! What a bright, lovely, springy day it is here at the iMonastery. I hope it is sunny where you are. If it isn’t, then please allow us to take you to our own little land of sunshine we like to call … Saturday Ramblings.

First of all, are there any iMonks who live in the Dayton/Cincinnati area who would like to meet for breakfast on Saturday, May 5? I will be in town briefly and would love to meet with any who 1) wants to see what your abbot looks like, and 2) loves a good breakfast. We would gather at The Breakfast Club on Broadway in Lebanon at, say, 9 a.m. If you’re interested, email me at the address to the right.

Robert Jeffress should be a politician, not a pastor. He has a way of flip-flopping that shows a real flair for politics, otherwise known as the art of compromise. First he says that Mormons aren’t Christians and Christians need to vote for Christians, or at least those Jeffress decides are Christian enough for him. Now he says that Christians should vote for a Mormon because the Mormon is more Christian than the Christian we really shouldn’t vote for. Does this make sense to you at all?

Meanwhile, the Mormon who isn’t a Christian is giving the commencement address at the evangelical Liberty University. I told you politics could be more fun than a barrel of televangelists.

Another new translation of the Bible is causing no end of fun among those who look for things such as no mention of Jesus as the Christ (instead they use “the Anointed One”), and no use of the word “angel” (preferring instead “messenger”). What I want is a copy of the Cockney New Testament.

We often (and, for the most part, rightly so) hammer on John Piper in our ramblings. Today, however, is a different take on a man who has walked with the Lord for 60 years.

The Richard Land controversy continues to grow. Even other Baptists are growing tired of him apologizing with both feet in his mouth. And charges of plagiarism are not helping. Is it time for a Land-fall? (Sorry, sorry—I couldn’t help myself.)

They say celebrities part this earth in threes. First, it was Dick Clark, Mr. American Bandstand. The ageless Clark died this week at the ageless age of 82. Then one of the greatest singers, as well as a very fine drummer, Levon Helm passed away of cancer. Number three was Jonathan Frid. What? Of course you know him. He was Barnabas Collins from the original Dark Shadows TV show.

Meanwhile, birthdays were celebrated this last week by Loretta Lynn; Rod Steiger; Kenneth Mars; Pete Rose; Tulsan Roy Clark; Charlie Chaplin; Peter Ustinov; Henry Mancini; Dusty Springfield; Thornton Wilder; Daffy Duck; and Ashley Judd.

Levon Helm was the driving force behind The Band, one of the greatest groups no one has heard of. Only you have heard them. The Band put on a final concert (well, at least with Robbie Robertson in the group; they continued without him for several years until several of the other members died) in San Francisco on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. Here is a cut from that incredible concert. Yes, it is the greatest rock and roll concert movie ever. Believe me. Here is the late Levon Helm. He gets my nod as the drummer in Heaven’s band. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOi45FFfjG0′]


  1. Jeff-

    My sister called this evening. The MRI scan still shows a brain tumor for my Dad. I felt like I got the wind kicked out of me and feel numb. I’m going to get together with a few people tomorrow. But if you and others can keep my Dad and family in your thoughts and prayers I would be grateful.

    I’m not going to comment in the above issues…i just am not in the mood.

  2. Oh, what a great concert film. Thanks for that, Jeff, and RIP Levon.

  3. Who hasn’t heard of The Band?

  4. Doesn’t “Christ” in the Greek (Christos) mean “Anointed One”? These words seem to have more significance as lodge secret handshakes or magical incantations rather than carrying any meaning anymore.

    • It does indeed. (The Hebrew equivalent gives us “Messiah.”) I find this a perfectly reasonable translation choice.

      • Tokah Fang says

        I agree, but it doesn’t fix the problem of people not knowing what being one who is anointed means in a jewish context.

