John Quincey Adams must be the patron saint of Mexicans, since they always make a big deal of the Quincian Era.
John Quincey Adams must be the patron saint of Mexicans, since they always make a big deal of the Quincian Era.
Here's a very interesting intramural squabble between Andy Stanley and Al Mohler, which started with a Mohler blog "Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?" ripping a Stanley sermon. However, there's more to the fight than just one iffy sermon.
(1) Stanley has stepped into a big pile of theological dodo here. Stalling on a responce to the impression that homosexuality is just fine at North Point doesn't help matters. I'm reminded of the early backlash to Rob Bell's Love Wins, where Bell backpeddled on claims of universalism from the promotional material, which proved to be fairly well founded.
(2) Mohler was overstating his case against megachurches; Rick Warren wound up calling him out on it via Twitter. There are overlapping "markets" for varying church styles, and some of those are old-school churches that Mohler would appreciate.
(3) Mohler writes- "As one pastor told him, you cannot grow a church and teach biblical complementarianism." Tell that to Mark Driscoll, although there are times where he seems to be teaching Cro-Magnon complementarianism. There is a market for neo-Reformed thought, just not as big as they'd like.
(4) There is a grace-vs-truth scuffle, but one doesn't need to toss one under the bus to have the other. There are options other than "love the sinner, toss discussion about the sin under the bus" and "hate the sin and toss the sinner under the bus."
(5) I'm not sure if there is a coherent seeker-friendly school of thought, but we have a fight between Mohler's neo-Reformed camp and Stanley's more emergent style. Mohler might have been closer to the truth with a question "Are the Emergents the new liberalism?" Bedside manner gets chucked in the name of doctrine on one end and doctrine gets chucked in the name of missional orthopraxy in the other, at least when distilled to the stereotype level.
More on this later, for this is an interesting case study that may have legs.
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
It's a bit trite at times to trot out the idea that Abba in Aramaic was closer to Daddy than Father in tone. There's a sense of intimacy there that you don't get with "father", which you have to have a good English schoolboy accent to pull off with a straight face when addressing your dad.
When you go back to all those classic hymns, they are using the intimate second person rather than the formal third person; instead of being stuffy and archaic, the thees and thous are actually the abba-daddy format that were used for freinds and loved ones. We'd have to redo our modern love songs if we kept that, where I would have grown up with Thou Makest Me Feel Brand New or Thou Lightest Up My Life.
We're heirs of God. However, we'll never actually inherit much, since God doesn't die, (unless Neitzsche gets in on things) but we share in God's kingdom as His sons and daughters. Not bad.
Midland has been experimenting with bike routes and bike lanes as of late. It seems to echo a move back in the mid-70s to get people biking more. Back then, they at least had small bike lanes marked out on a number of roads where bikes would (in theory) have the right of way.
Emphasis on in theory. One of the problems of having bicycles in well-traveled areas is that cars going 25-45 MPH are interacting with 10-15 MPH bikes; that brings out the highway factoid that differences in speed is more of a problem than speed itself. The 21st century version of it has actual whole lanes dedicated to bikes on the three-lane one-way streets (Ashman and Rodd) going in and out of downtown from the northeast; that should minimize problems to some extent, as is routing bike routes through residential areas.
However, putting a lot of bikes on main drags creates problems, especially when bikes act like they are not subject to traffic laws, running lights and not paying attention to traffic. I've yet to see a bike get pulled over for bad driving. Even when bikes are playing by the rules, cars can treat them as pedestrians or worse, so the problems can run both ways.
Strangely, a BBC piece on Toronto's bike wars pulled my chatty ring. The BBC might have wandered into a minor skirmish between abrasive conservative mayor Rob Ford (think Chris Christie with about a third the charm) and Toronto's left. Previous Toronto governments have been more bike-friendly, and Ford is moving to be a bit more safety friendly and car friendly, which begs for a culture clash.
Not all bike-riders are liberals, but the activists generally are. Thus, the bile that has been flowing between Ford and the Hogtown left gets tacked on to this issue.
