Posts tagged "Paul Zahl"
PZ’s Podcast: Groovy Kind of Love, Love in the 40s, Kramer, and Mandy

PZ’s Podcast: Groovy Kind of Love, Love in the 40s, Kramer, and Mandy

EPISODE 152: Groovy Kind of Love

This is about increasing your love, especially when you don’t feel that much of it in relation to “certain people”.

It takes off on a comment Gerald Heard made, from his deathbed, to Christopher Isherwood on August 3, 1967. Heard’s love, the further he moved away from “life”, was increasing rather than decreasing. He said something amazing to his old friend, and his friend recorded his amazement.

The cast is also a meditation on the old saw: All cats are grey in the dark. I used to not believe that, and thought it damaged the individuality of…

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PZ’s Podcast: Girl Talk

Episode 151: Girl Talk

61-Y57WkTyLI’ve just written a new book. It is called PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion, and will be published by Mockingbird, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

“Girl Talk” is an explanation of the book’s central idea, and also an “off-the-wall” explanation of why the book doesn’t talk about certain issues that are important. Important in this world, that is. To a dying person, they are not important.

Religion, to be worth something, must have something, and something fairly good, to offer a dying person. And hey, who isn’t?

There’s no question that religion is designed to meet the quandaries of “Living in the Material World” (G. Harrison). But the Big Red One is death, and dying.

The cast is “Dedicated to the One I Love” (The Mamas and the Papas): Ray Ortlund.

Another Week Ends: Motivated Podcasts, Inverted Envy, Doofus Batman, Evensong Revelations, Rowling Rewards, Salinger Silence, Denny Lives Again, and Watterson’s Speech

Another Week Ends: Motivated Podcasts, Inverted Envy, Doofus Batman, Evensong Revelations, Rowling Rewards, Salinger Silence, Denny Lives Again, and Watterson’s Speech

1. “Want to Win a Political Debate? Try Making a Weaker Argument” reads a headline over at The Pacific Standard, and what follows is a helpful refresher on the overpowering role of self-image when it comes to argumentation. In very Haidt-esque fashion, and with the help of some fresh research, the article claims that the strongest arguments for a particular position are the ones most likely to trigger a defensive response from those who disagree. The implications for those engaged in any kind of religious or theological dialogue should be self-evident. As we all know, social psychology of this kind…

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PZ’s Podcast: A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime

PZ’s Podcast: A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime

EPISODE 149

Exactly 45 years ago, I began formal academic study of the New Testament. It began at Chapel Hill, transferred to Cambridge, Mass; continued in Nottingham; and concluded (tho’ not quite) at Tuebingen.

Looking back on it now, the whole thing was “A Heartache, A Shadow, A Lifetime” (Dave Mason). Tho’ I still have hope.

The hope lies in the inexhaustible life and wisdom of Jesus. That’s a well that seems to never run dry, or at least it hasn’t for me.

This podcast remembers a long line of impressive scholarly mentors, a longer line of students and teachers who were “working something…

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Healthy Hearts, Smoldering Resentments, and the Starting Point of Compassion

Healthy Hearts, Smoldering Resentments, and the Starting Point of Compassion

Given the popularity of the section we posted from Paul Zahl’s Grace in Practice a few weeks ago on Competition in Marriage, here’s one that’s bound to be a little less popular… It can be found under the rather unsexy heading of “The Relation of the Un-Free Will to Compassion”–and yet it is one of the most important passages in the book, spelling out much of what lies behind this site’s focus on human limitation, i.e. its relation to love:

Perhaps the man you live with is smoldering with resentment. Most of his resentments are founded on half-facts and…

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PZ’s Podcast: Transcendence and INGSOC

PZ’s Podcast: Transcendence and INGSOC

EPISODE 147: Transcendence

You can’t fight life, otherwise known as The World, The Flesh and The Devil. Life, as H.G. Wells put it towards the end of his own, is The Antagonist. It is designed to checkmate your ego, with the result being: No One Gets Out Of Here Alive.

The way ahead has therefore got to consist in some form of “I Leap Over the Wall” (Monica Baldwin). Nothing else can work. It’s got to be Transcendence, or nothing.

This podcast appears to locate our Best Hope in Martians. A quote from Dennis Saleh, my actual chosen epitaph, is the take-off point….

