My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 27: Cana of Galilee (cont’d)

Alyosha is on his knees in prayer beside Father Zossima’s coffin, but really listening to Father Paissy’s reading of the Gospel.  Father Paissy is reading the story of the wedding at Cana, and Alyosha is thinking about his impressions of that miracle.

As he is thinking, he has a vision in which he is transported into the wedding feast at Cana.  We see that this feast and the great feast which God has prepared for the righteous are linked.  Father Zossima is at the feast, and he greets Alyosha. Continue reading “My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 27: Cana of Galilee (cont’d)”

My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 26: Cana of Galilee

Well how about that?  Last week I thought that I wouldn’t be blogging much at all right now, and yet in between school work and my job I’ve managed to get out more posts this week than in all of the month prior to then.  So much for “not blogging very much during the coming weeks”.

In this post I want to turn my attention to one of my favorite chapters in the story.

This chapter takes place on the evening after Father Zossima’s death.  Alyosha has returned to the monastery late at night after his visit to Grushenka with Rakitin.  Before going to bed he stops by Father Zossima’s cell.  Father Paissy is reading the Gospel over Father Zossima’s coffin, and at this point he is reading about the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-11).

Alyosha kneels down to pray, and when he realizes that Father Paissy is reading about the wedding of Cana, he begins to think about this miracle and his impressions of it. Continue reading “My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 26: Cana of Galilee”

Looks Like the S–t’s About to Hit the Fan

It is no secret by now that the Sheri Klouda situation is all over the blogosphere.  But it looks like there could be all sorts of trouble for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and president Paige Patterson.

In addition to the injustice of the situation, there are other complications.  By firing Klouda for her gender on the basis of a narrow interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12, Patterson has potentially placed himself and the seminary in violation of federal equal opportunity employment laws.  Already a complaint has been filed with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools regarding this situation, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary could stand to lose its accreditation.  In addition, Klouda could file her own complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.  She has not yet determined whether or not she will do so, but if she did it seems that she would have a strong case.

Very interesting.  We shall see what happens.

Surely Paul Didn’t Mean THIS!!!

I’m so glad I’m not a Baptist… 

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”  (1 Timothy 2:12)

The blogosphere is all abuzz this week with the story of Sheri Klouda’s firing.  The short version of the story is that she was fired from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she was an assistant professor of Old Testament languages.  She was fired because she is a woman, and the views of seminary president Paige Patterson in regards to the above verse do not permit women to teach men or hold authority over men in any fashion whatsoever within the context of the church at large.  You can read more about the story here and here.  You can read the Dallas Morning News account here. Continue reading “Surely Paul Didn’t Mean THIS!!!”

Some Thoughts on MLK

MLK Jr Day was last week.  Normally I would let this pass without comment, but since I am taking a class on multicultural teaching this semester, I thought it would be appropriate to say a couple of things.

First of all, we still have a long way to go to achieve King’s dream of a colorblind society.  Blacks are not as well-represented among the leaders of industry, education, government, and culture as we would like to see.  And many still harbor negative attitudes toward black people.  For instance, I hear that at many corporations, resumes with names that sound “black” are not given very favorable consideration, and to a certain extent I believe it.

Still, we have come a long way since the days of MLK, or at least far enough that I have no sympathy for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or anyone else who tries to say that the problems of that era are still the problems of today.  Segregation by law is no longer an issue.  Voting rights abuses of the kind that were common in the days of MLK are simply unheard of nowadays, except perhaps in some parts of Louisiana where political corruption is an art form and always has been. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on MLK”

Time for a Gut Check

OK, it’s time for a gut check.

This week our pastor said that everyone wants to be known for something.  That’s right.  Even if you think you don’t want to be known for anything, you’re still not off the hook, because that means you want to be known for not caring what others think about you.

So in light of this, why do I blog?  Is it because I want to get my thoughts out there for the world to see?  Is it because I am concerned about the things I see in the world of evangelical Protestant-dom and want people to know what I think?  Is it because I want to air my opinions on sports, books, and other subjects?

Or is it because I want to be known as a good writer?  Is it because I want to be known as a sophisticated and articulate person because of the things I write?  Is it because I want to be known as a witty person who makes people laugh, or a sophisticated person who is capable of appreciating great literature?

On another note:  WordPress has this feature that lets you see the search terms people use to find your blog.  From time to time you will see some very interesting terms.  For instance, yesterday somebody used the term “buckhead church cult”.  So apparently somebody out there thinks Buckhead Church is a cult.  Interesting.

By the way, I will not be blogging very much during the coming weeks, as spring semester is starting to heat up.  But hopefully I will find the time to get a few short pieces out there.

If You Give a Homeless Person a Quarter…

People have differing views on whether or not to give money to homeless people who beg on the street.  Many object on the grounds that these people may be “professional” panhandlers who make a killing with the money that they collect by begging, or that they may be drug/alcohol addicts who would simply use the money to feed their addiction.

I am strongly tempted to not give, on the basis of these objections.  But lately I am feeling differently about it.

Why?

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory,…[he] will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”  (Matthew 25:31-40)

I think it’s neat to think that one day I might stand before Jesus and that He might say to me, “You remember that guy down on Peachtree who asked you for a quarter?  That was Me.”  And when I think of it that way, all that other stuff about professional panhandlers or drug addicts begins to sound like a pretty sorry excuse.