Moving Back: Change Your Bookmarks

Hello beloved readers,

I’m moving back to Blogger. I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but WordPress does not allow an .xml export to another service. So they’ll allow you to transfer in, but not to transfer out. Which pretty much sums up my experience with WordPress. I wanted to move away from Google, but now I’m going back, because, believe it or not, the customer service experience is better.

Please change your bookmarks/whatevers, and sorry for any incovenience. Look forward to seeing you!

joffrethegiant.blogspot.com

The Sexiest Elephant Poem You Ever Read

This is one way I’m happy to conceive of my sweet mate and lover. I’m proud to be a huge old beast. The only question is, will wifey allow me to call her ma petite éléphante? Perhaps if I tell her how well she stirs my massive blood.

The Elephant is Slow to Mate

by D. H. Lawrence

The elephant, the huge old beast,
is slow to mate;
he finds a female, they show no haste
they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
together, without a word.

So slowly the great hot elephant hearts
grow full of desire,
and the great beasts mate in secret at last,
hiding their fire.

Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts
so they know at last
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts
for the full repast.

They do not snatch, they do not tear;
their massive blood
moves as the moon-tides, near, more near
till they touch in flood.

The Limitations of Kitten Hugging

From Douglas Wilson:

You see, if we accept that Jesus is Lord, and that He is the final authority in our civic and public affairs, we might find ourselves, much to the consternation of fair-minded individuals, burning witches and stoning rebellious teenagers. See? We can’t risk it.

Okay. You say that we cannot risk this kind of Christian rejection of secularism, for fear that it might lead to outrages. But what happens if we stay with secularism? Well, it is just possible, for example, that we might find ourselves celebrating as true love the kind of sodomite practices that got the attention of the avenging angel of the Lord for the cities of the plain. We might find ourselves dismembering millions of unborn babies. What if something like that happens?

As Richard Weaver wonderfully put it, ideas have consequences. Moreover, all of them do. One of the most destructive ideas out there is that some ideas are privileged in this regard, and do not have any consequences at all. You have to worry about excesses of fundamentalist zeal if you give an inch to the Christians, but you never have to worry about the excesses of secularism. I can say that we think that we don’t have to worry about such excesses because hardly anybody ever does. And yet, we are living the midst of such pandemoniac excesses. Look at the news, man.

Read the rest in his post The Limitations of Kitten Hugging.

The Least of The Reasons I Believe In Six Day Creation

Why would I write about the least of the reasons I believe in creation in six days?

Not because it’s that important to how I approach that particular question, but because of how important it is to how I view my life, and all of life.

The least of the reasons I believe in six day creation is that I am not ashamed. Or better, I do not want to be ashamed.

Let us not speak of creation. Let’s talk about Jericho, as in Joshua fit de battle of Jericho and the walls come tumbling down. God tells the people of God to march around the city walls for seven days, playing music and making a clamor. On the seventh day the city walls tumble down strictly through the power of trumpet blats and voice projection. Mirabile visu!

To an unbelieving mind, it’s easy to see what happened. Joshua had sappers and miners working to undermine the wall. These were most likely Egyptian or Hittite mercenaries, since the traveling former slaves that were the Israelite people would have lacked the expertise. But how were the miners to get under the walls without being detected, since such work is noisy? Simple. Work under the cover provided by the Israelites, who were already surrounding the city and could disguise the work through tumult and clangor.

You might raise an objection. Such a work could not be completed in seven days, you say! No problem, Biblical exegetes to the rescue.  You’re reading the story too literally. Six and seven are very significant numbers in Scripture. This was simply the Hebrew way of telling the story post facto. Certain historical events happened, and then were chronicled in the poetic Hebrew way.

So you say to yourself, well, no one’s denying the legitimacy of the story here. God said he would bring the walls down, and if he did it by using agents expert in seige warfare instead of miracling them down, it’s not really a big deal, is it? He still gets all the glory. No one’s denying the truth of Scripture, or that God is active in history. That is probably what happened after all.

Besides, you don’t want to be the one ridiculous guy who keeps insisting the God miracled the whole thing, as if you were a six-year-old in Sunday school. You’re smart and sophisticated like the historian, the anthropologist, and the exegete.

