Monday, October 31, 2005

Are you like me in that, when you think of the church at Corinth, this visual comes to mind?

Happy Reformation Day!

488 years ago today Luther posted his theses in Wittenberg!

trivia fact: Supposedly the close-up shots of Joseph Fiennes nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in the movie 'Luther' were actually made using Mel Gibson's very own hands.

Christopher Reeves at Madame Tussaud's:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Richard C. Erickson quote:

from "Pastoral Psychology"--

(pp. 168-169) "I am suggesting that it is not true that our primary moral responsibility is to feel good about ourselves. The worthwhileness of our lives is not measured by the level of our sef-sufficiency or self-esteem, but rather by the quality of our commitments and interrelationships with others. The establishment and maintenance of such commitments entails considerable risk and requires moral courage. With the task so construed, a sense of well-being and fulfillment is the fruit of a life lived courageously and well, not its precondition nor its goal...I would reaffirm the reality of human finiteness and vulnerability. Psychologies offering the key to dazzling heights of success and happiness are as preposterous as they are popular. Life is more uncertain than all that, and we cannot expect to avoid unhappiness and failure in the short run or the long run. Fortunately, a host of psychogists and pastors are not seduced. Instead, they quietly and courageously pursue more modest goals."

(typed while listening to Ladytron)

Drawings of Jesus:

You can find more of these at:

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Evelyn Waugh quote:

from "Labels"--

(p. 87) "The pyramids are less impressive when seen close. They are a fine sight from the parapet of the citadel at Cairo, where all five groups of them can be seen standing up in the distinct border of the Nile valley, but, as one approaches, one sees that the original facing has only adhered in a few patches, and the whole now give the impression of immense cairns of stone rather than of buildings. The Sphinx is an ill-proportioned composition of inconsiderable aesthetic appeal; and its dramatic value has been considerably diminished since its base was disinterred. The mutilations of its face give it a certain interest. If one had come upon it unexpectedly in some unexplored region, one could be justified in showing mild enthusiasm, but as a piece of sculpture, it is hopelessly inadequate to its fame. People from the hotel went out to see it by moonlight and returned very grave and awestruck; which only shows the mesmeric effect of publicity. It is just about as inscrutable and enigmatic as Mr. Aleister Crowley."

(typed while listening to Liquid Liquid and Wire)

More Reputable Album Art:

(appropriately uploaded while listening to Queen's classic, "I Want to Break Free")

PZ on Preaching (excerpt):

I believe that good preaching is exactly what Tolstoy says true art is. Good preaching conveys deeply felt feelings, personally, on the part of the speaker; and good preaching always and without exception stimulates feelings of love and compassion, first for oneself and then for others, in the hearer. I have had it with cerebral preaching and preaching as self-expression or also as instruction. (Whenever somebody tells me they love to preach, and usually this is in connection with a job interview, I glaze over. The would-be associate reminds me of the actor at the audition who when asked for what role he or she is auditioning, answers, the lead!) I question what is sometimes called "expository preaching" because it often seems to me in practice to be heady rather than getting through to the heart of a man and a woman. In any event, just as an exercise – I believe a throttling but also a funny exercise – read "What Is Art?" once, but then read it again and subsitute the word "preaching" for the word "art."

"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46)

Martin Luther quote (re: Reason):

from "A Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians"--

"Reason feareth not God, it loveth not God, it trusteth not in God, but proudly contemneth him. It is not moved either with his threatenings or his promises. It is not delighted with his words or works, but it murmureth against him, it is angry with him, judgeth and hateth him: to be short, 'it is an enemy to God' (Rom 8[:7]), not giving him his glory. This pestilent beast (reason I say) being once slain, all outward and gross sins should be nothing."

