Today’s Money Shot, 1/31/11

“A man does, in truth, remember that which it interests him to remember; and when we hear that memory has gone as age has come on, we should understand that the capacity for interest in the matter has perished. A man will be generally very old and feeble before he forgets how much money he has in the funds. ” Anthony Trollope

Anybody want to see my birth certificate? I am going to post it online.

I am not a birther. I don’t even agree that a President of the US should have to be born here.

But I can’t understand the birth certificate ruckus. Hawaii won’t release such information because it is considered a confidential document. What?????? Somebody clue me in on this piece of reasoning. This man is the most known man in the world, maybe the most powerful. Everyday he is seen multiples on the TV, and his birth certificate is confidential? This is strange, very strange.

Some thoughts about Olbermann leaving MSNBC

I guess I should begin by saying that I am a conservative. Olbermann is not where I would turn for a full accounting of the news.

But Olbermann was the only place on TV I could turn to and at least feel someone saw the terrible mistakes being made in our wars in the Middle East and the strange logic of the Bush administration. Olbermann took it too far and made it all too personal, particularly with Sarah Palin. But when I wanted to pull my hair out at some of the decisions of the previous administration, Olbermann was the man, the only place I could go and find someone else who would express my outrage and sense of helplessness as America went off and started another war.

He is gone from MSNBC. Maybe Chris Matthews is next. Chris is more of whiner than Olbermann. That is even more irritating than his partisanship. America in its gut is not as liberal as these guys. Liberals have to be careful, I think more careful than conservatives. I don’t think Americans mind being checked and challenged by the progressives, but there is a line in there somewhere and Olbermann was crossing it.

I listen to Jim Braude on WTTK in Boston (along with Marjorie Eagan, who is more conservative) to get a more thoughtful liberal bent without the vitriol. I think Juan Williams on FOX and formerly of NPR is the real deal. They bring to the liberal-conservative dialogue a more reasonable tone and actually make progressive thought a bit more attractive than I am naturally inclined to. When I really want to mainline liberalism, I just turn on NPR. There it is – bold, bright, unapologetic. And I actually don’t mind kicking in a few tax payer dollars to keep NPR going. Left on its own, liberal thought in the marketplace of ideas would die.

When Olbermann stepped down previously because of the demand that he continue to heighten the reporting on Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, I agreed with his position. Enough was becoming enough. The news outlets were getting rich on the increased advertising revenues they received when they focused on Clinton-Lewinsky. Reporters must have held their nose on this one. I mean, what reporter would want to feel like they were on the staff of the National Enquirer? Who would ever want to talk about affairs 24/7?

But Olbermann needed to be gone from the news.

I’ll buy this book when it comes out next month

The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugen Peterson. I never read Peterson without going deeper and changing my mind about the way I am doing ministry and following Christ. His translation The Message is always near me (and at the top of my Kindle). I wish he was a better preacher. Like many authors his speaking style is too deliberate and halting for me. But when the man writes, the meal served up is delicious. His metaphors, phrasing, cadence and rhythm, etc., keep me engaged and alert. I am very thankful he has chosen to serve evangelicalism, though I suspect at times that his evangelicalism with just a twist and a turn could turn in a different direction. Sometimes I wonder if he is at the center of the camp where we all ought to be or on its outer edges. Just the man’s recommended reading list is mind-bending. 90% of what he proposes for my reading I have hardly heard of before. Let’s just say Moody Press and Zondervan aren’t the publishers of choice. Sometimes I have amazed that Nav Press chose to be the publisher of The Message.

When I think of Peterson’s writings I think of House. He doesn’t fit, doesn’t belong, says hard things, goes against the crowd and is a bit angular – but we sure do need him in the family.

Sure hope this book is on Kindle.

Today’s Money Shot, 1/19/11

B.B. Warfield, The Right of Systematic Theology (1897), pages 84-85:

There is no creative power in doctrines, however true; and they will pass over dead souls, leaving them as inert as they found them: it is the Creator Spiritus [Holy Spirit] alone who is competent to quicken dead souls into life; and without Him there has never been, and never will be, one spark of life produced by all the doctrines in the world.


This face you got!


This face you got,
This here phizzog you carry around,
You never picked it out for youself at all, at all—did you?
This here phizzog—somebody handed it to you—am I right?
Somebody said, “Here’s yours, now go see what you can do with it.”
Somebody slipped it to you and it was like a package marked:
“No goods exchanged after being taken away”—This face you got.

Carl Sandburg
Good Morning, America (1928)