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This process started several paragraphs back, you might recall, with an unbelieving mind. Then shame and embarrassment made us afraid to disagree with this spirit of unbelief. You heard that some crazy fundamentalists think the Devil took the time to walk around this green globe planting fossils to confound mankind, and you didn’t want to be associated with that.

But it’s important as a Christian to stand with God, not explain him away to the world. Which is why it’s good practice to believe in miracles. It’s good for your soul to believe in fantasy.

I believe that God stopped the sun, and that it’s written in the book of Jasher, a book that we have no trace of but that Madeleine L’Engle has probably seen in a vision.

I believe that God stopped the sun, but I have no interest or patience for online articles explaining how scientists have lost track of a day, “proving” that God really did it.

It probably looked exactly like this.

And although I have very little to say about dinosaurs, I believe in dragons. Not as a way to explain dinosaurs away, but because dragons make sense.

It is good spiritual discipline to say out loud that you believe in dragons. That you believe in fairy tales. Let the mockers mock. It will help you stand close to God your Father. This world is a story. In many ways, it’s a fairy story. Which means that if you don’t believe in fairies, you’re not seeing the world as it really is. You will think that suns are flaming balls of gas. You will think that the Earth is a ball of rock in space. And you might not feel silly now, but you will feel silly later, when all is put right.

Be willing to be silly now.

Denying evolution and espousing six day creation is, at the least, good spiritual discipline. Humble yourself.

Here endeth the post. Below please find a footnote.

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From G. K. Chesterton:

It seemed to me that he did not follow me with sufficient delicacy,
so I moderated my tone. “Can you not see,” I said, “that fairy
tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward;
but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its
nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul
is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels.
Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that
the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is–
what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem
of the modern novel is–what will a madman do with a dull world?
In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad.
In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins,
and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
In the excellent tale of ‘The Dragon’s Grandmother,’ in all the other
tales of Grimm, it is assumed that the young man setting out on his
travels will have all substantial truths in him; that he will be brave,
full of faith, reasonable, that he will respect his parents,
keep his word, rescue one kind of people, defy another kind,
‘parcere subjectis et debellare,’ etc. Then, having assumed
this centre of sanity, the writer entertains himself by fancying
what would happen if the whole world went mad all round it,
if the sun turned green and the moon blue, if horses had six legs
and giants had two heads. But your modern literature takes insanity
as its centre. Therefore, it loses the interest even of insanity.
A lunatic is not startling to himself, because he is quite serious;
that is what makes him a lunatic. A man who thinks he is
a piece of glass is to himself as dull as a piece of glass.
A man who thinks he is a chicken is to himself as common as a chicken.
It is only sanity that can see even a wild poetry in insanity.
Therefore, these wise old tales made the hero ordinary and
the tale extraordinary. But you have made the hero extraordinary
and the tale ordinary–so ordinary–oh, so very ordinary.”

Missouri Linemen Demonstrate Christian Responsibility on Field

About a year ago I wrote a brief post on how modesty and, of all things, violence fit together nicely in the Christian world. In it I stated that Christian men must become “modest avengers”.

The bizarre culture of manhood America displays is not the product of too much or too little violence. It is the product of a false choice. Men are told that they must put violence aside at all costs or become monsters. Most men choose the first. A few choose the second, and prey on the first.Christian men must pick violence up. They have no choice. Although violence is a fruit of evil doing, it is not in itself evil. Satan was violently thrown down from Heaven when he tried to violently overthrow the Right Throne. Evil violence is the imposition of the will of the stronger over the will of the weak, to the detriment of the weak. Good violence, proper violence, is the preservation of the will of the weak against the will of the strong, to the benefit of the weak.* This is why judges must be vindicators and avengers. That sounds more personal and violent than Americans would like, but that is their calling. They are there to save the widow from the ruthless man.

Good, evil, and violence are complicated things. Any ethic of violence is bound to be complicated, and bound to dwell in gray areas where questions of authority haunt every decision. But the Christian man must be willing to use violence…he has his wife, his children, and his neighbors to consider. Every Christian man is in some small, limited way, an avenger and a vindicator. He must be a modest avenger.

