He who hears the shema drinks the shekar!

Friday, March 16, 2007

A collection of random recent thoughts...

I always liked US History....but why is it that it never occurred to me to ask (until now): "Why do we call it Rhode Island...when it's not even an island?" Click here if you are as slow as I am to ask that question...

Is Godmen suppose to be 'Promise Keepers Redux'?

Is it just me....or does this choice of a picture for their front page strike you as odd, if not altogether out of place?? This guy looks like he's in some serious pain!!

Ayeeee...yet another evangelical fad that will probably become a distant asterisk in a few short years.

I confess that I do love men's college basketball. 'March Madness' might be the best pure sporting event...after the World Cup, of course!

However, one thing that is getting more and more ridiculous is the filling out of brackets. You know, the pool where you have have to fill out every game for a small ($10 or $20) entry fee. Winner takes all! I don't understand why there is such a craze...except that it permits people to 'gamble' without really calling it 'gambling'!

But more than the office pools. What I don't understand is why these networks like CBS, ESPN, Yahoo, and others actually *pay* these so-called experts to give the hoi polloi advice on potential upsets (aka the 'bracket busters'). Like these "experts" really have any idea how these games are going to go!! Nobody has any clue about who could win these games in a 'one and done' tournament.

I still remember one of the first 'pools' I ever heard about. It was won by some girl who clearly had no clue about who any of the teams were. She picked a team because they had a point guard who was 'really cute'....and that team ended up winning the whole thing! When a girl wins booty of a pool with *that* kind of criteria for picking teams, that tells you everything you need to know about these commentators on TV and radio who really think they know what's going on.

I should start a blog series of overused phrases in book/journal articles.

This week's phrase: "without a doubt"

I remember Bob Strimple mentioning this in a side comment a number of years ago, and he's right.

Consider something I heard on the radio a couple days ago: "Barak Obama is, without a doubt, a better candidate for the democratic party than Hillary Clinton."

Now think about that statement. What is this person trying to communicate? They are trying to communicate 'absolute certainty'!

But now think about the comparison a little more! Is Barak Obama really WITHOUT A DOUBT the better candidate? Putting political persuasions aside for a moment, I'm thinking probably not. And so what has the comment just created in the process of his comparison?!?! Doubt!!!! {i.e. 'I doubt that Barak Obama is really 'without a doubt' the better candidate!}

You see this kind of language frequently in religious, theological, and Biblical Studies' journals and books. And it really is pointless language.  'Without a doubt' adds nothing to the argument...and that's without a doubt!! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Postmodern Sandwich

I like Doug Severn's (RUF Oklahoma Univ) haiku summary of Kevin Hart's, Postmodernism: A Beginners's Guide:

Lack of meta-narrative
Jimmy John’s Sandwich


It is funny to think about how people love to drop the word 'postmodern' into the course of a conversation.

So very trendy. So very high-brow. So very sophisticated-sounding.

But now you know....

Whenever anyone drops 'postmodern' into a conversation, remember they are only talking about...Jimmy John's Sandwich.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hockey Talk

Mike Modano finally snagged his 500th career goal on Tuesday night.

It's only the 2nd time a US-born player has ever accomplished that feat; it might be a while before we see that happen again!

I love watching Modano skate...except when he plays the Canucks.

Speaking of the Canucks, Vick and I caught them playing the San Jose Sharks last Friday night at the HP Pavilion (aka the 'Shark Tank'). A great game....especially when the Canucks silenced the crowd with the overtime game winner by Daniel Sedin. I think that's the first time I've watched a game while rooting for the visiting team...and it's remarkable how quickly a goal like that can make a rip-roaring crowd go completely silent!

I decided to spare Vicky the grief of taking a bra to the game, to cheer on Jeff Cowan (aka Cowan the Brabarian) if he scored another goal for the Canucks. See the following for further elaboration:

Only in hockey.... :)

Ridderbos passes away at 98

Here's my Google chat quote of the day....courtesy of Adam York:

did you know that ridderbos passed away last thursday?
i didn't know he was still alive.

You have to realize that Herman Ridderbos was first published (correct me if I'm wrong!) in the early 1940's. So this guy has been around for a long, long time. Most of his significant and ground-breaking work took place decades ago, and he's kind of dropped off the map in recent years. I think most of us presumed he must have already passed on to glory.

His work is first-rate. His Paul: An Outline of His Theology remains the best and most-influential (yea, monumental and comprehensive!) work I've ever read on Paul's theology. It'll do more for your reading of Paul's letters than any commentary on a Pauline letter that I've seen. It's still ranks in my 'Top 5' favorites books.

His Coming of the Kingdom is one of the best (if not THE best) theological introductions for reading the Gospels. His Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures is a very helpful look at the topic of the canon from the vantage point of salvation-history.

And his When the Time Had Fully Come is a little gem of a book. I still remember buying up about 20 copies of that book for $5 a pop from some New York bookstore that obviously had no idea what they had on their hands! In many respects, it summarizes the thrust of the three previously mentioned books.

All excellent stuff. He will certainly be missed.

[HT: Matthijs den Dulk]