If you can build a bike expressway, like Midland has tried on the south side of town, turning the median of M-20 going out of downtown into an urban bike trail, you can be traffic-friendly and bike-friendly at the same time. If you don't have the free space to do that with and have cars and bikes coexisting on the same pavement, problems tend to crop up unless you're in a low-density subdivision setting, where working around a bike isn't a major issue.
One downside of bikes and cold-weather settings like Midland and Toronto is that they're not all that useful for about half the year. From about Halloween to early April, the weather is a bit too chilly to bike comfortably as temperatures go down towards freezing and below in the morning and you create your own 15MPH wind-chill. Even so, it's not a bad thing to encourage biking, but not at the cost of tying up traffic.
An odd story out of Arizona, where an immigration hawk with some Nazi ties and his girlfriend's family were gunned down. The first prospect was domestic violence, for a gun-happy ex-Marine with his past would be a good candidate to go postal on loved ones (at least, we've seen stories like that before); however, if he has been making life somewhat miserable for drug gangs trying to operate there, having the Zetas or other narcos put a hit out on him would be feasible.
Almost is odd is Washington state liberals wanting to coax Dennis Kucinich out west to run for one of two open seats. He lost to Marcy Kaptur in a dual-incumbant primary earlier this spring, as his western Cleveland district got shifted over into Kaptur's Toledo one; that was one of the undercards of the big Romney-Santorum Ohio primary day. He's got two weeks to move west if he wants to meet the May 18th deadline.
There's no rule that says how long you have to be a resident in order to run. However, I've yet to hear of a candidate who lost one primary, then changed states in the same year.
Would he be able to serve Ohio as a congressman while living in Washington state? Not that I'd lose any sleep if that seat went vacant for a few months as it goes into the dustbin of history.
However, it was unorthodox, and a last-man-standing effect put him in the lead after just about everyone else had a turn at the front and crashed in some way. He wasn't quite the last man standing, for Rick Santorum took advantage of Romney superPAC money savaging Newt to be the last non-Paulista standing before he became the target of unrelenting PAC-flak.
While I was in grad school at Kent State, I worked in the southeastern Cleveland suburb of Macedonia for a few months. I likely went over the route 82 bridge just west of there a few times; five Occupiers got caught plotting to blow it up earlier in the week.
The FBI seemed to be on this quintet like white on rice, like they've rolled up some Muslim wannabe jihadists in the past well before they were dangerous. One only wonders if there are some savvier Occupiers who might actually pull off some terrorism before having someone on the FBI payroll become part of the group.
We're got a constitutional train wreck going down, where congressional pit bull Darrell Issa has his jaw clamped down on AG Eric Holder. Or is that Alex Trebek with a good suntan?
Contempt charges are being worked up for Holder for his lack of response in the "Fast and Furious" gun-tagging case. Contempt of Congress is the natural state of an administration of the other party, especially when the pit bulls of the opposition take their frustration out on the other side.
We saw quite a bit of this in 2007-8, when a new Democratic majority was going after the Dubya team's perceived failures. Fast forward furiously four years, and the Republicans are returning the favor.
By the time any contempt charges would actually go to trial, Holder will likely be teaching law at some Ivy League school and Fast and Furious will be remember more as an interesting car-chase movie. Note the break-neck speed that Roger Clements got tried on his contempt charges and throw a political and racial overlay to it. Thus, any contempt charge is more for show than for substance.
The Justice Department is most-likely stalling; if Holder can milk things for another six months, we get past the election and he'll be interviewing at Brown and Cornell while someone else gets to be AG in 2013 either way. If Obama does manage to get a second term, Holder would likely get tossed under the bus (or asked to jump under) in order to have calmer relations with Congress.
The patron saint of cabinet members in year 4 of an administration is Stonewall Jackson; the malady of choice is selective amnesia.
The Russians are talking trash over missile defense systems in Eastern Europe... at least, one hopes they're just talking trash.
Russia says it is prepared to use "destructive force pre-emptively" if the US goes ahead with controversial plans for a missile defence system based in Central Europe.
The warning came after the Russian defence minister said talks on missile defence were nearing a dead end. Moscow fears that missile interceptors would be a threat to Russia's security. But the US and Nato say they are intended to protect against attacks from Iran or North Korea.
