Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reflections on Mother Theresa

Rick Phillips of Reformation 21 has written a very good article on Mother Theresa's recently released memoirs, Come Be My Light. The memoirs reveal an inner despair and spiritual struggle for her years of ministering in Calcutta.

Phillips writes that, "her faith was not rooted in the Word of God, but in experiential ecstacy. In this, parallels can be seen between Mother Teresa and Christians of many stripes -- many of them evangelicals -- whose faith is driven by spiritual experiences instead of by the truth of God's Word."

In one of his more powerful reflections he writes,

from an evangelical standpoint, Mother Teresa's terminal case of spiritual darkness would have sullied her outward testimony beyond repair. An evangelical understanding of faith (a biblical understanding of faith) is incompatible with the ceaseless dirge of Mother Teresa's inner despair. She speaks of the total absence of God from her inner life: "Empty... no faith... no love... no zeal," she is described by one intimate. Imagine a postumous biography of Billy Graham, D. James Kennedy or Rick Warren revealing such a persistent spiritual state. The effect would be to obliterate their influence in evangelical circles. Jesus said, "Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life" (Jn. 8:12). Simply put, the spiritual testimony of Mother Teresa is directly contrary to the depiction offered by Jesus in the Bible."

I commend the entire article to you as it speaks very well to the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestantism. But not only that, it speaks to the transforming power of the gospel, given to us in the Holy Scripture.


Missed Memo

According to Reuters the controversial film Brokeback Mountain is a "gay cowboy classic." As I see it there are two problems with this label.

Firstly, how many gay cowboy movies are there? This is the first that I am aware of, so to call what may be the only film in a subgenre a classic is a rather silly acclamation.

Secondly, to label a film that is only two years old a "classic" of any variety smacks of presumption and gall on the part of the critic.

Evidently I have missed the memo on Brokeback Mountain. As many of you might imagine, the thought of me watching this film would (and should) provoke laughter. I am a fan of "classic westerns" but to suddenly install Brokeback into that genre is ridiculous and will not be well received by this critic at least.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sleep Runners

Doug Groothuis, the Constructive Curmudgeon has a great reminder for those of us stuck in the digital age. He has written a poem that exposes us for who we are:

Sleep walkers are passe.
Sleep runners rule the day.

Don't know where they are going,
What they are doing,
But they are moving.

Plugged in, jacked up, spaced out.
Proving their connections,
Never minding their defections.

Ear buds in.
Cell phones on.
Text messages out.
Never any doubt:
This is not sin.

Running to their portals.
Running with their portals.
No more mere mortals.

They are the wired wonders,
Souls torn asunder.

Sleep runners sparked by electronic speed.
Stimulation their obsessive need.
Never paying any heed
To any outworn Creed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Minnesotan's Bi-Polar Merging Phenomenon

This article I discovered on (or WDFL as some of us call it) finally ends the argument over traffic merging when a lane ends. Amr Jabr works at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and states, "We all want to be nice guys and merge right away but that's not really what we want. Merge at the very last moment possible."

This goes counter to what many Minnesotans do and is clearly an unpopular thing to do. According to the WCCO article, "MnDOT's research shows that 34 percent of us merge immediately, 62 percent wait for an opening and just 3 percent merge at the very end."

Who of us has not witnessed the meek Minnesotan merging as soon as possible and then getting into a rage when someone merges at the last possible moment? Minnesotans are bi-polar on the road--too meek to actually do what MNDOT wants us to do, seemingly out of courtesy; but when someone follows MNDOT's plan, but gets in front of the previously meek driver--you'd better watch out! That meek driver just became your worst enemy.

HT: Prof. S @ Roadguy