Posts tagged "PZ’s Podcast"
PZ’s Podcast: Phony Wars, And the Winner Is, and The Federal Theology of Samuel Rutherford

PZ’s Podcast: Phony Wars, And the Winner Is, and The Federal Theology of Samuel Rutherford

Episode 172: Phony Wars

This purports to be an attack of reality in the midst of “phony wars”.

I am always struck by the truth of pop songs. Not all of them, but some of them. Such as “Waterloo” by ABBA. (Mary and I were there, as it were, when ABBA hit, stuck at a “Saturday Dance” (Geoff Goddard) during the spring of 1974 in the parish hall of Holy Trinity, Hounslow. As soon as we heard the song, and watched the girls line-dancing to ABBA, we knew we weren’t stuck any more. We got up ourselves, tho’ I’m no Diamond.)

There was…

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PZ’s Podcast: If You Can’t Stand the Heat

EPISODE 171: If You Can’t Stand the Heat

IMG_3572Guess I never tire of quoting Gerald Heard’s maxim about opting out: “The verb to escape is clear enough — it means to leave a position which has become impossible.”

There’s a long back-and-forth within the history of Christian endeavor as to the relative merit of engaging a fallen world in the hope of transforming it; or opting out of it in order to watch, wait and pray. Many dedicated saints have taken the first road. Many others have taken the second. There is obviously room for both.

This podcast examines the second road, and offers another element, too. You could entitle the talk “Feel to Heal”. I believe it, in any event.

Something happened to me on the 26th of July in London, Ontario. I knew it was happening when it was happening. It was even captured “on tape”. You can hear it at the end of this cast, about five minutes into the concluding music. “Good God,” I said to my friend — over the shouting — “he’s really doing it!” Speechless we were. Hope you will be, too, in a good way.

PZ’s Podcast: Farewell to the First Golden Era

EPISODE 170: Farewell to the First Golden Era

ACH000801895.1307708911.580x580Here is some recommended Summer reading, and listening; a few words of “Good Counsel”, as in Our Lady of Good Counsel; and a brief musical offering, at the end, by Johann Sebastian Bach.

You’ll note an animadversion to Aversion, a Hymn to Him (My Fair Lady), and an invitation to Him to Take the Wheel. All three are solid in me now, and all three I commend. Then there’s the Bach, and the happy birth-trauma pictured in the Offering.

By the way, a “Noye’s Fludde” of new reviews has appeared on Amazon for the updated new edition of PZ’s Panopticon. I find them to be short and shrewd, and some a little heart-rending. Here are some highlights:

“Arresting, Difficult, Funny, Brilliant, and Ultimately Hopeful! I loved PZ’s Panopticon. I started it in December, but I had to put it down after 40 pages because I found it too emotionally difficult. It was too close to something. I picked it back up in late January and finished it in one sitting. Then I wept. I pray it touches you in the way it did me.”

“The stultifying stupidity of defensive prejudice in the spiritual mud-wrestling ring that is organized religion is ripped apart by Zahl in a breathless romp to reanimate politically correct soullessness into a place where we live and long to be connected to what we know, but cannot prove: that God is with us every minute of every heartbeat…”

“Resurrection and mercy—that’s the diamond thread of hope that can withstand the testing-by-fire that is the question of death.”

“It is the only book I’ve ever read through from cover to cover, then immediately turned around and read it cover to cover again.”

Take my breath away (Berlin). Hugs always, and see you in September, –PZ

PZ’s Podcast: Wooden Ships

PZ’s Podcast: Wooden Ships

EPISODE 169: Wooden Ships

What is a person’s duty toward the world? Do we “owe” the world our efforts and our action? If not exactly, then how are we supposed to relate to the world? “How shall we then live?”

This cast talks about Meister Eckhart, who for my money was never wrong about anything. I just never find myself disagreeing with anything he ever said. Or maybe just one thing.

Eckhart preached a sermon in which he said, “What is reaped in contemplation is sown in action.” Gosh, that sounds good.

Yet it’s the only statement he ever made that I can’t get…

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PZ’s Podcast: Emotion and Generation Zahl

PZ’s Podcast: Emotion and Generation Zahl

Episode 167: Emotion

It’s a primary theme. ‘Lobo’ talked about it as well as any of our troubadours. So did, and does, Burton Cummings.

Cummings teaches so much, partly because he doesn’t filter his emotions. His songs sometimes have odd emotional interjections within them, words and phrases that sound dis-junctive. A classic example is his 1976 single “Stand Tall”. The song is pure emotion, no editing. You could almost say that “Stand Tall” sounds un-cool. But that’s because the singer/writer is not filtering what he is feeling.

Religion at its best takes the filters off, too; and embodies healing for uncooperative turbulence within….

