Showing posts from February, 2009

Pop Culture Roundup

Note: That Nearing 1000 post is going to head further and further down the page, and I need a few more questions. So please take a moment to contribute if you haven't already.

I've been working my way again through Process Theology. I've begun to remember a lot of the main points as I've read again, but it's been slow-going. Between the density of the material and finding the time and space to not only read but concentrate, I'll probably be spending a lot longer on this one. For those wondering what process theology is, this is a concept of God different from the traditional all-powerful, all-determining, God is persuasive rather than coercive, moving creation toward greater perfection and enjoyment rather than pre-determining everything, and displays perfect love through responding to creatures' choices rather than deciding for them ahead of time. I've been sympathetic toward this view since seminary...I figured it was time to not only r…

Ash Wednesday

While playing around with my MacBook, I made this video meditation that will serve as the opening for our service this evening. Have a blessed beginning to Lent.

Nearing 1000

Last year, Philosophy Over Coffee celebrated its 900th post. I commemorated this monumental event by soliciting 9 questions from readers.

Well, we are coming to yet another milestone: my 1000th post. In celebration, I wish to do a similar thing.

This time, of course, I'll answer 10 questions. Funny, serious, theological, favorite ballpark, whatever. I only ask that I don't get any repeat questions from the last time. And I will be selective about any questions about my church.

So there you go. The comments section is yours. First come, first served.


Note: these are not my drums.


"A spiritual leader who has too many illusions is useless. One who has lost their illusions about humanity and retains their illusions about themself is insufferable. Let the process of disillusionment continue until the self is included. At that point, of course, only religion can save from the enervation of despair. But it is at that point that true religion is born."

This quote comes from Reinhold Neibuhr's Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, which I've never actually read. This was included on a Facebook discussion group, and I wanted to track it down because I've been thinking about it lately.

(The language in the quote is awkward because someone attempted to make it inclusive.)

I recently had the term "disillusionment" clarified and interpreted in a new way for me. It was actually in Richard Hamm's book Recreating the Church that I read it. When I used to think of the term, I thought of someone who has become so worn down by disappointm…

She Was One Special Lady

This obituary recently appeared in our local newspaper:
Anna May Flynn, 90, went home with the Lord to join her husband, Ralph, and kick his butt for leaving her alone for 15 years after his passing to deal with their trouble-making, heathen children. After a long fight with old-age that wore her out in the end, she passed away Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009.

Vintage POC: Don't Read This If You Really Like Valentine's Day

With over four years' worth of posts now, I thought that revisiting a few now and then might be fun. And since it's Valentine's Day, here's my favorite post with related content: Don't Read This If You Really Like Valentine's Day:

My brother sent me this list of sayings for Valentine's Cards that Hallmark won't use for some reason. Enjoy.

~If love were a flavor of ice cream, it would be Mint Chocolate Chip because I love that flavor.

~I used to think that love was something I could feel only once in a lifetime. And then I met your sister.

~Love is like applesauce--it's mushy and makes me want to poop.

~Two lovers in love are better than three lovers in a love triangle, because two is less than three, and too much love can give you gas.

~Roses are red, violets are blue, yada yada yada here's a card.

~If Chuck Norris were your boyfriend, he probably would have gotten you more than this crappy card.

~The Beatles once philosophized that all you need …

Pop Culture Roundup

It must just be a time for me to re-read things. I've had good intentions all week about re-reading Process Theology, which I'm sure I'll finally get around to doing before too much longer. I've been thinking about the nature of God a lot lately, and this book really helped the last time around. There's a separate blog post in there as well.

I watched Rock Star this past week, starring Mark Wahlberg as a guy from Seattle who sings in a tribute band for his favorite hair-metal band, Steel Dragon. He's obsessed with getting every detail of their imitation exactly right to the point that it eventually alienates him from his bandmates. Fortunately, about the same time the real Steel Dragon somehow discovers him and asks him to be their new lead singer. There's the usual "seduced by the lifestyle" thing, and then the eventual "realize the business is marginally about the music" thing, and so then he becomes a coffeehouse grunge rocker becaus…

No Tip For You, Heathen

Here's part of a story from a blog called Prayer Pilgrimage:

My daughter, taking a break from her pursuit of a graduate degree, is a server at the Chili's a few miles down from our house. Like many others her age she is already pretty critical of the church and its obvious hypocrisies. Her cynicism, that to say, is neither atypcial nor incomprehensible. Nor does this kind of thing help--her or others.

A group of six church-goers came in last night after their evening services and sat down, not in her area but in another server's. When the girl came to greet them and take their drink order, one of them said, "We want to tell you up front that we will not be tipping you tonight because..."

Are you ready?

"...we do not believe in people working on Sunday."

The girl was taken full-aback, stammered out something that sounded like "I wouldn't have to work on Sunday if so many church people didn't come in," or some such. She was furious. So was th…

Michigan to Play Heidelberg This Fall

The Michigan football team finalized its 2009 schedule with the addition of Delaware State, a historically black college.
Delaware State will fill the Oct. 17 slot in Michigan's 12-game regular season, a source within the athletic department confirmed.
Delaware State is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly Division I-AA, team.

