Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Doo-doodlings


by Kim Fabricius

How should the church respond to congregational decline, financial deficits, and vocational shrinkage?  The answer is obvious: make ministerial selection more stringent, theological education more demanding, and spiritual formation more exacting. And burn anyone who proposes a managerial or entrepreneurial solution. 

Who pastors the pastor? The pastored, of course – not least by exposing all our pathologies.

The names of almost all churches suggest a dreadful lack of theological depth, imagination, and audacity, and a failure to go ad crucem. Or can anyone point me to “The Church of the Two Thieves” (named after the first Christian congregation)?

Sanctification may be defined as the process of growth, coram Deo, in reliable self-narration.

The saint is a person for whom the gospel, once counter-intuitive, has become common sense.

I firmly believe in interfaith dialogue. Though it’s bloody hard work with American conservative evangelicals. Having a cultural anthropologist as a facilitator helps.

So Rachel Held Evans had A Year of Biblical Womanhood. My wife said she’d rather have 365 days of root canal. I told her I’d be up for A Year of Solomonic Manhood. She said I wouldn’t last a night.

Those who write, read, and review books on whether Adam and Eve really existed – there’s a chunk of your life you’ll never get back.

“Nor wonder how I lost my Wits;
Oh! Caelia, Caelia, Caelia shits!”  
That’s Jonathan Swift, in the concluding couplet of “Cassinus and Peter: A Tragical Elegy”, tracking the acute cognitive dissonance in Cassinus caused by the visceral realisation that his beloved has bowel movements. Thus do some Christians exhibit a theological pathology over a deity that defecates.

The C of E has insured that the English are, by and large, both a faithless and a decent people. If that’s what it takes not to have a Religious Right, it’s not a bad trade-off.

On the other hand … Monty Python answers the Psalmist (139:7) after the vote on women bishops: “Er, the General Synod?” All that was missing were ZZ Top beards and Elizabethan codpieces on the delegates with XX chromosomes.  

Stanley Hauerwas thinks that the US produces no “interesting” atheists because “the god most American say they believe in is not interesting enough to deny.” Which explains why the UK produces no interesting atheists either: no deity being available in the UK, the god they deny they have pinched from America.

“The United States is the greatest nation in the world” – the British would never declaim such bullshit about their own nation. Such swagger is not in UK DNA. But the statement is not so much hubristic as meaningless, for it presumes a judgement on the basis of a comparison with other nations of which most Americans are, in fact, pig-ignorant. Show a map of the world to, say, a Texan, and ask him to stick a pin in France. Well, you might just as well be playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. (Sticking a pin in a Frenchman is an altogether different matter.)  

Part of the brilliance of The Sopranos and The Wire is the way they problematize the moral convention of “good guys” and “bad guys”.  So too Homeland. I mean, you’re rooting for the terrorists, right?

What is the difference between The X Factor and a presidential election? The competition in The X Factor is more interesting, and the voting system is more sensible. 

Reversing the biblical order, the Grahams, Franklin and Billy, demonstrated during the presidential election that the sins of the son may be visited upon the father (as if Dad wasn’t hauling around enough of his own tonnage from the Nixon years alone).

Don’t confuse pains in the ass with assholes. True prophets, for example, are pains in the ass, while court prophets are assholes.

No wonder the “Star Spangled Banner” is hard to sing: it sticks in the throat. Hence its near perfect rendition: Jimi Hendrix’s wretched Woodstock whine.

The Iraqis and Afghanis shouldn’t take American wars so personally. It’s just business, Yahia.

A says, “My sins cry out against me!” God replies, “What sins?”
God says, “Your sins cry out against me!” B replies, “What sins?”
That’s the difference between costly grace and cheap grace.

FOX News: it sure does.

If you want to make a point, don’t write a poem. And if you want to piss off a poet, ask him what it means.

Sigmund Freud
Got extremely annoyed – 
In fact, he went bloody ballistic.
He cried, “Carl, for Chrissake, you’re a mystic!”


And the “Hostage to Fortune” Award goes to – Bob Ryan, the guy who coined the nickname “America’s Team” for the Dallas Cowboys. Though just which is the hostage, America or the Cowboys, is debatable.

Tim Tebow fans, don’t worry: no more miracles but he’s still the Messiah, only now in the form of the Suffering Servant. New York will do that to you.

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