Happy Saturday, fellow iMonks! We’ve had simply gorgeous early fall weather here in central Indiana this past week. It’s enough to make a person want to start rambling. So here we go . . .
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Let’s start with Paul Penley, who’s certainly got guts. Who makes a statement like this on an evangelical blog? — Personal Bible Reading Destroys the Church. Here’s his point:
Jesus had a dream. He envisioned a community of followers who embraced his way and each other. He prayed, “may they be one” (John 17:21). 34,000 church denominations later, his prayer goes unanswered.
Why? What fueled one man after another to split up the church? What made each group think they had the corner on truth and all others had erred? The answer is simple: The Bible.
The history of church division runs parallel to the proliferation of Bible translation. When leaders can individually interpret what the Bible really says, unity doesn’t stand a chance.
. . . A Bible in every language can lead just as much to the chaos of “create your own religion” as it does to the truth. Interpreting the Bible on your own does not only demonstrate trust in the Bible’s authority; it betrays radical trust in one’s self. We must interpret and act on the Bible’s message with care.
There’s a discussion starter if ever I read one.
A lot of people have been talking about the NFL this week, and it wasn’t about the game played on the field. The league suffered seven days that may very well have been the worst period in its history. Many have been calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign. The abuse scandals have proven a PR nightmare. Yet despite all the bad news, here is the judgment of some experts in the business of sports, as reported by Bloomberg Businessweek:
The NFL . . . “is economically bulletproof from political scandal and misconduct, from players to owners. NFL owners remain untouched and almost untouchable.” As long as fans keep attending the games every Sunday, watching the sport religiously on TV, and snapping up merchandise, the owners have little to worry about—and, presumably, little reason to consider switching commissioners.
Best silly satire I read this week, from ChurchPOP.com:
ROME, Italy — Pope Francis has changed the name of St. Peter’s Basilica to “Tiber Creek Community Church,” Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi announced this morning.
“The greatest church of Christendom, built on the holy grave of the martyr-prince of the Apostles, has been known as ‘St. Peter’s Basilica’ for 1700 years,” Fr. Lombardi explained. “It was long overdue for a rebranding.”
. . . Fr. Lombardi also announced that projectors and screens would be installed throughout the basilica in the coming week, that a “totally rocking” worship band was being formed, and that Pope Francis planned on making his sermons “relevant to every day life.”
“The Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, these are all interesting — to dead theologians,” Fr. Lombardi said dismissively. “But how does that apply to my everyday life? How will that help me advance in my career? That’s what Pope Francis is going to be focusing on.”
This is a legit opportunity that made me laugh and cringe. From Ligonier Ministries:
I want to make sure that you know about an upcoming study opportunity that you won’t want to miss. This winter, Ligonier Ministries is sponsoring a Caribbean study cruise of the Eastern Caribbean. Our theme will be Christ’s call to endure persecution and suffering faithfully, and I am excited that Steve Nichols and R.C. Sproul Jr. will be joining me as we look at what God’s Word and church history have to tell us about this subject. Our itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and the Bahamas, and we will have many opportunities for fellowship and learning together as we travel.
Let me get this straight: a study cruise about suffering? Maybe they are going to re-enact Gilligan’s Island to give people an opportunity to practice “suffering faithfully”?
Which begs the question, fiercely debated by the Ante-Nicene Fathers and discussed extensively in the works of St. Augustine — “Ginger or Mary Ann?”
Here’s news about some of the big votes last week:
- Scotland voted “No.”
- Another great Scottish institution made a historic vote, this time saying, “Yes.”
- The U.S. Congress voted “Yes.”
- So did U.S. Senators.
- A conservative Presbyterian church voted to pay $8 million rather than remain a part of its denomination.
- For the first time in its 74 year history, the California Southern Baptist Convention voted to withdraw fellowship from a church.
Ian Paisley died this past week.
Paisley’s incendiary 40-year political career in Ireland ended up being a study in dramatic contrasts. He went from being the Democratic Union Party leader, a fiercely anti-Catholic Protestant extremist whose most reported words were “no”, “never” and “not an inch” and who identified the Pope and Catholic Church with “the whore of Babylon,” to one who made peace with Irish Republicans and became first minister of N. Ireland. He got along so famously with his Catholic deputy minister that they became known as “the Chuckle Brothers.”
What I didn’t know is that this turnaround caused Paisley to be thrust into the wilderness by the church and denomination he founded in 1951.
Martha, any thoughts?
Peyton Manning not only likes playing for the Denver Broncos, he is also diggin’ living in the land of legal marijuana. “There’s some different laws out here in Colorado,” Manning told Sports Illustrated. “Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes.” The Denver Broncos’ quarterback serendipitously bought a whole bunch of Papa John’s franchises just before Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
Another score for Peyton.
Here’s proof that making the front page is not always a good thing (from the Seattle Times, Sept. 14, 2014).
The 2014 regular Major League Baseball season is almost over, and it’s time to say goodbye to an all-time great, a personal favorite, and one of the classiest players ever: Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees.
No matter what anyone does to bid him congratulations and farewell, they will be hard-pressed to top this remarkable commercial tribute by Gatorade. Thanks for all the great memories, Captain.