We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Uncentered souls are often attracted to "movements" - but I think some of Obama's appeal is simply to Dems who dislike and distrust Mrs. Clinton. The promise of heaven on earth will gain no traction with me because I have been around the block once or twice.
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered
her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to
him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would
meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot
air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of
2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes
north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."
She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."
"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is
technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your
information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much
help to me."
The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"
"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where
you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large
quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea
how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're
in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but,
somehow, now it's my fault."
Georges St. Victors
The media has spent the last few months in worhsipful adoration of Obullsh*t. Now they're beginning to realize they've embarrassed themselves and are starting to dig. He's revealing himself as just another politician who gives a good speech but otherwise is not very adroit. Public backlash to follow.
In How to Read a Book, Charles Van Doren and Mortimer J. Adler describe the most difficult type of reading as ‘reading around the subject’. It entailed reading core materials and then the full spectrum of scholarly opinion surrounding a subject. It’s a difficult proposition. You might even take Van Doren’s corruption in the $64,000 Question quiz show scandal in the 1950’s as an empirical evidence of the difficulty—a gifted academic fooling a credulous public with propped up erudition. (I find this difficulty a mixed blessing, because as tedious as the discipline may be, I can always say, “Well, I haven’t read around the subject.” That is, I have a great deal to learn, the up tick being I remain educable).
Apply the notion of this discipline to a subject like Christian theology. A beginning might be to read Charles Ryrie’s Basic Theology (if your first inclination is dispensational), your favorite version of the Bible, and carry a fat Bible concordance for good measure. Cheers. You’ve nowhere near begun.
A friend, years ago a student at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, warned me, “Higher Biblical criticism will rock your little worldview.” Hear, hear! With that notion well and firmly entrenched in your mind you can almost feel the presence of the Lord in the room and His thunderous voice shaking your confidence to its core, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” What can be shaken will assuredly be shaken.
But I’ve gone beyond reason… No admonition to inscribe the Word of God on the tablet your heart and meditate on it day and night can shake the torpor of the faithful. The insatiable appetite for pap drives so many to ‘Christianity for Dummies’ and the authority of Pastor’s homilies, followed by the peace of godliness, which surpasses understanding, settling into the hearts and minds of the faithful.
How then do we recognize a false teacher? Read the Bible you say? Bravo! Fantastic. But I fear many of the faithful are less than intrepid. Having suppressed their doubts, managing to put on a brave face, they can’t look upon the Holy Word of God without slipping on a filter of doctrine. What’s a Christian to do you ask? Right now pray out loud, “Lord, because I am weak I implore you hold onto me when I cannot hold onto you. Come into my life and shake what can be shaken. I will hold no element of my doctrine so dear as to spare it from relentless examination in your Word. Lord God, Holy Father, give me light. Abba, shake what can be shaken.” Now place a Bible in front of you, place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand to God and repeat these words, “With your grace, in all of my imperfection, I will read this well.” This is the act of a revolutionary.
Feh. What nonsense. Too much God will drive you crazy like that Isaiah fellow going naked for, how long (I forget). Go to church on Sunday; just don’t believe a word they say. You’ll be fine. They have pizza every so often on Wednesdays, and there’s almost always coffee and cookies.
BD, I’m listening to Schubert’s Trout Quartet even now. (I bought a new set of Bose headphones). Wonderful! Although I really cannot get the image of a fat trout frolicking in a stream out of my head while I’m listening. It’s quite disconcerting.
"How can I recognize a false teacher? "
Here is the key question. The Bilbel gives the answer by telling us to demand of the "spiritual" source: "Who is Jesus?" A true spirit will answer that He is of from hte Father.
Now apply this to Mohammed as he is confrontedby the demonic messanger: He never asked the key question.Those of us who come after must demand from him the answer: he denies Christ is from the Father.