"A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," chief of the Russian defence staff Gen Nikolai Makarov said.
Such ABM batteries are only a threat to Russia if they are planning on re-invading Eastern Europe in the near future or are envisioning a US invasion or want a Islamic nuke to head towards the US.
What is likely at play is a desire for Russia to get back the hegemon status in its old imperial domains. If they play hardball with Eastern Europe, they might move them to cast their lot with Russia if those countries think they can get more from the Russians than they can from the US and the rest of Europe.
US-Russian relations haven't been good as of late, as the Putin team has been playing the bad cop in world affairs quite a bit, partly to look tough back home and partly to keep buisness interests with rogue players like Iran and Syria going. This move just brings that bad blood out into the open.
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
That is an interesting take; the Law as regent, the guy who runs the kingdom while the prince is too young to become king. Of course, any Jews in the audience would have their cookies frosted, since they're seeing the faith they grew up with dissed as inferior child's play.
Note the end of verse five; the sonship is what I was riffing on yesterday, not quite remembering that this would come up in this chapter. Regardless of our gender, we're all sons of God, for it would have been the eldest son who inheritied the father's wealth.
We've seen a few sports suicides as of late in both hockey and football, but none with the stature of Junior Seau, who apparently did himself in today. He was one of the best middle linebackers in NFL history. One can only wonder at this point if football-related brain damage helped his emotional spiral of the last few years along.
Speaking of damage and linebackers, four current and former Saints players were suspended for their Bountygate misdeeds. Seau's counterpart on the Saints, Johathan Vilma, gets the year off. He might not quite be at Seau's level, but three Pro Bowls isn't anything to sneeze at.
Vilma is alledged to have helped finance the bounty pool with 10K of his own cash. Small change for modern football players, who have been known to "make it rain" more than that on a night on the town, but you don't pay people for creating injuries.
Odd story out of Windsor, where they're getting a nastry hum that seems to be coming from the Michigan side of the Detroit river in River Rouge. Michigan officials have checked and can't find anything on this side of the border that matches the hum. The Canadian government has complained to the EPA and the State department, but they pass the buck to the Michigan DNR, who's struck out on its research.
I'm far from being an acoustic engineer, but if memory serves, sound waves can merge to do funky things, so that low-level sound waves that might be innocent on the US side could wind up merging on the other side of the border to do nasty things.
Protests have ran off a gay foreign-policy expert from the Romney campaign. Richard Grenell was getting treated like Beowulf's nemesis Grendel by some theocons; Grenell resigned rather than be a drag on the campaign.
I'm not sure if that's the best message to send for the general election. Romney isn't treated warmly by social conservatives in the GOP, so throwing Grenell under the bus might have been seen as a sop to the right wing; I don't think it will help and will only make the Romney campaign look like more of a pup tent.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Verse 28 is a go-to verse when you want to fight racism, ethnocentrism and any number of things that divvy us into camps. However, it's verse 29 that I want to jam on, escpecially after Sunday's sermon.
Pastor Kessler was talking about being citizens of God's kingdom in a sermon on prayer. However, we have more than just citizenship with God, we have been adopted into His family. We are considered heirs in verse 29, children of God.
Thus, we inherrit more than just our share of the national debt in this passage.
The Greeks are having their parliamentary elections this week and their nativists are now being heard from as well.
Firmly on the fringe of the right since it first appeared 20 years ago, Golden Dawn garnered a meager 0.23 percent in the 2009 elections. Now, it looks set to easily win more than the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament, with recent opinion polls showing support at about 5 percent.
The GD is a rather nasty bunch, with a logo that looks like a misdrawn swastika and a goon squad to match. That's going to make running things that much harder, since GD seems to be one of those toxic parties that mainstream parties of the right can't touch, thus leading to more grand coalitions that are less likely to make hard decisions.
Barnes and Noble is spinning off its digital and college-bookstore arm and Microsoft is buying in for $300M. The dead tree side of the business is almost as dead as the trees and with B&N's Nook reader trailing the Amazon Kindle, a MS tie in should give them a boost-the next version of Windows is slated to come with a Nook reader ap built in.
