Friday 21 December 2012

Dharma doodlings

by Kim Fabricius

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ τὐεετος, καὶ ὁ τὐεετος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ τὐεετος. οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγνετο, καὶ χωρ

Six Christian koans
What is the sound of one happy-clapping?
Why a Vatican spokesman when he spins?
What is Menno Simons?  Three pounds of pax.
If Mark Driscoll shouts in a forest and (unbelievably) no one hears him, is he still wrong?
Why doesn’t the bearded archbishop have a beard?
Why can’t a penisless bishop?

Speaking with the authority of recent experience, the Church of England sends its Yuletide message to the nation: “Don’t take the Christ out of Christmess.”

Here is a picture of Rick Warren, from the cover of his new book The Porpoise Driven Life:

A Methodist friend of mine asked me if I would help him with a talk he was preparing on Arminianism. I said, “Only if it’s a eulogy.”

A Calvinist friend of mine asked me if I would help him with a talk he was preparing on double predestination. “Sorry,” I said, “I’m opposed to assisted suicide.”

With Proverbs 26:11 (cf. 2 Peter 2:22) as my text, I occasionally recycle sermons.

Deep down, every critic wishes they were an author. This explains both the pathos and the pathologies of that guild of textual parasites known as theologians, universally condemned to be producers of secondary literature.

What do you say about a genius like Tolstoy when he opines that King Lear is “beneath serious criticism”?  —“Marry, here’s grace and a cod-piece; that’s a wise man and a fool” (King Lear, III, 2).

And how do you respond to someone who doesn’t get Moby-Dick? —Be cool, count to ten, keep schtum, for as Starbuck said to Ahab, “To be enraged with a dumb thing … seems blasphemous.”

Have you ever noticed that Hamlet begins as a knock-knock joke in medias res? (Interestingly, in Macbeth, written 5-6 years later, a porter delivers a comic monologue which follows the form of a knock-knock joke [II, 3].) Or how its unfolding tragedy could have Romans 12:19 as an epigraph (cf. Anna Karenina)?

In Europe, God is dead. In the US, he’s in even worse shape.

A born-again Christian named Burke
Boasted, “No one is saved by their works!”
Ha! His faith served him well
When he found out in hell
That they make an exception for jerks.

What can one say of creationists but OMG (On Misreading Genesis).

Jesus was leading an Ethics 101 class which included Socrates, Buddha, David Hume, and Stanley Hauerwas.  Jesus said, “You must love your neighbour as yourself.”  Hume said, “Which self?”  Buddha said, “What self?”  Socrates said, “What is ‘love’?”  And Hauerwas said, “Who the hell is Niebuhr?”

The Sermon on the Mount without the resurrection is empty. And the resurrection without the Sermon on the Mount is – empty.

“Ought” implies “bought” (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20).

In Christ we learn that it’s not “Where there’s life, there’s hope”, it’s “Where there’s death, there’s hope”, and “Where there’s hope, there’s life.”

Do you want to see your soul? Shave.

We have nothing to fear but nothing itself.

The problem is not that we are out of touch with our emotions but that we are in the grip of them.

The clever would rather be right than wrong; the wise would rather be kind than right.

A recent survey by the British Heart Foundation of the elderly finds that only 11% of the men regretted not having slept with more women. I suspect it would also find that that these 11% are either lying, gay, or suffering from severe memory loss.

A very good blogger recently ran a series on “The NFL and Christian Theology”. I kept waiting for a guest post by Screwtape.  (By the way, you know the guy, ubiquitous, who stands in the crowd behind the end zone waving the John 3:16 placard? That’s Wormwood).

“They are the custodians and initiators into felt intimations of open horizons, of well-springs of recuperation and self-surpassing for a constricted and worn humanity.”  That’s George Steiner on Gehrig, Williams, Mays, and Koufax. (Or was it Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven?)

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