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PZ’s Podcast: The House That Jack Built

PZ’s Podcast: The House That Jack Built

EPISODE 166

It is really happening now, a much prayed for thing. Women are starting to be called to the big jobs, at least in the church. The “walls of Jericho” (as in Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night”) are coming down. “No Doubt About It” (Hot Chocolate).

Podcast 166 talks about the promise inherent in this breakthrough, such as reduced conflict in parish communities, reduced transference on the minister, reduced counter-transference from the minister, reduced reactivity (in everybody), and in general, reduced resistance. What a relief for there to be less “heat in the kitchen” when it comes to parish ministry….

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PZ’s Podcast: Cosmic Recension

PZ’s Podcast: Cosmic Recension

EPISODE 165

In traditional New Testament studies, the student is trying to get as close as possible to the original text. The idea is that the closer you are to the original, the closer you are to the Inspiration that created the text in the first place.

The same principle applies to almost any branch of study, and also to art and literature. You want Kerouac’s actual scroll, Pollack’s actual canvas, Wordsworth’s actual pad, Mike Francis’ actual demo.

I think that Burton Cummings, Canada’s piano man, comes close to Inspiration in several of his songs, including songs he performed with The Guess Who….

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PZ’s Podcast: Deetour and Happy Clappy

PZ’s Podcast: Deetour and Happy Clappy

EPISODE 163: Deetour

The Contraption just keeps getting bigger. And I sort of wish He’d stop.

This podcast shows Him widening His sphere of influence. Is the “widening” welcome? Well, yes, if you believe that Karen Young, in her magnificent song “Deetour”, speaks the truth. (How can what she sings be denied?)

I also talk about job searches in the parish ministry, and rector search committees. (How could one have been so blind?) Blame it on the Contraption!

Episode 163 is dedicated to JAZ, the Minister of Edits.

EPISODE 164: Happy Clappy

I feel like in order to begin, you have to come to the end….

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PZ’s Podcast: Rain Dance

PZ’s Podcast: Rain Dance

EPISODE 162: Rain Dance

Nobody’s talking about the truth, about the reality of… This Thing (Gerald Heard). I saw it so clearly the other day while surfing the cable news. Every single one of the cable news networks was talking about Obamacare. Every one, at the same time! And it was the same arguments, pro and con; the same advocates and same objectors; and the same unrelieved impasse.

I wasn’t interested so much in Obamacare as I was in the repetitive nature of the “conversation”. “Over and Over and Over Again” (Dave Clark Five).

Then I understood why. I understand why it’s all…

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PZ’s Podcast: PBS

EPISODE 161

Ever since I read John Harris Harper’s miraculous new book Witnesses to the Light, which has just been published in Birmingham, I have been thinking about what it means to do something that is not half baked. This is because Harper’s book is thoroughly baked, a completely realized achievement.

Sometimes, because I can be paresseux, a thing I do will be half baked. I cut a corner, or fail to corroborate a fact, or skip a step in the argumentation. It’s just a fact of my work, and John Harper’s new book is a timely call to me to be thorough.

This podcast concerns the “escapism” of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). In particular, it consists of a reflection on some lines that occur near the end of his poem “Adonais”. These lines connect with my Panopticon, and with an experience I had on May Day of last year.

We’ve “Gotta Get Away” (Rolling Stones) from this world, deep down, in order to engage. Like the nuns in “Call the Midwife”.

PZ’s Podcast: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis and The Happiest Actual Life

PZ’s Podcast: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis and The Happiest Actual Life

EPISODE 158: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis

Credible hope — hope that works — something to dispel the advancing clouds of agnosticism. Those clouds really do exist for people, especially as life begins to flummox them. Combined with alcohol, they’ll do you in.

Booth Tarkington found a gem of hope at the end of his novel The Magnificent Ambersons. Later that novel became a famous movie. Though they left out the game-changer scene! Did you know that at the heart of that story, there is a supernatural intervention? It’s not only credible but it succeeds.

Just like John Galsworthy’s astral moment in his…

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PZ’s Podcast: I Am Curious (Orange) and Every Mother’s Son

PZ’s Podcast: I Am Curious (Orange) and Every Mother’s Son

EPISODE 156: I Am Curious (Orange)

This is a Protestant “take” on a kind of war horse, a Swedish war horse. Gosh, it packed a punch in its day. And gosh, how little I understood it. Like zero to nil.

Watching it again, after all this time, was devastating to me. How did I miss its message, and its reality, so completely? But I did. Completely.

Don’t go back and see it, in any event. It’s too much to take in: how wrong you were, and how wrong categorization is, in particular. That the Golden Oldie of which I speak was never about…

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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.

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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