There may well be a good reason for such a spin-off; what's getting kicked out of the nest would have more cache than the dead-tree side, and might result in the combination of Nook and dead-tree B&N getting a higher market cap than a combined firm.
It's about a week old, but this story on some Google money going into asteroid mining is interesting. James Cameron, fresh off a trip to the bottom of the Marianas Trench is also helping finance and front the project for an industrialization of space-
The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for asteroid targets rich in resources. The intention will be to open deep-space exploration to private industry.
Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services. It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.
Since this story came out near Earth Day, I was reminded of the old sticker-"Earth First... we'll exploit the other planets later." Their day for exploitation (in the good sense of being utilized) seems to be coming faster than you think.
One advantage to asteroid mining is that you have no NIMBY effect to worry about.
Bad news for Sarkozy. Marine Le Pen is abstaining... courteously in the French run-off. The conventional wisdom and the polls have Francois Hollande, a somewhat centrist Socialist (by French standards, since "centrist Socialist" sounds like an oxymoron) leading going into Sunday's vote.
15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
One legal issue that I recall being mentioned is that without both parties getting something of value, there is no contract. The "Seed" was able to provide that counter-weight Himself.
Here's an interesting story out of India which would have whizzed over my head had I not read this ESPN piece a few months ago; cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar has been named to the Indian senate (Rajya Sabha). Most of the Rajya Sabha is elected, but the Indian president gets to name 12 dignitaries to the upper house for "special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service." A bit of a stretch, but are you going to be the judge to tell him he can't serve?
Some upper houses, like the House of Lords in the UK or Canada's Senate, have little real-world power other than to slow down legislation they don't like; a Canadian wag called a Senate nod a "taskless thanks." The Rajya Sabha seems to be a cross between one of those more-honorary upper houses and the US senate if my quick read on the Indian legislature is on target.
A North American analogy would be to have Wayne Gretzky get named to the Canadian Senate or for Michael Jordan to get named President Obama's old Senate seat; His Airness could have afforded Blago's price tag;-). Sachin is that kind of sporting god in India, but at 38, he's starting to wind down.
Not too many active athletes are in politics, boxer Manny Pacquiao has served two terms in the Philippine House while still being active in the Sweet Science-he has a date with Floyd Mayweather coming up later this month, which is being billed as one of the bigger matches in years.
The ESPN piece on Sachin is worth a read if you're a North American sports fan who is clueless about cricket; it will show why he's gotten that not-quite-taskless thanks from his country.
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
Paul ragged on favortism earlier in this chapter, but he lets loose with an anti-Gentile barb here. That might be tongue-in-cheek, given that the letter-of-the-law attitude of many Jews of the day left them immunized to the spirit of the law; it's more important to be following Jesus than to get all the menu kosher.
No one's perfect and no one can follow all the rules all the time; Jesus died for all those sins so we didn't have to be pitching a perfect lifetime. We had a perfect game pitched earlier this month, only the 21nd in major league history. If you patched together a century-plus of baseball history and put them on one player, he'd only be two-thirds of the way to a perfect season (your typical starter gets about 35 starts a year).
Perfect seasons are out of reach. Perfect lifetimes are (get out your best Vizzini) inconceivable. That's why Jesus needed to be the sacrifice to end them all.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
God can turn people around, turning enimies into adopted sons and daughters. In Paul's case, he was so fired-up of a Jew that he assumed Jesus was yet another kooky false Messiah; when he got a spiritual 2-by-4 from a resurected Jesus pointing out that assuming that all Messiahs are false is bound to be wrong eventually. I give Paul some credit for rejecting him for an otherwise-honorable reason.
That leaves hope for the Dan Savages of the world. A less honorable cause, to be sure, is prompting his persecution of believers (It's lighter than stoning believers to be sure, but nonetheless nasty; ask Rick Sanorum along with the devout "pansy-[butt]" teens who walked out on him), but there is hope even for him.
Rather than slide back into "It gets worse" snideness, praying for one's foe to do a 180 and find that Giliad balm for the pain and nastiness inside him is the better answer. God has saved mass murders (Dahlmer, Son of Sam, Bundy) who were real savage beasts, so there's hope for everyone.