-- He is saying something rather provocative, no? JAZ

Friday, October 28, 2005

Good Times in NYC, Summer '05:

Gerhard Forde quote:

from "On Being a Theologian of the Cross"--

(footnote, pp. 84-85) "It is remarkable that there were so few attempts to construct theodicies prior to the 18th century. Certainly there was no shortage of suffering and disaster. Life was 'nasty, brutish, and short.' In Luther's own day the black death had decimated the population of Europe and still threatened. Villages and towns lived in constant dread of fire and natural disasters, and so forth. Yet attempts to absolve God were deemed foolish. Is it not curious that only when life seems to be easier do thinkers set out to 'justify' God? Is it perhaps that when we think ourselves to have done so well we question God for being so inept? Perhaps it is as Hannah Arendt remarks, 'When men could no longer praise, they turned their greatest conceptual efforts to justifying God and His Creation in theodicies' (Hannah Arendt, The Life and Mind, vol. 2, p. 97)."

Today's list of 5 perfect songs:

Gary Numan & Tubeway Army: You Are in My Vision
Phil The Agony: Net Weight (Madlib remix)
RJD2: Making Days Longer
Magazine: Song from under the Floor Boards
Cristina: Things Fall Apart (aka Christmas Angst)

Taking a slightly different tack:

find out more at:

Blog Theme Song (finally posted):

Folks, this is a significant post as it signifies my new-found ability (in part) to share music with the world via this blog. I'm pretty excited and will probably go over board, once again! --JAZ

Cowboy For Jesus (mp3)

E. Kasemann quote:

"What causes most trouble for Christians of all ages is not legalism or lack of faith or theological controversies; it is Jesus Himself, who bestows freedom so openhandedly and dangerously on those who do not know what to do with it. The church always gets panic-stricken for fear of the turmoil that Christ creates when He comes on the scene; and so it takes His freedom under it own management for the protection of the souls entrusted to it, in order to dispense it in homeopathic doses when it seems necessary. The church claims to represent Jesus on earth, but in fact it often supplants Him. It must tremble in all its joints when confronted with His portrait. Ecclesiastical traditions and laws have domesticated Jesus and today all the churches are living off the success of the attempt."

Happy 23rd Birthday, Simeon Zahl!!!

Simers, I want you to know that I think it's really great the way we Zahls (including Bonnie) have finally gotten past the point of treating you like a cousin. Happy Birthday! --JAZ

"This Sporting Life" (script excerpt) and Romans 7:11,13 --

Frank: I am only trying to tell you where you're hurting yourself most.

Margaret: I don't need a list of my shortcomings.

Frank: Can't I talk to you just for once as a person? If you listen to what I have to say, I could really put you right.

Margaret: I wish you wouldn't try to work me into a fit. I wish you'd leave me alone! I can't stand it!

"For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means!... But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful." (Romans 7:11,13)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Freud quote:

"Jokes are funny because they are true."

Portrait of (Dorian) Prince:

For a long time I kept this portrait of Prince up in my attic. I think it was given to me right around the time that "Dirty Mind" was first gaining popularity. Initially, I couldn't figure out where to hang it, and soon after, it was forgotten. The only thing that made me think of it recently was the fact that I had stopped aging, now for about twenty years. For a while I thought it was just New York City, keeping me young, but when I got to Oxford, I started to suspect that something else was up.

So, I called my mom in Pittsburgh, and had her take the painting out of the attic for hanging above their (my parents') bed. She obliged, but called me a few days later in a panic.

Apparently, after just two nights, Prince had started to look creepy, hanging there above the bed. Mom said she couldn't sleep soundly, and that Dad was now snoring twice as loud as usual. By day three, the face in the painting apparently looked not at all like the Prince of old, once seen riding a unicorn on the back cover of his second, self-titled album. Instead, his moustache was now gone, and, according to a close friend of the family, Simeon "Zahl", Prince's eyes now gleamed with the eerie gaze of a Scientologist(!),...or was it a Seventh Day Adventist? I can't remember which...

Anyway, as a consequence of all of this rigmarole, Mom told me that the painting had to come down from their bedroom wall, and also, that I had to grow up.

Below is a photo of the sudden transformation that has occurred in my room at 2 Norham Gardens during the last three days. I am so pissed! --JAZ

Helpful Piece on understanding the destinction between a "Theology of Glory" and a "Theology of the Cross" by Don Matzat:

from Issues, Etc. Journal - Fall 1998 - Vol. 3 No. 2--

Everyday in every way we are getting better and better. Really?

