Posts tagged "Romans"

Hopelessly Devoted: Romans Chapter Six Verse Five

Hopelessly Devoted: Romans Chapter Six Verse Five

This morning’s entry from The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day) comes from none other than Gil Kracke:

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Romans 6:5, NIV)

I try to imagine how to approach a verse like this, one that stands with such vast profundity in such simple brevity. What words could be placed beneath these, which seem to carry such a weight as to move whole epochs? And yet it is wonderfully and maddeningly simple: the verse very simply dispels the…

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John Calvin Does the Thing He Hates

John Calvin Does the Thing He Hates

From the Genevan Doctor’s commentary on Romans 7–as a quick disclaimer, he was better at thinking than writing too sympathetically:

He now comes to a more particular case, that of a man already regenerated… But though the will of a faithful man is led to good by the Spirit of God, yet in him the corruption of nature appears conspicuously; for it obstinately resists and leads to what is contrary. Hence the case of a regenerated man is the most suitable; for by this you may know how much is the contrariety between our nature and the righteousness of the law…

The…

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Everything Is Not OK (on Parenthood)… the Bad Thing Is Already Happening

Everything Is Not OK (on Parenthood)… the Bad Thing Is Already Happening

Have you been watching the new season of Parenthood? This show continues to deliver the goods, which mostly come in the form of true-to-life suffering, chaos, loss, and grace, love, and peace amidst it all—very much in line with the Mockingbird conference last week in Charlottesville.

Spoiler alert! Don’t read on if you are a Parenthood fan but aren’t up to speed.

The most recent episode’s title says so much: “Everything Is Not OK.” It refers to the startling news that Kristina Braverman has received (I used to find Kristina’s character fairly annoying, but she has been endearing…

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Artificial Intelligence, Imputation and the Desperate Need to be Heard

Artificial Intelligence, Imputation and the Desperate Need to be Heard

In 1966, MIT computer science professor Josef Weisenbaum wrote a very simple computer program named ELIZA. ELIZA was designed to mimic an empathetic psychologist, mirroring back key words to users in the form of questions, encouraging them to go deeper with their emotions. For example, if the user mentioned, in passing, that they were feeling a bit depressed, ELIZA would ask them why they were depressed. If the user mentioned a family member or significant other, ELIZA would ask them to elaborate on that particular person.

Weizenbaum intended ELIZA as a very rudimentary experiment in artificial intelligence, but was shocked to…

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Hannah Arendt Explains Paul’s Discovery

Hannah Arendt Explains Paul’s Discovery

By popular demand, a couple more quotations taken from the chapter “The Apostle Paul and the Impotence of the Will” in the second volume of her The Life of the Mind:

The Apostle Paul’s discovery, which he describes in great detail in the Letter to the Romans, again concerns a two-in-one, but these two are not friends or partners; they are in constant struggle with each other. Precisely when he “wants to do right (to kalon),” he finds that “evil lies close at hand” (7:21), for “if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet,’” he “should not have…

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The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel

The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel

This little reflection by Mbird’s Jacob Smith and David Zahl has made the rounds recently, first in Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology and second on The Gospel Coalition (where it generated quite the conversation!). We thought we’d repost it here for, you know, posterity:

The great Southern novelist Walker Percy once asked in his essay “The Delta Factor,” “Why does man feel so sad in the twentieth century? Why does man feel so bad in the very age when, more than in any other age, he has succeeded in satisfying his needs and making the world over for his own…

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Living Bread not Living Dead

Living Bread not Living Dead

Romans 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

One of the great moments of the television show The Walking Dead comes in Episode Two when a bunch of survivors are trapped in a building by what seems to be the entire zombie population of post-zompocalyptic Atlanta, GA. The zombies know they are in the…

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Do You Have A Zombie Plan? Part V

Do You Have A Zombie Plan? Part V

As I promised in the last post, we now venture into the many fearful layers of our psyche … the land of the walking dead.

Sigmund Freud once wrote an interesting little ditty called “The Uncanny“.  In it, he set up an inner conversation between what he called Heimlich and Unheimlich. Heimlich, says Freud, is what one would call the “homely” or how one feels as one returns to the “old home fires” of the psyche.  The equivalent of the Norman Rockwell painting in your life or the old Christmas fire with green and red textures, scarves, top hats, and…

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Fat Children Took My Life

Fat Children Took My Life

A provocative piece on the obesity epidemic via Slate’s new Hive project, in which author Daniel Engbar compiles a startling amount of data about the ineffectiveness of ‘tough love’ when it comes to dealing with this issue. In fact, the evidence of “the law increasing the trespass” (Romans 5:20) is pretty egregious here. A classic example of the civil use of the law (healthy weight being undeniably in the best interest of individuals and society as whole) backfiring completely, i.e. regardless of the intention, the law in this area is only ever heard/received in its moral capacity, therefore producing its…

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What Noel Gallagher Is Not Supposed To Feel

What Noel Gallagher Is Not Supposed To Feel

It’s high time we reappraised Oasis’ underrated fourth album, the hungover Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. When it was released, the expectations were astronomical – Oasis were still the biggest band in the (rest of the) world, albeit weighed down by/wrestling with the question of how to follow-up the relative “failure” of Be Here Now (it only sold eight million copies), a record which has rightly come to symbolize the utter hollowness of 90s Britpop hubris/excess. If you’re Noel Gallagher, you toss your brother a few swaggering anthems and spend the rest of the disc getting introspective.

There’s always been…

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Against This, I Cannot Fight

Against This, I Cannot Fight

I love classical music. It calms me, it always has. So, when my little Q man was born and all he did was SCREAM (okay, unfair…maybe 2% of the time he ‘tried’ to sleep), I quickly developed a habit of turning on the classical music…for me, really. So, more often then not, if you stop by our house in the middle of the day you will typically hear classical music (and, maybe, me yelling over the top of it…).

However, when I work out, it’s a whole different story in music genre. Out goes Bach and in goes Rage Against the…

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Nietzsche, Socrates, Seneca and The Philosopher’s Stone

Nietzsche, Socrates, Seneca and The Philosopher’s Stone

A fascinating if somewhat downbeat review of James Miller’s new Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche appeared in this past weekend’s NY Times Book Review, containing more than a few gems about human nature and the search for meaning. In particular, the book details how various philosophers have negotiated, or failed to negotiate, the impossible gap between the ideal and the real (known to us as, well, sin) in their own lives. Lots of prime divided-self/Romans 7-material in here:

If the proof of a pudding is in the eating, and the proof of a rule is in the exceptions,…

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