Thursday, 21 April 2016

Doodlings de Nos Jours

Never ask anyone if they are a Christian because you’d be asking the wrong person.

The buck stops here only when we have exhausted all the possibilities of it stopping somewhere else.

The declension narrative of Republican presidential candidates which began with Ronald (as in the McDonald’s mascot) is reaching its nadir in Donald (as in the Disney waterfowl). The book about it will be entitled The GOP: From Clown to Quack.

Asked his opinion about one of his female social media advisers, the Donald said, “Nice Tweets. Shame about the Facebook.”

If abortion is murder, of course the woman having the abortion should be punished. It is a contract killing. But did she act on her own? What about not only the father, but perhaps a family member, friend, or some other third party? If they incited, encouraged, assisted, or even supported the female felon, then they are guilty of conspiracy to murder. It appears, Mr. Trump, that “as thou urgest justice, be assur’d / Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir’st” (The Merchant of Venice, IV, 1).

So Trump has declared, “I’m the Lone Ranger.” But the Lone Ranger always spoke moderately, precisely, and with perfect grammar; he never shot to kill; and he famously came to the aid of a Mexican president. Oh, and he was never unmasked.

If you want to know what their support for Trump discloses about the faith of American evangelicals, just keep your eye on the baal.

Ted Cruz is actually a quasi-Barthian: the Bible in one hand, a .38 in the other.

I am extremely disappointed with Lovejoy (not the classic BBC comedy crime drama starring Ian McShane but the apostolic exhortation starring Pope Francis). Where are the illustrations?

Why can’t the Vatican perform a miracle when it comes to the indissolubility of marriage and eucharistic welcome for the divorced and (adulterously) remarried? Signs and wonders are never a problem when it comes to making a saint.

If you don’t believe in original sin, why believe in sin at all? It’s like complaining about environmental pollution while ignoring the existence of Chevron and BP.

If the conflicted Augustine does not convince you about original sin, the ever-so sincere and sensible Pelagius certainly should.

If not apokatastasis, then Manicheanism Lite. Augustine did not bring his A game to eschatology. He went and spoiled what might have been a heavenly omelette by tossing in some old eggshells.

On Trinity Sunday I’ll be preaching on Rublev’s The Hospitality of Abraham. The title of the sermon is “God’s Selfie”.

Lucky for them, people who say people get what they deserve are self-refuting.

The prodigal son said, “Father, I’ve taken Jesus as my personal Saviour.” The father replied, “So you’ve been corresponding with your brother, have you?”

Spare a thought for Lazarus. Due to a rush of messianic exhibitionism, the poor bugger had to die twice.

It is a misconception that the British populace is not weaponed. In fact, three people sitting next to me in a Swansea café have just unholstered their iPhones.

Nearly a fifth of British adults experience anxiety or depression. The other 80% suffer from delusions of contentment.

If you’ve got issues, see a life coach: a problem shared is a problem doubled.

For Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books. Alas, culturally, 1 Corinthians 13:11b.

Truth is tonal too. Just compare the huffy, preachy, cloistered screeds at First Things with the blithe, conversational, world-affirming essays of Marilynne Robinson. It’s the difference between having a bug up your ass and a butterfly on your palm.

I like Eugene Peterson’s translation of Matthew 7:21: “Knowing the correct password – saying Master, Master, for instance – isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience – doing what my Father wills.” Another, more catholic “correct password” is “Eucharist, Eucharist.”

So trendy did it become to take the Road Less Travelled that now it’s a carpark.

A friend who knows me well – too well – has suggested that I write my memoir. Apart from the vanity and banality of such a project, I have no talent for fiction. Besides, my story has already been written. It’s called the Bible.

1 Comment:

Alan K said...

A lot of smiles, a few smhs, and two lols. Thanks as always.

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