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Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

1. The question of why millennials are leaving the church came back into public view this week via an opinion piece by Rachel Held Evans on CNN, the key line being, “What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.” Accessibility and format are not really the issue in other words; if anything, church-as-performance appears to be symptomatic of an insecurity in modern believers that has alienated as many as it has attracted. Evans believes the real problem is the What, not the How. Fair enough–the substance of much of what…

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Law and Grace in the Competition of Marriage (and Personal Identity)

Law and Grace in the Competition of Marriage (and Personal Identity)

Hard to believe we’ve never posted this section from Paul Zahl’s Grace in Practice before. As with most of the provocative second half of that book, it goes well beyond abstractions and gets uncomfortably close to the bone–in the best possible way. The language here has to do with marriage, but you could easily substitute a variety of other relational contexts:

Men and women encounter a serpent-ridden wilderness of Eden when they enter into marriage. Competition for need-fulfillment and attention squanders huge amounts of energy in resentment and suppressed antagonism. The nature of the law is to place every single marriage…

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PZ’s Podcast: Soul Coaxing and Sermon for the Feast Day of Hey Jude

PZ’s Podcast: Soul Coaxing and Sermon for the Feast Day of Hey Jude

EPISODE 145: Soul Coaxing

This is about the music. For it’s the music that makes me want to speak.

The other night, right in the middle of sleep — no kidding — said a “voice from above” (Joe Meek via John Leyton): “You have got to talk about ‘Soul Coaxing’”. So I did.

The music, which was actually once the soundtrack of our lives — the real soundtrack, not The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, who, great as they were, were not what most people were actually hearing at the time — is beyond good. “Soul Coaxing” is a little like “Baby, I’m Amazed”:…

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Moral Failures, Half-Way Love, and the Wonder of Imputation

Moral Failures, Half-Way Love, and the Wonder of Imputation

Heidelberg Catechism (1563) Question 60:

How are you righteous before God?

Only by true faith in Jesus Christ: that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and am still prone always to all evil; yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sins, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me;

While professional athletes have undeniable talent,…

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PZ’s Podcast: Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff

PZ’s Podcast: Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff

Episode 144: Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff

This is about the outer limits of compassion. Is it possible to have compassion that somehow doesn’t avail, or doesn’t work?

Well, in principle, no. In practice, fairly often.

No American playwright understood his characters more compassionately than William Inge, who died exactly 40 years ago. Inge’s prefaces to some of his plays reveal perspectives that were both Christian and existentialist. Nowhere is the far country of his compassion more powerfully mapped out than in the 1970 novel “Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff”.

Incidentally, the novel was made into a faithful movie version in the late 1970s. It is…

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When Jono Met Paul: A Short Discussion on Grace in Practice

LIBERATE gave us quite a gift on Friday! It only takes 10 minutes to unwrap. Amazing:

Jono and Paul-Vimeo HD from Coral Ridge | LIBERATE on Vimeo.

PZ’s Podcast: Girl Can’t Help It and Old Man River

PZ’s Podcast: Girl Can’t Help It and Old Man River

Episode 142: Girl Can’t Help It

I’d like this one to be considered avant-garde. Like Journey.

It’s a pastoral meditation on realism and hope, geared a little from Eric Rohmer’s “political” movie of 1993, “The Tree, The Mayor, and The Mediatheque”.

This cast also gives me a chance to introduce ‘George’ to my listeners. He’s been with me since the 2nd of April. I christened him ‘George’ on the basis of a “Way Out” episode from long ago, entitled “Dissolve to Black”. My friend George, however, is nicer than the original ‘George’.

Anyway, I hope you like the music, hope you like the movie,…

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PZ’s Podcast: Easter with Los Straitjackets

PZ’s Podcast: Easter with Los Straitjackets

EPISODE 141

Yes, I know they’re Down Under this month, but their songs they leave behind them.

The real purpose of this cast is to ask, What’s been going wrong with our failing Christian lives — our failing religious lives — and what, to sound practical and American, can be done about it?

These days I feel like Marco Polo said he felt when he returned from his travels: He’d seen a lot and had a lot to tell. He might even be able to help some fellow travelers from falling into the kind of ditches that he had. I doubt anyone really…

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Another Week Ends: Gucci Addictions, Narcissism Epidemics, DFW, Phone vs. Heart, PZ on Drones (on CNN), R. Crumb, Tale of Two Suedes, and Kung Fu Grandpa

Another Week Ends: Gucci Addictions, Narcissism Epidemics, DFW, Phone vs. Heart, PZ on Drones (on CNN), R. Crumb, Tale of Two Suedes, and Kung Fu Grandpa

1. The author of the original Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, dropped as offbeat and not-quite-repentant a tale of addiction on GQ this month as I have ever come across. A convergence of shopping and sex addiction rooted in Law-induced despair (never being able to measure up to initial success) and plain old powerlessness, the circumstances are so outrageous you almost wonder if it’s a prank. Like many an addict/human being, Bissinger is peculiar mix of self-loathing and self-indulgence, both fearful and proud at the same time, his smatterings of wisdom covered up by layers of misanthropic confusion and a…

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