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Posts tagged "Temptation in the Wilderness"

The Prosperous Gospel of Stage 4 Cancer

The Prosperous Gospel of Stage 4 Cancer

In church yesterday, we read the “Temptation in the Wilderness,” the passage where Jesus is tempted to turn stones to bread, to throw himself down from the Temple in a spectacle, to kneel to the devil in exchange for infinite power. Jesus has fasted forty days, but he does not waver.

The sermon at our church focused more on the form (and less the content) of the interchange, and distinguished the sentence structure of the devil’s temptations, versus the sentence structure of Christ’s replies. I had never noticed this before, but each of the tempter’s promises are conditional: “If…then…” If you just do X, you will have Y.

I suppose I…

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Ultimate and Awesome: The Changing Landscape of Human Attention

Ultimate and Awesome: The Changing Landscape of Human Attention

An article was released last week in the New York Times about the “Age of Awesome” we currently live in. That’s no surprise if you live in the vicinity of a television: valuating expressions fill commercials these days with “extreme” and “epic” language. Even many of the most banal home activities–laundry, dinner, yard work–have been re-filtered as new opportunities to live that faraway, unlived life.

Experience commodities, rather than goods or services, are the new avenues for self-invention. The New York Times article pointed to Ultimate Experience vacationing (you know, jet-pack rides, Antarctica tours on huskies, commercial space excursions, even the…

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The Difference Between Jesus and the Devil

The Difference Between Jesus and the Devil

This comes from Robert Farrar Capon’s take on evil, found in The Third Peacock. He is talking about Christ’s Temptation in the Wilderness wherein, according to Capon, Satan’s requests aren’t all that silly:

In any case, the clincher for the argument that the Devil’s ideas weren’t all bad comes from Jesus himself. At other times, in other places, and for his own reasons, Jesus does all of the things the Devil suggests. Instead of making lunch out of rocks, he feeds the five thousand miraculously–basically the same trick, but on a grander scale. Instead of jumping off the temple and not…

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