Theology is systematic. All the pieces are supposed to fit together. Within Protestantism there are two very distinct systems of theology. One is a Theology of Glory and the other is a Theology of the Cross. I believe that it is very important that we understand the differences between these two ways of thinking. In so doing, I believe we will arrive at the conclusion that these two systems cannot be mixed.

The Place of the Gospel

The Protestant theology of glory begins with a one-time trip to the Cross of Jesus Christ. The preaching of human sin and divine grace is only directed at the unbeliever in order to "get him saved." The person who gets saved can sing, "At the Cross, at the Cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my sin rolled away . . . and now I am happy all the day."
Very often, when discussing on Issues, Etc. the place of the Gospel in preaching and teaching, someone will call-in and say, "I've already been to the Cross. I've heard the Gospel. I'm saved." In other words, in the thinking of that person, the preaching of the Gospel is directed at unbelievers. Once unbelievers are saved the Gospel in no longer relevant.
The theology of the Cross is quite different. The preaching of sin and grace or Law and Gospel is not only intended to convert the unbelieving sinner but is intended to produce sanctification in the Christian. The preaching of the Law continues to convict the Christian of sin, leading to contrition, and the Gospel continues to produce faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

The Definition of Repentance

A theology of glory defines repentance as a sinner being sorry for his sins and determining not to sin anymore. Repentance is the determination of the sinner to live a better life. Before being saved, the sinner is required to repent of all known sins. Incomplete repentance will cause a person to doubt whether or not they have really been saved.
Alternatively, the theology of the Cross defines repentance as contrition and faith rather than contrition and human determination. While the preaching of the Law will lead to contrition or sorrow over sin, the preaching of the Gospel will produce faith in the redemptive work of Christ Jesus.
Repentance is therefore not a singular act that precedes "getting saved" but defines the totality of the Christian life. The preaching of Law and Gospel produces repentance – sorrow over sin and faith in Christ Jesus.


A theology of glory separates the Christian life from the Gospel. Once you are saved you are given a list of do's and don'ts. More often than not, these are "evangelical house rules." If you continue to break the rules or backslide, the solution is the rededication of your life to God or, in some cases, the emotional determination to keep your promises. You wouldn't go back to the Cross again because you already did that when you got saved. Rather, you rededicate your life, because "once saved, is always saved."
The theology of the Cross never gets you past the Cross. The preaching of the Law is not intended to provide you with a list of do's and don'ts. Rather the preaching of the Law is intended to drive you back to the Cross through the hearing of the Gospel. As a result of the Gospel, your faith is strengthened. Out of faith, the good works defining the Christian life are produced.
Those who mix the theology of glory with the theology of the Cross may initially preach Law and Gospel but will end the sermon with Law, principles, or house rules. This is usually introduced with "May we" or "Let us." Such a sermon will cause you to go home, not rejoicing in forgiveness, but determined to live a better life.


