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Posts tagged "CONTROL"

A Fatal Attraction: The Law As Means of Control

A Fatal Attraction: The Law As Means of Control

One of passages from our Law & Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints) that we hear about most often:

If no one fulfills the law, the question naturally arises: Why should we care about it? If it accuses and condemns us—two things that no one likes—why do we pay it such mind? Why does it keep coming back?

Perhaps because the law [of God] is a true and good thing. Just because we are not able to live up to God’s standard does not somehow invalidate it. That is, we may find it impossible to stop worrying about the future, but…

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Playing it Safe with Consumer Reports

Playing it Safe with Consumer Reports

It’s taken a while to write this love letter. Consumer Reports has for 80 years now provided its readers with solace from the fear of getting it wrong. Its slogan, “Smarter Choices for a Better World,” says it all. Who doesn’t want to make smarter choices? And when it comes to consumer products, who doesn’t want to get a deal—or at least not screwed? When an entire display wall at the Walmart gives you 148 different plaque and tartar removal toothpastes, when your kitchen remodel is stuck between electric smoothtop and pro-style dual-fuel ranges, when you wonder whose frequent flyer…

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Dan Ariely on Traffic Jam "Altruism"

Dan Ariely on Traffic Jam “Altruism”

This from his new advice-column book, Irrationally Yours. Ariely sees the contradiction implicit in our own self-regard when stuck in traffic, or, you know, everywhere else. As Jesus said, let not the hand steering the wheel know what the hand directing merging vehicles is doing. Or something like that.

Dear Dan, 

Often as I creep along in a traffic jam, someone inevitably tries to enter my lane from the side. Now here is the issue: If I let the car in, I feel good about it. But when I see others in front of me let someone in, I feel cheated, because I’ve been…

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Alfred Hitchcock: Artist of Anxiety

Alfred Hitchcock: Artist of Anxiety

Alfred Hitchcock agreed to sit down with François Truffaut for a five-day interview in August 1962. The Frenchman aimed to pick the master’s brain and snag some good tidbits for interested cinephiles. Gradually, their conversation started to flow and the product was a wonderful book. In its introduction, Truffaut calls Hitchcock an “artist of anxiety.” While he is pointing at his knack for touching on our “nighttime, metaphysical anxieties,” I found the examples of Hitchcock’s own daily worries very interesting.

Here’s Hitchcock on his anxious desire to keep everything running according to plan:

I’m full of fears and I do my best…

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A Tyler Talk on Getting It Together: A Lesson in Failure

A Tyler Talk on Getting It Together: A Lesson in Failure

This talk came from Keith Pozzuto, the minister for spiritual formation at Christ Church in Tyler. To listen to the other talks we posted earlier in the week, go here. 

One of the bishops who ordained me told me the story of how he became a bishop. It is a perfect example of a work in failure: He started in England as a parish priest and found it to be very exhausting, so he found that there was a parish that was open in the country in northern Spain. Looking for a better climate and sensing a call, he moved himself and…

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Control Is Just an Illusion, But Love Casts Out Fear (in Disney's Frozen)

Control Is Just an Illusion, But Love Casts Out Fear (in Disney’s Frozen)

This deeply personal, honest, and insightful reflection on Disney’s Frozen – and our love affair with control – comes from our friend Brandi Midkiff.

Lots of people sneer at the Control Freak archetype. I do not understand these people. They seem to think loss of control would be a good time—like a roller coaster, perhaps, which is actually a tightly controlled construct when functioning correctly and not killing people. Also people choose whether or not to get on the thing, thereby exercising control; so this is not the best illustration, though I see it used a lot.

Loss of control is not an…

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Some Thoughts on Wartime Mentality and the Fear of God

Some Thoughts on Wartime Mentality and the Fear of God

This reflection comes from Brooks Tate.

After writing The Perfect Storm (1997), Sebastian Junger wrote War (2010), a melting pot of observations of the American soldier in Afghanistan. In segments over a 15-month period, Junger joins the Battle Company in the Korengal Valley, home of the heaviest fighting in Afghanistan. Multiple firefights in a day is no anomaly. With individuals exposed to so much combat, Junger explores the effects of combat on man (as we also see in Hollywood’s The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty). Why are veterans unable to return to normal life at home? Why do men choose to reenlist?…

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Google Mapping the End of Man

Google Mapping the End of Man

I recently had car trouble, near midnight, still three hours away from a weekend getaway. My pickup jammered to a halt on the side of the road in Godknowswhere, South Carolina and, with my girlfriend in the passenger’s seat, it was easy to expect there was some appropriate know-how code for this kind of mishap; you listen to the clicks of the engine, you pop the hood, you check valves. Instead, I ran through the diagnostic process only a 21st century suburban kid can. I pulled off, panicked, thanked God I had my iPhone, and called my (girlfriend’s) nearest AAA…

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The Most Harmful Fiction That's Ever Been Promoted Anywhere

The Most Harmful Fiction That’s Ever Been Promoted Anywhere

The philosopher Roger Scruton wrote something a couple years ago that’s really stuck with me. He said, “in order to see human beings as they are, therefore, and to school oneself in the art of loving them, it is necessary to apply a dose of pessimism to all one’s plans and aspirations.” It’s very similar to what a certain colleague meant when he observed that, as a Christian minister, he’s had a lot more compassion and patience for “his flock” since he realized that everyone, himself included, is pretty much insane. “That’s so dark”, you say. “It’s not the whole…

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New Music: Derek Webb's Ctrl

New Music: Derek Webb’s Ctrl

“‘Ctrl’ is about one man’s desire for something he can’t have because it isn’t real, his journey pursuing it, and the costs of that journey.”-Derek Webb on Twitter

As someone who began listening to Derek Webb in 2004, shortly after the release of his second album I See Things Upside Down, I can say with confidence that Ctrl marks yet another evolution in Webb’s music, drawing upon the best of his earlier acoustic work and the recent electronic tinkering of Stockholm Syndrome and Feedback. At least on the surface, Ctrl should avoid most of the controversy that tends to follow Webb…

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Freedom and Control According to Rudolf Bultmann

Freedom and Control According to Rudolf Bultmann

It is my contention that the ever-contentious 20th century theologian, Rudolf Bultmann, was nothing less than a committed Lutheran. To those somewhat familiar with him, this statement will come as a bit of a surprise. Especially within the English-speaking world, Bultmann is famous for being the father of de-mythologizing and form criticism! But it was one of the chief accomplishments in his career that he placed the present preaching of the Word at the heart of theology. While this took many different (and controversial!) forms within his scholarly life, this also indicates that it is within his sermons that Bultmann’s…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Take Shelter from Thyself

Mockingbird at the Movies: Take Shelter from Thyself

Premonition
Take Shelter at MOVIECLIPS.com

 

Premonitions of a storm coming, a storm that turns your loved ones into something they are not–strangers dangerous, poisoned, violent. The storm comes and things are taken–the life you’ve known is under alarming arrest–and your power to resist it is futile. The storm stands in your window and stares at your children, it surreal, god-like lifts your home and all that is within it, it rips from you the order you’ve had in control up to this point and gives you the life of Job–a storm-squalled widower made widower by a private act of God.

Well, it’s easy…

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