When I teach my kids about fighting and violence, I try to be as clear as possible. You may not use violence to defend yourself or your own dignity. But you may use violence to defend others, and that not just from physical threats. If some boys are insulting your sister, have at ’em.

Some Christians have difficulty with that concept. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord, etcetera. But they forget a few things. Like the preliminary to that command, which is “avenge not yourselves”. And when the Almighty says “to me belongeth vengeance and recompence”, he then goes on to describe the vengeance that will fall on the enemies of God’s people “in due time”: that vengeance involves his “swords” and “arrows”, with which he’ll draw blood and take captives. As the rest of Moses’ books show, and as a search for the word “avenge” will also show, it is the armies of God’s people which he uses to avenge God’s people.

The books of Moses deal with vengeance. Vengeance is said to be the Lord’s. Sanctuary cities are set up where manslayers can hide from bloodguilt, clans, and vendettas. Personal vengeance leads only to a cycle of violence. But sometimes, it’s just your job as a Christian to be an avenger. A ruler is to be an avenger. A judge is to be an avenger. One of the reasons the fatherless and widows are so vulnerable is that they have no one to protect them, to avenge them.

The crisis comes when the Christian lives in a land where there is no justice, where rulers are not avengers of the innocent.

What is a Christian to do then? Some say, we simply suffer and wait. Others say, we’ll become Knights Templar.

Often Christians are called to suffer and wait; often they are powerless, dragged away in chains. Christians remember that part of Israel’s history. What they forget are the mighty men who fought against the enemies of God’s people.

As long as there is a mighty man around to do the protecting and avenging when God’s enemies are around, that is what they must do.

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Which brings me, at long last, to SEC football.

This past Saturday we saw an episode in which some football players had to take justice into their own hands. Some would object to it, saying that it amounts to a sports version of vigilante-ism. But I believe that it was their job. It only ended up falling to them because there was no just king in the land, but there it is. That’s how it happens for Christians all the time.

Alabama linebacker LaMichael Fanning picked up Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough and suplexed him WWE style, throwing him on his head. When you see the video you will see how brutal and vicious a play it was.

15 yard penalty. What?!

Yes, Fanning will probably be suspended. After the game. The refs didn’t expel Fanning from the game. And Nick Saban, Alabama’s head coach, lacked the class to sub him out for the next play and chew him out. Most coaches would have done exactly that, dressing the player down on national TV to send the message that this is the sort of thing their football program won’t allow. Unfortunately, Saban is a bully. Fanning was left in for the next two plays, and did not come off the field until fourth down/his helmet had come off.

Why did Fanning’s helmet come off? Because Hansbrough’s linemen were reduced to having to take vengeance into their own hands. And it was the right thing to do. First, the job had fallen to the judges; alas that the refs declined to expel Fanning. Then the job had fallen to the king; alas the Saban is an unjust king. The job of those linemen is to protect the running back.

So they went after Fanning. They, I would contend, were delivering the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. Keeping it from happening again.

Did it work? Maybe. The fool only rages and laughs. Fanning kind of grins at his sideline as he runs back, full of arrogance. See the video below.

But that doesn’t matter. Those linemen had to show that they stood between their guy and wicked violence. And that’s how it ought to be in sports; it’s one of the ways you can tell good teams. Even when there’s just a scuffle, not an all-out bit of thuggery like Fannings, you can tell the good teams. Those are the ones where the offended party turns his back and walks away while three teammates step in to the gap.

By the way, don’t email me defending Saban. I don’t know what Saban did or said post-facto, and I don’t care. He sent all the message he needed to by leaving Fanning in the game.

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Am I overreacting? Probably. I hope the Gators get to the SEC championship game, and that Alabama’s there waiting for us.

Eat Your Sausage & Make Love To Your Wife

“Luther’s faith was simple enough to trust that after a conscientious day’s labor, a Christian father could come home and eat his sausage, drink his beer, play his flute, sing with his children, and make love to his wife — all to the glory of God!”

William Lazareth, Luther on the Christian Home: An Application of the Social Ethics of the Reformation

hat tip This Guy.