A theology of glory produces people who think they are better than other people. "Getting saved" moves you to a higher level. You are now a better person, a step above those who are not saved. You can think of yourself as a part of the "moral majority" as opposed to the "immoral minority." You share your testimony so that other people will get saved and be a good person just like you are.
The notion of getting saved as taking a higher step on the ladder of holiness begets other steps. Some teach that getting saved is merely the first experience, now you have to get sanctified. This is the "second work of grace." This second work removes your old sinful nature so that you are no longer a sinner.
You now add to your testimony your experience of perfect sanctification. You not only witness to unbelievers, but you tell other Christians who still refer to themselves as "sinners saved by grace" that you are no longer a sinner. You have taken the next step. They should do the same.
The Pentecostals (and Charismatics) add another step on the ladder of holiness. They promote a baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues which gives you spiritual power that you didn't have before. Former Southern Baptist pastor Charles Simpson said, "Before I got baptized in the Spirit I almost wore out my rededicator." In other words, now that he has received power, unlike other Baptists, he no longer has to rededicate his life.
There may be many more steps and experiences for you to take. The popular Charismatic showman Benny Hinn speaks of four or five different anointings awaiting you as you climb the ladder of holiness. The so-called revivals that have broken out in Toronto and Pensacola offer a wide variety of experiences from being "slain in the Spirit," to being "drunk in the Spirit," to simply standing in one spot and shaking your head back and forth. According to testimonies, these experiences will produce in you higher levels of spirituality and holiness as you move on to glory.
Your testimony will now focus on trying to convince other Christians that they should come to where you are and get baptized in the Spirit, speak in tongues, and seek these other experiences. Even though you don't say it, everyone knows that you think you are a better Christian, because you have taken the next step.
Living in a theology of the Cross never makes you any "better" than anyone else. Every day in every way you are not getting better and better. In fact, the preaching of Law and Gospel will not lead you to an awareness of your holiness, but rather to greater awareness of the depth of your sin. As a result, you will develop an ever-increasing faith in and appreciation for the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.
Your witness will focus upon the work of the Cross, not upon your experience of getting saved, sanctified, or becoming more spiritual. You have taken no step toward God or arrived at any higher level of holiness. You don't talk about your spirituality. You talk about the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
When dealing with these issues on the radio, I often encounter opposition. People will fight to defend their theology of glory. I often challenge them to share their testimony without ever talking about themselves. I have developed the pet phrase, "This thing called Christianity – it's not about you!"
Martin Luther accurately defined sin as man turning in on himself. While a theology of glory continues to turn you to yourself as you measure your growth in holiness against a plethora of spiritual experiences, the theology of the Cross turns you away from yourself. As a result of the conviction of the Law, you forsake your own good works and spiritual experiences and cling to the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Which is Correct?

Any reading of the New Testament will demonstrate that the systematic theology of the Apostle Paul was a theology of the Cross. His focus was not upon his spirituality but upon the Cross of Christ. He boasted of his weaknesses. He referred to himself as the "chief of sinners" and a "wretched man." As far as he was concerned, his holiness and goodness was manure compared to the righteousness of Christ. For the Apostle, the dynamic of both justification and sanctification was "not I, but Christ."
The Reformation theology that characterizes both Lutheranism and traditional Calvinism is a theology of the Cross. There is no doubt that the theology of glory appeals to natural man. It is a theology of Adam. It is self-focused. It defines "popular Christianity." The reality is, it is not biblical Christianity.

Dudley Perkins:

Have you heard of Dudley Perkins, or Declaime? They are one in the same, and Dudley is one of my favorite musicians/artists. His album, A 'Lil Light, was panned (across the board) when it came out about two or three years ago, but it was one of my favorites. I believe Pitchfork gave it a "4.3 out of 10" thanks to Riff Raff. The album was neither rap, nor song-writing, just a loose hybrid of Madlib beats and quasi-mystical, crappy male falsetto mumbo jumbo. When Cody Chestnutt was getting mad props for his stuff, I was hoping that kind of low-fi home-produced excitement would carry over to this dude, but it didn't. I'll take this guy over Cody any day of the week. Check out his video for "Money" at, or his song "Flowers".

The coolest thing of all about this guy is that he's a Christian, albeit confused Christian, but nonetheless. Check out his rap stuff (under the name Declaime), which is all about God. His song, Heavenbound, is the definitive eschatological party track of the century so far! Other highlights from Declaime include a song written for his daughter, Desiree, that explains why he couldn't make it to the hospital when she was born, because his commanding officer in the military wouldn't let him off an air-craft carrier (or something like that), and also because it was raining. On another track, he gives a shout out to his "niggah Funkdoolah, from Vegas", possibly my all-time favorite shout out. This guy is basically a self-proclaimed, weededed Christian prophet with full rights to any of Madlib's unused beats, which makes for a very weird combo. I saw this photo today and thought that those interested in this blog should know about this guy. For me, the photograph confirmed everything I already suspected. Golly! --JAZ

Today's list of 5 perfect songs:

Gang of Four: Is It Love
Juggaknots: The Circle (pt. 1)
Blonde Redhead: Messenger
Roxy Music: End of the Line
Gang Gang Dance: Glory in Itself/Egyptian

JAZ's 10 Favorite Woody Allen Movies:

If you haven't gotten into Woody Allen's movies, you're missing out! He portrays life, and especially fallen human nature, with immense insight. Not surprisingly, he's especially strong when dealing with the psycho-sexual confusion that is often found in the midst of romance. His best movies, like most of my favorite films, are both sad and full of jokes. Manhatten is a perfect example of this, though it's especially dark. That said, it's very easy to begin by watching the wrong Woody Allen film first.

