THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH
”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
BRUNCH UPDATE: Just in time for Lent, President Donald Trump has delivered his own Sermon on the Mount. You gotta read this.
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This just in…
We discovered the incident President Donald Trump was talking about when he said there was terror in Sweden last week. Thank God, only a few flapjacks were injured.
Speaking of pancakes, Tuesday is Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day), time to fill up on all the fattening stuff you can before the Lenten fast begins on Wednesday.
Here is a breakdown of ten celebrations around the world and what they’ll be eating and drinking on this annual day of indulgence. Hey, toss me a Moon Pie while I wait for my Shark & Bake sandwich to finish cooking, will ya? Pretty sure I’m gonna find space for a paczki in the morning too.
Well, it’s time for flapjacks, tomfoolery, and more reflections on what’s happening in this crazy world. Welcome to Brunch!
Here’s a politician in Sweden who gets it…
A Swedish politician is pushing to give employees an hour-long paid break to go home and have sex.
Per Erik Muskos, a member of the Swedish Social Democrat party, made the proposal during a council meeting in the northern city of Overtornea.
Mr Muskos said he’s backing the measure because he believes midweek sex breaks will improve wellness and boost childbirth in the northern region he represents.
“Childbirth should be encouraged,” he told the Stockholm-based newspaper Aftonbladet.
“When sex is also an excellent form of exercise with documented positive effects on wellbeing, the municipality should kill two birds with one stone and encourage employees to use their fitness hour to go home and have sex with their partner.”
But then, on the other hand, some negative news on the same subject. Fox reports that one presumably healthy habit might be putting a crimp in the ol’ romance…
A study from the University of North Carolina published this month in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that men who exercise intensely may have a lower libido than men who exercise moderately or lightly.
Researchers polled more than 1,000 active men on both their workouts and sex lives. Participants were split into groups by duration of exercise, intensity of exercise and libido levels. When the groups were compared, researchers found that those who reported light or moderate workouts were more likely to report moderate or high libidos than those who reported intense workouts.
Authors caution that the study was self-reported — which means the data relies on participants to be truthful and self-aware — and doesn’t show that exercise causes a low libido, but rather that the two are correlated.
I hear the caution, but still, why not play it safe? There is good reason I don’t exercise.
If you’re going to work out, this is how I suggest doing it. You know this guy gets all the lovin’ he wants…
This year’s Best Picture nominees are:
- Arrival (NYT review)
- Fences (NYT review)
- Hacksaw Ridge (NYT review)
- Hell or High Water (NYT review)
- Hidden Figures (NYT review)
- La La Land (NYT review)
- Lion (NYT review)
- Manchester by the Sea (NYT review)
- Moonlight (NYT review)
Speaking of movies, a new salvo was launched in the creation wars this week by Del Tackett of the so-called “Truth Project” (a Focus on the Family ministry that promotes “Christian worldview” teaching). A one-night movie event was held to show “Is Genesis History?” at theaters across the country.
Here is the trailer for the film, and it moves me to throw out a challenge today to our iMonk community —
How many holes can you find in the arguments of this film just by watching the trailer?
Come one, come all, and let’s have a field day with this one over brunch. Folks, these people are serious. There is an entire segment of the church which wants us to believe that the Bible is a book of science, that no discovery can contradict its scientific teaching, and that we cannot trust what humans have discovered over centuries from the Book of Nature. Their position insults both the Bible and the serious practices of the scientific community, and it makes the church into a legitimate laughingstock in the world.
As for me, I’ll stick with St. Augustine on this one: “It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things [i.e. things in nature], claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.” (The Literal Meaning of Genesis)
I invite you to poke as many holes as you can find in this trailer today. In Christian love, of course.
Another icon of evangelicalism’s spiritual-commercial-industrial complex is closing its doors.
Two years ago, as Daniel reported on Saturday Ramblings, Family Christian Stores filed bankruptcy. Now, the 85 year old business has announced that it is closing.
According to Religious News Service: “The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company employed more than 3,000 people in 240 retail sites across 36 states. It was considered the world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise.”
We have a couple of FCS stores in our area, and I think the only time I’ve been in any of them in the last ten years was to buy some disposable communion cups and a few baptismal certificates.
I remember when these kinds of stores began to proliferate (the ones I knew were mostly independent). It was back in the day when “Jesus Music” filled the air and we, as young “Jesus People,” were enthralled to go to a place where you could put your hands on Christian books and discover Christian popular music. Those were the days when I thought Keith Green was a profound theologian, and when Phil Keaggy’s monster guitar solos were a guilty pleasure. I was seeking out books by authors like Watchman Nee, trying to figure out if the charismatic movement was truly of God or not, and being intrigued (and not a little confused) by end times teachings. Back before “the Christian Right” or even the “Moral Majority” stole the attention of Christians, before “church growth” and before the culture of evangelicalism became a “thing” in the U.S. We were just a bunch of kids in jeans, playing guitars, and hungry to study the Bible.
Some might say evangelicalism “grew up.” I tend to think it just got swallowed up by another culture.
What a long and crazy ride it’s been.
For me, the best news of all this week is…
Alison Krauss released her highly anticipated record, Windy City, last Friday, and I am completely smitten. A departure from previous Krauss bluegrass-style offerings with her band Union Station, Windy City is an old-fashioned record with modern sensibilities, a lush country album of covers with impeccable arrangements that perfectly complement her angelic voice. The ballads are achingly beautiful, the uptempo songs clever and fun, the whole atmosphere resplendent with warmth and feeling.
Did I say I love this album?
Here’s the track list (some versions of the album include extras):
- Losing You
- It’s Goodbye And So Long To You
- Windy City
- I Never Cared For You
- River In The Rain
- Dream Of Me
- Gentle On My Mind
- All Alone Am I
- Poison Love
- You Don’t Know Me
Here are some reviews:
If anything is going to top this as my favorite recording of the year, it’s going to have to be utterly transcendent.
Here is Alison Krauss’s cover of Willie Nelson’s “I Never Cared for You” from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.