Saturday’s Scattered Thoughts

Another week coming to a conclusion. Thanks to all of you who commented on the series on omnipotence; it proved to be one of the most succesful series attempted on this blog (though well behind the Sandusky/PSU commentary). And a tip of the hat to Lisa Delay ( for suggesting it. Proof that requests are indeed accepted!

Last week I began a Saturday series commenting on things in general, some of which may be picked up as themes for future posts, but most of which are just put out there for your own thinking. If they strike a chord, please comment and perhaps we’ll generate a weekend discussion in the process.

The first item is one I seriously considered as a topic to take on. It has to do with the widely and wildly perpetrated youtube video taking on “religion” as opposed to Jesus. You’ve probably seen it, or at least have seen it posted on someone’s facebook status. Rather than commenting directly, however, here is a link to Kevin DeYoung’s blog: DeYoung echoes and develops thoughts very similar to my own, centering on the fact that the thesis is seriously flawed due to its very slippery and shifting definition of what “religion” is and is not, which has the consequence of not taking the whole of Jesus’ words about it into consideration. I’m sure some readers will immediately dismiss my objections as those of an aging traditionalist. So read them from someone else.

On a sad note, please offer prayer on behalf of Ben Witherington and his wife, whose 32 yr.-old daughter died yesterday. Ben is a New Testament scholar at Asbury Theological Seminary. As I can readily attest, ministry professionals (a bad term, I confess) are very much like everyone else; these things hurt deeply.

And the winner is . . . Dr. Mary Midgley. I had awaited with decidedly unbated breath the latest issue of Philosophy Now to find out who the winner might be of the first Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. Midgley, a philosopher (surprised?) was selected out of twenty-five nominees for her “many contributions to clear thinking.” I am pleased to report that I found the one article of hers that I have read to be consistent with that description.

In a rare 9-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court seems to have gotten it right. In citing freedom of religion as the first and most basic of the civil rights, religious organizations are not bound to ignore a person’s beliefs when hiring individuals. It does not make sense to force, for example, for a Catholic charity to hire an open advocate of abortion, even if the person is otherwise qualified–or an avowed atheist at an evangelical relief organization.

One has to wonder how much defying and stretching of the truth will be tolerated in our perpetual political campaigns. The Romney-Bain Capital issue is just the latest example. Whether the truth can be known at all with all of the charges and counter-charges, the one thing that can be discerned without fail is that our poisoned way of seeking office is becoming even more toxic. It raises anew the questions about the extent of Christian participation in the campaigns; can it be done with integrity? Without reference to any actual positions, I do applaud the considerable attempts of Rick Santorum to steer as clear as possible of the tactics of used be some of his opponents. (But I do disagree with some of his positions, but that’s another matter). And what should Ron Paul do with the endorsement of the legalized prostitution “industry” in Nevada?

My thoughts are not as scattered this week as last; maybe that’s due to focusing on syllabus completion for an upcoming semester, during which that ever asked question of God’s relationship to suffering will be the subject of an elective. The question never goes away, but neither does the answer: Jesus, the Christ. It will take more than a semester to fill out that answer.

Blessings to all.

4 thoughts on “Saturday’s Scattered Thoughts

  1. I’ve waited a few days to see what came of this, i’ve posted in my facebook stream what i thought of the video, which was 3 of the 4 examples were right on from my distant retreat. In general I think most americans are confused as to what “business” is and what “finance” is. Sure finance is a kind of business, just like my aquaintence a pediatric non-invasive endocronological liver research PHD with MD is in the medical profession. The fact that she sees very few living humans, and they are usually terminal babies, some of which she is harvesting cells from makes me hope she never has to be my GP, she has the interpersonal skills between a basement dweller and Dr. Mengle.

    This post from the Washington Post you might find interesting about the culture of Bain.

    I’ve actually co-invested with Bain, on their venture capital side (which became about 1% of their company).

    But let’s take a look at “i love to fire people” (with no retraction), i actually don’t know anyone in all the businesses i’ve been involved in who actually have privately or publicly said such a thing, including people who’s job was to do just that. Doing Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), does in fact lead to people being let go, but in the CEO and HR space no one talks like that, no one feels like that.

    I am no fan of Santorum, or at least the Santorum of the past, he is not my motivation. This is just data with some argument for the grist mill. All have “come short” we all know that. But there is a question of what kind of cultures we create, and where we invest our precious efforts, i’m less interested in dissecting idealogical issues, than theological, but they are so very intertwined in the US from personal experience and lots of research……..

    • Just finished reading the article on Romney/Bain. It surely does raise the trust question. One guy I might have given some credence left the race today–and endorsed Romney. Is that just a tip of the hat with hopes of being tabbed for the VP spot? But that won’t work either, once the democrats start in on this material. Newt will look like a pussy cat.

      All of which we should expect as par for the course. Truth recedes farther from us, leaving us to our own devices, of which there is an ample supply for screwing things up.

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