If you would like to give him/his films a(nother) shot, start with the following list...well, not Zelig, Alice, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, Radio Days (unless you're 11 years old), or Broadway Danny Rose...probably Annie Hall is the best starting point.

JAZ's Top 10:

Stardust Memories**
Broadway Danny Rose**
Annie Hall**
Husbands and Wives**
Crimes and Misdemeanors**
Hannah and Her Sisters**
Radio Days** (my first Woody Allen movie, watched at the Multiplex Cinema with my parents in Westchester, NY, at age 11)

(double asterix = a personal, special-place-in-my-heart fave, i.e., Love and Death **, not on either list, but man did I love this movie when I was 12! I once made a list of every joke, meticulously pausing the VCR for almost 6 straight hours.)

JAZ's Top 10 Honorable Mentions:

Take the Money and Run**
Mighty Aphrodite
Manhatten Murder Mystery
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask**
Bullets Above Broadway
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
Play It Again, Sam**

Another (amazing) Album Cover:

A joke (as told by David Lee Roth):

A man walks into bar and looks at the jukebox--all the records in it are by Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers. "Hey," he says, "Do you have any other records besides Tom Petty in this jukebox?" "No," said the bartender. "It's a jewkebox."

--So wait, Tom Petty is Jewish? What the heck! Is nothing what it seems?!

C. H. Spurgeon quote:

"What the Arminian wants to do is to arouse man's activity: what we want to do is to kill it once for all---to show him that he is lost and ruined, and that his activities are not now at all equal to the work of conversion; that he must look upward. They seek to make the man stand up: we seek to bring him down, and make him feel that there he lies in the hand of God, and that his business is to submit himself to God, and cry aloud, 'Lord, save, or we perish.' We hold that man is never so near grace as when he begins to feel he can do nothing at all. When he says, 'I can pray, I can believe, I can do this, and I can do the other,' marks of self-sufficiency and arrogance are on his brow."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kate Fox quote:

from "Watching the English"--

(p. 22) "'Well, I hope you're going to get beyond the usual stereotypes' was another common response when I told people I was doing research for a book on Englishness. This comment seemed to reflect an assumption that a stereotype is almost by definition 'not true', that the truth lies somewhere else -- wherever 'beyond' might be. I find this rather strange, as I would naturally assume that, although not necessarily 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but', stereotypes about English national character probably contain at least a grain or two of truth. They do not, after all, just come out of thin air, but must have germinated and grown from something."

Blog-comment tensions reach fever pitch on TitusOneNine (K. Harmon's thoughtful response quoted):

Yesterday, one of the threads on this blog was completely taken off topic by two posters. Frankly when the webelves brought it to my attention today and I reread the thread I could not believe it.

I have written both posters the following email:

“Yesterday [you] got in one of the most unhelpful back and forths I have seen in the blog comments here on titusonenine in a long time with another poster, [ ], who also was abusing the blog environment.

May I please caution you about this.

Please keep blog comments on topic.

Please do not make personal remarks about other posters.

Please try to use a tone of commenting which will promote understanding and helpful interaction and listening, i.e. avoiding sarcasm and condescension.

If necessary, further response will be taken.

Thank you


The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon

cc [ ]

The thread was so ruined by these comments and that I have deleted the comments and returned it to some semblance of sanity, graciousness, and order.

I now wish to say something to the reasserters on this blog who comment. Part of the way the tragic struggle through which Anglicans are going is effecting us is in producing what may be termed “addicts to despair.” You know what I mean. It is almost as if people get in the place where they seem to value disorder and chaos for its own sake; where there is a continuing loss of perspective; where there is, yes, a loss of faith that God is in charge of the world.

The end of this downward spiral is a kind of depression in which the participant is full of anger which manifests itself in pessmism, cynicism, and a brutal sarcasm.

This is a plea to those of you to whom this applies. Christians are people of hope, which in the Bible means confidence grounded in the character of God. Some of the commenters here appear hopeless or at least nearly so, and their comments are such that other people who read the blog lose their motivation to do so.