        • I think the bigger problem is that most people think “Christ” is Jesus’ last name (“H” his middle initial). We use these words like they mean anything to everyone outside the clubhouse. I’m not so sure they mean anything inside, either. I can’t assume I truly appreciate all of the old testament implications of Jesus holding the title, “anointed one”. I can certainly understand why people got excited and wanted to anoint him king, hearing that he was the anointed one and a rightful descendent of David. I say throw out the buzz-word bingo fodder and challenge ourselves to study more deeply what the text is saying. I think the second commandment demands it.

  5. Mike Beidler says

    If you want the Cockney translation, you really ought to look into the Hawaiian pidgin translation, “Da Jesus Book.” Currently available in print, but it’s also available for free on YouVersion.

    • I heard a preacher use that version a few years ago! I loved it! He should have kept reading from Da Jesus Book and saved his stories for another time—it really was fun to listen to.

  6. I always enjoyed The Band. And even though I don’t understand the interest in vampires stories today, I did watch Dark Shadows. So I should try to remember why I liked it.

    Good article about John Piper.

    “The Anointed One” for “Christ” and “messenger” for “angel” doesn’t bother me at all. That is what they are.

  7. Last week, we learned that pastors with advanced degrees have universalist leanings. This week, we learn that Romney was invited by Liberty to inspire their graduates as they are sent out into the world and the great commission. The second story either explains the first or the two stories together are a glorious testamony of fundagelical hypocrisy.

  8. David Cornwell says

    As to Liberty and Romney, I could not help but think of what their reaction would be to a Muslim running for President? Of course he would not make first base in their primaries, and they would not want another Muslim running since one already snuck in. (is it “snuck” or “sneaked”?)

    Now, thinking about American politics my stomach feels queasy and I need my Pepto-Bismo…

  9. Not having seen a copy of “The Voice” (but having watched the video), I would suggest that any sincere attempt to convey the essence of the Biblical story shed of both ancient and modern church dogmas is a good thing. I have no problem, either, with the use of “The Anointed One” in lieu of “Christ”. Still, I can conceive of no mere translation that could adequately transmit the full power of the text absent knowledge of the first-century Hebrew context in which it was written (at least the New Testament). “The Voice” seems to be an effort in the right direction, however.

    The Bible demands that we wrestle with the message as Jacob contended with that angel until he received a blessing. Hollering “Uncle!” before God is a wise move. 🙂

    Eagle, my prayers are with you and your father.

  10. Also this week, Chuck Colson and one of the members of the band Men at Work died. Is there a sixth one out there waiting to go to keep a multiple of three?

    • Chuck Colson’s passing is a big turning point. I had a lot of respect for him, even though I usually disagreed somehow with each of his articles in Christianity Today (even wrote CT about it once). But I’ve always considered him the person I most love to disagree with. Our differences were always cultural and political, and I’m sure we agreed pretty near 100% on the true gospel issues. It’s just that he often included non-essentials with his gospel.

      I think he should have met Michael Spencer while here on earth, and I’m sure they’ll do each other some good up there in heaven.

    • sowarrior says

      I remember reading all the warnings about Colson years ago and hearing about them on the radio because he was too friendly with them apostate Papists. He was helping to do the work of the anti-Christ in bringing in a one world religion.

      I guess someone else will have to take his place now. Oh wait, Rick Warren already has.

      RIP Chuck

    • I’ve been spending quite some time trying to write a comment that does not speak disparagingly of the dead and failing. I will simply note that a great number of people do not share your view of Colson’s righteousness. Many believe that his conversion simply changed the objects of his dislike and hate from Nixon’s enemies to gay people. I have great difficulty believing that anyone who authored the Manhattan declaration truly understood the concept of agape or ever did anything more than pay lip service to the concept of love the sinner.

      RIP Mr Colson, may you find more peace in death than you did in life.

      • Jason, who were you writing to? It doesn’t look like it could be Fred, so I suspect it was me.

        I think Colson did get caught up in works-righteousness too much, as well as the culture wars, and it was these things that made me disagree with him. As to his devotion to Christ, though, I have no doubts–even though he did seem willing to throw people under the bus. Instead of being Nixon’s hatchet-man he may have fancied himself as Christ’s hatchet-man, even though Christ doesn’t really need one.

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