Friday, November 30, 2001

Rod Woodson was one of the most gifted athletes ever to lace up the cleats for the Boilermakers. I watched his career on the football field at Purdue and was in the stands on the day that he played his storied last game against Indiana, in which he started at cornerback on defense, running back on offense, returned punts and kicks, and caught three passes as a wide receiver. Purdue beat IU that day by preserving their lead on the last play of the game. Pete Stoyanovich, who would go on to be a very good NFL kicker, lined up for what would have been a game winning field goal but a freshman defensive lineman broke through the line and blocked the field goal. The ball was then scooped up by Woodson who then raced the length of the field to finish his career in a most fitting place, in the end zone at the bottom of a pile of ecstatic teammates and fans. Unfortunately the TD was called back. Apparently as Woodson leaned over to scoop up the ball, he stumbled and a teammate grabbed his jersey to keep him from falling over, which was ruled aiding the runner (I'd be willing to bet that Woodson, with his athleticism, would have regained his balance anyway, but...). Woodson has had an unbelievalbe pro career as well, topping it off with a Super Bowl ring last season. Woodson's athletic accomplishments have not been limited to the gridiron. He has excelled in track and field, once recording the 4th fastest time in the world for that particular year in the 110 high hurdles after training only two weeks. Even in the training room Woodson has set records. In 1995 he became the first player in league history to tear the anterior cruciate ligament and return to play the same season. Anyway, for Woodson fans or sports fans in general you might find this article on Woodson interesting.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Posted some more blog links in the margin....finally. I'm kind of a lazy "template updater." Anyway, there are some good blogs there that are well worth a daily or at least weekly visit, so if there are some that are unfamiliar to you, give 'em a look-see.

Unfortunately the documentary that I mentioned yesterday featuring John Perkins & Walter Wangerin, Jr., among others, will not be airing in St. Louis on the local ABC affiliate. If any of you will be in an area where the documentary will air, and you're in the mood to watch it, tape it, and send it to me, I'd be grateful...though I'm not holding my breath. As for me, I will be taping the updated version of Brian's Song on Sunday night. Note: The link to Brian's Song has the incorrect date for the airing of the movie, Sunday is December 2nd, not December 3rd.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Q: What happens when you become the Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law?

A: You get to be called as an expert witness in a case involving two crazed fans who both claim that they have rightful ownership of Barry Bonds record setting 73rd home run ball.

It's not a lock, but it looks like Purdue is headed to the Sun Bowl for a match up against Washington State. I hate to be pessimistic, but I don't see us winning this or any other bowl game this year.

I'm not sure how heartily I can recommend this documentary, Journey Toward Forgiveness, which is being produced by Mennonite Media for the National Council of Churches and will be aired on ABC affiliates on December 2nd. What I am sure about is that the segment of the documentary that features John Perkins will be well worth watching. I've read several of Perkins' books, have heard him speak numerous times, and even had a chance to meet him and talk with him in May. He is one of my heroes and one of the treasures of the Church in America.

By the way you might want to drop an e-mail to your local ABC affiliate requesting that they carry this program on December 2nd. Walter Wangerin, Jr. will also be featured in one of the segments.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

National Geographic has just released the Altas of the Ocean -- a first of its kind in depth and breadth. NPR has an interesting little piece on the atlas and an interview with one of its authors, marine biologist Sylvia Earle. There is a second installment on Morning Edition for November 27th. Quite beside the point of the ocean and the satellite technology that made this kind of an atlas possible, I kept thinking as I listened to this piece that if Carl Sagan had been a woman, he would have sounded like this. Unfortunately in the interview that I heard she never said the phrase "billions and billions" so I was unable to adequately test my hypothesis.

Monday, November 19, 2001

From another Mars Hill tape (March/April 1996), host Ken Myers quotes D. H. Lawrence:

Men are free when they are in a living homeland, not when they are straying and breaking away. Men are free when they are obeying some deep inward voice of religious belief, obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic believing community, active in fufilling some unfulfilled, perhaps, unrealized purpose, not when they're escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west and shout of freedom -- the shout is a rattling of chains

I think this quote strikes at the heart of a deeply ingrained gnosticism in our that, unfortunately is as common within the church (and within me) as it is without. To think that we can be free when we are unattached and unconnected to other human beings in communities (and not cyber-communities, but real face to face flesh and bone communities) is, I believe, at least partly a gnostic error. The snare of the DVD player, the home theater system, the X box, and even the iMac that I'm typing this on is that each of those technologies and most of the things we do with them are intensely privatizing and cocoon us up in our houses, rather than pushing us outdoors to talk to the neighbors about the Rams or the weather or whatever. That final image in the Lawrence quote above is powerful...those who have utopian visions of the internet tell us how we are have more options, more freedom, just by turning on our computers and surfing over to "Freedom...the world is accessible through my monitor," goes the shout, and three hours later when I've surfed around trying to locate a dozen good articles on postmodern architecture and the Pruitt-Igoe housing project, I realize that the shout does resemble a rattling of chains. I'm no Luddite, I appreciate the benefits of technology as much as the next guy. I just think how unfortunate -- maybe inhuman -- it is to never take the opportunity to sit on a porch with my next door neighbor drink a Big Butt and talk theology, family, and Saturday Night Live. Instead I opt for reading his blog and zipping e-mails back and forth. It's better than nothing, but something tells me it ain't exactly freedom.

From a Mars Hill interview (March/April 1996) with Robert Jenson:

A pastor who is not a theologian is really quite a useless entity...the theologian/pastor is the only useful kind, I would think.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

"We live in a nation of 260 million supreme beings. And each is a jealous god."

