One of my loyal subjects readers accused me of ornery hubris last week. I would suggest that's better than cognitive dissonance. But it's still sinful. And I will repent. Eventually.
But. In the spirit of "more teapot", I continue.
A Little Less Honesty, If You Don't Mind
I heard Paul Young speak @ Refresh last week. Paul wrote a little book that some of you might have read, The Condo The Shack. Unfortunately his little book has fallen precipitously on the New York Times Best Seller List. Where it once occupied the Numero Uno position on said list for more months than certain of the brethren care to admit, it has sadly fallen to the Numero Dos position - further proof that G_d is not behind it. If He were, of course it would have remained at the Numero Uno position. Forever! (7.5 Million Copies in print in English, in case you were wondering.)
Now, of course, Paul is a heretic. At least that's the opinion of a number of prominent people in the evangellyfish community. (One or two actually read the book.) I even heard it from a sister at St. Paul's this past Sunday.
Paul's primary heresy; portraying G_d, the Father as a breakfast-baking, big black woman. We all know that G_d, the Father is a white male, with white hair and a white beard. (Does He wear a red suit? I can't remember.) G_d, the Father could never be a breakfast-baking, big black woman. Especially since that person plays the Oracle in the Matrix and she bakes cookies. At least Paul Young's G_d, the Father as a breakfast-baking, big black woman doesn't smoke.
What's really odd to me is how many of these prominent evangellyfishes all loved the Matrix and wanted to claim it as a Christian parable. But. When Paul Young dares allow G_d, the Father to materialize as a breakfast-baking, big black woman, HERESY!
However. I'm not convinced that's really the reason all these white folk (predominantly) think Paul's a heretic. (Paul Young. Not the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul is only a heretic in certain circles. Which is truly a new perspective.) I think they are frightened by Paul's transparency.
Last Wednesday night, Wm. Paul Young stood in front of an audience that filled one of the large theatres @ the University of Toronto MedSci building and, metaphorically, stripped naked. (Thank you for doing it metaphorically, Paul.) He revealed himself. As completely as anyone I've ever heard.
He must have missed the memo on how Christian males were supposed to be strong and silent. You know. That woman's voice in 10CC's I'm Not in Love half-whispering, "big boys don't cry, big boys don't cry." Still waters run deep and all that stuff.
Paul spoke of massive personal failure. And eleven years of healing. And radical transparency with his wife as part of that healing. How frakin' scary is that? And he did it again on the CBC's The Hour. Radical Transparency. I think he even scared Strombo.
The only other male I know who is almost as publicly transparent is the Internet Monk. And Michael gets almost as much flak as Paul. He may even have been called a heretic a time or two.
What's so scary about transparency? Every-freaking-thing!
If I dare to be transparent, then you'll know just how broken I am. And that will never do. You'll know I don't have it together. I'm not that great of a Christian. (Those who read my blog know that about me already.) I'm not much of a father. Or a husband. Or even a friend.
My brokenness will reveal me as a sinner. And I need you to know me as a saint.
Honestly, honesty is overrated. It's all about the facade. The one with the best facade wins! (I'm not sure what we win, but...) But enough about me.
I Found This Humourous in a Sad Sort of Way
I heard some other good speakers last week. One quoted a friend of mine on the importance of community in missional engagement with culture. What was funny was the friend quoted hasn't been engaged in any real Christian community for the better part of a decade. But. At least he's being quoted. Maybe that's better than community. In a brokenness kind of way.
And Over the Weekend Obama Got A Doctorate from Notre Dame and Spoke Lots of Words
All the nice people said nice things about the President speaking at Notre Dame and how good it was him receiving an honourary doctorate. The mean, nasty people questioned why the most radically Pro-Abortion president in history would be so honoured by a Catholic university. (The mean, nasty people were in agreement with the mean, nasty American Catholic bishops who in this one area are at least attempting to be consistent.)
No doubt about it, the President has got himself some very good Teleprompter™ programmers - the many words were well put together. But. At the end of the day. President Barack Obama is still the most radically Pro-Abortion president ever elected. With a real desire for us all to be nice when we talk about it.
And speaking of those nice people, being the mean, nasty person that I am (which is part of my brokenness, of course) I can't help but point out how the Usual Suspects marched in lock step with the President in his appointment of completely pro-abortion Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. [HT]
It's pure Orwellian doublespeak to suggest her "record demonstrates a commitment to results rather than rhetoric on life issues." Can the "evangelicals" who wrote this statement explain to me how their position on abortion is functionally any different than that of incoming Episcopal Divinity School president, Katherine Ragsdale. I mean, really.
Speaking of Episcopalians
The Presiding Litigator with her Teleological Degree in Marine Biology continues her Blitzkrieg through Episcopal Church Canons whilst bringing suits against any diocese who dares challenge her new position as TEC's Pope. The former bishop of the smallest, fastest-shrinking Diocese in the USofA claims, "all your base are belong to us" and "sure Jesus might be one of the most bestest ways to God, but you must be some kind of Neanderthal to suggest he's the only way." 815 later issued a statement to Neanderthals apologizing for any suggestion that they weren't as bright as all the people wandering the corridors of the National Office.
Finally A Fish and A Marxist
TommyMertonHead pointed to a very good blog post at the NYT by Stanley Fish that led me down the rabbit hole to a lecture series on Religion and Science by Terry Eagleton delivered a year ago at Yale. Eagleton's well known as a Marxist Theorist and is one of the funniest essayists I've read or heard in a rather long time. He has great fun at the expense of his conflated character, Ditchkins. (Dawkins and Hitchens as one.)
Oh. And This Before I Go
In light of last week's meanness from me, I thought you might like to know that I was ordained near the turn of the Millennium at a predominantly African-American church in Pittsburgh. You may call me Pastor Bill, if you must. :-) Though I'd prefer to be known as Bishop.