He or she who has ears to hear how this may apply to them, let them consider the words. And if it does not apply thanks for reading and sorry for the hurly burly element of the blog. We are trying to work at it and we still have not gotten to where we need to with the comments–KSH.

---How exactly does one go about getting "webelves"? I want some! JAZ

David Foster Wallace quote:

"I'm always stumped when critics regard references to popular culture in serious fiction as some sort of avant-garde stratagem. In terms of the world I live in and try to write about, it's inescapable."

--In other words, John Zahl can make a blog like this and still not be a fan of "The Emerging Church" or "Fresh Expressions". JAZ

Are you familiar with the Underground Church (NYC)?

Here's a photo of one of their worship services. I lived with Derek, the guy with the dreads in the background, all summer. Brit (one of the Underground Church's members and girlfriend of Pastor Austin, seen in photo moshing with the short red hair, suspenders, leg kicking, and right arm swinging), who has two crosses tattooed on either side of her neck and currently sports fuscia-dyed hair-do, told me non-nonchalantly that she "ministers to Satanists". I had never heard anyone say something like that before. Needless to say, I was impressed. Since I went through a Goth phase (even saw The Cure in concert twice, and Dead Can Dance once as well!), conversations with these Christians about the likes of Skinny Puppy and Miranda Sex Garden came pretty easy. They weren't as "into" my thoughts on total depravity, but God bless 'em. The Underground Church rocks! --JAZ

p.s., Apparently there is something in Pittsburgh of the same ilk, called the Steel Bridge Church (?).

This is Brit:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MGM DVD 2003 release of "Luther" back cover quote:

"Regional princes and the powerful Church wield a fast, firm and merciless grip on 16th-century Germany. But when Martin Luther issues a shocking challenge to their authority, the people declare him their new leader -- and hero."

14 of my favorite rap albums (no particular order):

--Quasimoto: The Unseen
--Big Pun: Endangered Species
--Slum Village: Fantastic Voyage (Vol. 2)
--Blackalicious: Melodica EP
--Cannibal Ox: The Cold Vein
--GZA: Liquid Swords
--Juggaknots: Clear Blue Skies (Re-Release)
--Souls of Mischief: 93 'Til Infinity
--Andy Gibb: Shadow Dancing
--Prince Paul: Prince Among Thieves
--Main Source: Breakin' Atoms
--Madvillain: Madvillainy
--Chilly Gonzales: The Entertainist
--People Under the Stairs: O.S.T.
--Group Home: Livin' Proof
--Sparklehorse: It's a Wonderful Life
--Camp-Lo: Uptown Saturday Night
--Mobb Deep: The Infamous
--The 6ths: Hyacinths and Thistles
--Ghostface Killah: The Pretty Toney Album
--Latyrx: Muzappers Remixes EP
--Lootpack: Soundpieces (Da Antidote)
--Deltron 3030: 3030
--Soundbombing, Vol. 2
--DJ Screw: All Work No Play
--Jeru Tha Damaja: Wrath of the Math
--Company Flow: Funcrusherplus
--Madlib: Remixes 2
--Gravediggaz: 6 Feet Deep
--MC Paul Barman: It's Very Stimulating
--Big Tymers: Hood Rich
--Lyricist Lounge: Vol. 1
--Outkast: ATLiens
--Dr. Octagon: Dr. Octagynacologist
--The Roots: Do You Want More?
--MF Doom: MM...Food
--De La Soul: Stakes Is High
--Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: East 1999 Eternal
--EPMD: Strictly Business
--Ghostface Killah: Ironman
--Jurasic 5: Jurasic 5 EP
--Pixies: Surfer Rosa
--Quannum: Solesides Greatest Bumps
--Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders
--Jay-Z: Reasonable Doubt
--Missy Elliot: Supa Dupa Fly
--The Pharcyde: Bizaare Ride 2 the Pharcyde
--Cappadonna: The Pillage
--Digable Planets: Blowout Comb

"Not until you listen to Rakim on a rocky mountain-top have you heard hip-hop...and you ain't never walked through the trees listenin' to 'Nobody Beats the Biz'..." Saul Williams

Richard Hooker quote:

from "Works, Vol. 3, Sermon 3"--

(p. 610) "My eager protestations, made in the glory of my ghostly strength, I am ashamed of; but those crystal tears, wherewith my sin and weakness was bewailed, have procured my endless joy; my strength hath been my ruin, and my fall my stay."

