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Posts tagged "C.S. Lewis"

Imagining Worst Case Scenarios with a Hellfire Therapist

Imagining Worst Case Scenarios with a Hellfire Therapist

A wonderful reflection from Carrie Willard.

Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don’t agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ. – C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

When my son was almost three years old, he got violently ill while we were away from home. What started as a run-of-the-mill virus turned into an ambulance ride and several nights in the pediatric intensive care unit at a major teaching hospital. I was pregnant with our second son…

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Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: You Just Can’t, Okay?

Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: You Just Can’t, Okay?

Welcome to the fourth installment of act three of author Ted Scofield’s series on everybody else’s biggest problem but your own. If you missed one or more of the previous installments, the entire series can be found here.

In Terminator 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular cyborg is about to kill two innocent civilians in a dark parking lot, when young John Connor intervenes.

“You can’t just go around killing people!” John says to his protector.

“Why?” the terminator responds in his oft-imitated monotone.

“Whattaya mean, why? ’Cause you can’t!”

“Why?”

“You just can’t, okay? Trust me on this.”

We are on a year-long quest to find a collectively applicable definition…

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At Your Service: Thoughts on Downton Abbey, and Life

At Your Service: Thoughts on Downton Abbey, and Life

I dread my kids getting sick–and not just because I hate to see them suffer. So much for empathy, right? 

Our latest cavalcade of illnesses–recurrent ear infections, nasty colds, and a violent stomach virus–coincided with the wrapping-up of the series Downton Abbey. And don’t think for a second that the deep cosmic significance of that timing is lost on me. I’ve been a fan of the show since summer of 2011, when I tuned in via Netflix from the couch and fought off waves of morning (and afternoon, and evening) sickness by escaping to early-20th century England. I gasped at the…

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The Grammar Police Gives It a Rest

The Grammar Police Gives It a Rest

This one comes to us from a new writer and friend, Emily Sherrod.

Deep in the recesses of my pajama drawer, there’s a t-shirt featuring a cartoon policeman and the label “grammar police.” It’s a relic from my high school years—when I was a little too proud of my SAT writing scores and all too willing to share my grammar knowledge with anyone around me. It has since been demoted to my pile of never-wear-out-of-the-house clothes.

Since I’ve been working at the writing center at my university, I have had plenty of appointments with students who “just need a grammar check.” As all writing…

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Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Resurrection of the 78 rpm Record

Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Resurrection of the 78 rpm Record

This reflection on the 78s of great price comes to us from Nick Rynerson:

If you’ve ever spent a Sunday afternoon moseying through the rural late-modern labyrinth that is an antique mall you’ve probably seen a 78. Hidden behind the over-priced spice racks, odd smelling jackets, and empty (“collectible”) coke bottles is usually a box or two––almost always on the ground––of 78 rpm records. Unplayable on most modern turntables, heavy as hell, and comically breakable, 78s sit untouched.

By the 1960’s 45 rpm (“singles”) and 33⅓ rpm (LP’s) had all but eradicated the bulky shellac 78. In a few short years, the…

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C.S. Lewis Knocked Flat by a Sledge Hammer

In the essay “Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger”, found in the posthumous collection God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis responds to the criticism that he does not ‘care much for’ the Sermon on the Mount but prefers the Pauline ethic, ht BT:

“As to ‘caring for’ the Sermon on the Mount… Who can like being knocked flat on his face by a sledge-hammer? I can hardly imagine a more deadly spiritual condition than that of the man who can read that passage with tranquil pleasure.”

 

On TV: Louis C.K. Babels About The Language of Love

On TV: Louis C.K. Babels About The Language of Love

Blake (B.I.C) and I both share a fondness for the television show, “Louie”, so we felt compelled to have an email conversation this week about the episodes entitled “Elevator” (parts 1-6). Here is the edited and streamlined result of an exchange between a couple of guys with certifiable Louis C.K. man crushes.

