“Satan is angry at what has been done here tonight, and the devil will seek to attack you, personally and corporately, to sow seeds of doubt and sin.” [in an exhortation to newly-illumined faithful at St. John the Forerunner, Indianapolis]
Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest

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Who Killed Captain Video?

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Reason Magazine – Who Killed Captain Video?

This is the golden age of television.”

This essay, extolling the virtue of free markets in broadcasting, with a case study in government stifling of the same, is a valuable lesson.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:58 am

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Evangelical Is the New Fundamentalist

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“If your reading of the Bible inspires you to help the poor, that is passionate religious commitment. If it leads you to denounce homosexuality, you are a fundamentalist. In the modern U.S. context, the term “evangelical” is well on the way to acquiring such connotations, as a label for intolerant (white) social conservatives.” (Jenkins, “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” Christianity Today

What does this word mean, really? When we sometimes find it thrown about as a synonym for “social conservative,” or even “fundamentalist,” “anti-progressive,” and essentially, “knuckle-dragging neanderthal,” perhaps it’s important to understand what the word really means. After all, Archbishop Paul, primate for many years of the Orthodox Church of Finland, boldly asserted, in a line famously quoted by many Orthodox parish brochures and bulletins: “The Orthodox Church is evangelical but not Protestant.” If you think if you think “evangelical” means any of the previous “synonyms,” this statement will catch you by surprise. By “surprise” I mean here, “It’ll be nonsense.” (Clever Orthodox evangelists should take note.)

“Evangelical” comes from the Greek word evangelos (ευάγγελος)…

I just lost you, eh? I said, “…comes from the Greek…” and you pretty much checked out. That’s cool. As it turns out, etymology does not determine the meaning of a word. Context does. So, several years from now, there may very well be a note beside “evangelical” in style guides like the one currently in the Associated Press Style Guide for “fundamentalist” indicating that it is largely pejorative and subjective and should only be used if part of a religion’s name, such as the “Fundamentalist Church of Christ (Abilene Synod).” (I just made that name up, by the way. No offense meant to any real members of a church that may have that name in reality.)

In this case, it actually happens that “evangelical” has not gone over this cliff quite yet, so etymology does make a difference. Why? (Or, really, as you are probably already asking, why should you care?) Because it’s good news! Evangelos means “good message” or “good news.” The good news in this case is just this: That of Matthew 1.21-23:

‘She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: Look! the virgin is with child and will give birth to a son whom they will call Immanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’.

It is the commitment to the fullness of this good news that marks the evangelical Christian and differentiates him from others. As it happens, this denotes a wide range of beliefs. Evangelical Protestants — which is what most people mean when they simply say, “evangelical” — are not by any means a mass of droids with singular, unified views on anything. Some think environmental harmony is as interesting as midnight infomercials, some eat only carrots and parsley to protect Pooh and Benji from evildoers, while others think that stewardship means to rape the earth and throw away the husk. In other words, there’s a spectrum of thought within evangelicalism that goes from white to black and spans every crimson, indigo, and cerulean color in the middle.

Just thought I’d share.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:31 pm

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Cruise Spoofology

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This video assumes that you’ve seen the Tom Cruise Scientology video that escaped into the wild.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:53 pm