Another great album cover:

Her song "Woman of the Ghetto" features my favorite mbira solo of 1969 (or ever for that matter)! JAZ

Leander Harding (on PZ) quote:

"I am not an expert on what Paul Zahl has written. He is as far as I can understand quite deeply Lutheran in his theological instincts. He has imbibed Luher’s dramatic style of expression and that may hide some of the subtlety of his thought. He is clearly on the more Protestant side of Anglicanism. He has I think quite intentionally cultivated some real theological diversity at the school. I find PZ quite tolerant if the common ground of dependence on grace and an objective atonement is established. I find that his theology, at least on the conversational level, is animated by a deep compassion for the suffering of fallen human nature and by a over-riding pastoral concern. I do find some of the positions and statements extreme but I find myself in deep sympathy with the pastoral observations and concerns that lie behind much of what I hear him saying."

(photo: mom removes a splinter from dad's foot)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brussels in 1889 and 1 John:

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

(The painting is James Ensor's 'Christ Entering Brussels 1889', painted in 1888. It is huge, and has its own wall in the Getty).

Francis Palmer Clarke quote:

"True philosophy not only shows man what is his true end, but provides him also with the means for attaining it. It is mainly in this that the superiority of Christianity to Platonism is to be found."

Riff Raff/Nick Sylvester quotes (plus photos of some of my favorite actresses):

In no particular order: Bernadette Peters, Julie Hagerty, Nick Sylvester & Rosanna Arquette:

from interview with drummer Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade:

AT: Aww, are you a drummer or something like that?

RR: I'm a multi-instrumentalist. But you're flying close to the sun here, which is that my father is a drummer. And you look a lot like what my father did when he used to play drums in indie rock bands in the 60s.

AT: Oh wow, OK.


RR: OK. Have you thought of releasing a record of just your drum beats? As a companion record?

AT: I don't know, I don't think I could ever do something like that.


RR: I'm sure you're sick of the Montreal scene stuff, so I'll ask a slightly different version. There seem to be a lot of wolf bands coming out of Montreal. Clearly you guys are the best. But what about the other ones? What's the hierarchy?

AT: I don't think I'm going to say there's any hierarchy. We share rehearsal space with AIDS Wolf, and I recorded some of their recordings, stuff like that. They're all different.

RR: But wolves--

AT: Wolves.

RR: Are there just a lot of them, physically?

(read the whole interview at:

Mike Horton quote:

from Modern Reformation magazine, "Can We Be Confessional & Catholic: Prospects for Christian Unity Today"--

"It has often been said that the Episcopal Church (daughter of the Church of England) has “a Calvinist creed, an Arminian clergy, and a Roman Catholic liturgy.” Today its slide into a vague cultural liberalism is widely recognized within its own ranks. Nevertheless, there is still a strong evangelical tradition that continues to thrive in England, Africa, and Asia. John Stott, Alister McGrath, and Jonathan Fletcher in England, J. I. Packer in Canada, and the entire Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, represent this vital strand in English-speaking countries. In the United States, there remain key leaders within the Episcopal Church who seek to recall their denomination to the ecumenical creeds and the Reformed theology of the “Thirty-Nine Articles.” Among the names one thinks immediately of Paul Zahl (a regular MR contributor) and the now-retired Bishop of South Carolina, C. Fitzsimons Allison (another contributor)."

Grace Jones quote:

"You see an old building, the visible church, in which is buried or held unknowingly a very combustible substance -- the message of the Grace of God. When that substance is unwrapped and held up to the light, it ignites and burns."

Andrew Pearson quote:

"Nobody goes for a walk in the woods and comes back a Christian!"

Haunted Portraits:

Camille Paglia quotes:

"Jesus was a brilliant Jewish stand-up comedian, a phenomenal improviser. His parables are great one-liners."

"Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity. It is the past, not the dizzy present, that is the best door to the future."

"Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all."

(Camille Paglia, like Gary Wilson and Johnny Hart, is from Endicott, NY)

Ashley Null quotes:

from "Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance"--

(pp. 100-101) "Unlike the scholastic model where the will acting in accordance with right reason in the rational soul was supposed to constrain the passions in the lower sensitive soul, Melanchthon argued that the affections were inextricably joined to the will in the same faculty. As a result, these inner attitudes of the human heart determined the will's direction which then had power over the other faculty of reasoning as well...the passions of the heart ultimately determined human conduct, an affection could only be 'overcome by a more vehement affection'. Paris had been able to put away his love for Oenone only because he became overcome by a more vehement affection for Helen of Troy. Yet because of original sin's thoroughly corrupting legacy, humankind had one overarching affection that twisted every other affection into its service -- the affection of self-love. With reason and will both captive to the concupiscence of the flesh, only the intervention of an outside force, the Holy Spirit, could give humanity a new set of godly affections."

(p. 107) "It is highly unlikely that Osiander would have permitted Cranmer to marry into his extended family had not the Englishman's views been compatible with his own Protestant theology."

(typed while listening to Black Hearts Procession)

Rapper Cam'ron shot (but not dead)--

(Cam'ron) Giles, driving his royal blue 2006 Lamborghini and wearing what a friend later described as $200,000 worth of diamonds and other jewelry, was shot in both arms after stopping at a red light on New York Avenue NW, police said. "I got shot three times and my album comes out Nov. 22..."

find out more:

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

The following is from a comic strip that was made about me by Mike Fernandez (apparently I talk about lots of things as though they are "great"?).

--Those who know me say this is extremely accurate. JZ

Oliver O'Donovan quote:

from "On the 39 Articles"--

(p. 65) "And now we reach a point where we can hardly help being uneasy. Having said all they wish to say about the Scriptures, the Articles will turn to the doctrines of salvation; but before they do so they must pause to establish the doctrine which salvation presupposes, that of mankind's fall. This they describe, perfectly correctly, as 'the fault and corruption of the nature of every man'. But about the nature of man itself, that in which the fault and corruption resides, they have nothing to say. That mankind is the creature of God, made in God's image, set at the head of God's creation, a physical being with rational powers to understand and to rule the rest of creation and to worship God appropriately: these things are nowhere acknowledged in the Articles. But that is only an aspect of a larger omission, the doctrine of creation itself (!)."

--How blessed we are that our denomination traditionally does not travel down the contemporary road of placing great emphasis upon creation, but rather the extent to which creation is fallen. "You don't miss your water 'til your well runs dry" (Peter Tosh), and the well has been dry for a long time thanks to Adam! JAZ

Are you familiar with Glen Baxter?

Stanley Grenz quote:

from "The Moral Quest"--

(p. 137) "The great philosophers believed that at least to some extent the human moral problem was due to ignorance; evil is an error in judgement. Consequently the antidote to evil is knowledge, for correct knowledge leads to correct action or virtuous conduct...Beneath the surface of this understanding of the ethical task is a presupposition that forms the guiding dictum of enlightened humanism in every age, namely, that if people obtain knowledge of the right they can and will do the right.
"Augustine was too heavily influenced by the Bible to adhere slavishly to this principle. He came to see that the human moral problem is not merely ignorance. We do not only lack the knowledge of what is right, we also lack the ability to do what the law commands. And as a result, we cannot do what we know we ought to do. In fact, humans can knowingly and freely choose what is evil. We have the uncanny knack of knowing what we out to do, even anticipating the unwholesome consequences of an evil act, and yet choosing to engage in conduct we clearly perceive will be to our detriment and to the detriment of others."

--This quote perfectly describes the lay of the land! JZ

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Safety chart from India:

Check out Art VonLehe's comment, which is totally appropriate! JAZ

John Donne quote:

from "The Sermons of John Donne"--

(Sermon IV, II, p. 121) "...though I have washed myselfe in the tears of Repentance, and in the blood of my Saviour, though I have no guiltinesse of any former sinnes upon me at the present, yet I have a sense of root of sinne, that is not grub'd up, of Originall Sinne that will cast me back again."