B.I.C: So, Howie, what did you think of the six-part Elevator episodes of Louie and what do you think the central idea behind them was?

Howie: Well, I think they’re called Elevator (parts 1-6) because that’s the situation that led to him meeting Amia—a Hungarian woman who cannot speak English…

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Another Week Ends: Reboot Treaties, Father’s Day, Tolkien’s Sorrowful Joy, 5 Minutes in a Mom’s Head, and Analyzing Analysts

Another Week Ends: Reboot Treaties, Father’s Day, Tolkien’s Sorrowful Joy, 5 Minutes in a Mom’s Head, and Analyzing Analysts

1. We open this week with a less-than-implausible doomsday scenario envisioned by The Onion, a world in which reboot films will come to wreak havoc on civilization. Fortunately, the newssite reported this week that “Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Enter Talks To Reduce Stockpiles Of Unproduced Reboots”. More below:

Conceding the time has come to limit the proliferation of new movies that simply rehash old ones, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. have entered bilateral talks to reduce their considerable stockpiles of unproduced reboots, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after the first day of tense negotiations, members of both sides said that while building up…

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On Not Being C.S. Lewis – Francis Spufford

A highlight, if not the highlight of our recent NYC Conference had to be Francis’ talk from Saturday morning. A true must-watch for anyone interested in speaking/writing/talking about Christianity in a modern context, as well as (what we would like to think are) our animating principles:

On Not Being C.S. Lewis ~ Francis Spufford from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Graduating From Regret

Graduating From Regret

This one comes to us from Lex Booth:

With only two more weeks of undergraduate existence left on the calendar, I can’t help but reflect on my experience in Charlottesville (and hash out some last-minute plans to squeeze out as much college as possible).  Perhaps because ”there’s still time” for me to cross a few things off the list and add a flourish or two, this exercise mostly involves lots of ‘what-if’ or ‘should have’ hypotheticals that tend to contradict each other: ‘Maybe I should have taken advantage of my classes more…’ vs. ‘Why did I spend so much time in…

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Anger at Time Stolen, A Curious Assumption

From Lewis’ Screwtape Letters (ht LB)

9780394815008_custom-606a12ba6a12795a7752919b06aa8b396ccb571e-s6-c30“Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied. The more claims on life, therefore, that your patient can be induced to make, the more often he will feel injured, and as a result, ill-tempered. Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him. It is the unexpected visitor (when he looked forward to a quiet evening), or the friend’s talkative wife (turning up when he looked forward to a tete-a-tete with the friend), that threw him out of gear. Now he is not yet so uncharitable or slothful that these small demands on his courtesy are in themselves too much for it. They anger him because he regards his time as his own and feel that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption ‘My time is my own’. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours. Let him feel as a grievous tax that portion of this property which he has to make over to his employers, and as a generous donation that further portion which he allows to religious duties. But what he must never be permitted to doubt is that the total from which these deductions have been made was, in some mysterious sense, his own personal birthright.”

Another Week Ends: Tribal Morality, Passports to Eden, Reflektor, Spufford in the Times, Social Wiring, Hemingway’s Granddaughter, Anxious Simpsons, and Heisenberg on Ice

Another Week Ends: Tribal Morality, Passports to Eden, Reflektor, Spufford in the Times, Social Wiring, Hemingway’s Granddaughter, Anxious Simpsons, and Heisenberg on Ice

1. Next week, Harvard psychologist Joshua Greene is slated to release a new book on behavioral morality, examining the everyday irrationalities and subconscious biases that Kahneman, Tversky and company have popularized over the last few decades (aside: are all titles/covers copying Malcolm Gladwell?). A common behavioral problem, the “trolley experiment”, asks people to make a hypothetical decision: if a train cannot brake and is about to run over five people, would you pull a lever that would divert it, but cause it to hit one other person? Many people answer ‘yes’. But take the same scenario, and now you have to…

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