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Posts tagged "Paul Zahl"

PZ’s Podcast: Cursed Objects

PZ’s Podcast: Cursed Objects

Episode 212: Cursed Objects

There was a silly vicar in an English stage revue entitled “Beyond the Fringe”. His sermon was a total send-up. (You can Youtube it easily.)

Recently, however, I was in a situation in which that spoof came across as gravitationally serious. I was engaging — unsuccessfully — a problem of some long standing, and nothing was working! Not my spiritual director, not my small group, not my meditations, not the dharma, not my flesh and blood nor my friends. Nothing was working. Then I remembered an illustration from the satirical sermon in “Beyond the Fringe”, the one about…

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PZ’s Podcast: Son This Is She

PZ’s Podcast: Son This Is She

Episode 211: Son, This Is She

There is this amazing supposed contrast between the God Who comes to us from without, and the God Who speaks to us from within.

Historic Christianity generally hears the First. Eastern religion generally hears the second.

Personally, I hear both — by which I mean, a lot of Love is “channelled” or “made flesh” in the inspirations I feel to love and to cherish that are indistinguishable from my own best self. (“I’d like to know where you got the notion” (Rock the Boat) — The Hues Corporation, 1974).

Yet when I’m in a jam, when I am…

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The Essence of Christianity (Plus)

A couple of brand-new bonus recordings to which to draw your attention on this Tuesday afternoon:

  • Scott Jones and Bill Borrer interviewing Paul Zahl about “The Essence of Christianity” for their stellar New Persuasive Words podcast (which you can subscribe to here). You might think of it as a preview of the in-person conversation they’re going to have in April:

Sometimes these things don’t turn out as well as you’d hope. But sometimes they do, which seems to have been the case here. Or so we’ve been told, thank God.

PZ’s Podcast: Saved!

PZ’s Podcast: Saved!

EPISODE 210

When you were in a tight spot, how did help get through to you, assuming help did get through to you?

Did God speak from out of the whirlwind — of crisis, panic, and despair? Or did aid come from inside yourself — a ‘how-to’ or random thought that proved serviceable in the midst?

If you’re a regular listener to PZ’s Podcast, you may well answer, the former. That’s certainly what happened to PZ!

Nevertheless, your source of inspiration, and help, and salvation in the imminent immanent sense of the word: what was it?

You won’t be surprised that I’ve been thinking, in…

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PZ’s Podcast: How To Be Popular If You’re a Guy

PZ’s Podcast: How To Be Popular If You’re a Guy

Episode 209 (up now!)

The answer to that question has to lie, somehow, in whatever explains the popular success of Rodney Marvin (‘Rod’) McKuen.

Rod McKuen died a year ago, and did you know he sold 100 million records? No kidding. Rod McKuen sold 100 million records.

(He also sold 60 million books. But hey…)

Here is a man who was universally dismissed, from day one of his earthly success, as being a “kitschy” Philistine and arch-sentimentalist. No critic had a word of praise for him. Ever, ever, ever. And that’s been true right up to the present day.

And let the People say: He…

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PZ’s Podcast: Five O’Clock World

PZ’s Podcast: Five O’Clock World

EPISODE 208

Now we think that reality, the “real world”, is what happens “between nine and five”, that is, what happens at work, in the office, at school, in career, and so forth. And a lot of people want to tell us this is true.

But not The Vogues. They were from Pittsburgh and they understood about shifts and hourly pay. Yet they understand more than that!

For the fact is, ‘as you lay dying’ (Faulkner), you won’t give your “nine-to-five” life a single second thought. Not one single second thought! You’ll forget it all, in the absolute blink of an eye. That’s just…

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PZ’s Podcast: Is Paris Burning? (1966)

EPISODE 207

Here are a few thoughts concerning the atrocity attacks in Paris. I talk about Islam (and “Islamophobia”), Syrian migration into Europe, Original Sin and “low” vs. “high” anthropology, reaction-formations among young men when drones are over their heads and they have no control, let alone “buy-in”; and finally, a threatening experience Mary and I had on Times Square recently. Call this PZ’s perspective on a current (big) event.

From Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians”

From Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians”

An addendum to episode 206 of PZ’s Podcast (“The Rich Man and Lazarus”), courtesy of the host himself:

A few weeks ago a new play finished its New York run, entitled “The Christians”. The play is by Lucas Hnath.

Initially, I was reluctant to see “The Christians”, believing it was probably a hatchet job on evangelical Christianity. Well, it wasn’t, and it’s not.

Here is a quotation from the play. The ‘Associate Pastor’, who is conservatively evangelical in the traditional sense, is explaining himself to the ‘Pastor’, who has become a liberal in theology.

Up to this point in the play, the audience’s sympathies…

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PZ’s Podcast: Unforeseen & The Rich Man and Lazarus

PZ’s Podcast: Unforeseen & The Rich Man and Lazarus

Episode 205: Unforeseen

It’s not an abstraction! It’s more than something just to talk about or consider. It could happen to you. In fact, it probably will.

I’m talking about unforeseen death. Some people hold on for a long time, even when they don’t really want to. Other people want to hold on, but illness intervenes and they go a dozen years earlier than they expected. (You never expect it.) Other people had a bad habit in youth and maybe adulthood, and it catches them later. They never thought they would be hooked up to a respirator personally.

“I Had Too Much To…

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A Mockingbird Guide to 10 Current Colloquialisms

A Mockingbird Guide to 10 Current Colloquialisms

Compiled by Friends of Mockingbird John and Anne Nolon, Liz and Duo Dickinson, Betsy and Larry Roadman, Paul and Mary Zahl, and The Rev. Nancy W. Hanna:

1) “It’s all good.”
Meaning: It’s not all good, something has gone badly amiss. And I absolutely don’t want to admit it.

2) “It is what it is.”
Meaning: I can’t stand this particular situation I’m in. Actually, I hate it and don’t want to talk about it.

3) “Yuh think?!”
Meaning: I want you to agree with me, but don’t want you to think I think I’m smarter than you are. Though I do!

4) “Perfect!”
Meaning: This is fine,…

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PZ’s Podcast: Honest to God

PZ’s Podcast: Honest to God

EPISODE 204

Pop songs about love are like a corkscrew for understanding the Bible. Songs like “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Don’t Pull Your Love Out on Me, Baby”, together with a zillion co-belligerants that are written and performed “In the Name of Love” (Thompson Twins), reveal the nature of love and loss, undoings and exaltings, and painful stasis and buoyed forward movement.

Now just imagine if professional New Testament scholars “parsed” pop songs the way they want to parse the Gospels. You can’t do it. Or rather, you don’t need to do it. “She Loves You” (The Beatles) is so obviously…

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PZ’s Podcast: Pope Francis and the Historical Jesus

PZ’s Podcast: Pope Francis and the Historical Jesus

EPISODE 203

So much has been written — I mean, SO MUCH — concerning the so-called Historical Jesus: a welter of books and “Untersuchungen”. I’ve spent most of my career reading these books, and writing a few, too.

Then Pope Francis came along and put them all in a cocked hat. This is because if you want to see with your own eyes how Jesus operated in the New Testament — how he acted, how he spoke, how he was desired, and how he was received — all you need to do is watch Francis. Phrancis.

The way Christ was with Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus,…

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