Delaware State's coach, Al Lavan, was an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan and also spent 18 seasons in the NFL as an assistant.
Lavan became coach at Delaware State in 2004. In 2007, the Hornets won 10 games and the MEAC championship, the school's first since 1991.
Last season, Delware State was 5-6.
Delaware State will be the second FCS school Michigan has played in three years. Appalachian State stunned the Wolverines, 34-32, in the 2007 season opener.
Michigan's 12-game schedule now features nonconference games at Western Michigan in the Sept. 5 opener, Notre Dame…

A Comedic Take on the Good Samaritan

HT to iMonk

Favorite Things Meme

Courtesy of the RevGals, the gist is just to list five of your favorite things.

1. Chasing Coffeeson around the living room. He'll crawl away, stop and sit up, realize you're coming after him, squeal, and either crawl some more or just sit there and laugh. He loves it, and I think it's hilarious.

2. Chipotle. It's our Sunday afternoon tradition, in part so that we don't eat it like three times a week. It's become a part of my wind-down routine after worship.

3. My drums. I haven't played them a whole lot lately, partially because the only time I'd really get to is while Coffeeson is asleep, and that just wouldn't work very well. And even though I play my guitar more regularly, I've been getting the itch more and more to go back to my first musical love and shake off the rust.

4. Coffee. Black, strong, multiple cups. And stay out of my way until I get a couple sips.

5. Empty church sanctuaries. I'll sit in one for hours if you let me - pr…

My Other Favorite Super Bowl Commercial


Pop Culture Roundup

I read three books this week. Yeah...three.

The first is another on my short list of "repeat reads," High Fidelity. I wasn't sure why I was drawn back to this book at this particular time, but after I finished the timing made a lot of sense. If you aren't familiar with the book or the movie (which is one of my favorites as well), Rob is a guy in his mid-30s who owns a struggling record shop, is trying to figure out his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and is trying to make sense of his life in general. The book, more than the movie, has Rob feeling pushed to strive after something bigger; to not "keep his options open" and finally commit to something that he can't back out of. Part of this push stems from his coping with his lack of accomplishment at his age. The movie focuses more on Rob's problems in relationships; the book is more about his overall sense of purpose. As I near my 30th birthday, reading this again was perfect.

I also breezed thro…

Quick! Evacuate the Mennonites!

I don't watch 24. I've been curious, though. One time, I was telling a friend that I was thinking about renting either 24 or The Shield from the beginning, but I couldn't decide which one, and he said, "Dude...Vic Mackey is so much cooler than Jack Bauer." I still haven't gotten around to watching either one.

But yesterday, I learned a piece of information that seriously scored some points for Vic. Apparently on this past week's episode of 24, the good guys discovered that the terrorists or whomever they're fighting are planning to attack the city of Kidron, Ohio. Sure enough:Kidron, Ohio, is facing a deadly leak from its chemical plant, one that might kill as many as 18,000 people out of the community's 30,000.

At least, that's how the Fox TV series 24 described the potential result of a terrorist plot launched at the end of Monday's episode.

It's odd that a network show would decide to make a target of Kidron, a small, unincorporat…

Open Forum: Science Books

I've never been a big science guy. That's not to say that I'm anti-science, or afraid of what I might learn from it, or a big creationism follower, or anything like that.

It's just to say that, in school, it didn't energize me. You know how some kids slog through Sunday School or confirmation because they think it's boring? That was me and science. I didn't do horribly at it, or even really find it difficult (except for chemistry...stupid periodic table with all your atomic weights and figuring out what P signifies and whatever). I was just interested in other things.

And now as I've gotten older, I've become more interested. I realize that it's something that I haven't devoted a lot of energy to understanding, and that particularly in this day and age where religion-science debates seem especially to be raging, I'm not satisfied with my passing knowledge. In college especially, I took this biology class on sex and death and finally…

Cosmetic Surgery...for Your Funeral

In the words of Dave Barry, I am not making this up:
The recent boom in cosmetic procedures has raised the bar for many of us when it comes to appearance. And, it turns out, the dead are no exception.

As the population has become increasingly sophisticated about procedures to enhance their appearance, so have their requests, morticians say, for smoothing lines, plumping lips and even boosting sagging parts for that last big special occasion — their funeral.

“People used to say, just throw me in a pine box and bury me in the back yard,” says Mark Duffey, president and CEO of Everest Funeral, a national funeral planning and concierge service. “But that’s all changing. Now people want to be remembered. A funeral is their last major event and they want to look good for it. I’ve even had people say, ‘I want you to get rid of my wrinkles and make me look younger’.”

Morticians have always performed a bit of cosmetic magic when it comes to recapturing the lifelike appearance of a person who’s pas…

What the H?

Longtime readers of this blog know how dedicated I am to advocating change in the church. I often write here about how we shouldn't be afraid to innovate, to try new things, to update ourselves. We shouldn't cling to the past just because it's what we grew up with and it's what we know. And those who complain about change should check themselves; should question what it is they're really afraid of or angry about.

Having said all that: what's up, Heidelberg?

I mean, you changed from "college" to "university" this past month. It was something that was in the works for a long time, and now it's official. You were a university years and years ago, so it's really just switching back. That's fine. I don't mind that. I was only planning on buying apparel that just says "Heidelberg" without "University." After all, I didn't go to Heidelberg University.

And are you going to send out new degrees to Coffeew…

As We Watch the Super Bowl Winners Pointing to the Sky Thankfully...

"If there's a god, he is laughing at us and our football team."
-Ben Folds, "Effington"

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