Paul Vitz

Quoted in a First Things commentary by Peter Leithart.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Like Brian Dennehy....can't say the same for Bobby Knight. Hope Dennehy is enough of a disgrace to do justice to Knight.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

Chilling rhetoric from bin Laden.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

I'll have to admit that today as I read aloud the end of Genesis 41 I almost got choked up as I read the words, "And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world."

We've been in Genesis for the last eight weeks in the class that I'm teaching, and I've been carefully showing the men in my study God's covenant as it unfolds and expands from the garden and then on through the lives of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob. We have really taken our time and read slowly and deliberately over the promises that God made to Abraham including the promise to bless all peoples on earth through you (12:3). Though that promise will find its greater and ultimate promise in Jesus and his tearing down of the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, it really moved me to read out loud how, even within the book of Genesis, God is already blessing all peoples on earth through a son of Abraham.

We serve a faithful God.

For the past eight weeks I have been leading a twice a week class on the Pentateuch for the men in our long term resident program. Today as I was teaching through the life of Joseph in Genesis 39-41, I paused to comment on Joseph's refusal to give in to sexual temptation from Potiphar's wife. As I made application to our lives and continued for several minutes to press the issues of lust and sexual immorality I got a few scattered "Amens" and several head nods, but it wasn't until one of the guys said to the rest of the room, "If you can't say Amen, say ouch," that I really heard a response. That comment drew "Amens" and "ouches" and much needed chuckles from around the room.

It was great for us all to have a good laugh together though we were in the midst of discussing a very serious and salient issue for every one of us. I have really come to love the guys that I'm working with. I admire their courage, and their brokenness and humility is a constant example to me. One of the indications that we're drawing closer as a group and building some significant relationships is that we can all share in vulnerable laughter like that together. In our laughter we were saying to one another -- "I'm right there with you...I'm no better than you, I struggle just like you do, and I'm trusting the Lord, clinging to his mercy, and battling these temptations everyday...just like you."

Big Butt is back!! Though it's not posted on the Leinenkugel's website yet, I received my Holiday 2001 issue of their newsletter The Legend and they will begin brewing their seasonal doppelbock, Big Butt, in December 2001. For those of you who don't know me, Big Butt is the perfect beer for me. First of all I love doppelbocks and in addition to that Big Butt is an apt description of me, having even been my nickname for awhile in college. If anyone wants to know what to get me for Christmas -- getting me some Big Butt clothing would be high on my list, not to mention some cold bottles of Big Butt to go with it.

The only unfortunate thing about the return of Big Butt beer, is that now when I visit an establishment that serves Big Butt and I say, "I'd like a Big Butt, please." The waitress/bartender is likely to say, "Looks like you already have one." ;-)

Monday, November 05, 2001

I honestly wasn't expecting Purdue to win when they went to Michigan a few weeks ago -- but I did think we'd come away from our game with Illinois with a W -- boy was I wrong!! I haven't been that frustrated during a Purdue Football game in a long time. It's almost inconceivable that a team could force five turnovers and still lose the game, although when your team's leading rusher is a linebacker who picked up all of this rushing yardage on one fake punt that's a hint that maybe the offense is basically non-existent.

In an instance of bitter irony for Purdue fans, Drew Brees -- Mr. Everything at Purdue over the past four years, got his first opportunity at QB taking over for the Chargers when Doug Flutie was sidelined with a concussion. Though the Chargers lost the game, Brees rallied the Chargers from being down 19-0 to leading 20-19, before Kansas City drove late in the game to score the winning touchdown. It would have been nice to have borrowed Mr. Brees for just one quarter of football on Saturday. We miss you Drew!

Not to say that Brandon Hance has failed to perform, I've been fairly pleased with his play this fall, but he ain't no Brees.

It's only an exhibition game, but it looks like the Purdue Men's Basketball team is going to rattle some cages this year. Sounds like we've got a whole lotta "O" -- and I've never known a Keady team that wasn't tenacious on defense. Expect the Boilers to surprise some teams this year, and pencil them into your NCAA bracket for March.

The Post-Dispatch ran this interesting story about Emma Buck and the 160 year old farm that she lives on. Emma is 97 years old and has left the farm less than two dozen times in her life -- "we weren't the traveling kind" she says. The farm has been almost perfectly preserved over the last century and a half. Emma lives in the same log cabin that her great uncle built. It has no electricity, heat, or plumbing, the same as the rest of the farm. Emma still draws buckets of water from the well or the cistern, and though she doesn't farm anymore, she does hand-sharpen all of her grandfather's ancient farming tools with a whetstone on a weekly basis.

Friday, November 02, 2001

Gene Keady, Purdue men's basketball coach and former NFL defensive back, is having his basketball players fitted for helmets and shoulder pads, which they'll wear during a rebounding drill!! Purdue may not be the best team in the nation this year, but we'll surely be among the toughest and most physical teams.

Thursday, November 01, 2001

I'm not sure that St. Louis Hornets has much of a ring to it...but I'd definitely go see them play if they buzzed on up the 'Lou. Don't hold your breath, though. Despite being named the best sports town in America, I'm not sure that we're big enough to support four professional sports teams.

Not quite as well known as the 95 Theses is the song that Martin Luther wrote later in life submitted here for your reverent meditation:

by Richard Gebel
(sung to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious")

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh ...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter's profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints' Bull'tin board:
"You cannot purchase merits, for we're justified by grace!
Here's 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!" Oh ...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
"Are these your books? Do you recant?" King Charles did demand,
"I will not change me Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand" Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting "George" as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin's model if the languages you seek,
Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Let's raise our steins and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that "catholic" is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets his chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Thanks to Russ for unearthing this historical and theological treasure.

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